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Distinguished guests, fellow cosmetologists, students, members of the media, ladies and gentlemen,

I am delighted to join you in the celebration of your 20th anniversary and happy that you have chosen as your theme, ‘celebrating the goodness and glory of God’. We make no apology in acknowledging that it is God who has brought First Choice Hair and Beauty this far  to be the top notch beauty care providers in the country – and it is indeed marvelous in our sight.

Being an HR practitioner, I am used to championing performance management systems and speaking of success only when targets have been set and achieved or exceeded. Permit me, distinguished guests to pause and consider what targets were set  and review with me the performance and track record of First Choice Hair and Beauty

With the sole aim of becoming a pioneer in the fashion industry, specializing in beauty, hair and nails in West Africa, Mrs Faustina Adadjar established this business in 1998. I would like to acknowledge that first choice has grown in expertise and experience providing cutting edge professional hair care, nail care, foot care and specialized body care solutions, including massage therapy and skin care. Well , what is your verdict? Has first choice met its target in this regard?

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,  I believe, you will agree with me that especially with what is happening currently in the world of business in Ghana where a significant number of companies have folded up, leaving share holders and employees hopeless and disillusioned, First choice’s ability to stay in business for 20 years is in itself a big achievement.

Again in my industry, when you are recruiting, you assess people by what they have done in the past so you are able to predict what they are likely to do in future.  First Choice’s journey demonstrates how a micro organization can evolve into an SME, observing corporate governance and lending credence to the fact that we do not all have to look for work. Some of us will have to create jobs for others. If only more people could change their mindset and be bold to start their own businesses, the unemployment rate in our country would go down.Over the years, first choice has provided jobs for many people.

I have identified three pillars in their strategic direction –  excellence, people and innovation.

First Choice’s  commitment to excellence is exemplary. Businesses that commit themselves to the pursuit of excellence demonstrate power to transform the lives of both their employees and customers. I will like to quote Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th President of the United States, “The noblest search is the search for excellence”. I urge all of us to strive for excellence in all that we do.

for beauty therapy sessions 2. A shift system which accommodates customers with different needs. Early birds can be attended to as early as 6am and as late as 10pm. 3. There is also the provision of customized home services for those who want the beauty care services to be brought to them at home for various reasons.  4. And lastly, Developing new products that solve problems for customers Excellence can however not be achieved without commitment. Committed people tend to value the service they provide and that creates synergy.

Businesses must also have a commitment to its people. This includes recognition of performance which go with the appropriate rewards and the provision of opportunities for growth. Organizations that do these are able to bring out the best in their employees.  I always say that getting the right caliber of people to work with in your team is the main challenge entrepreneurs face and not money as it is usually proclaimed.  These days, it is common practice to see square pegs in round holes and workers who are just seat warmers and ironically  don’t even see they are doing anything wrong.

Speaking from the perspective of a customer, I would like to say how happy I am about First Choice’s third strategic pillar –  which is Innovation. As a business woman, I know the importance of branding and having a competitive advantage… First Choice has come up with various innovative ways that favor different needs of customers… to mention but a few,. A booking system which enables people to book appointment … this new craze for wig caps is only for our convenience and to save us the time we usually spend in the beauty parlour.  I am still waiting impatiently for a new way of doing our nails the same way we send our wig caps through our drivers and friends whilst we go on working or socializing.

The lessons are clear for those of us who need to learn that providing excellence service in a competitive environment comes with a price, in having the right attitude and not the kind which creates the impression you are doing your customers a favour.

In conclusion, quoting Busumbru Kofi Annan of blessed memory, “any country that does not succeed in tapping into the energy and creativity of its youth is left behind’. This is exactly what first choice has done by employing the young and training them to make a difference in this industry. I will like to applaud the first choice team for their persistence, creativity,  passion and dedication in maintaining its quality service and standard over the years..

Thank you for your attention