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Shahnaz Husain, pioneer in herbal beauty care have promoted natural beauty care as new domain globally, promoting India and Indias inherent strength in Ayurveda. This itself is a huge contribution to the Indian society. In addition, she has created employment for thousands of unemployed youths, making them employed and self employed. As a leader of beauty care industry she has made an impact in the world as well as in India. Therefore her story deserves attention.

Shahnaz Husain, pioneer and leader of the Ayurvedic beauty movement, has received unprecedented international acclaim for the perfect practical application of Ayurveda. Known for product innovation, Shahnaz Husain has developed over 380 products for beauty and health care. Today, she heads the largest organization of its kind in the world, with a global chain of franchise salon, spas, retail outlets and beauty training institutes. Shahnaz Husain has revived beauty treatments that were lost in the mists of time and combined them with modern scientific techniques. The formulations have become breakthroughs in Ayurvedic beauty care and comprise of herb, flower and fruit extracts, essential oils, precious minerals and gems, as well as other natural substances. State-of-the-art manufacturing and R&D units, as well as long expertise have given the Shahnaz Husain Group an edge over others in the sophisticated formulation of products.

Centuries of practical usage have shown that these natural ingredients have many beneficial properties and actually help to enhance the beauty of the skin and hair. Another important advantage is that they have shown a lack of harmful side-effects. Synthetic preparations and chemical ingredients, on the other hand, can cause allergic and irritative reactions. They can also cause a build-up of toxins in the system, over a period of time. Therefore, the safety factor cannot be ignored and makes the ingredients ideal for cosmetic care. Plant products and natural ingredients also have specific curative properties. That is why they are part of Ayurveda, the oldest and most organized system of herbal healing in the world.


The Shahnaz Husain Products are based on the principle of Natural Care and Cure and consist of formulations for general care, as well as highly specialized the rapeutic products for specific skin and hair problems. Apart from the legendary Shahnaz Herbal range, other premium formulations, like Flower Power, 24 Carat Gold, Diamond Collection, Pearl Concepts, Oxygen and Saffron ranges, Platinum and Plant Stem Cells formulations, as well as the Professional Power range for salon use, have had a dramatic effect on the product portfolio. Shahnaz Husain has recently launched unique products, like a line of Deodorants for the premium and regular segments, Dry Shampoo, Organic Hair Conditioner and Shampoo, Salt & Pepper Hair Oil, Silver Sheen Shampoo, Anti-Hair Fall Serum, Anti-wrinkle and Anti-pigmentatiion Gels, Hand Sanitizer, etc., which are free from Parabens, Sulfates and Mineral Oil. The Deodorants and other products have stormed the markets on the strength of brand identity.

The products have received several prestigious international awards for Quality Excellence. With a successful track record of four decades, the legendary Shahnaz Husain brand name has gone from strength to strength. It has been tested by the most exacting test of all the test of time!


Shahnaz Husain Herbal has a global network of franchise and associate clinics in India and abroad, operating under the Franchise system. The fast-paced extension of the Shahnaz Husain’s Herbal clinics is due to the unique franchise system, by which the franchisee obtains the right to use the Shahnaz Husain’s Herbal name and treatments, as well as enjoy a margin of profit on the sale of products. The franchisee, in turn, has to acquire training in specialized treatments in Shahnaz Husain’s school of beauty therapy and also satisfy the stringent requirements of a name that has become internationally known. The franchise system is also the basis for the diversification of Shahnaz Husain’s ventures, among which are the Shahnaz Husain Herbal Salons, Just Shahnaz Retail Outlets and Training Academies in Beauty Therapy. The Shahnaz Husain Group offers the golden opportunity of sharing Shahnaz Husains global success by starting your own Franchise Salon / Spa, Shop, Retail Outlet or Beauty Training Academy, based on a highly successful business model.


