By Surveshwar Sarvesh
Herbal Beauty Icon Shahnaz Husain’s entrepreneurial role in creating India’s natural Beauty market and strong belief in the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility has inspired the Harvard Business School to include her as a ‘Subject’. A prized video interview of Shahnaz Husain titled “Creating Emerging Markets” conducted by Harvard Professor Sunil Gupta from Boston sometime ago has been included in a ‘Question-Answer Format’ as part of the Harvard Business School Teaching Curriculum.
A Harvard Conference on “Creating Emerging Markets” was recently organized at Taj Lands End Hotel in Mumbai on 13th Feb’17 with Shahnaz as one of the key participants along with Professors Geoffrey Jones and Tarun Khanna from the Harvard Business School. The event was built around the video interviews conducted by Harvard on ‘How Business Leaders have Created Emerging Markets (CEM)’, a foundational effort by the School to capture, through carefully curated video interviews, the history of business leadership in South Asia, Latin America, and Africa, in which Shahnaz Husain’s interview has an important contribution.
In the video interview conducted by Professor Sunil Gupta sometime back along with other senior researchers of HBS, Shahnaz shares the various facets of her life, initial struggles in Tehran, milestones, future aspirations, Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, and how she broke the shackles as a young teenage bride and mother to become the ‘Pioneer of Ayurveda and Natural Organic Beauty care Products Market’.
The official statement from Geoffrey Jones, Isidor Straus Professor of Business History, Harvard Business School says it all- “We felt compelled to include Shahnaz Husain in Harvard Business School’s ‘Creating Emerging Markets’ project, both because of her entrepreneurial role in creating India’s natural beauty market and her strong belief in the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility. In both regards, she is a pioneer and a role model, and we were delighted and humbled that she was willing to spare her time to help the project succeed. We anticipate that the interview will be widely used by educators and researchers, and by many others interested in seeing how she became so successful and impactful.”
Commenting on the Harvard achievement, Shahnaz said, “The transition from being a Case Study to becoming a regular Subject at the premier Harvard Business School is a wonderful feeling. The Harvard case study is about how to build a global brand without using formal marketing or advertising techniques. They said I violate every norm they teach about advertising and publicity. I will focus on India’s 3000 BC Ayurvedic civilization in a jar, and showcase this in my presentation of the ‘Great India Growth Story’. I have incessantly followed a clinical system, diagnosing skin and hair problems and writing prescriptions. I always advise people to never give up because if you never give up, you cannot fail. Evaluating my success story in hindsight, I feel fortunate that I was in the right place at the right time. At a time when the world needed an alternative to chemical products, I chipped in with the Ayurveda and herbal solutions. Sky is the limit for India’s unlimited potential, and I have no qualms stating that India will lead the billion dollar cosmetic Industry into the next century with its Ancient Herbal Heritage. By incorporating some systemic changes, and getting all stakeholders on board, India stands strategically poised to win a lion’s share of the ‘Beauty and Wellness’ business on a global level, and the day is not far, when India would get recognized as the ‘Beauty Capital’ of the world. The creation of a dedicated Ministry of AYUSH in the year 2014 by the Government of India has done a world of good for ensuring the optimal development and propagation of AYUSH systems of healthcare.”
In an exclusive chat with fashiongaze.com, Global Pioneer in Holistic Medicine, Dr RK Tuli said, “Shahnaz Husain becoming a Subject at the Harvard Business School would enable educators and researchers to take a leaf out of the books of the Genius. The credit goes to her for showing the world a new dimension to feel and look good the natural way with her extensive range of skin, hair and beauty care herbal formulations. With passage of time, these formulations have broken new glass ceilings in the Ayurvedic Industry. Shahnaz known for introducing a totally new concept of Ayurvedic Care and Cure worldwide is determined to take Ayurveda to every nook and corner of the globe in her lifetime. As a tireless crusader of Ayurveda, she has promoted country’s ancient herbal heritage and holistic beauty care at International Beauty Congresses such as CIDESCO when India had literally no representation or invitation. She epitomizes 'Women Empowerment' in the truest sense, and has for the last four decades been a huge source of inspiration for women all over the globe. By holding Press Conferences and regular participation in Trade Shows/Fairs, she was successful in making an everlasting impact on the world. Selling a 3000 year civilization in a jar was no joke, but the mission was made possible by the sheer grit and vision of the phenomenal Shahnaz who assiduously led from the front in promoting India’s priceless legacy, the ‘Ayurveda’ in the Beauty and Wellness segment like no one else. The rest as they say is history…”