International award winner Singgara Vello is an emblem that proves dedication and perseverance are the essence to succeeding in life. This multiple award-winning professional has just been awarded the honourable Asia’s Outstanding Barber Award by the Asia Awards 2023 in Tamil Nadu’s Trichy. Singgara Vello had also been graced with the Asia’s Most Sustainable Salon Award for his work towards making hairdressing more accessible for marginalised folks, as well as earning the 2020/2021 Asia’s Outstanding Salon Award. Hailing from Penang, this amazing individual has walked through an arduous path to reach the acknowledgement and recognition he has received through these accolades.
This amazingly talented barber had lived a difficult life since childhood, where he had to drop out of school at the age of 11 due to his family’s economic problems and begin working at the tender age of 15. When other young boys got to enjoy their youths, Singgara Vello had to mature and take on his family burden. Before joining the barber industry, he had actually been a lorry driver.
Singgara Vello had told Bernama that it was in fact his late father-in-law, who was a part-time barber, who awakened the interest within him to become a barber and properly learn all there is to the trade and business. After receiving sufficient training, Singgara Vello opened his first barber shop in March 2003, called Mas Mithra Studio, and later in 2015, he opened another shop called Verlarz Classic Barber Shop in Lebuh Ah Quee.
The most heartwarming thing about Singgara Vello’s journey in life is that he has genuinely taken steps to ensure others also benefit from his success. Since 2017, Singgara Vello has taken it upon himself to train teenagers, particularly dropouts and underprivileged people, in the art of hairdressing so they can be self-sufficient individuals and provide for their families. He has trained about 25 youths in the craft, and some of them even work in his barbershop today. Singgara Vello is now planning to open a hairdressing academy for disenfranchised youths who can gain foundational career guidance from his tutelage. He is currently searching for funds and a suitable location for these trainings to take place, so youths can receive this education without having to pay burdensome fees.
Additionally, Singgara Vello is also the founder of a charitable NGO and is also dedicated to the field of bodybuilding, which led him to be crowned Mr. Penang 2014. This admirable character shared with Bernama that he hopes his story becomes an inspiration for youths to not give up after facing defeat and that, through continuous effort and gaining knowledge, anyone can succeed.