Anindra Siqueira speaks to Vandana Bharadwaj from the Acolade Academy to find out more about her beautician courses
What happens when there is a dearth of institutions to train beauty professionals in the country? A brand like Acolade is around to fill the niche, of course! That’s how the Acolade Academy began. It’s a school for beauticians that offers crash courses and advanced training in hairdressing, skincare, makeup, tricology and cosmetology. The academy is the brainchild of Vandana Bharadwaj, who is also the director of Acolade Care Cosmetics, a herbal cosmetics brand. We spoke with her to find out more.
What was the idea behind starting Acolade Academy? What made you think of doing it?
There is a huge gap between the demand and supply of quality professionals in the wellness sector. Acolade foresees the opportunity to fulfill this gap through various courses in beauty and haircare.
It’s still early days with the academy, but what do you aim to achieve?
We’re targeting masses, as most professionals working in this industry don’t come from a strong financial background. Acolade wants to create a good number of professionals and assist them with placements in this big industry.
What can students who undertake the courses at the academy go on to do, with the experience gained and the training they receive here?
They can get placements in salons, spas, and beauty and hair care clinics. Some of them also start their own business and a few tend to become freelancers. After taking these courses, a person can become self-dependent, because there are several opportunities in this field of work.
What sort of tie-ups do you have (for the academy) with beauty brands, salons and spas?
We have tied up with a few well-known salons and spa brands for placements. This will help our students to kickstart their careers.
Tell us about your non-profit start-up, My Helping Hand.
My Helping Hand (MHH) doesn’t entertain funds and we provide tuition and training to students. We’re a big family of 400 students, with the numbers growing annually. Every child deserves happiness and education, so MHH celebrates festivals, and organise picnics and infotainment events. We work in Versova, Yaari Road, Maroshi Pada, Mayur Nagar and Dahanu. We have a half-hour class every week, where children are taught to help other people, care for animals and write about their act of kindness. We also have people who donate food, clothes and stationery, organise events and trips and train our children.