Branko Babic, Owner of Phi Academy – How I Turned the Permanent Makeup Industry Upside Down, And I’ve Only Just Started

Source: eKapija Sunday, 12.03.2023. 14:36
(Photo: Pixabay/Claudio_Scott)
Being ahead of your time is the key to success – according to the founder and owner of the company Phi Academy, Branko Babic, who has been pronounced Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 in Serbia by the audit and consulting company EY.

On his way to success, which started in 2009, when he first heard of the permanent eyebrow drawing, up to the present moment, when he owns, as he says, the biggest beauty academy in the world, his most important companions have been curiosity and energy.

The successful entrepreneur, who will represent Serbia this June in Monte Carlo at the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year section, talks for the eKapija portal about the beginnings, the reasons why the beauty industry is one of the most resilient to all crises and the Academy whose attendees can be found in over 170 countries of the world.

Babic emphasizes that the unique Phi Academy business model covers all the segments necessary for successful work of both the attendees and the members.

We are the first in the world to introduce the golden ratio to the beauty industry in order to calculate the perfect eyebrow design and for a digital symmetry calculation with the use of the unique PhiApp. The pigments we produce and use do not contain toxic metals, and our Hexaplan – a plan on 6 levels – is designed to help each attendee of the Academy to achieve international success. In addition to the necessary skills and knowledge for the selected course, our mission is to teach our attendees the marketing and organizational skills which will help them become financially independent and advance in the beauty industry – our interviewee explains.

eKapija: You have been pronounced Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 in Serbia by the audit and consulting company EY. Did you expect the award? What do you expect in Monte Carlo, where you will represent Serbia this June at the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year selection?

– The very participation in this program is truly a great honor, I am extremely proud that I’ve found myself in the company of fantastic entrepreneurs and that I will represent our country in Monte Carlo. This victory is incredible motivation for each next endeavor, as well as a kind of recognition of my work and business success so far. I am looking forward to going to Monte Carlo, where I expect to be a worthy representative of our country among the most successful world entrepreneurs. Certainly, a world-class recognition would be a great achievement for both our country and my company and a boost for all local entrepreneurs.

eKapija: When you compare you stories with the biographies of world entrepreneurs, what are the similarities, and what are the differences?

– Each success is unique and worthy of respect. I would possibly not highlight the personal characteristics that make me similar to or different from other successful world entrepreneurs, but my energy. There’s certainly also my skill of building and maintaining relations with people and my curiosity. As Albert Einstein said: “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”

I have stopped comparing myself to other people. I have realized that it’s wrong and that I advance much faster when I’m pushing my own boundaries and when I’m competing against myself. I can officially say that I have turned the permanent makeup industry upside down, but I don’t plan on stopping there.
(Photo: Promo)

eKapija: Since 2009, when you first heard of permanent eyebrow drawing, you have achieved a lot – you were the first to introduce the golden ratio compass for calculating the perfect eyebrow design, digital calculation of eyebrow symmetry with the help of PhiApp, you are the only company whose operations encompass all segments of the application of permanent makeup. How difficult is it to remain successful in the beauty industry, which is constantly changing?

– The beauty industry is very specific, because, perhaps more than any other industry, it depends on trends and innovations of both the products and the services and treatments. In order for a brand to be successful, it has to set and create trends, and not just follow them. Being an innovator in the beauty industry means always having a vision and being ahead of your time. And I believe that this is the key to our success. We have brought a lot of changes to this industry and we will continue doing so. We are constantly working to educate and improve both ourselves and the treatments, services, or products which we will present in the coming period.

eKapija: The company’s seat is in Belgrade, and you have sales and production branches in Austria and Germany as well. On the other hand, there are attendees from the whole world at your course. What are the special characteristics of all these markets when it comes to understanding and approaching beauty and business?

– That’s right, we have attendees from over 170 countries of the world within our Academy. There are definitely many special characteristics when there is such a large number of attendees from all over the world and also consumers of our treatments and products. The local specificities are certainly influenced by cultural differences, beauty trends, customs and habits, as well as the economic circumstances in countries. All this creates the overall strategy of the company and the way we act worldwide. The only thing that’s common to the whole world is that everybody wants the best treatments, products, or services. When it comes to quality, there’s no compromise there.

eKapija: How do the current unfavorable economic circumstances influence the beauty industry? Are looks and beauty the first victims in a time of savings, or will people, counter to the advice which says that they should save, spend more on beauty because they will see it as the only remaining luxury?

– We are witnessing the increase in all costs of living, the energy crisis situation, the ecological collapse and political turmoil. All this has an impact on people’s awareness, not just as consumers, but also emotionally. The beauty industry is probably one of the most resilient industries to all the crises and obstacles of the modern world. We all like to look our best and that is why, through thick and thin, the beauty industry has always been a profitable business. What’s more, our desire to look good often means that we are blind to the costs of certain products or treatments. We can’t give up on all the nice things and things that make us happy and satisfied. Beauty will always find a way to persevere.

eKapija: What are the company’s further plans?

– There are always plenty of plans. We have already made a huge turnaround in the entire beauty industry and we plan to shake up the industry even more. We regularly launch new, innovative products, pigments and technologies. And we have truly conquered the most difficult market – the market of professionals. And you can’t sell just anything to those people. They only buy tested and proven products, because their reputation also depends on it. It is now our goal to expand to the global market when it comes to end-users and we have long since started researching that. But I don’t want to reveal too much. There will be plenty of unexpected things there.

Marija Dedic

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