APAC CEO of the Year Awards 2023

Striving to increase the revenue of salons across the world, piiq Digital is a SaaS technology company that creates Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Artificial Reality (AR) software solutions for hairdressers that enhance the customer experience and showcase their professional edge. The company is led by experienced hair professional Richard Kavanagh, who has been CEO of piiq since its establishment. Here, we take a look at his impressive experience and his effective methods of leadership. Most Innovative Hair & Beauty CEO 2023 (Australia): Richard Kavanagh Through its patented smart mirror and its easy-to-use app, piiq delivers a futuristic AR consultation service using AI image processing to analyse the client’s hair, seamlessly presenting a hair condition report along with haircare product recommendations. Before their appointment, clients can use the consultation service on the app to browse styles and colours filtered by their specific hair type. The app will let them know if their hair is a lot different from the hair they’re looking at, meaning their expectations will be more easily managed. They can also use a try-on feature to see what the style would look like on them. From this, clients can create a mood board, which the salon can use to prepare for their appointment. This saves clients the stress of trying to explain what they want on the day, avoiding confusion and disappointment. The technology piiq has created is innovative and groundbreaking yet fits seamlessly into the analogue salon experience. It solves a specific need for salon owners, hair professionals, clients, and haircare product companies alike, boosting revenue and creating a smooth, relaxing experience for clients. Since piiq was founded, Richard Kavanagh has held the position of CEO, for which he was appointed by the company’s first major stakeholders. He is more than qualified for the role, with an impressive 30-year career in the hair industry under his belt, having worked as a creative director, brand ambassador, brand spokesperson, and a freelance stylist. He has seen the industry from many viewpoints and has led creative teams of all sizes, driving various projects to completion. He has developed the ability to create a long-term plan, get people on board, and lead them to deliver his vision. As CEO of piiq, Richard leads the vision for the software, utilising his extensive knowledge and experience in the hair industry to identify problems and challenges the company can address. He passes this information on to the product team, who bring his ideas to life. Richard is also responsible for the management of relationships with stakeholders, partners, investors, external contractors, internal contractors, and team members. In his leadership, Richard strives to keep people, team, and culture at the centre of everything he does. He understands that different people need different management styles. Some people require a very handson approach with plenty of guidance, while some people work better with a handsoff approach. Richard prides himself on his ability to adapt his leadership style to suit his team, checking in and reviewing with them regularly to find out what they need from him. As well as this, Richard strives to lead collaboratively, looking to support every member of the team and help them utilise their strengths. He also acknowledges what they can work on, helping them find ways that they can improve themselves and their work. Although he is the CEO, he prefers to function as more of a captain than a commander, working with the team as well as leading them. During his time in the role, Richard has faced a number of challenges. For example, he has had to learn a whole new world of business that he was never exposed to as a creative, including marketing techniques, working with shareholders, and raising capital. However, the biggest challenge he faced was the Covid-19 pandemic, when the entire salon and hair industry shut down. Richard had to think on his feet and adapt, completely changing his business strategies. While leaders can make as many plans as they like, they will most likely face roadblocks along the way and have to adapt accordingly. Having made it to the other side of the pandemic, Richard now strives to keep on top of the ever-changing world, maintaining a level of flexibility in his planning. As a result of his inventive ideas and outstanding leadership skills, Richard Kavanagh has won Most Innovative Hair and Beauty CEO in the APAC CEO of the Year Awards 2023. In the coming year, piiq Digital aims to expand into many new countries, providing solutions to the problems faced by hairdressers across the globe. Additionally, Richard and his team are working on an interesting new piece of cutting-edge AI technology, which will allow clients to get recommendations for styles based on their face shape, hair type, and hair texture, as well as their personal style and personality. This is an exciting development, and we can’t wait to see what else the future holds for piiq. Contact: Richard Kavanagh Company: piiq Digital PTY LTD Web Address: https://www.piiqdigital.com/ Mar23091