Sandy Fuhr addressed her special award recipients and graduates at their ceremonies in Lagos, Johannesburg and Cape Town:

Good morning to you all, our special graduates on this day, a day to be remembered long into your future.

What has been over the past months, and year, is just that. In the past. So today is a time to look back, reflect, wish we’d worked harder, or smarter, a time to consider as a critical part of your journey into your future. Being in the future as we are, we have far surpassed our greatest imaginations. We could never have dreamt that what is possible today is indeed real.

Let’s look at Uber. Uber doesn’t own cars. They are a software tool, however are now the biggest taxi company in the world. Same with Airbnb which is the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties.

Next year, the first self-driving cars will appear for the public. Around 2020, the car industry will be disrupted. You will call for a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. No need to park. You pay for the distance driven and be productive while driving. Your kids may never need a driver’s license or a car. And risk of accidents will drop, saving millions of lives each year.

Electricity will become cheaper and clean. With cheaper electricity comes cheaper and more abundant water.

3D printing: The price of the cheapest 3D printer has come down phenomenally and is now 100 times faster. Major shoe companies have already started 3D printing shoes. By the end of the year, new smart phones will have 3D scanning possibilities. In China, they have already 3D printed and built a complete 6-story office building.

Who knows, Bitcoin may even become the default currency of the world!

Longevity: Right now, the average life span increases by 3 months per year. Four years ago, our life span used to be 79 years, now it’s 80 years. This increase is also increasing. So we all might live for a long, long time.

Education: The cheapest smart phones are already at $10 in Africa and Asia. By 2020, 70% of humans will own a smart phone. That means, everyone has the same access to world class education. Our teaching will be via web platforms, APPS and smart systems.

Business opportunities: You have chosen the business of beauty. So, if you ask yourself: “in the future, do you think we will have the beauty industry?” If this business doesn’t work with your phone, forget it. You will study on your phone, order your stock online, have an APP for your clients to book appointments via your online web page. Send them an electric car with no driver, using an APP. They get dropped outside the door, no parking, no stress. All systems within your salons and spas will need to be automated, from the electrics to the beds.

You will be able to ‘start’ up your business from home where you can turn on the air-conditioning, warm up the Hammam chamber, get the sauna and wax pots heated before you even arrive at work.

Payments: Cash is of the past. EFT and Credit Cards with Easy Pay and snapscan online systems being the way of the future.

Our Products: 3D printing of cosmetics enhances the customer experience. Online shopping of cosmetics is already growing. We will analyse skins in the salon or online via skin diagnostic tools to match and create personalized cosmetics to your skin colour. Reality mirrors which analyse your skin is already on display.

Our Equipment: Lasers will become easy to use and cheap to buy. Skin rejuvenation equipment will be beyond our expectations. Working with the medical fraternity will be standard practice. And of course many pieces of equipment will be available for home use.

Clients want advanced treatments. They are now taking internal collagen shots. Specialisations are trending which makes our modular style of teaching the way to go because you can focus on what you want to practice. Niche treatment destinations eg: Massage clinics are on trend.

Clients want tailor-made visits. Highly active treatments are a yes. Maximum results in minimum time using non-invasive equipment eg: LED, laser.

Our clients are less likely to undergo the knife but will have other injectibles such as botox and fillers.

Our client mix has changed with baby boomers, millennials, men and children frequenting salons so we need to think out of the box, combining our treatments in creative ways. Eg: Manicures with Express facials. We also need to lower costs of services and products to attract the majority.

So what is the good news? The good news for us is that nothing can replace our human touch. Unless our touch becomes replaceable, us therapists are indispensable. So, the need to be current and up to date with the latest trends is essential for you all as you move into your future.

Our industry’s biggest challenge is finding 5* therapists. There are fewer candidates in colleges = smaller pool of talent. Which brings me to the bottom line. You are the future. You are the 5* talent which is needed. You are the bomb. I am so proud to have been associated with each and every one of you and wish you huge success as you curve your path in this ever changing and developing industry.

Congratulations to you all.