How long have you been working in the cosmetic surgery industry?
I’ve been working in the cosmetic surgery industry in a managerial capacity for over 10 years.
What inspired you to establish The Cosmetic Institute?
I’d been working as a general manger for a Sydney surgeon since 2006 and had noticed a growing trend towards “cosmetic tourism”, which is when Australians head overseas to countries like Thailand and Vietnam for plastic surgery.
I hated seeing these people being lured by cheap, cut price and potentially risky cosmetic surgery overseas and I wanted to fill the gap that I saw in the market for an industry-leading, internationally-accredited Australian cosmetic surgery clinic that provided superior cosmetic surgery at a more affordable price.
How have you been able to provide The Cosmetic Institute’s services at a lower price to what has previously been offered in Australia?
My business partner and our Surgical Director, and I, have built a unique business model that has allowed us to offer cosmetic procedures at a fraction of the price to our local competitors. This model still allowed us to deliver, if not exceed the superior quality, patient care, and outcomes that people expect to receive here in Australia. Our model concentrates on high volume, rather than high margins and we specialise in only a few procedures. We also established our own purpose-built operating facilities, which has allowed the business to operate efficiently and effectively and it keeps patient costs low as they don’t need to fork out for extra treatment costs such as hospital fees.
How much growth has The Cosmetic Institute seen since it was founded in 2012?
In just over two years, we’ve become the largest provider of cosmetic surgery in Australia. We were recognised as one of Australia’s 100 fastest growing companies on the last year’s 2014 BRW Fast Starters list.
Do you think the face of cosmetic surgery is changing in Australia?
Yes, I really do. Particularly since we entered the market, cosmetic surgery is no longer just for the rich or famous. It has become far more accessible to everyday people who feel that cosmetic surgery is the right choice for them. These people, who may previously have chosen to travel overseas to places like Thailand to have cheaper surgeries performed, now have a safe and affordable alternative here in Australia.
What does a day in the life of David Segal usually look like?
I’m definitely a morning person and I usually get up at about 6.30am to take my dog to the park. She’s a special needs rescue dog, so it’s really important that I take her for some exercise every day. On the way home I’ll grab an almond milk latte and then head home for some ‘no-oats’ oatmeal (nuts, seeds, banana and spices) – with such a busy lifestyle I need to make sure I’m super healthy so I eat well and stay away from dairy or too much gluten.
After breakfast I’ll go through my morning round of emails – emails can really take over your life, so I work through them in batches and address them in the morning, once during the day and then at night. I don’t race to the office – I’m happy not to contribute to Sydney’s growing traffic problem and head in just after peak hour.
Once I’ve arrived to the office, no two days are the same, but often I’m managing a variety of strategic activities, recruiting staff or liaising with management. On any day of the week though, I could be in TCI Bondi or Parramatta and I will be flying up to Queensland on a regular basis soon as we prepare to open another clinic up there.
You’re obviously a very busy man, but what do you like to do in your spare time?
I’m passionate about health and wellbeing and I really enjoy surfing, meditating and working out. Keeping fit is a big priority for me, however I also love travelling and one of my favourite hobbies is cultivating my collection of bonsais. I’ve got close to 200 plants which I started collecting seven years ago, as a response to stress from my busy lifestyle. It’s a form of involuntary mediation and a hobby that truly allows me to relax.
You’ve also published a book entitled Skin, can you tell us a little bit about this?
I published my book, Skin – The Essential Australian Guide in June 2009, as there were no reference guides available regarding the anatomy of the skin for the consumer market. I wanted to provide an in depth reference book for people who wanted to know more about the anatomy of the skin, its basic care and the various non surgical and surgical procedures available – written in layman’s terms!
What does the future look like for The Cosmetic Institute?
There’s lots of exciting things on the horizon for us. We’re looking to expand our range of cosmetic procedures into other categories, such as weight loss and we’re also looking to expand nationally, with our first interstate clinic opening looking to be in Queensland. Customer demand is at an all time high, even for our interstate patients, so in addition to Queensland we have plans to open subsequent clinics in other locations around Australia in the coming months.
To find out more about about David, visit his team profile here.