As part of our Basing Folk campaign and to celebrate International Men's Day, we spoke to influential men from around Basingstoke Town Centre. One of these was Chigz Hirani, Director of Hair Lab.
What is your current role?
Director of Hair Lab
What’s the most interesting part of your role?
I think the most interesting part of my role is helping others achieve more than they believe they are capable of. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy hairdressing and the creative side of it, but the biggest fulfilment for me comes from watching people grow. To see them go from not having the confidence or the ability to do what they want to do, in hairdressing and personally. It’s very rewarding to see them grow, gain confidence, move forward and take their life in their own hands.
What’s your most vivid memory of working in Basingstoke?
The warm welcome I had from the local community and the people. They’ve been very accepting of me, especially with me not being from Basingstoke. I feel, however, like I was welcomed with open arms. There’s a good vibe in Basingstoke, and I’ve made some great friend around here.
What are the challenges for a man in your role?
We have quite a young workforce at HairLab, and I might not be so sensitive to what they are going through or what they have going on in their personal life. This means sometimes I can be quite firm. Over the years I’ve learnt not everyone responds well to that. The challenging bit for me, or the frustrating bit, is seeing someone who I know is capable of doing something, not having the belief in themselves to push themselves. Most people do get there eventually, but it’s frustrating to see something that could have taken six months has taken a year.
Where do you see the future of Basingstoke?
I think the town is definitely developing, you can see this with the new projects around. As a town, I think we are growing and doing pretty well. The council is always looking at ways to improve and attract new people to Basingstoke, and I think they are already doing a great job. I see it first hand with clients coming from Southampton, Andover, a few I brought from Woking! You can see their reaction when they come to Festival Place, and it’s so much more than they have.
What advice would you give young men starting their careers?
Put 110% in and don’t give up. Keep going because business can be tough, but if you put your head down and you grind at it, it will work.