A day in the life of a busy working woman, a stressed stay-at-home mom, a young lady working a full-time job, and a female university student busy with exams isn’t all that different. No matter how busy they get, they all end up having one thing in common: the need for some “me” time now and again. At this day and age everything seems to be moving faster. People are less likely to wait in long lines, and a lot more interested in saving time by shopping for the products they need simply at the click of a button. Companies all over the globe are racing to provide this ease and speed for their consumers everywhere, and the keywords are “digital” and “transformation”. This trend is taking over all industries, and the beauty industry is no exception.
Salma Abou El Naga is an inspiring Egyptian female entrepreneur who demonstrates a perfect example of the ambitious attempts to introduce the concept of ease to female consumers who often find themselves short on time. She is the CEO of “Beauty 911”, an Egyptian beauty platform that features a wide selection of global and local beauty brands. She is also the co-founder of “Toi to Go”, a home beauty services platform that has been in the market for nearly 3 years. Beauty 911 has recently acquired “Toi to Go”, making Beauty 911 the only fully-integrated one-stop shop platform for females in Egypt and the Middle East. Excited about this promising prospect, Salma sat down and talked with Business Forward about her company and what the recent acquisition means for its future growth, as well as the challenges her company is dealing with.
First of all, tell us about Beauty 911 and its services.
Beauty 911 is a platform that provides all kinds of beauty products through our “Beauty Market Place”, as well as services for hair, makeup, and nail care provided at home. Beauty 911 is 100 percent Egyptian and was officially launched in June 2022.
How did you come up with the idea for your platform?
Having been a corporate employee, I barely had time for myself. Sometimes I worked for up to 16 hours a day. I barely had the chance to visit the beauty salon as often as I needed. I realized that many women around me could be dealing with the same issue. Not getting enough time for herself, a woman can easily feel less confident, and less empowered, which could affect her productivity. I believe that looking good is a big part of feeling good. This made me wonder: why not come up with a solution for other women like myself?
What does this new acquisition of ‘Toi to Go’ involve?
Beauty 911 has acquired ‘Toi to Go’ company. Toi to Go has been providing its services to consumers in Egypt for the past 2 and a half years. It was launched in October 2019. Through a smartphone application, our customers could request beauty services delivered to their doorstep in an exceptionally short time. The acquisition was done the end of May 2022 in an undisclosed nine-digit figure. Now, Beauty 911 is Egypt’s first 360 beauty destination and the only fully-integrated one-stop shop platform for females in the Middle East.
Where do you deliver your services and products?
We deliver our beauty services to Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Gouna, Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh, and we deliver our beauty products to all of Egypt.
We know that females are your target audience, but is there a specific category that you target?
Our customers include stay-at-home moms, working women, and hijabis (women who wear hijab/headscarves).
What distinguishes your platform?
We are proud to say that we deliver our products and services to our customers in the shortest time possible. We also plan to improve the overall experience we provide to our customers through many unusual aspects that we will be announcing soon. Our services will be provided in an even more practical manner.
Moreover, we are the first to present this unique ‘social commerce model’ through our “Influencers’ Boutique”. This concept revolves around relying on a number of social media influencers to promote a set of beauty products of their own choice.
In addition, we are the only holistic beauty marketplace for high-end lines of products of famous beauty brands, like L’Oréal, for example.
What are the plans for growing your business in the coming period?
We plan to expand our geographical blueprint. We are collaborating with more beauty salons that are present across all of Egypt. Soon, we will be announcing the details of a new collaboration in Riyadh, KSA, where we will be delivering our services to Saudi women.
What are some of the main challenges you are currently dealing with? How are they affecting you?
Unfortunately, with the import crisis, some products are going out of stock or aren’t readily available in the market. While this is affecting our beauty marketplace, we still have our beauty services, which are very popular among our customers. Otherwise, we are not dealing with any other grave challenges.
What are the opportunities ahead of you in the coming months in your opinion?
Within 2 months, we will be reviewing and expanding our marketing efforts to reach bigger segments of customers and we are excited about the results of these efforts.
The beauty market in Egypt is a $4 billion dollar market. We believe that the sky is our limit. We are looking forward to more growth in the MENA region. The competition in the market is only pushing us forward and motivating us to make the best out of the presence of Beauty 911. We aim to make Beauty 911 the number one beauty platform in the world.