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You can be what you will yourself to be

Awarded the Padma Shri for taking Ayurveda across the world, Shahnaz Husain is a global brand. She shares the secrets of her success

education Updated: Aug 12, 2009 15:35 IST
Shahnaz Husain

A burning desire

It is important to have a dream, because that is the starting point. It is also important to believe in that dream. There must be a kind of burning desire to create something, or to improve and establish an idea or innovation. During my training in London, I came across instances of damage caused by chemical treatments. I was determined to find a natural alternative that is safe and without risks. The study of Ayurveda convinced me that it could provide the ideal alternative to the demands of beauty care.

Practical innovation

Creativity and innovations are so important. Translating them into practical terms is what success is all about. When I returned to India, I rejected existing salon treatments and started my own herbal salon, in a small way. To implement my idea of natural beauty, I established customised beauty care, with a personalised style, based on individual needs and problems. It was a totally unique, path-breaking concept. I devised my own treatments and formulated my own products, based on Ayurveda. Today, they have become breakthroughs in Ayurvedic beauty care. At a press conference in London, I was asked, “How are you different?” I replied, “You are selling a product, a brand name. I am selling India’s 5000-year-old civilisation in a jar.”

The personal touch

All our ventures have extended on our unique franchise system. For me, the personal touch has worked. I made it a point to attend the opening of franchise salons and gave free consultations. It was based on a personal interaction, where I would meet people, listen to their problems and provide beauty solutions. Thus, I was answering a personal need. The pace became hectic. Soon I was flying all over the world to inaugurate salons, but it was a distinctive personal style, which became very successful.

Think ‘big’

You may start in a small way, but you have to think “big”. You have to think that nothing is beyond you. I never give up. I always think nothing is impossible. You can make your own destiny. You can be what you will yourself to be.

Seize opportunities

I also believe that in seizing opportunities lies the secret of success, because the opportunity may never come again. I want to make every moment count and that is what motivates me to strive and move forward. For others, a good life may be living for a hundred years, but I live a lifetime between the rising and setting of the sun.

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