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Call it the beautiful route to success abroad. For a large number of wannabe NRI brides, the way to earn some extra moolah is to do a beauty course 'here' and set up a flourishing business 'there'.
After all, the West is (re)discovering Indian beauty and young brides are the perfect messengers to take these elements of Brand India and sell it to foreigners. Not surprisingly, during the months from October to December, our local beauticians are a busy lot. Training young starry-eyed NRI brides in the nuances of make-up and facials. Add to it some extra skills of massage, yoga or henna and the package is complete.
"The number of young NRI brides wanting to train as beauticians before they fly abroad has increased considerably," says Falguni Brahmbhatt of Shehnaz Herbal Skin Care and Beauty Clinic.
"After doing a diploma and advanced course, they just need to do another course abroad before they set up a parlour." Which is exactly what Bhumika Patel, a 22-year-old commerce graduate, intends to do.
Patel, soon flying to London after her wedding, is currently doing a crash course in beauty treatments and skin care. She is in a hurry. "I have been told there is a lot of scope for beauticians in London. I may work for a few months before branching out on my own." On the other hand, Priya Shah, 25, another to-be NRI bride, is better prepared.
She has also trained in reiki, yoga and stress-management and has recently added beauty treatments to her CV before she flies to USA. "I don't like the idea of working. This way, I can earn without too much effort." A well made-up dollar dream The scope is indeed large. Apart from the large Asian clientele that are always on the look-out for Indian massages, henna and wedding make-up, even the foreigners trip for it. All of which adds up to a sizeable income for the beautician.
Non-taxable and ease in getting a licence too (since they mostly tend to project it as a hobby instead of a business). Apart from which, as Sonali Shah of Soi beauty clinic says, certificate and diploma beauty courses are helpful in getting jobs at Indian herbal clinics abroad. It's not so easy, but if they fail, they still have the option of operating from home.
"I know around nine students of mine who are working in Chicago, New York and London. They can earn in huge amounts," she says. So what sells in the beauty stakes? The buzzwords are 'herbal' or 'traditional'. Learn these skills in rupees and you can earn in dollars. Shraddha Shah, aroma-therapy specialist at Faceline Aroma clinic has a specific package that works well in Western countries — a blend of traditional aromatherapy with advanced beauty techniques. The course finds a number of takers among NRI brides.
"After all, whichever part of the world they go to, they are bound to find Indian clients," says Shah.
Quite the perfect way to mix traditional beauty skills to suit Western needs and make a decent living on phoren lands.
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