Andrew Chimphondah, CEO, Shelter Afrique (left) and the Chairman, Dr. Steve Mainda during the release of the company’s 2019 financial results. [PHOTO - COURTESY]

Darling, a leading hair extensions manufacturer, has launched the “#SalonTukoSet” programme aimed at supporting Kenya’s 25 billion-shillings hair industry meet the newly published guidelines for business operations.  In June, the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development issued a myriad of guidelines for business operations during the Covid-19 pandemic.  The hair and beauty industry in Kenya has been negatively impacted by the pandemic. Kenya has over 50,000 salons whose operations have faced a slowdown or closure due to fears of transmission of the virus.  Salon professionals work in close proximity with their clients thereby fueling such fears during the initial stages of the pandemic. 

As an industry-first initiative by any professional beauty brand, “#SalonTukoSet” programme will have three pillars – free distribution of hygiene kits and sanitizers; education on safety and hygiene for salon infrastructure and services; and back-to-business support.  Godrej Kenya chief executive officer  Mr. Rohit Vengurlekar said that the company will provide salon owners with the necessary guidance, resources and updates to ensure safety and well-being of their staff and customers, as per the government protocols.

“Since March, the beauty and personal care industry ( in particular the salon business)  has been greatly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. With the partial reopening of the economy, we at Darling are committed at empowering and uplifting the salon business  by ensuring they are business-ready with necessary protocols in place. With “#SalonTukoSet” programme, we want to ensure that salons experience a smooth transition into the next phase of their business with a greater emphasis on hygiene, which is going to be the new normal, and make this migration easier for them,” said Mr.  Vengurlekar.

Under this  programme, Darling Kenya will be donating 100,000 re-usable masks, 20,000 litres of disinfectants, 10,000 litres of liquid hand wash and 3,000 face shields for the well-being of the stylists, all contained in a salon hygiene kit.  In addition, the company has partnered with Rentokil Kenya to undertake weekly disinfection of top hair markets including:  Kenyatta, Umoja, Kariobangi, Kahawa West and Ngara. The programme has been made possible through Godrej Kenya and its employees’ joint contribution to empower and support hairdressers.  “ To further empower the salons, we have developed appointment scheduling tools that allow stylists to adhere to the new way of doing business post Covid-19. This will ensure they observe the safety and health measures around the salon including the clientele while safeguarding their source of income,” Mr.  Vengurlekar added. The guidelines issued are largely anchored on the Ministry of Health and World Health Organization directives and are meant to allow businesses to reopen, while strictly observing social distancing and other containment measures of the disease. Since the salon professionals work in close proximity with their clients, Covid-19 has heavily impacted their business, leading to a complete halt of operations in some cases. In March 2020, the Kenyan government through the National Treasury announced that it would spend Kshs.  53.7 billion on a stimulus package to support businesses that have been adversely  affected by Covid-19.



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