Hello Beautiful People,
Here’s a little something about me that I would like to share.
Argus CMPO is not just a company but a dream – My Dream that I pursued since childhood – to be a part of the Beauty & Wellness industry. (visit http://www.arguscmpo.com)
So – where do I begin talking about my journey? I guess my childhood. I was born into a middle class family and my early attraction to beauty was a spray of my Dad’s aftershave, bought from the local grocer, used as a fragrance and the tiny pear sized share of cream from my Mom’s cold cream jar all over my face and hands served as skincare. I loved the smell of scent and I loved how my skin felt after the usage of cold cream but buying a branded product was a luxury. The beauty gifts received from relatives living abroad were prized possessions and ensuring that it did not get empty till the next replenishment an obsession! :). I secretly envied my college mates showing off their branded glosses and creams in the ladies room and always wondered how much do I have to earn to buy one of those.
As in all Indian middle-class families, education was on the top priority, to land up a good secured government job; then marry off girls to men with secured jobs hahaha… I knew I was born with a different mind-set but undying respect for parents took me their way. I am however, lucky to get married to a man who gave me all the space I wanted and supported me in every step towards my dream. Sukhminder – My husband, my best friend, my well wisher and my worst critic (Ask the filmwalas, how critics are important to challenge every movie) :). I am blessed to be loved by three men in my life – my husband and two sons Hemi & Rahul (now men aged 22 & 17). 🙂
I moved to Dubai with my husband in 1992 and worked for 5 years in a FMCG company marketing edible oils, cheese, biscuits & juices. The job was interesting as I had a free supply of juices, cheese and biscuits every day and the worst happened to me – you guessed it right – my love of eating took over my body and added that pile of extra mass all around :). This was my first step to thinking Wellness. And the immediate thought was – I need to look for another job.
Then it was meant to be… I saw a vacancy in the local newspaper that attracted me to the word – ‘luxury goods’, and applied for it. I was called for the interview, taken to a conference room to fill up HR forms and the next thing I knew was that I was day dreaming… This huge well furnished conference room had huge niches with spotlights and my dream was staring back at me in the form of displays of fragrance dummies – Carolina Herrera, Paco Rabanne, Giorgio Armani and other big names in the beauty industry. And then somebody called out ‘Ms. Hema, you are called for the interview’. My interview was conducted by a warm gentleman named Mr. Michel Macoukji, whom I respect till date and who has always been a father figure and a mentor to me. This was the shortest interview of my life. The only question I remember from the interview was – “This job is taking you one step back. Why do you want to join us?.” And my answer was “It has always been my dream to work in the beauty industry and I want to do it. Even sprinters always have one leg behind before they kick off and run ahead.” I was asked to leave saying we will revert back to you. I don’t know why I was leaving the room with a smile. I headed home. Within 10 flat minutes, I got a call from Mr. Macoukji and till date his words ring in my ears – “When can you come to take your offer letter?” Unbelievable! With the phone in my hand I fell flat on the bed thanking God for that moment. After all, I had just landed a job in the Chalhoub Group, one of the market leaders in the Middle East with a huge portfolio of prestige & luxury brands in the beauty and fashion Industry.
My journey in this industry started in 1998 and I cannot thank the Chalhoub Group enough. I owe my international knowledge, my development as a professional and a personality, my inspiration, my dream come true all to the Chalhoub Group. In my 13-14 years that I served the Chalhoub Group, I gathered a lot of industry knowledge and learning, by working with Senior Managers like Michel Macoukji, Hani Jabbour, Samer Khouri, Rami Madi and soft skills by observing our COO, Mr. Raffi Fattal. In the year 2008, the Group decided to enter the India market and I was lucky to be offered a role in the start-up, as I was in the process of returning back to Mumbai due to personal reasons. For 3 years, I served TARZ Distribution India Pvt. Ltd. under the leadership of Mr. Rusi Motiwalla, from whom there is always enough to learn, especially dealing with people. He works with heart and passion and is the most courteous gentleman. I am awed by his intelligence.
In January 2011, once again personal commitments took over and I had to choose between work and personal priorities. I chose the latter and thank my husband for his lovely words, “You have worked for 22 years and you owe yourself a sabbatical. I love you for your decisions and I am with you in every step you take.” I thank God for such a lovely family and for choosing me as the ‘deserving one’ to bestow happiness.
Being a working woman always, I did enjoy the sabbatical and made the most of it, but in 2012, my love for the industry resurfaced. I took up a job as a Country Head for a Netherlands based cosmetics brand, ended when they decided to defer their entry. The entrepreneurial bug caught me when two of my best friends forever, Annahita and Bashubi encouraged my decision to start on my own.
I have a passion for Beauty & Wellness. This is what I always loved and I thought it is time for me to give back to the industry especially in India. I love the industry, I love my country and I have a dream… So what next? My dream got a name and entity – Argus CMPO.
My Blogs aim at reviewing the Beauty & Wellness from different angles. I hope you will enjoy reading them. I also urge you to comment, advise, send your feedback and keep talking to us as this will help us to understand your views and keep developing ourselves according to your needs.