Q&A with Chigwell beauty consultant Avi Saksena

AKS+, a Chigwell-based business consultancy

When not running his business consultancy Avi loves to buy and sell old vintage cars - Credit: AKS+

Avi Saksena, director of AKS+, a Chigwell-based business consultancy that specialises in the beauty industry

Tell us a bit about your background
I am Essex born and bred, and I’ve been living in Chigwell for over 30 years. I went to school in Chigwell, and I never felt the need to move because I am so familiar with the people and area.

Was a strong work ethic instilled in you from an early age?
The funny thing is, both my parents were professional doctors. However, like my grandfather (mother’s father), who was in construction, I have been interested in business. So, the work ethic instilled in me comes from my mother’s side. 

What steered you into your profession? 
I initially followed a traditional path, going to college, university, and then working for various established financial organisations. But I soon realised that working for someone else was not for me. To be honest, I knew by the age of 16 that one day, I would be running a business of my own.

Who has inspired you along the way?
I think my biggest inspiration was my late mother. She ran a nursing home in Southend and always showed strength, wisdom, independence and resilience to succeed no matter what the odds. She was a risk-taker; therefore, that fearless warrior energy got instilled in me.

How did AKS+ come about? 
I used to run my own beauty clinic in the City of London, and people would often come to me for advice on how to run their clinics. I undertook various consultation projects, and then decided to wrap up my clinic to help others create their dream clinics instead. That’s how AKS+ came about. 

How would you describe the service AKS+ offers? 
As well as fit-outs for clinics, we are now providing beauty devices, business planning, licensing advice, practical products for practitioners in the health industry and finding the right business location for your clinic.

How is it different from other business consultancies in the area?
We are a bespoke service; I don’t know anyone else who does our work in the area. And if someone is doing what we do, it’s mainly interior design. So, we are unique in the wealth of the expertise I have within the industry. 

What is the most important lesson being in business taught you over the years?
I have learnt to make sure I always follow my intuition. It’s also essential to have a sound work-life balance, not to invest all my finances in one project, keep networking and building professional connections and only take sensible and calculated risks.