“Shahnaz Husain is a name to reckon with. To her exclusively goes the credit of bringing the therapeutic values of herbs out of the mists of antiquity and legend, and combining them with scientific research and practice. Shahnaz Husain has done so much for India’s image abroad that she truly deserves the sobriquet of India’s beauty ambassador.”
— Washington Post
Earlier, global brands came from the West. But today, things have changed. Today, the world is looking at the emerging markets in India and the fact that India is the second largest consumer market in the world. In fact, the share of the emerging market in Asian countries has grown to 40 per cent in global output. Over the last four decades I have been promoting Brand India and ayurveda with a crusader’s zeal. My idea was to make ayurveda go global. I believe that creative and cultural industries, like ayurveda, play an important role in the economy of developing nations by encouraging economic growth, generating employment and creating wealth. Before I took on ayurveda and made it popular, it had few takers in the mainstream modern culture. But, today it has made such a great impact globally, because of the “back to nature” trend and the worldwide interest in holistic systems.
In order to promote Brand India, I have also spoken from every rostrum on India’s heritage of herbal healing. I narrated how I pioneered ayurvedic beauty care and innovated products using organic ingredients. Harvard business school invited me to speak on how I created a brand without commercial advertisements. I became a Harvard case study on brand creation and now I am a subject in Harvard on “emerging markets”. I also had the opportunity to speak to students at the London School of Economics and Oxford University on India’s rising global influence. MIT also invited me to speak on innovative entrepreneurship and ayurvedic beauty care.
In the scenario of globalisation, the challenge was to develop ayurveda to compete in the international market. My efforts were to highlight the medicinal values of traditional ayurvedic ingredients, because they are ideal for the beauty and wellness industry. The main reason for the international success of our beauty products is that they are based on ayurveda. People abroad are well aware of the harmful effects of chemicals and the benefits of organic systems like ayurveda. However, it is necessary to keep abreast of international standards of quality, and selling in the global market and competing with leading brands have helped us in meeting international standards of quality.
Our products have won international awards for quality excellence in London, Paris, New York, Geneva and Cannes. I also became the first woman in 107 years to receive the “World’s Greatest Woman Entrepreneur” Award from the New York based Success business magazine. When I recently received the “Pioneering Ayurveda Worldwide” Award in the British Parliament, I spoke on ayurveda and how we can adapt artificial intelligence for customised beauty care. I said, “Ayurvedic inheritance combined with artificial intelligence is India’s gift to the world.”
My mission has been to create an international market for Indian ayurvedic beauty and health care. Today, it is a dream come true to see the worldwide success of ayurveda.
The writer is a pioneering herbal beauty entrepreneur who has taken the herbal heritage of Ayurveda worldwide