Among the reasons for Shahnaz Husains unprecedented success are her remarkable foresight and vision, which recognized the immense potential and relevance of Ayurveda. She opened the windows of the world to Nature and Indias herbal heritage. When Shahnaz Husain started her career four decades ago, herbal beauty care was non-existent. Issues like protection of the environment had not received as much importance, as they are doing now. When Shahnaz opened her first herbal clinic in her own home in 1971, she created awareness of the healing powers of nature and drew attention to the importance of respecting nature and protecting the environment. She pointed out that Ayurveda is much more relevant today. Indeed, centuries ago, Ayurveda addressed the problem of ecology and the importance of maintaining the fragile balance of nature for our survival. She brought personal customized beauty care to the level of clinical care, with diagnosis and prescriptive, based on the fact that the human body is natural and is best treated by nature itself. She worked in co-ordination with doctors and physicians. She held seminars promoting the Ayurvedic path to beauty and propagated a vegetarian diet and a lifestyle based on the Ayurvedic principles of holistic health, with yoga and meditation as an integral part of the individual cure and care programme. This concept of holistic beauty care was unique and caught on worldwide.

When she started her career, she adopted a totally new concept of herbal care and cures. So, she had to increase awareness of the healing powers of herbs and the dangers of chemical and synthetic ingredients. She did this by contributing articles in leading newspapers and magazines. Very early in her career, she also made it a point to reply personally to letters seeking solutions for skin and hair problems. Four decades later, she still maintains this practice, this personal touch. In her regular columns, she provides home remedies as solutions for beauty problems. In the minds of the readers, this reinforces her philosophy that nature is the best cosmetologist. Her philosophy and faith in nature have not only influenced markets and minds, but have become an integral part of the brand image.

To make her ideas of Ayurvedic Beauty Care a reality, Shahnaz Husain set up a herb and flower farm near Delhi, for the cultivation of flowers and herbs, under the supervision of expert horticulturists, so that pure extracts may be obtained. In order to ensure the purity of the raw material, natural composts and fertilizers are used to keep the soil free from chemical pollutants.
Today, the entire beauty world has recognized Indian plant power due to Shahnaz Husains relentless efforts and crusaders zeal. Today, with the back to nature and total well being trends sweeping the globe, there is a demand for plant power and holistic beauty and health care.


The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility was not in Shahnaz Husains mind, when she started her career more than four decades ago, but unknowingly, in the effort to translate her beliefs, vision and philosophy she has fulfilled this responsibility to a great extent. Where Corporate Social Responsibility is concerned, Shahnaz Husain wanted to make a positive contribution towards empowering the less privileged by supporting vocational beauty training for the physically challenged. This way they would have the opportunity to be financially independent and self-reliant, Few CSR activities of the group are:


Since 1984, Shamute has trained hundreds of students and even helped them find employment. Many of them have been employed in the Shahnaz Herbal salons and franchise salons, while others have started their own salons or gained employment in other salons. Today there are four month courses round the year. Free of cost, the courses are open to everyone, subject to availability.

The syllabus at Shamute includes theoretical knowledge, along with the learning of practical skills, like facial, head and body massages and other salon treatments, like waxing, threading, manicure, pedicure, hairdressing, hairstyling and so on. Knowledge of basic business and salon management is also provided. The students also learn about specialized Shahnaz Husain treatments and products, along with benefits of herbal care. At the end of the training, the students receive Shahnaz Husains Beauty Diploma, opening important career avenues for them and providing them the opportunity of standing on their own feet and achieving financial independence. Thus, they can find a direction and purpose in their silent world.


Shasight was started in 2008 to provide free beauty training to the visually challenged. In fact, Shahnaz Husain has also written a book on beauty, which has been put into Braille for the blind students. This is an integral part of the effort to provide vocational knowledge on beauty. The book also serves as a reference book, as they can keep referring to it. It contains all the details of massage, the various massage strokes and also includes theoretical knowledge of the skin and hair, skin and hair types and problems, clinic management and business management.

