Shahnaz Husain’s story is the story of a living legend. It provides a rare insight into the individual qualities that make one person stand apart from the rest. It is the story of a woman who introduced the concept of Ayurvedic Care and Cure worldwide, with universal appeal and application. Indeed, it is the story of a woman who is acknowledged as the pioneer and leader in her field. It is the story of a woman who created an international brand. Her name has become the brand and she herself is the brand ambassador. In a world ridden with environmental degradation, Shahnaz Husain opened the windows of the world to Nature and its healing powers, taking the Indian herbal heritage of Ayurveda to every corner of the globe with a crusader’s zeal.
Just when there was a worldwide “back to nature” trend, Shahnaz Husain recaptured an ancient herbal system and made it relevant to modern demands. More than three decades ago, she adopted the principle of Ayurveda, offering a totally new concept of beauty care, based on an integrated system of clinical treatments and product ranges. In fact, her career has been a constant search for a better alternative. Her study of Ayurveda strengthened her faith in nature, finding that it could offer the ideal answers to protective, preventive and even corrective cosmetic-care. Today, she heads the largest organization of its kind in the world, with more than 400 franchise salons worldwide and ranges of Ayurvedic formulations for skin, hair and body care.
Her success in the international arena, in the face of great odds, is itself phenomenal. Financial constraints and closed doors did not deter her. When she entered the international market, she fought a lone and courageous battle. She had to compete with the biggest brand names, in a hysterically mad international cosmetic market, where billions of dollars are spent on advertising and packaging, selling youth and dreams in bottled jars. Armed only with complete faith in her own abilities and an invincible belief in the Indian herbal heritage, she stormed the international markets. She allowed her Ayurvedic products to speak for themselves, never relying on commercial advertisements. “I sold a 5000-year old civilization in a jar,” says Shahnaz.
After training for 10 years in cosmetic therapy and cosmetic chemistry, at leading institutions of the West, like Helena Rubinstein, Swarzkopf, Christine Valmy, Lancome and Lean of Copenhagen, Shahnaz set up her own herbal-care clinic, devising treatments for specific problems and formulating her own natural products for skin, hair, and body care. Her formidable range of nearly 350 products, include therapeutic formulations, preparations for general care, Aromatherapy oils, herbal drinks, herbal teas, health tonic and several medicated formulations. Her products have grown out of clinical usage in the chain of Shahnaz Herbal clinics worldwide. Shahnaz Husain’s natural formulations for skin, hair and body care are based on the Indian herbal heritage, combined with the latest scientific techniques. Founded on the principle of ‘Care & Cure’, the formulations comprise of herb, flower power and fruit extracts, essential oils and other natural substances, known for their beneficial effects. Her recent innovations are the 24-Carat Gold Range, the revolutionary Oxygen formulations, Astro-Gem therapy range, Triumph over time Diamond Collection.
The Shahnaz Husain Group has also diversified into Shahnaz Husain Forever Beautiful shops, based on lifestyle marketing and Ayurvedic Centers for Panchkarma, Dhara and Kerala massage. Among her latest ventures is the setting up of Shahnaz Husain Ayurvedic Health Spas, for stress reduction, revitalization and rejuvenation.
Over the last four decades, the Shahnaz Husain Group has acquired a tremendous global presence, having sold at prestigious stores, like Galeries Lafayette (Paris), Harrods and Selfridges (London), the Seibu chain in Japan, Bloomingdales (New York), La Rinascente in Milan (Italy), as well as exclusive outlets, clinics, shops and spas worldwide. The Group has also received several international awards for Quality, including the Arch of Europe Gold Star Award, Global Quality Management Award in Geneva, Cannes and London and the Golden America Award in New York. Shahnaz Husain has also received the “World’s Greatest Woman Entrepreneur” award from Success Magazine of the USA, becoming the first woman to receive this award in the 109- year history of the Success awards. The Success award is a highly regarded and prestigious one in the international business sphere. Her other awards include “Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur” in London, “Woman of the Millenium” Award, presented by Global Indian Congress, in California, USA and Woman of the Year Award from the Governor of California, USA.
Exports have played a major role in the activities of the Group, with several awards from the Government of India for Export Excellence. The Group is exporting to countries like the USA, Canada, UK, France, Holland, Norway, Russia, Greece, Italy, Austria, Reunion, Tashkent, UAE, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Botswana, South Africa, Mauritius, Reunion Islands, Japan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Thailand, Singapore, Korea, Australia etc. Franchise clinics, shops and schools have opened in many of these countries.
In recognition of her international standing, Shahnaz Husain was invited to represent India in Ayurvedic beauty care, at the “Made In India” Expo, in Shanghai, China, organized by CII, showcasing the best in Indian industry. She was also the only woman among the 18 leading Indian entrepreneurs to be invited to the Forbes CEO Global Conference 2005 in Sydney. Among her other awards are the Arch of Europe Gold Star Award for Quality, the Global Quality Excellence Award from Global Quality management (received twice), and the Golden America Award (New York). She recently received the Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur and Quality Excellence awards from Global Quality Management and the Leonardo Da Vinci Diamond Award from Oxford World Forum in London. Shahnaz has also been featured in the U.N. sponsored series ‘Women of the Decade’.
In 2006, Shahnaz Husain was honoured with the Padma Shri Award. The prestigious Padma awards are the highest Indian civilian awards and are conferred for exceptional and distinguished service towards the country, as well as distinguished achievement in one’s chosen field. She is the first person from the beauty sphere to receive the Padma Award. Indeed, there is no doubt that it is Shahnaz Husain who single-handedly put India on the world beauty map and had the Indian flag flying high at the cosmetic capitals of the world. Thus, she has been recognized for her total dedication and commitment to promoting India’s herbal heritage for the last three decades.
With the professional infrastructure to support the demands of products and publicity, and tremendous goodwill, the Shahnaz Husain Group is poised to enter a new phase of franchise and trade relations. Indeed, in a world which is looking at nature with enlightened eyes, the Shahnaz Husain Group can provide opportunities of trade, distribution and franchises that have a tremendous future.
Her career is a portrayal of how she has translated her ideas into reality, living life by her values and unique philosophy. Her profound knowledge of natural care, her rare energy and vitality, as well as her faith in her own abilities, make it a story of a woman who dared to dream and succeeded beyond success. Indeed, Shahnaz Husain has become a legend in her own lifetime, while her organization, Shahnaz Herbals, is a magnificent expression of her dreams, hopes and aspirations.