Master Pankaj || A Great Salon Artist.  

Interview with Master Pankaj

Master Pankaj is a celebrity when it comes to the world of beauty and hair industry. He is also known by the nickname of Gujarat Guru. He has been a pioneer in the industry, and has given enormous seminars and sessions on hair styling for women. He is the director of Up-to-date academy,and a proud resident of Gujarat.

The My Salon Zone team managed to get few moments from hisbusy schedule to share some of his memorable moments and insights towards theindustry. Skipping further intro, here’s the excerpt from our interview withthe Gujarat Guru, Master Pankaj:


Q: When and how did you start your journey in the beauty and hair industry?

A: I started off in 1989, at a salon in Ambavadi, Ahmedabad.The salon was the oldest in Ahmedabad and happened to be established by my grandfather. I started my career with haircut and hairstyling, and then worked at a salon in Vastrapur, Ahmedabad.

Q: What is your source of inspiration? 

A: My fore most inspiration source is my grandfather. I also drive my motivation from my mentor, Mr. Harish Bhatiya. I never went to his parlor or his academy to learn,but I kept learning from himself same way Eklavya did in legendary times. I kept the same pace and fire within me, and hence, am today able to carve my niche in this vibrant industry. 

Q: From when did you begin giving training and seminars? 

A: There was a competition in 2003. I still remember the date, its 22nd August 2003. The first award for haircut in Ahmedabad was on stake, and I was successful to bag it. But soon, someone challenged me, that I could not win the trophy if I would have done haircut for a female. Somehow that moment as well as the statement nailed hardly into my brain, and I said to myself that now I have to do something big. I never took a rest, and within few months, on 23rd December 2003, I gave my first seminar to 25 beauticians. That was a time when I didn’t even have 25 female clients at my salon. But things eventually fell into places and I marched ahead in my journey which continues even to date. I started giving trainings in the year 2004. 

Q: What is/are your most memorable seminar(s) to date? 

A: There was a seminar with me taking sessions on hair styling in Rajkot with 1300 attendees. Another big memorable seminar forme was in Orissa where the entry fees per head for just one day was Rs. 2000just to listen to me. Yet there was an overwhelming response which made me feeljoyful from inside. 

Q: What was the biggest professional risk you ever faced in your career? 

A: As I mentioned a situation above, I did not know a dime aboutfemale haircut. But, I decided to go for it and learn it. When I told my fatherabout my ambitions, he was skeptical. He rather insisted, ‘Aurato waale kaamnahin karne hain’. Had I heard and followed him that day, I wouldn’t have beenwhat I am today. Biggest plunge I thus took was my leap of faith, trusting myheart. 

Q: What is your biggest achievement to date? 

A: It happens to be part ofthe great journey I’m in. Earlier I was known by the name of Pankaj. Though Iwas able to make my own identity, but after I entered the ladies’ beauty andhairstyling industry, I was re-titled as ‘Master Pankaj’. Soon, due to mynature of styling in seminars, a magazine sanctified me by the name of ‘LivePankaj’. Following the same, I was felicitated by JCI International for myachievements. Sooner, the people of Maharashtra titled me ‘Gujarat Guru’. Veryrecently, this August 22nd, I was given the trophy of ‘Son of Gujarat’presented to me by highly renowned people of Gujarat. 

Q: What are your dreams for the future?

A: I have three dreams, respectively: 

• To have an up-to-datehouse 

• To perform a haircut on the peak of Mt. Everest 

• To make my name heard and perceptible by every hairdresser in the world, no matter big or small These are my only three dreams, I do not wish anything beyond them. 

Q: What is your advice to the newcomers in this industry? 

A: I would give only one but thestrongest advice, to first complete their education. After that, they shouldjoin a good professional academy to know all the whereabouts of the industryand for all knowledge. Rest will be fulfilled by experience in the field. Thatis the only way you can carve your niche. 

Q: What’s your take on the beauty industry? 

A: I believe it’s the golden era of the beauty industry right now.The industry is expanding and growing exponentially. I believe, this is thetime that more and more aspirants should take good professional training andjoin us in the field. Q: Who’s your style icon? A: My style icon is the Big B, Mr.Amitabh Bachchhan. Most others have had only one daska but he has had two.

Q: What do you find the best about your profession? 

A: What could be better thanperforming haircuts? I love doing haircuts and this is the best thing about myprofession. I could even do it instantly if I am woken up in dead of themidnight and told to do so. 

Q: How has the enormous amount of professional work been affecting your lifestyle? 

A: The work has been increasing. Months pass onas if they were weeks, and weeks as if they were days. 24 hours has almost nodistinguishable existence. I have been taking seminars within the country andon the foreign soil too. I regret missing seeing my kids grow in front of theireyes, I regret I missed their childhood. But, I had been occupied withsomething I love, and not a burden. And that is haircut! 

Q: The name of your salon is ‘Up-to-date’. How do you manage to keep yourself up to date? 

A:Keeping myself up to date is really a tedious task keeping in mind the busyschedule I live with daily. However, I enroll myself in various academies,Indian and abroad from time to time to learn more. Also, I learn from my fieldexperience. After every haircut I perform, I keep thinking what else I can doto make this haircut a unique one. Once I even woke at 3 a.m. last year, andcreated a new hair style then and there. That became our bestselling haircutlast year’s festive season of Deepawali, and I spent a great time teachingothers in the field on how to do it. 

Q: Thank you for sparing your valuable time, sir. Is there anything else you would like to add on our parting note? 

A:Thank you, and special thanks to the entire team of, who really took this initiative that was always unheard of in this industry, hence paving way for a good community spirit in all, specially the newcomers. Additional thanks for taking so much effort and interviewing me in first place.

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Posted Date: 05/10/2015