Apart from practical massages and treatments, according to their special ability, the students also learn about the skin and hair, different skin and hair types and their individual needs. Knowledge of cosmetics / products for skin and hair care and Shahnaz Husain specialized treatments is also provided. The course includes basic knowledge in Business and Clinic Management how to set up a beauty salon, equipments / furniture that are needed, how to manage the clinic, reception of clients, bookkeeping, etc. Practical training is given according to the needs of the physically challenged students.

Pratima Barman, 30 years, SC, Jalpaiguri West Bengal,

After I completed the Ethnic Beauty Care course I started working as a faculty and also did door-to-door beauty treatments. After that, I started my own parlour under the name of Golden Peacock. With my first earnings I fulfilled my childrens wishes, by buying a Barbie doll for my daughter and cycle for my son. Today I earn around Rs.15000/- per month. I am grateful to this course for changing my life in such a wonderful way.

Shruti Sarkar , 23 years, SC ,Cooch Behar West Bengal
After I completed the Ethnic Beauty Care course I started doing door to door beauty treatments in the surrounding areas. I was so happy to hand over my first months income to my mother. She was so proud of me! My future goal is to start my own parlour and continue to support my family. Today I earn around Rs.9000/- per month. This course has provided me the opportunity to be financially independent.


The Shahnaz Husain Group has been involved in Government skill development projects in the field of Beauty & Wellness, for training and certifying under-privileged women in the Beauty & Wellness business. Over 40, 000 beneficiaries have been trained and certified till now by the Shahnaz Husain Beauty Training Academy. This is done by harnessing their skills through a methodical and structured training program in the beauty & personal care business. At the end of the training programme, they receive certification, which is readily acceptable by the business, market and financial institutions. They can then be hired and their training and talent may be used. Also, any enterprise for a sustained and self-reliant income model can be micro financed.

The students can start their own home based business, without relocating from home. They can also freelance, or work as beauty therapists in a local beauty parlour. Close tracking of trained and certified Beauticians have shown that apart from getting jobs in the organized and unorganized Beauty salons/parlors, more than 74% are earning an average of Rs.4500 in rural/semi-Urban locations by serving home based women clientele in their locality. After the training, a complete toolkit, with all the amenities related to Beauty & Wellness, is being provided to these beneficiaries by the Shahnaz Husain Group, to make them self-sufficient.

According to Shahnaz Husain, My philanthropic work has remained the nerve centre of my entrepreneurial success. Above all, it gives me a wonderful feeling of having achieved something truly worthwhile. It cannot be measured in material terms.

Being an industry leader and pioneer in the segment of herbal care she has done strategically aligned, socially beneficial activities like employment generation for supporting beauty care industry, apart from her contribution to visually impaired people. However with her profile and global clout as a head of Shahnaz Husain Group, she has lots to do in terms of CSR action and presentation including compliance of mandatory CSR provision by reporting it in the website.

Panchi Sardar , 28 years, ST, Nadia West Bengal
After I completed the Ethnic Beauty Care course, I was recommended by my teacher for further training to become a teacher. I was absorbed by IIIML as faculty in the project team for beautician courses and had my first flight travel experience. I come from farming background and I am the only one in the village to work in an office. I have completed my education (MA in history and I earn Rs.8000/- per month in a steady job, thanks to this course.

Ranjeet Singh, Delhi, trained at Shasight
The beauty training course Shasight has really changed my life. After my training, I have been working at a Shahnaz Husain salon, doing massages and acupressure. Today, I am financially independent.

Vivek Mungat, Delhi, trained at Shasight
I did not know what to do with my life and did not want to be dependent on others. But, the training course at Shasight has given me the opportunity and confidence to earn a living. Now I am employed at a Shahnaz Salon and I am happy to say that I am independent and have a purpose in life.

About the author

CSR VISION is India's (probably World's) first monthly magazine in print devoted to CSR and Sustainable Development for bringing together all stakeholders of SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT at a global and local levels and act as a platform for promoting strategic CSR and sustainable development practices through dissemination of information and knowledge.