Focusing intensely on efficient, clean and above all fast service, the Kaizen 10 Minute Haircut franchise chain has grown rapidly from its base in Indonesia to three other countries in Southeast Asia and is looking at expanding further afield. Staying true to its name – “continuous improvement” in Japanese – the firm is using innovation and technology to reach more and more clients and improve its services.
Kaizen General Manager Jason Budiarto is an enthusiastic brand manager who concentrates on the firm’s core strengths – quick, clean, stylish, affordable and waterless.
You have exhibited at the HKTDC Hong Kong International Franchising Show twice, and found potential franchisees (in Philippines and Abu Dhabi) each time. Will you continue coming to the event to network for more opportunities?
We joined the exhibition in December 2015 and December 2018. I met our franchisee for the Philippines during the 2015 show and made the deal in 2016. We opened our first store in Manila last year. It was delayed because we had to wait for shop vacancy. Furthermore, I met our prospective franchisee for Abu Dhabi at last year’s show. Obviously, we would like to keep coming back here because the Hong Kong expo features potential franchisees of great quality.
You are in Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia and Myanmar. Do you plan to have franchises throughout the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region – such as Thailand and Brunei – or even further afield?
We are originally from Indonesia and have expanded to the Philippines, Cambodia and Myanmar. However, we are planning to expand into more countries, and not only in Southeast Asia. Currently, we are talking with a guy in Dallas, Texas, in the United States. We hope to penetrate that market next year. Furthermore, there are more countries interested in Kaizen, such as Pakistan, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.
Time is a precious commodity – everyone wants faster services. Will you take your brand into other time-sensitive areas such as food delivery?
Obviously Kaizen emphasises time; we offer a quick, stylish and clean haircut at an affordable price. On the other hand, we do not plan to have other services than haircuts. Also, we shall not provide a home-service haircut because it is inefficient in terms of travel time. We prefer the customers come to our shops and get a quick haircut, thus they can go back to their activities without worrying over any itchiness or a small cut after a haircut.
Do you rely heavily on social media for marketing, especially since many apps and functions tie in to location?
Yes, currently we do have a special team to take care of social media, such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. We also have our own applications for customers -- the in-store app and hairstylist app. We have a website and our YouTube Channel, too.
Do you have a comprehensive Big Data/Artificial Intelligence suite to improve outlets’ performance – for example by flagging unexpected disparities in traffic between outlets?
We do. The data is generated from the apps and our dashboard. From those, we are able to analyse which shops perform great and which shops do not.
Do you have a formula for franchise location – for example at least 5,000 people walk past each day and no less than five blocks away from another Kaizen outlet?
Only one shop is allowed for one shopping centre, unless the same franchisee would like to establish more than one shop in that shopping centre. If a Kaizen shop is built outside a mall, we give a 1 kilometre radius from the location.
How do you evaluate potential franchisees?
First of all, our prospective franchisees must understand that this franchise system requires the franchisee to be an active franchisee, meaning that he must control the employees, hours, finance, etc by himself. Kaizen shall give guidance for him to run the shop and continuous support if he needs help. Our prospective franchisee can be an individual or company, must have passion as an entrepreneur to own and operate the business and have commitment to it.
Kaizen is a keyword Toyota uses in its much-admired management model – others include Just-in-time and Jidoka (automation with human intelligence). Do you apply any of the others?
Kaizen means continuous improvement. We apply it to our business, team and franchisees. For example, we realise that advanced technology is required for the future of this business, so we created our own applications – which made us the first hairdresser in Indonesia to have its own apps. We also keep updating our hairstylists with the latest and trend hairstyles by using our YouTube channel.
Kaizen 10 Minute Haircut