last word in anything to do with hair be it a simple cut or a snazzy style, Jawed Habib is anybody's guess. His father cut hair for the President of India at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in yesteryears and also of former Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi. Defying the 'menial job' tag attached to the work of a barber or a 'nai' Habib went overseas to learn the skill of hair cutting and styling and returned with it as a craft only he was equipped with. He brought with him a 'Hair Revolution' which engulfed the entire generation into the magic. Jawed Habib
is the face of Indian hair styling, holds limca book of records which was just a by the way acheivement of cutting hair non stop with 410 hair cuts, owns around 442 outlets across 24 states and 90 cities. Styled hair for almost all Indian celebrities from bollywood to socialites to politicians. With tremendous ease at his skill his fingers roll over the tresses like waves in the ocean. The art comes so naturally to him as if he never learnt it. He thinks, eats and sleeps his work. In an exclusive interview Priti Prakash talks to Jawed Habib. PP: The man who is solely responsible for bringing about changes in hair styling with modernity as the mantra tell us about your upbringing, influences in shaping you up?JH:
There have been no influences as such. What I would call influence is the education that I received. I went to London and studied the art, everything that is about hair. This education was most important and the greatest influence. In any field it is just the edcuation that can tranform anything. PP: What about Javed Habib the brand and your rise?JH:
Jawed Habib brand is known because we honestly do our work and do it professionally. Hair work is a very scientific work. Anybody looking at himself or herself in the mirror first looks at his/her hair. After the hair they look at the skin and the face. This was what drove me to pursue knowledge about hair as a profession. People who work with me are hair doctors. It is important to treat hair work and treatment scientifically. It is the services that we give and the quality that makes us the trustful brand. It is again the education here that matters. Others just do the work half educated. That is why the result is not satisfactory. And that is the difference between them and us.
It also took a huge time to get out of the traditional inhibitions for us to get here. The profession was jeered at saying oh, so and so is a 'nai'. We edcuated ourselves on it, dealt with it like a craft, with a scientific approach and gave people the best. And now we are world class and number 1 brand. PP: Whom do you see as your competitor
No one. I believe in doing my work best. PP: Who will Jawed go for a hair do if not Jawed Habib salon?JH:
(Smiling) Just anyone.PP: What is special about Habib, your USP
Again we educate ourselves first and then do our job. Learning our job well is of utmost importance. This gives an edge to us over others.
The mindset of people is changing. People think prestigious to come to Habib's. It is everyones dream to get a hair work done from Habib's. This is because of our work and the hard wrok that has gone behind studying and educating ourselves before doing it. This is our USP. PP: Which all countries is Habib brand in
We have our branches in London, Singapore, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman.PP: With the new government trade with Pakistan is on the upswing. Will you like to go to Pakistan for business opportunities?JH:
We do not have any outlet in Pakistan. We may think about it. PP: It is said that using natural organic products for hair is better, as there are harmful chemicals in the hair colour and other things that are used for hair coloring/treatment? JH:
This is all false. Every product is good as long it is used properly and applied rightly. Most of them do not know how to use a certain product or have the expertise of advicing the right product. That casues the damage and harm.
What are these herbal products. You pick up things from the kitchen and apply them on the skin or hair. God has made things of the kitchen for the kitchen, not to be used on hair and skin. Also if you keep vegetables and fruits out for sometime they spoil, become foul, so how can a product made out of these things last on the shelf without getting spoilt. There is nothing like orgnanic. The products that we use are the best and the best thing will be expensive. We do not compromise on quality.
Others are marketing their things agressively, they are there because of marketing. I also blame media for it. Media spreads information about certain products and certain companies which is far from true. It is just this marketing that has taken them on top. PP: Jawed costs a bomb for a small hair cut. Habib salons are not for everyone. It only caters to the upper eilte as any service here is very expensive. Is it true? How much does Jawed take for a hair cut, max charge?JH:
That's again wrong. We have styles and cuts of all ranges. Our minimum cut comes for Rs 99. My max cost is Rs 4000. It a wrong notion that we are very expensive. We charge for the expertese we give. PP: With international brands coming to India are you challenged?JH:
No not at all. I have never felt challenged because we have learnt our art thoroughly, worked with a lot of honesty and research and give the best. Foreign brands come into Indian market but don't stay the competiton. What happened to Tommy Hilfiger. They went away. PP: What is Hair Yoga
Hair Yoga is nothing but relaxation. Todays life is so busy that the factor of relaxation is not included in our daily lives. So hair yoga is just relaxation of the senses. Yoga means a little exercise with relaxation. So hair yoga is the same concept.PP: Celebrities that you have worked with, stars that you would like to work upon?JH:
No one particular as such. I have worked with all the big stars. PP: If we talk of the muslim community, not very many make a mark for themselves, are not progressive, why? JH:
The root of all problem is lack of education. Most of them are uneducated. I again say emphasis should be on education. Muslims are the best craftsmen and all top artists and craftsmen in whichever field are muslims. PP: Muslims feel they have to prove their patriotism towards the country more than any other citizen of the country. Stars like Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan have also expressed such an opinion. Do you agree?
I don't think so. I have never had to do anything special for that nor have I ever felt like that.
PP: Any challenges that you would like to take?JH:
Oh....It would be interesting and challenging to work on bad hair which will be very welcome. PP: Quick Habib style tips for beautiful hair and skin?JH:
Keep them clean, go to a good hair salon, don't experiment in any salon at any hand.PP: What favourite perfume, car, gadget, country, any social cause?JH:
I don't use any perfume, Car Maruti 800, Gadget Wrist watches, Country London, and no social cause. PP: Do you have some views about the present political system. Which party do you endorse?JH:
None. I only endorse my work. My work is my passion. PP: Any business mantra
Do your work honestly and with utmost sincerety. Education is the bedrock of all success and work.