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    i am an indian perfume brand headquartered in dubai, our founder haji ajmal ali started his journey from mumbai guess, who am i?


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    Started by Haji Ajmal Ali in the 1960s in Mumbai, perfume brand Ajmal now has over 300 products in its portfolio and presence in 34 cities in India.


    This multi-crore perfume brand was started by a rice farmer with only Rs 500

    By Rishabh Mansur

    Started by Haji Ajmal Ali in the 1960s in Mumbai, Ajmal Perfumes now has over 300 products in its portfolio, presence in 36 cities in India, and over 240 retail outlets globally.

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    In the late 1940s, near Hojai village in Assam, a rice farmer searched the dense jungles for ‘oud’ - a precious scent and fragrant oil from the agarwood tree. Haji Ajmal Ali believed if he could find enough oud, he could start a business in the perfume industry and change his family’s fortunes.

    In 1950, he took some oud and his meagre savings of Rs 500, and left his homeland in northeastern India and reached Mumbai. On reaching the commercial capital, he became a supplier for oud and agarwood, which he sourced from Assam.

    But this was not enough. He wanted to be a perfumer and not just a middleman. So, in 1951, he started blending various kinds of fragrant oils and created a range of perfumes. This completed Haji Ajmal Ali’s unlikely transformation from a farmer to a perfumer.

    In the 1960s, he opened his first store and gave his family name to the product range. Blending fragrances himself also sparked the beginning of the Ajmal Perfume empire.

    Haji Ajmal Ali’s fragrances became so popular that his small, family-run business grew into a large perfumer with over 300 products in its portfolio, presence in 36 cities in India, and over 240 retail outlets globally.

    In 2011, it was reported that the company had a turnover of Rs 1,475 crore ($200 million). However, the company does not wish to disclose its current financials.

    It claims it now has presence across 40 ecommerce sites and has become one of the biggest single-brand perfumery houses in India.

    Abdulla Ajmal, a third gen entrepreneur at Ajmal Perfume



    In conversation with SMBStory, Saurav Bhattacharya, President, Operations, NHA division of Ajmal & Sons India, explains how the company is tapping into the Indian market for perfumes.

    Excerpts from the interview:

    SMBStory [SMBS]: What is your manufacturing focus in India?

    Saurav Bhattacharya [SB]: Ajmal has Indian origins, but in 1976, Haji Ajmal Ali moved the company’s headquarters to Dubai, UAE, and opened the first Ajmal outlet there.

    But we saw India’s fine fragrance market was just starting to mature and Indian consumers were moving towards fine fragrances from deodorants. So, in India, we started the New Horizons of Ajmal (NHA) division.

    Our strategy was to establish price points that were adjacent to what consumers wanted, and were placed efficiently in the gaps. We put together a team of 190 in our Mumbai NHA division.

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    SMBS: What is the USP of Ajmal’s products?

    SB: Ajmal’s fragrances are conceived, created, developed and manufactured in-house, and we are not afraid to break the mould to look for innovative solutions and re-imagine our fragrances. Oud and oud oil is still our DNA.

    Our R&D team constantly monitors the olfactive trends worldwide and builds an understanding of consumer behaviour, product preferences, and competitive landscape across countries.

    This helps us know the fragrances that the customer base prefers, and then we match them with our brand history and vision.

    SMBS: What is your pricing strategy?

    SB: Ajmal has identified consumer needs that existed but were not defined. More importantly, the buying pattern is pyramidic and is determined by price points. Rs 4,000 and above is where international fragrances come in.

    Ajmal, being a homegrown brand, aspires to be offering international quality at an affordable price. To achieve this, we look at different price points in the range of Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,500.

    Ajmal is able to achieve this because we are one of the only companies in India with an integrated value chain, right from sourcing raw materials to delivering products to the end consumer.

    The Ajmal manufacturing unit in Dubai



    SMBS: Who is your target audience?

    SB: Working millennials aged between 25 and 40 years are our target. They are consumers who want to look good and feel good, and to achieve both, smelling good is just as important. These are the people who want to stand out and accentuate their personality.

    For them, perfume is a defined lifestyle category that is moving from planned purchases to impulse purchases. Therefore, being able to capture the market through the range of impulse purchases is crucial.

    SMBS: What is your retail strategy?

    SB: By channel, Ajmal always worked through COCO (Company Owned Company Operated) model, which meant we had self-owned stores. But now we are aggressively working with a new mix of channels which comprises Modern Trade, E-commerce, Distribution, Wholesale, Retail, Licensing, Institutional, OEM and so on.

