Shahnaz Husain is a pioneer, visionary and an innovator who taught the world that dreams can come true. She is among those very few woman entrepreneurs who introduced an entirely new concept of Ayurvedic Care and Cure to the world and taught a new way of becoming successful.
Shahnaz Husain, known for herbal cosmetics store which she named after her name, Shahnaz.in. She is a legend and her enterprise is a magnificent reflection of her dreams, hopes and aspirations. Shahnaz Husain a woman who is an inspiration for many of the young entrepreneurs in this world.
Shahnaz Husain’s career has always been a constant search for a better alternative. She firmly believes that there is always a room for improvement. Even after getting married at the age of 15 and being a mother at the age of 16 she did not let her spirits down. With her continuous hard work and determination, Shahnaz Husain achieved success and is one of the celebrated brand names on a global level. Today, her group has over 400 clinics spread over 138 countries.
Let us have a look at qualities and personality traits which made Shahnaz Husain successful.
Never Deterred by the Lack of Resources
Lack of resources never brought down the spirit of Shahnaz Husain. She began her first clinic from her home itself and that too with a very little capital investment of Rs 35,000.
Financial constraints never deterred Shahnaz’s spirits. When she started the business in the international market she was all alone and had to compete with big international brands. All she had with herself was faith in her abilities and invincible belief in her studies and Ayurveda. Shahnaz Husain’s profound knowledge in Ayurveda and herbal care, her vital energy and her faith is her abilities have made her success a story of a woman who dreamt and succeeded beyond success.
I do not sell products. I sell an entire civilisation in a jar.
– Shahnaz Husain
Unique Marketing Strategies and Innovations
Shahnaz Husain’s success was not just because of her franchise based system but also because of her unique marketing strategies. At the time when everybody believed in advertising for the sale of products, Shahnaz did not rely on such commercial advertisements. Many famous global brands like L’oreal depend on celebrities and make them brand ambassadors to publicise their products, but this was not the case with Shahnaz Husain. All she had for publicity through word of mouth as she let her work speak for her. Shahnaz Husain is herself the brand ambassador of her brand.
Shahnaz Husain started her franchise system in such a way that it could help the women to get financially independent as well as be good for her business as well. She always wanted the women to be financially independent. So, she started training the ladies in beauty and offered them Shenaz Herbal name. This gave the housewives the opportunity to start a career of their own and be financially independent while being close to their families and also became beneficial for her franchise as well.
She even started her own training academy to provide professional training to the ladies at a time when only apprenticeship training was available. She also started free beauty training courses for physically handicapped girls to make them financially independent. The course, Shamute, was inaugurated by the then President of India, Giani Zail Singh in 1984.
She was even invited to Harvard Business School to tell how she established such a great brand on an international level and that too without commercial advertising. She just used the professional infrastructure and goodwill for the demands of products and publicity and now Shahnaz Husain Group is a globally successful group having the business like Shahnaz Husain lifestyle shops, Ayurvedic Spas, Beauty Training Academy etc. which are all part of her franchise system. It was her exclusivity and quality of products that made her the success she is.
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Relentless Determination, Iron Will and Exclusiveness
Shahnaz Husain is a very hard working and deterministic lady. She did not wait for others to get the work done; instead, she does the work herself whenever necessary. In the beginning of her career, she used to make the products herself at night, filled them in the jars, wrote out the labels by hand and stuck them on the jars. This relentless determination and iron will of hers’ is the secret that took her to success.
She adopted the concept of ‘Care and Cure’ which was totally unique and path breaking. She knew that the only way to realise her ideas was to start her own herbal salon. So, she started her customised beauty care which was based on individual needs and problems and emphasised on the good health of skin and hair. She also prepared her own products using natural ingredients based on the Ayurvedic studies. Today is the time when people cannot replace Shahnaz Husain’s products. If ‘Shahnaz’ is not available then people wait for it, come back and buy it again, they do not switch to other brands.
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The Magic of Personal Touch
Another factor that contributed to the success of Shahnaz Husain and her enterprise is that ‘Shahnaz Husain’ is not just a brand name without any face. Shahnaz Husain is a brand where people can relate to easily and approach for their problems. All the people have the image of a real human being, an accountable person in their minds and not some celebrity. And this person is herself trained in cosmetic therapy. Shahnaz is a person who people can have faith on regarding their skin and other cosmetic products.
From the beginning itself, she started replying personally to her customers who seek the solution for their skin and hair problems and even now she continues to do so and this increased her process of customer acquisition. This effort of personal touch made her an even bigger success as people could relate to her. She even writes the article for columns where she provides home remedies for beauty problems.
Shahnaz Husain Never Left Her Family Behind
Shahnaz Husain believes that family plays a very important role in every woman’s life. In the beginning, Shahnaz started her first clinic from her home and borrowed some money from her father for that. Her father said at that point that she would always have his support until she becomes independent.
Married at the age of 15, and having a daughter at 16, Shahnaz made it sure that her daughter, Nelofar Husain Currimbhoy gets the right upbringing. Her both husband Nasir Husain (1st husband) and Raj Kumar Puri (2nd Husband) remain a big support for her in her journey. While doing her studies in London Shahnaz’s father offered to take care of Shahnaz’s daughter but Shahnaz denied as to her there was no question of leaving her daughter and husband. In the end, they all went together and achieved together.
Shahnaz always made it a point to spend time with her family. She would go with her family for vacations both in India and abroad and also visited at their herb and flower farm near Delhi during weekends.
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Complete Faith in Abilities and Knowledge
Shahnaz Husain was not even a graduate when she started thinking of her clinic. This posed a small but a major obstacle in her path. But she had faith and was convinced that if she was highly qualified in her field then she could have the world at her feet. So, she trained herself for 10 years in cosmetic therapy and cosmetology to keep her in level with the new and advanced developments. She got trained in institutes such as Helena Rubinstein, Schwarzkopf, Christine Valmy, Lancome, and Lean of Copenhagen. Later, she also completed her studies in Ayurveda from London.
When her husband was posted in Tehran, finding a job for her became very difficult as she couldn’t speak Persian. But eventually, after immense efforts, she got a job as Beauty Editor of Iran Tribune. She wrote on a lot of topics and wrote almost 10,000 words a week. This gave her confidence a rise. Since her handwriting wasn’t legible so she was asked to type and as she was new to typewriter she often hurt her fingers while typing. But her determination kept her going.
When she came back after learning everything and wanted to start her own business she didn’t have enough money to start her clinic, so she started her clinic from her home and borrowed some money from her father for the salon. After everything, she also had to compete with all the big names in the cosmetic industry and she did that without any hesitation and with her continuous hard work and persistence, she achieved the success she deserved.