Hitesh Thawani didn’t come up with the idea for his Thai pet spa, but he certainly inspired it. His brother and business partner, Harish, noticed him massaging his pet dog, Baileys, and thought they could open a pet spa offering similar services to other animals. But it took Mr Thawani time to come on board as he initially wanted to launch a career in media and dance. But after studying in Mumbai, the 23-year-old had a change of heart and two years after his brother initially came up with the idea, he agreed to launch the business with him. That was last February. Precious Paws Pet Spa in Dubai has now been open for six months. Here, Mr Thawani, from India, who was born and brought up in Dubai, reveals a typical working day:
I struggle to get out of bed. I get my morning rituals done, such as stretches. It almost always makes me late. After that I go down and spend time with my family. We are currently seven people in the house. That is how we have been brought up.
I reach the store and start by offering prayers. I know I’m extremely blessed, and I never forget that or take it for granted. We did 156 groomings just in February. Massages are part of a package we give. Anything regarding a nail trim and even a minor trim always comes with a massage. One of the packages is an aromatherapy bath and head massage. It includes almost everything except a full body haircut. You can include that with the pure indulgence package, which includes a four hands body massage by two people. I got a four hands body massage once and the experience was really out of this world and I thought this is something I need to incorporate into the menu for pets. The Thai bit comes in with the products that we use and the look of the store. There isn’t a specific Thai technique for pets.
I take a snack [then return to work]. We often have multiple pets asleep; in fact 85 per cent of the time the pets go off to sleep. Since we launched only twice have not liked the experience. Both times it was cats. The problem wasn’t the massage per se, it was just the idea of the clippers going on them. We didn’t get to the massage and we didn’t charge the owners.
I leave for the gym. I try not to miss a workout because I am sitting all day.
Back at the shop, I have a meal that my driver drops over. I eat home food. Usually what happens during this time is that I have a lot of family friends who have pets and they come here, not only to get the service for their pets but to also interact with me. I explain to my clients about the different kinds of products we have which I personally source from the US, New Zealand, the UK and Australia. I travel to all these places, to the factories, to see the kind of products.
We are fully booked until 9pm because people bring their pets after work.
The store closes. No matter what happens I stay until 9pm every day. All my meetings, if there are any other meetings happen after that, probably in a nearby coffee shop.
I head home and spend time with my family and my dog. I make my dog sit on my lap for a massage. I start from the bottom and I go right up in circular motions. That’s what you are supposed to do along the spine of the dog. I reach its head, massage under the ears and go back down and up. The other technique is under the paws. Each paw you need to press for three seconds. It is sort of reflexology for animals. My niece is in bed but everyone else in my family is usually up until 12.30am because there is an Indian sitcom we like to watch. Everyone heads to bed and that’s when my creative juices start flowing. Whatever happens between 12.30am and 1am, I just note it down and keep it for the next day.
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