Shahnaz Husain Biography
Shahnaz Husain is a global leader in the natural beauty and health care industry and a pioneer in Ayurvedic herbal body care. She heads the world’s largest business of its kind, The Shahnaz Husain Group, with a network of over 30,000 retail outlets, franchise salons and beauty training academies worldwide distributing a line of 380 organic Ayurvedic herbal health and beauty formulations and producing an estimated Rs. 650 crore turnover. From skincare to haircare, all Husain Group products are founded in Ms. Husain’s guiding principles of “Natural Care and Cures,” containing proprietary blends of herbs, fruit extracts, flowers, essential oils and precious gems and minerals.
People who see Shahnaz Husain about town recognize her on sight from her trademark long shocks of red hair. What they may not know about this beauty pioneer is the journey that underlies her achievements.
Ms. Husain was born Shahnaz Beg on November 5, 1944, in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Her father is Justice Nasir Ullah Beg, a former Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court, and her mother is Sayeeda Begum, the daughter of the Hyderabad Army Commander-in-Chief. An only child, she attended St. Mary’s Convent Inter College, Prayagraj before her marriage and motherhood at a young age.
At first in Ms. Husain’s young adulthood, she explored a variety of practices to find one that suited her. She took courses in painting, cooking, interior design and others. Nothing sparked her passion, until a family friend suggested she study beauty therapy. Meeting with the owner of a beauty school, she decided to take some classes, which proceeded into more classes, and so on. She was hooked.
When her husband was posted to Tehran, she moved with him excitedly, knowing Iran was known for its high quality of international beauty academies. There, she extended her studies, writing articles for a weekly magazine to pay for her education at esteemed Western cosmetology and cosmetic therapy institutions like Lancome and Lean of Copenhagen, Christine Valmy and Schwarzkopf, even attending classes in London’s illustrious Helena Rubinstein Institute.
It was when she encountered the toll chemical substances could take on the skin from inorganic, unnatural beauty products that she discovered her calling, and her primary principle of combining “care and cure.”
Soon thereafter, back in New Delhi in 1971, thanks to a loan from her father, she launched her first salon, Women’s World.
As Ms. Husain increasingly maintained her “care and cure” focus, from her education to her entrepreneurship, she came to discover Ayurveda, and it opened just the doors she was looking for. The more she learned about this ancient, natural Indian therapeutic science, the more she saw its potential for the beauty and health care needs of people today.
By the 1980s, she was, as Ms. Husain enjoys putting it, “selling India’s ancient civilization in a jar.” With an eminently recognizable and beautiful face with perfect skin framed by that flaming mane of red hair, she shortly became the “poster girl” for Ayurvedic skin care. As her face became her brand, the seeds of her empire were sown.
A frequent visitor to Women’s World was India’s then-Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. Shahnaz Husain news soon spread these visits, and the Prime Minister eventually invited her to showcase her Ayurvedic line at London’s 1980 Festival of Lights.
From there, Ms. Husain worked to give her Ayurvedic products an international reach. She started with a perfumery counter on consignment at Selfridges; she sold out her whole inventory in three days. With that success in her pocket, she expanded to the likes of London’s Harrods, Paris’s Galeries Lafayette, Japan’s Seibu chain, Milan’s La Rinascente and Spain’s El Corte Inglés.
When it came time to graduate from the consignment route, she chose a franchise business model rather than take investments or loans and dilute her ownership. With this model, she trained women to start their own home salons using her products.
Today, Shahnaz Husain products are sold in Norway, Russia, Belarus, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and throughout the U.S., U.K. and Europe.
Shahnaz Husain news also frequently covers her humanitarian and philanthropic work, which includes free classes and Skill Development training for physically challenged individuals.
Ms. Husain’s Awards and Accolades
In 1996, Success Magazine awarded her the title of “World’s Greatest Entrepreneur.” In 2006, the Government of India honored Ms. Husain with the fourth highest civilian award, the Padma Shri, for her contributions to industry and trade. In 2009, International Biographical Center in Washington DC granted her the Leonardo da Vinci Diamond Award. At the second annual Women in Leadership Forum in 2011 she won the Lifetime Leadership Achievement Award. This is only a sampling of the lengthy list of awards Ms. Husain has received over her career.
Ms. Husain has spoken at Harvard University and the British Parliament’s House of Lords and House of Commons, where she was given the Outstanding Ayurvedic Innovation Award. She represented her country at the World Summit for Entrepreneurs organized by then-President Barack Obama. She’s lectured to students at the London School of Economics, University of Oxford and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT.) She’s also walked the Cannes Film Festival’s red carpet.
Little-known Facts About Ms. Husain
The typical Shahnaz Husain about page online may leave out some of the more fun and personal facts about Ms. Husain, such as:
- Favorite foods – Biryani, chapati and dal
- Favorite color – White
- Favorite place – London, England
- Favorite book – “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini
Ms. Husain was married to Indian diplomat Nasir Husain at the young age of 15. The pair had two children together: a son, Sameer Husain, who became a rapper until his 2008 death by suicide, and a daughter, Nelofar Currimbhoy, who has become her mother’s protege’ and author of “Flame,” the official Shahnaz Husain biography. In 1997, Ms. Husain and her husband split, and, in 1999, Nasir Husain died of a heart attack. In 1998, Ms. Husain married Raj Kumar Puri, with whom she remains married today.
In 1971, Ms. Husain launched her first herbal salon in the veranda of her New Delhi home.
Shahnaz Husain net worth is approximately 250 crore, or approximately over $2.7 million.
All Shahnaz Husain Shahnaz Herbals are organic. Many of them have earned Quality Excellence Awards in places like New York, Paris, Cannes, Geneva and London.
Shahnaz Husain age at the time of this writing is 77 years old.