Jean-Michel Chalayer

Jean-Michel’s LeSalon, nail salon is helping people feel good about themselves.

What’s your story?
International background: Born in Montréal, grew up in Paris, lived in Frankfurt, Zurich, Munich, Stuttgart, Buenos Aires, now in London. I love travelling, visiting new places and meeting new people. The world is so diverse and interesting. I always had a passion for business, which is what I studied for my bachelor’s at ESSEC and then my masters at London Business School. I started my career as a strategy consultant at Oliver Wyman, but quickly realised that my calling was entrepreneurship and doing work that has a positive impact on the world.

What excites you most about your industry?
I love how a beauty treatment can make people feel good about themselves. We are essentially selling happiness and self-confidence, hence empowering our customers.

What’s your connection to Asia?
My mum is Vietnamese so a big part of my education came from the Vietnamese culture: I grew up speaking the language, being taught the values and traditions. We also used to spend every second summer in Montreal where most of my Vietnamese family lives. I have so many great memories from that time; particularly my grandma cooking amazing dishes and asking me constantly when I was planning to get married.

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Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Hong Kong – super entrepreneurial and the perfect mix between East and West.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Better done than perfect.

Who inspires you?
My parents. My dad came from a modest background, but with a lot of hard work he was able to have a very successful career and travel all around the world. My mum was a refugee. She lost everything and rebuilt herself a life on the other side of the world and was able to adapt to a completely different culture. The reason they inspire me is because they have shown me that by doing the right thing – being a good person and working hard, you can do anything.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The longest bridge in Europe is in Lisbon, Portugal.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Learn how to code

How do you unwind?
A glass of wine on a sunny terrace, a nice yoga session, a long run in nature.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Thailand. The people are super friendly and the beaches are amazing.

Everyone in business should read this book:
The Hard Thing about Hard Things – Ben Horowitz

Shameless plug for your business:
LeSalon is creating the nail salon of the 21st century: on-demand, consistent and high-quality service, delivered to your location at a date and time that is convenient for you.
My co-founder and I created the company to disrupt the beauty market using technology: connecting nail technicians and customers directly is resulting in fairer prices for both sides, while offering a highly personal service. LeSalon caters to the modern lifestyle, saving you time and money that is better spent on, your life!

Manicure-final-mumdays-image-edited-gift-idea Nails & Tools

How can people connect with you?
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeanmichelc/
Email: [email protected]

Twitter handle?
@jmchalayer

This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:

CallumConnectsCallum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.

Take the ‘Key Person of Influence’ scorecard <http://www.keypersonofinfluence.com/scorecard/>

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Get his free ‘Asia Snapshot’ report from www.callumlaing.com

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Callum Laing
Callum Laing has started, built, bought and sold half a dozen businesses in a range of industries across two continents. He is a partner in the Private Equity firm Unity-Group. Co-founder and non-exec director of The Marketing Group PLC and is CEO of Key Person of Influence (Asia). He is author of 'Progressive Partnerships'.

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