Entrepreneurship-the Shahnaz Husain Way

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Entrepreneurship-The Shahnaz Husain Way
She uses natural ingredients - fruits, flowers, herbs, vegetables, honey, - as the base for most of her products. More complicated and exclusive treatments using gold and pearls have also been developed. Shahnaz has recently launched the Oxygen Range with an Oxygen cream, an Oxygen mask and facials using ingredients which breathe life into the skin and revitalize it. The Shahnaz Husain Group has two R&D units and a herb and flower farm near Delhi. A degree of quality control is exercised at every stage of the product development, right from the raw material stage to the end product. Various methods of soil culture and cultivation are followed to improve the quality of the final product. The extraction of essential oils and decoctions, infusions, powders and tinctures, is carried out using the latest technology. All the procedures are carried out in accordance with the Ayurvedic system. Shahnaz believes that high quality is ensured only by the rigid exercise of control at every stage of production. In spite of the huge size of her business and the wide variety of products she deals in, Shahnaz Husain has never advertised. She has relied entirely on word-of-mouth publicity to make her products known to customers. She believes that a satisfied customer is the best form of advertisement. Before Shahnaz Husain entered the retail market, her clinics were the only outlets for her products. By the 1990s, the range and popularity of Shahnaz products had increased so much that her products were carried by most of the big retail stores in India and abroad. She has been able to achieve growth due to the quality of her products and the result-oriented treatments she offers. She commented, "I have relied only on clientele feedback, based on clinical treatments and this is what has made the ranges truly unique and result oriented." In 1977, when she returned to India, she set up a parlor at her home in New Delhi. She had then put up a banner with her qualifications on it.

Within days she was booked for the next 6 months. She said, "I removed the banner and since then I have never advertised. I have let my products speak for themselves." Shahnaz was disturbed by the fact that India was not represented in any of the Global beauty forums of the world beauty congresses. Deciding to change this situation, she represented the country for the first time in the CIDESCO1 beauty congress in the late 1970s.

"It was my aim to get India on the world beauty map as I felt terrible about the fact that India was never represented at any world beauty congress," said Shahnaz. She was appointed President for the day's proceedings at the congress and she used this opportunity to focus the world's attention on Ayurveda.

The Turning Point
The turning point in her business came when she represented India at the Festival of India in 1980. Her team was given a counter in the perfumery section of Selfridges in London. She managed to sell her entire consignment in 3 days and also broke the store's record for cosmetics sales for the year. As a result, she was offered a permanent counter in Selfridges. Shahnaz was the first Asian whose goods were retailed by the the Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Although it was not easy to enter the highly competitive western markets and especially difficult to attract attention to the Indian system of Ayurveda, she was able to gain a firm foothold in the markets. Shahnaz Husain products are sold at many prestigious stores around the world such as Harrods and Selfridges in London, the Galeries Lafayette in Paris, Bloomingdales in New York, the Seibu chain in Japan and Sultan Stores in the Middle East. Her products are also carried by other exclusive outlets in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Shahnaz Husain has used the franchising mode to expand her business in India and abroad.

She has a large network of over 600 franchises and associate clinics around the world. All the...
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