The global Queen of Ayurvedic care and beauty movement: Shahnaz Hussain

Do you know who is the lady behind unfolding India’s 5000 year-old-legacy of Ayurveda and blasting it out into the global market? Yes, none other than the queen of herbal wellness and beauty – Shahnaz Hussain.

She has been the pioneer of Herbal care and beauty not only in India but all over the globe. Her biggest achievement lies in representing India to an international space at a time when the country was barely on the global map for businesses.

Rightly then, Hussain was awarded the highly coveted Padma Shri recognition in 2006. Her personal achievements are nothing short of utmost glory which the country at large is proud of.

From participating in Obama’s World Summit for entrepreneurs to giving a speech at Harvard Business School on her success story (now a case study at Harvard too), this woman of worth just goes on to achieve more each day.

“World’s Greatest Woman Entrepreneur” award by the Success Magazine. More recently Entrepreneur India Award 2015 for Outstanding Ayurvedic Innovations and “Woman Super Achiever award 2017 by Femina. From walking the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival and speaking at the prestigious House of Lords and House of Commons in the UK, Hussain’s career has been glamorously illustrious.

It’s important to note that Shahnaz achieved success as a beauty care company while competing with major international brands fighting for the global market space. She established an international brand in such a competitive industry and that too without any form of commercial advertising. When asked about how she could accomplish this, Hussain replied –

“I always have complete faith in my own abilities and with invincible belief in Ayurveda, I allowed my products to speak for themselves”, “I sold a 5000-year old civilization in a jar.”

What is indeed applaud worthy, is how she turned her small home-based business into a market leader of ayurvedic-centric beauty care. This too, at a time when there was no existence of the internet. Could one even imagine blowing up a company internationally without the presence of the net? If this is not shockingly inspiring, what can be?

Today, when one speaks of the company – ‘Shahnaz Hussain’, it’s almost a synonym for quality-rich herbal based beauty products and hacks.

Yes, Shahnaz Hussain group has become a household name at least in India. Ask a woman who goes in for a facial every once in a while, and she’ll tell you about her words to the beautician ‘could you use Shahnaz Hussain products only please?’

What’s more? Not only in India, but Shahnaz Hussain herbal products went on to acquire shelf space at some of the biggest names in Milan, Paris, Japan, London and the US. Yes, these are sold in the world famous Selfridges and Harrods in London and in Blooming Dales in New York too.

Shahnaz had opened her first herbal centre in 1971 and since then there has been no looking back. She utilized the benefits of Ayurvedic Indian treasure-house to launch a line of herbal products targeted specifically for skin or hair problems.

From facials to hair masks – she covered it all. She also used highly premium ingredients for an even more exclusive portfolio of products such as oxygen, diamond, pearl, 24-carat gold and platinum ranges.

Shahnaz had opened her first franchised clinic in Kolkata (1979). Today, the group holds 400+ franchises in 138+ countries. Within 3 years of its first national franchise, the group had already gone international with a franchise clinic opening in London (1982).

This just shows the sheer interest and application of Shahnaz’s natural approach to beauty in the international landscape. In fact, within a year of starting franchising, Shahnaz Hussain had 80 clinics all over India. Thus a great entrepreneurial opportunity had been truly tapped.

Today, Shahnaz Hussain group also runs a posh ayurvedic spa and salon in Delhi and a training institute for those wanting to make a career in the herbal beauty industry.

Shahnaz’ s early life is also one intriguing account. She was born in a traditional family and was married off as young as a 15-year-old. At 16, she already had a child!

However, this never stopped her. She had been fortunate to achieve modern schooling from the La Martiniere Lucknow and Queen Mary’s, Allahabad. As a child, she loved English literature and poetry.

Her husband Nasir Hussain got posted in Tehran and it was at this time that Shahnaz started studying Ayurveda. She went on to train herself in cosmetology at the best international institutes such as the Schwarzkopf and Lancome abroad.

Shahnaz’s personal life was dotted with emotional turmoil. She lost her husband at a very early age (1999). Sameer Hussain, her son is also known to have committed suicide in 2008! However, Shahnaz kept going forward when it came to her work.

What’s more? Hussain has done a great deal in giving back to society as well. Her institute has schooled 40,000+ women belonging to disadvantaged backgrounds. Actual certifications and beginners tool kits enable these ladies to upgrade their lives via home-based business.

Today her daughter is also managing her legacy. ‘Flame’ is a book written by her daughter talking all about this wonder lady.

Shahnaz always believed that one can get younger with each passing day provided he/she maintains his/her health in the right manner. Her goal is to have our 5000-year-old heritage of Ayurveda represented in all countries with specific embassies in place for the same.

For all entrepreneurs, she believes “Innovation is important”. To succeed an entrepreneur needs “self-belief in one’s own abilities.” A “Never-give-up attitude” and great “time-management.” says Hussain.

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