Mohamed Al Sagheer is one of Egypt’s businessmen who has successfully transformed the perception of hair salons in Egypt. Not only has he contributed to the expansion of their services to include much more than hair-related facilities, he also built an empire with a full-fledged academy that teaches many interested individuals the up-to-date techniques of this profession to best cater to their clients.
Al Sagheer still passionately transforms women’s looks with his impressive haircuts and spot-on hair care recommendations to suit each individual and reflect their personalities.
The hair salons offer an escape from people’s daily lives, since several branches include spas, nail treatments in addition to other pampering services.
Al Sagheer commenced his career in the sixties and has been successful ever since. He opened his first owned hair salon in 1980 and his business has been continuously expanding all around Egypt and the Middle East.
His son, thirty-six-year-old Mostafa Al Sagheer, and Vice Chairman of Al Sagheer Group, had joined his father’s business to contribute to its success and growth.
Mostafa Al Sagheer graduated from The American University in Cairo majoring in political science with a special focus on international law. “When I decided to join my father’s business, I took a number of business courses, in addition to a diploma in finance and accounting. I wanted to equip myself with the knowledge to be able to add to the business and make it grow,” said Mostafa, who joined Al Sagheer Group in 2003 and has been working there ever since.
Al Sagheer Group
Al Sagheer Group is a joint stock company between two Al Sagheer established businesses, where one manages the hair salons, spas and boutiques, while the other is fully dedicated to managing the imported products that are used at the salons and sold in the boutiques.
“I am the Chief Executive Officer of the two companies, where I run both and manage their day-to-day business details,” mentioned Mostafa.
The business of Al Sagheer Group has expanded greatly over the past 27 years, where currently, there are 28 hair salons all over Egypt with regional branches in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
“Ever since the company was launched in the eighties, we have had a retail corner in all our salons where clients have the opportunity to buy whatever products they desired. However, we officially launched the first Al Sagheer Boutique in our Mohandesin branch in 1990, since it had a spacious space that we used for a user-friendly display, showcasing a large range of our products. Later on, we opened our first stand-alone boutique in Zamalek in 2000 followed by our First Mall boutique in 2007,” explained Mostafa.
Keune’s shampoo and styling products and Nashi and Philip Kingsley’s hair treatment products are among the array of specialized and internationally renowned brands for hair services in the world that are found in their salons.
“We are known for using the best international hair brands such as L’Oreal, Bad Hair, Kerastase and many others that clients have expressed their satisfaction with and experienced excellent results after using them,” he highlighted.
Blow Dry Bar
Blow Dry Bar is one of Mostafa Al Sagheer’s additions to his father’s legacy, which aims to serve women on the go who have little time to spend at the hair salon. “Blow Dry Bar is a brand new concept in the Egyptian market. It basically started out as a blow dry service, yet it evolved into a sub brand of Al Sagheer Group as it still offers the same range of services but in a much faster, less luxurious way,” he explained.
The first Blow Dry Bar was opened in City Stars, Heliopolis to cater especially to women at the mall.
Contributions and Services Offered
“It is always very challenging to add to an already established and successful business. It is one of the toughest things I face as I go about my work because I am following in the footsteps of a business guru, who has left his engraved signature in the world of hair salons. I have always worked with the objective of turning the group into an actual business model and institutionalize the company. Consequently, we established Al Sagheer Academy to help teach a new breed of hairdressers who learn from scratch the secrets of managing different hair types in the best possible way to ensure client satisfaction and delivering high quality and flawless services,” explained Mostafa.
“In order to do that, we also enforced an enterprise resources planning system, established a human resources department and last but not least, created customer service and quality control departments to implement the best work plan and ensure that all Al Sagheer staff members are compliant and on the same wavelength, so that clients would get the best service in all branches without any discrepancies,” he added.
Another contribution that Mostafa added was helping the company include more brands that he saw were important to have due to their great popularity as best sellers worldwide. He wanted Egyptians to enjoy these products and feel that they are getting the best here in Egypt.
“It goes without saying that the devaluation of the pound negatively impacted our work. It affects our business tremendously due to the high costs of imported products, where we unfortunately had to increase the prices of many of our services to be able to continue to provide the best without compromising the high quality that we are prominent for,” he stated.
Achievements and Challenges
According to Mostafa, working in a field that is different to his studies is his greatest achievement. “I have learned a great deal and I am proud that I managed to follow in my father’s footsteps and help grow and expand the business as a political science graduate,” he mentioned.
To him, fierce competition and sustaining the best quality are his biggest challenges. “Many hair salons have opened over the last decade with a similar business model that offered the same services,” claimed Mostafa.
Al Sagheer Boutiques
Al Sagheer boutiques exhibit and sell distinct local and international products. The display has an edge of creativity with inviting interiors and knowledgeable staff, who are always up for providing the best service to clients.
Dolz House, Maha Al Sagheer, Tash and Dijani display their locally produced lines at Al Sagheer boutiques, in addition to a huge selection of perfumes, cosmetics, makeup and hair product brands.
“I would like to create a new concept for men salons, where they can also enjoy being pampered and receive equally high quality services. I would also like to see hair brands that we manufacture,” commented Mostafa when asked about his dreams for the future.
“I am always inspired by positive energy. To me, this is what keeps me going,” says Mostafa. “My dad is my idol. He is someone that I proudly look up to. His reliance, hard work and vision are inspirational.”