Technology is all-encompassing. It covers the development of advanced computerized equipment, medical devices, drugs, as well as more hands-on technologies that make life easier for people as a whole. One of the new start-up technology companies developed in Israel is GLAMZ.
GLAMZ is a platform that makes it convenient for consumers to find high-quality providers of beauty treatments such as hairdressers, facial treatments, manicurists and pedicurists. It enables consumers to identify and choose specialists and salons according to location and levels of professionalism.
Simon Kukes(photo credit: Neuberg Tomer)
GLAMZ combines two of the attributes of the local hi-tech environment: the expertise necessary to develop a technologically advanced platform and the financial involvement of an overseas angel. In this case it is Dr. Simon Kukes, a Houston-based oil tycoon and highly regarded businessman.
In 1999, Dr. Kukes was selected by the Wall Street Journal as one of the top 10 managers in Central Europe. In 2003, the Financial Times named him one of the world’s 100 most influential businessmen. Dr. Kukes has held several senior executive positions in the Eastern European oil industry, such as President of TNK up until 50% was sold to BP and CEO of Yukos, which at the time was the largest oil company in Russia and one of the largest in the world. Later, he partnered with Hess Corporation to acquire a small oil company Samara-Nafta which after significant growth was sold to Lukoil for $2.05 billion.
Currently, Dr. Kukes is the CEO of Pedevco, of which he and his US partner, American Resources, acquired a controlling interest in 2018. Pedevco is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE PED). Its major asset is a large oil field in the Permian Basin, an oil-rich area in the southwestern US. With Dr. Kukes at the helm, the company has made significant strides in the oil and gas industry. It is currently debt-free, with significant cash reserves that will facilitate future development.
Dr. Kukes is a well-reputed businessman in the US and the world at large. As a Jew, he is deeply committed to promoting the well-being of Israel. A regular visitor to the Holy Land, he has invested in several Israeli companies and projects. Among others, he most proud of being able to support the Israel Defense Forces program called Special in Uniform. It is an innovative program that integrates youth with disabilities into the IDF and helps prepare them for careers following their army service. The program was created to give everyone the opportunity to fulfill their potential and contribute to society, regardless of any disability.
(photo credit: Michael Topyol)
GLAMZ is one of the Israeli companies that Kukes is supporting financially. The idea for GLAMZ took shape during the course of his many visits to Israel with his wife. Mrs. Kukes, a woman who appreciates high-caliber beauty professionals, found it difficult to find beauty salons or beauticians who could provide the level of treatment and service she sought. On one of their visits to Israel, they met Keti Baltman, the VP of sales for the Israeli branch of Philips. Baltman had a vision. She wanted to turn the local beauty industry into a more professional online service, adapted to the times with better service experience, more transparency to clients in terms of real reviews, accurate prices and more accessibility.
Dr. Kukes liked the idea because it had both professional and business potential. He realized that the concept could improve the entire beauty industry and be a very profitable venture. In next to no time, they had 22 developers working on creating the website and platform. Within a year, the website was operational, and currently it is the only beauty-dedicated platform in Israel.
Baltman, now the CEO of GLAMZ, says, “Our aim is to make it easy for people who want a beauty treatment to find quality professional beauty service providers according to location, which is of great value to both clients and suppliers. We assess beauty providers according to a strict set of parameters and select the best accordingly. We then include them on our website so that prospective clients can make online reservations via our website. We include only businesses of a very high standard. GLAMZ users never have to worry about the quality of the service, if reviews are real or fake, whether the beauty professional has sufficient experience, etc. Our website enables clients to choose highly professional beauty providers from the comfort of their own home, together with the ease of making a reservation or appointment online.”
The future development of GLAMZ as a professional platform is well assured. It has the necessary technological know-how to develop further to incorporate more applications according to need. And something always important with early stage start-ups, it has the financial backing for further developments, provided by Dr. Kukes.
At GLAMZ, the management has ambitious plans for the future. Once the platform becomes firmly established in Israel, they plan to expand to other countries. They believe that GLAMZ will become a multinational enterprise with long-term prospects.