Shahnaz Husain
Shahnaz Husain
Born (1944-11-05) 5 November 1944 (age 79)
Alma materSt. Mary's Convent Inter College, Allahabad, India
AwardsPadma Shri

Shahnaz Husain (born 5 November 1944) is an Indian businesswoman who was the founder, chairperson and managing director of The Shahnaz Husain Group. She has received international acclaim for pioneering the Herbal beauty care movement and taking the Indian herbal heritage of Ayurveda worldwide.[1][2][3] In 2006, she was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, by the Government of India for her contribution to the fields of trade and industry.[4]

Husain was invited by Harvard Business School to speak on her success story of establishing an international brand without commercial advertising and has also become a Harvard Case Study which is included in its curriculum.[5][6] She has also lectured to students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Oxford and London School of Economics.[7] Shahnaz has also represented India at President Barack Obama’s World Summit for Entrepreneurs. In 1996, she won Success Magazine's "World's Greatest Woman Entrepreneur" award.[8] She has walked the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival and has spoken at both the House of Lords and House of Commons in the British Parliament.

Personal life

Born Shahnaz Beg, she is the daughter of Justice Nasir Ullah Beg, a former Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court and Sayeeda Begum, who was the daughter of the commander-in-chief of the Hyderabad army. Her grandfather, Justice Samiullah Beg, was a prominent politician of the United Province who later served as Chief Justice of the Hyderabad High Court. Her uncle, Mirza Hameedullah Beg, was a former Chief Justice of India.

Shahnaz studied at St. Mary's Convent Inter College, Prayagraj. She was married at an early age to Nasir Husain with whom she has two children. She studied Ayurveda in Iran while Nasir Husain was posted in Tehran. She then completed her training in cosmetic therapy and cosmetology from leading institutions of the West, such as Helena Rubinstein, Schwarzkopf, Christine Valmy, Lancome and Lean of Copenhagen. She returned to India and started Women's World in New Delhi at her home. The then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, frequently visited her.

Nasir died in 1999 of cardiac arrest. Their son, Sameer Husain who was a rapper allegedly committed suicide in Patna in 2008 and their daughter Nelofar Currimbhoy is taking her legacy forward. Nelofar is also the author of Shahnaz Husain's biography "Flame".

About The Shahnaz Husain Group

Adopting the concept of Herbal Care and Cure, Shahnaz opened her first herbal clinic in 1971 and over the next few years formed The Shahnaz Husain Group. She formulated therapeutic products for specific skin and hair problems, as well as premium ranges for skin care, such as 24 Carat Gold, Oxygen, Diamond, Pearl, Plant Stem Cells and Platinum Range. The company also sells its products online at The Shahnaz Husain Group has over 400 franchise ventures across the world covering over 138 'without animal testing' countries.[9] The first franchise clinic opened in Calcutta in 1979. Within a year, there were 80 Shahnaz Herbal franchise clinics in India. The first foreign Shahnaz Herbal franchise clinic was opened in London in 1982. The group also operates its premium Ayurveda Salon and Spa treatment center in New Delhi to offer a line of proprietary treatments for Skin, Hair and Body.

Corporate social responsibility

Shahnaz has tied up with Government skill development projects in beauty and wellness.[10] Her beauty academy has trained and certified over 40,000 under-privileged women, distributing tool kits for home-based business


Shahnaz Husain has received several international and national awards for her contribution in the beauty industry:

Year Origin Awards Name
1985 National Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur from FICCI[11]
1996 International "World’s Greatest Entrepreneur" award, from Success, the prestigious U.S. business magazine, becoming the first woman to receive the award in 105 years.[12]
2006 National Padmashri Award – Fourth highest civilian awards from the Government of India, presented by the President of India.[13]
2009 International Leonardo da Vinci Diamond Award by International Biographical Centre at Washington DC [14]
2009 National Woman of Substance Award from Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) [15]
2011 National Lifetime Leadership Achievement Award at the 2nd Annual Women In Leadership (WIL) Forum.[16]
2012 International Outstanding Ayurvedic Innovation Award in London from the Indo-British Business Forum at the House of Commons, British Parliament.[17]
2012 International Olympia Asia Award for Outstanding Contribution in Ayurveda and Plant Cosmetics at the Olympia Beauty Show in London.
2013 International Glory of India Award in Dubai for outstanding innovations in Ayurvedic beauty care.
2014 International Golden Peacock Entrepreneurial Leadership Award for 2014 in London for Ayurvedic Innovation.[18]
2015 National Entrepreneur India Award 2015 for Outstanding Ayurvedic Innovations from Entrepreneur Media India, FICCI, NEN and NASSCOM [19]
2017 National "Woman Super Achiever" Award in Mumbai, sponsored by Femina [20]
2017 National Ayurveda Innovation Award from Suryadatta Group, Pune.[21]

Publications / further reading

1. Shahnaz Husain Beauty Book (

2. Flame Book (


  1. ^ "International Acclaim of Ayurveda Herbal Beauty". By CSR VISION.
  2. ^ "The Global Ambassador of Ayurveda in the beauty and wellness sector". 5 January 2017.
  3. ^ "Ayurveda's Story of World Domination". The Lucknow Observer. 5 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Fourth highest civilian awards from the Government of India, presented by the President of India". Ministry of Home Affairs (Govt. of India).
  5. ^ "Shahnaz Husain shares her secrets behind establishing an international brand". Brand Equity.
  6. ^ "Shahnaz Husain now a subject at Harvard Business School". The Tribune. India. 25 February 2017. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Visit to MIT". TIMES OF INDIA. 8 May 2013.
  8. ^ "World Greatest Woman Entrepreneur Award". INDIA TODAY. 15 June 1996.
  9. ^ "Don't Test on Animals". Petaindia.
  10. ^ "West Bengal shines spotlight on beauty & wellness training". The Economic Times. 20 April 2017.
  11. ^ "Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur from FICCI". FICCI.
  12. ^ "World's Greatest Entrepreneur" Award". INDIA TODAY. 15 June 1996.
  13. ^ "Padma Awards". Ministry of Home Affairs (Govt. of India).
  14. ^ "Awarded in Washington DC". India Retailing. 19 October 2009.
  15. ^ "Awarded by ICCI". TIMES OF INDIA. 28 February 2010.
  16. ^ "Wins Lifetime Achievement Award". TIMES OF INDIA. 11 October 2011.
  17. ^ "Honored with International Awards". TIMES OF INDIA. 5 October 2012.
  18. ^ "Golden Peacock Women Entrepreneurial Leadership Award". Golden Peacock Awards.
  19. ^ ""Entrepreneur of the Year in Service Business Health, Beauty & Wellness"". Daily Excelsior. 25 July 2015.
  20. ^ "Woman Super Achiever". World Women Leadership Congress.
  21. ^ "Honoured with Suryadatta National Award". 12 February 2017.