Riaa Algoo, durban-born social entrepreneur, beauty enthusiast and Managing Director for hairstylist experts Glampalm Africa, a South Korean Company that designs and manufactures state-of-the-art luxury hair tools.
Being a Director for Glampalm Africa and India; has help her to achieve the perfect balance between world-class technology and glamour, two of her greatest passions.
Riaa is proud to be aligned with a brand that is renowned among the leaders in technology globally, having pioneered healing stone technology in the haircare industry and been awarded the prestigious International Good Design Award multiple times.
Riaa continually considers the critical development of brand loyalty in today’s ever-evolving environment. Riaa advocates that some of her greatest investments have been on initiatives that don’t necessarily translate into revenue, but that generate trust, build relationships and encourage longevity.
Achieving the perfect balance between world-class technology and glamour, Riaa Algoo, an ardent entrepreneur who is passionate about business. Her journey to success has been far from easy. A businesswoman with extensive experience in the hair industry.
She is an inspired philanthropist and believes that one person willing to take action, multiplied by many, is how hope happens. She’s a true champion for women and takes pride in seeing them succeed. She seeks to be positive change to the community.
As it often said that: The secret of getting ahead is getting started, and with a keen appetite for ambition, Riaa Algoo has always had her sights set on success.
With an inherent entrepreneurial spirit, she registered her first business in 2007, at the age of 21; with limited resources to fund her vision
Despite challenges, she built her business from her parents’ backyard, where she spearheaded the first e-commerce website for hair and beauty in South Africa. She saw a lucrative gap in the market for luxury haircare and convenience, and proceeded to open the first salon offering free haircare delivery nationwide.
Online shopping was not widely used by South Africans in the early 2000s, and with social media in its infancy, this marketing medium was not yet optimised as a business tool; but despite venturing into the unknown, Riaa began to build an online and social media presence for her salon.
The road to success is always under construction, and unlike many of her competitors who stumbled at the signs of obstacles on their paths, Riaa has always believed that persistence and perseverance is key. To become successful requires hard work, and to maintain that success is even harder. She prides herself on talking less and listening more, which has been a core element in shaping her success thus far.
Taking countless risks, Riaa fulfilled many roles in her first year in business; from serving tea to banking cash; packing orders to making deliveries. A true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer; and whilst the physical, mental and emotional demands were taxing, her turnover was almost R4 million by her 22nd birthday.
While battling to retain good talent, yet determined to make her passion her paycheck; it wasn’t long before Riaa trained to become a stylist with Redken NYC, and just twelve years later, prides herself on owning one of the largest and most reputable online haircare retailers in South Africa.
To some extent, being an entrepreneur is a lonely journey and for Riaa, it certainly was the road less travelled; but the unwavering support of her family and husband Vidwan, has been the foundation upon which she has built her success.
She prides herself on owning one of the largest and most reputable online haircare retailers in South Africa.
Going global and venturing into import and distribution; Riaa worked in India for two years before achieving her career highlight thus far, as Managing Director for Glampalm Africa and India; achieving the perfect balance between world-class technology and glamour, two of her greatest passions.
A visionary for this South Korean Company that designs and manufactures state-of-the-art luxury hair tools; Riaa is proud to be aligned with a brand that is renowned among the leaders in technology globally, having pioneered healing stone technology in the haircare industry and been awarded the prestigious International Good Design Award multiple times. Off to a successful start in 2020, Glampalm has been enlisted as the official hair partner at New York Fashion Week; and Riaa shares the brand’s exciting intentions to expand into Africa in 2020, with her at the helm of increasing Glampalm’s impressive international footprint.
Some people dream of success, while others get up every morning and make it happen; and while digital marketing has revolutionised the way that brands conduct business, Riaa continually considers the critical development of brand loyalty in today’s ever-evolving environment. As platforms change and trends come and go, a loyal and trusted user base is incredibly powerful; and Riaa advocates that some of her greatest investments have been on initiatives that don’t necessarily translate into revenue, but that generate trust, build relationships and encourage longevity.