    स्रोत : yourstory.com

    Ajmal Perfumes: Indian farmer started with Dh25, now owns multimillion

    Ajmal Perfumes’s rise in UAE from a humble trader to a multi-million dollar business


    Ajmal Perfumes: Indian farmer started with Dh25, now owns multimillion-dollar perfume company in the UAE

    Ajmal Perfumes’s rise in UAE from a humble trader to a multi-million dollar business

    Published:  April 22, 2021 08:30 Last updated:  June 07, 2021 13:58 Anjana Kumar, Senior Reporter

    Video Credit:

    Dubai: From a farmer in India to a perfumer in the UAE, the journey of Haji Ajmal Ali has been a remarkable success story. The late Haji Ajmal Ali started his perfume business with Rs500 (Dh25) in India before reaching the UAE in the early 1960’s. Today the family-owned business is a multi-million dollar corporate entity. His labour of love, Ajmal Perfumes, is standing tall as a testimonial to his perseverance and business acumen.

    This year, Ajmal Perfumes celebrates 70 years of its operations.

    Turn back the clock

    Ajmal Perfumes was founded in the early 1950s by the late Haji Ajmal Ali (left) in the northeastern Indian state of Assam. It started as a small business with a capital of Rs500 (Dh25 at today’s rate) in his home state before moving to India’s commercial capital Mumbai. Their first Dubai store was set up in 1976. The growth was gradual and steady. They have more than 280 stores across the region now and boast an export network covering 45 countries around the world.

    Today, Ajmal Perfumes is run by the second and third generation of Ajmals; each playing a key role in the brand’s development and growth. From a modest trading house, the company has now became a multi-million dollar corporate entity.

    “Thanks to the vision of my grandfather, the late Haji Ajmal Ali and his unstinting dedication to the craft of perfumery, we have grown in the business,” said Abdulla Ajmal, deputy CEO of the perfumery and the eldest of the third generation of Ajmals.

    On a path set by the elders

    “I’ll give you an example of how the elders in the family set goals for us. They would tell us: We have taken you from a bullock-cart to a BMW car. Now it is your turn to take us from the BMW to a Boeing plane. We hope to pass this to our children as well,” said Abdullah, whose family hails from Assam.

    Abdullah’s father, Mohammed Amiruddin Ajmal, 73, CEO, Ajmal Perfumes, who is the oldest of the second generation of Ajmals, said: “Oud was in our backyard in India. That is how our business started — with oud and its various oils. My father, the late Haji Ajmal, then moved to Bombay (now Mumbai) to blend oils in a tiny apartment. Back in the 1950s traders from the Gulf would come to India for spices, textiles and perfumes. My father started interacting with them and introduced our home-grown oud and attar. One day he decided to make a trip to this part of the world and landed in Sharjah in 1961. During the trip he met traders and some visionary leaders.

    Mohamed Amiruddin Ajmal, CEO, Ajmal Perfumes, in Dubai on 10th February, 2021. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

    “My father was very close to some UAE traders. The business in the Gulf at that time was focused on pearls. It took six years for us to establish ourselves. We did not come here loaded with money. We had to convince people of what we were doing.

    “We were operating through dealers. When the Gulf War started, collecting payments became a challenge. Some dealers used the invasion of Kuwait as an excuse to delay payment. That is when we decided to go into retail operations,” Mohammed said.

    Their first store was set up in Dubai in 1976. The rest, like they say, is history.

    “We opened our 100th store in 2006 in Umm Al Quwain. Today we have more 280 stores across the region and we export to about 45 countries around the world. Now the third generation of Ajmals has entered the business. I feel so proud,” Mohammed said.

    The Ajmal family used to live in Murshid Bazaar in Dubai’s Deira area. “The building was called the Commercial Bank of Dubai building. The bank has shifted its premises, but the building remains,” he reminisced. Mohammed and his children now live in a sprawling villa in Jumeirah, and will soon move to Meydan.

    Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority with Ajmal Perfumes founder late Haji Ajmal Ali. Image Credit: Supplied

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    Abdullah Ajmal’s cousin Maryam is the head of perfumery division, and his younger brother Asad Ajmal heads design, development and planning sections.

    Maryam is said to have a nose for perfumes like her father, the late Nazir Ajmal.

    “My father was a visionary. Unfortunately he died when I was young. But he taught me well. He was a risk-taker, but he also taught me to be patient. The values he instilled in me stay with me even now,” she said.

    Abdullah elaborated on how Maryam has followed in her father’s footsteps. “My uncle Nazir was a genius perfume-maker. He would wake up in the middle of the night with new perfume formulas in his head. Maryam has the same nose for perfume. She has developed it further as she is very detail-oriented and is a stickler for organising things.”

    स्रोत : gulfnews.com

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