Believing that you should never start a business just to make money, but rather to make a difference; in addition to building the Glampalm Africa and India empire, Riaa is also the co-founder of the SAI Feeding Scheme, and her career journey has evolved into one of social entrepreneurship, where she endeavors to be the change she wishes to see in the world.Community Builder
Riaa has been a dedicated and passionate supporter of giving back since her childhood. Her story is personal & inspiring. Riaa’s father was a simple man that had experienced hardship and hailed from a humble background. he instilled a mission of “sharing the good” in Riaa from an early age.
My dad led by example and that truly motivated me. I watched for many years as my father would never turn down someone who needed a helping hand.
I always asked my dad how could he give people things so selflessly when he barely had enough for himself and he always said that someone always helped him in some way or the other to get through life and we should never forget that and always do the same. He said that blessings come back to you. Those words have never left me.
With great pride and sincerity I have had the honor to co-found the SAI feeding scheme with my dad in 2015 – an organization I am so passionate about. We work very hard without salaries , to deepen our impact in the communities that we feed.
We are not billionaires, but we are everyday heroes in the community. We choose to be part of the solution to end hunger. My young kids are actively involved in my social work and I use this opportunity to project the real world to them. I want to raise kids that are socially responsible and not narcissistic in society.
I think that being a philanthropist doesn’t mean you have to be super wealthy and giving away one cheque a year certainly doesn’t qualify you as a philanthropist either. To be a philanthropist , you must be dedicated to driving change constantly.
My organization feeds hundreds of homeless people that are out on the streets and we have just begun this journey.
My vision is to make helping another human being convenient and easy. I want the whole process to be seamless. I want to link my online community with the less fortunate directly and I want them to see the “real” world. I am going to create that bridge and help the poor change the direction of their life….one person at a time.
I am working on an online project that will do all of this and its coming soon. I am also the brainchild behind the #glampalmgirlfund which will allow us the opportunity to offer bursaries to young women in our communities that will allow them to earn better and live better as a result. When you educate one girl child, you are lifting her entire family and community.More About Glampalm
Glampalm is a luxury Korean-based hair styling company that manufactures intelligent, multi-functional tools targeted at women.
Our manufacturing plant in Seoul has manufactured 80% of the worlds leading hair styling irons and have invented so much of what we have in flatirons today.
Unlike competitors on the market, all our hair styling tools are completely designed & assembled in South Korea, ensuring impeccable quality and workmanship. There is no comparison on the shelf that offers the technology you get from a Glampalm.
I am proud to sit as the head of Glampalm in South Africa & India – two very diverse markets that sometimes require a different version of me.
Q How has your background influenced who you are today?
It’s my background and circumstances that ultimately keep me grounded and resilientQ Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
I believe that hunger for success is what shapes you ultimately as an entrepreneur.Q Which 3 books would you recommend that every entrepreneur should read?
1. The Lean Start-Up by Eric Ries
2. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
3. Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder” by Arianna Huffington
Wake up and 5 am and always have a fitness routine… it will prevent burn out. I also only check email late at night and plan for the next day accordingly- I never check mail in the morning, it’s too distracting and changes what I have set out for the day. I just found that doing it this way ensures that I am more productive.Q How do you ensure your organization and its activities are aligned with your core values?
Everybody within our company and our close associations all resonate the same principle. So it’s not difficult to ensure that we are all aligned perfectly with our thinking and values.Q What’s Non-Negotiable for You?
My integrity is non-negotiable.Q In one word, how would you describe yourself?
Ambitious. I have always been ambitious, even as a kid!Q Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a businesswoman?
My husband. He has been my greatest source of strength and happiness. If I never had the stability and happiness personally, I would never be able to do what I do professionally.Q How do you manage to keep the balance in your marriage, family and work?
I literally stop work at 3pm and switch from MD to mom until I personally tuck my kids into bed. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Both roles are equally important and demanding. My husband is also very hands on as a parent and that is a blessing.Q Which one thing do you wish you had done differently?
I lacked a lot of self confidence as a teenager and I wish I had a mentor to put things into perspective for me.