The art of perfumery is an ancient one, born out of human desire to create a good feeling and pleasant environment. Perfumes are an epitome of refinement, a pleasing personality, and have significant impacts on the body and mind. They also have a special place in the Islamic and Arab heritage.
With nearly 60 years of heritage and expertise in the fragrance industry, Ajmal Perfumes, a family-owned fragrance house of India, whose name means “most beautiful” in Arabic, is a shining example of dedication to the art of perfumery.
Today, Ajmal Perfumes is regarded as a Top 40 Arab Brand with its presence in the MENA markets (Forbes Arabia.) It has established a formidable global presence with over 200 exclusive retail outlets spread across 20 countries, and 500 dealerships across the globe. Its business presence is in over 32 countries with an annual turnover of USD200 million and is run by the second and third generation Ajmal family, a household name in India and the Middle East.
- Image source: Ajmal Perfumes website
An Entrepreneur with humble beginnings
The story of Ajmal Perfumes began in the early 1950s, in the verdant foothills of the mountains of Assam, India. In a village called Hojai in the Nagaon district of Assam, Ajmal Ali Haji Abdul Majid began a modest trade house in the lucrative Dhahanul Oudh oil derived from the essence of Agar wood (Aquilaria) trees. Oudh can take up to 20-40 years to harvest, and one kilogram of oil cost Rs 132,000 (USD 2,950).
In the tradition of great masters, Ajmal Ali left his hometown for Mumbai with 500 rupees and some oudh oil as his starting capital. He worked in a dingy house in Bombay in the early 1950s blending perfumes and trying to find the right mixture that would impress the many Arab traders who visited India’s Western shores. In 1964, he gave his family name to his product range. He shifted his operation base from Bombay to Dubai in 1976, where he opened the first Ajmal outlet and launched its first fragrance, “Mukhallat.” The rest, as they say, is history.
Today, Ajmal Ali’s five sons have distributed the work amongst themselves. They are, in UAE: Amiruddin, CEO of Ajmal Perfumes; Fakhruddin, CEO of Ajmal Real Estate; Nazir; COO of Ajmal Perfumes. In India, Badruddin and Sirajuddin look after the India operations.
“Through decades of continuous research and experience in the art and technique of extracting pure oils from natural substances, Ajmal has became synonymous with high quality traditional Arabic and oriental fragrance products”, says Mr. Sirajuddin Ajmal, India’s Head and one of Directors for the Ajmal Group.
Today, Ajmal Perfumes has the largest private plantation of Agar wood in Asia, owning more than a lakh
|Perfumes & Islamic Heritage
(a unit in the Indian numbering system equivalent to 100,000 units) of agar trees, grown at various locations in Assam. The group has set up its research and development centre, at Hojai, with modern testing facilities for agro-extracts and essential oils. A team of highly dedicated scientists manage the Ajmal R&D Centre and help devise processes for producing value added derivatives, essential oils and herbal products from medicinal and aromatic plants.
Ajmal, employing state-of-the-art technology, has produced an expansive product range to cater to the varying demands of its national and international clientele. Its fast moving consumer products are; Jabtisan, Hayati, Dewaan, Oudha Al Zaid, Mkt Shams, Abhaar, Ottarid, Rijali2001.
Ajmal also boasts a new range of natural fragrances like Dahn al Oudh, Rose, Jasmin, Sandal and Saffron and a special range of economical purchases, like Maryaj. All contain ingredients that appeal to its growing global customers.
Original Packaging & Customer Experience
Ajmal’s packaging design and production division have played catalysts to its success. The designs – both traditional and contemporary – are stunningly original, and are also eco-friendly and recyclable. The high quality of fabrication matches the elegant designs and is particularly appreciated by clients in the Gulf and other parts of the world.
Ajmal’s constant innovation led to the introduction of retail concepts such as “My Inspiration” and “Ajmal Eternal” to enhance the Ajmal shopping experience. This has widely been received and appreciated by fragrance lovers across the Gulf region. According to Forbes Arabia, Ajmal Perfumes is ranked amongst the Top 40 Arab brands.
|DAHN AL OUDH EAU DE PARFUM||ETHNIC CHIC PURE PARFUM|
Ajmal Perfumes recently announced that it has earmarked USD 50 million for international expansion and the retrofitting of its existing GCC network of stores, in line with the concept of “Crafting Memories.”
The company has invested over USD 10 million in a new 150,000 square-foot facility in Dubai that offers a high-tech automated production unit including a research wing.
With a growing network of 137 exclusive retail outlets across the GCC and Asia; ambitious plans that include expansion in London by 2011; and other key metropolisations in the near future, “Ajmal Perfumes has become a globally recognised brand,” says Abdulla Ajmal, Deputy General Manager of Ajmal Perfumes.
Ajmal has an aggressive presence in the Indian perfume market with offices in Mumbai, Bangalore and Hojai. In the last three years, Ajmal Perfumes has opened up new showrooms in major cities of India. Before the close of 2012, Ajmal Perfumes is planning to make its presence felt in most of the state capitals and semi metro cities of India.
“With the growing demand for fragrance, the Ajmal Perfumes strategy is to utilise its resources mainly for the domestic market, and plans a multiple
marketing and distribution strategy to foray into markets with huge potential,” says Sirajuddin Ajmal, India Head and one of Directors for the Ajmal Group.
“With the middle class is growing rapidly and disposable incomes increasing, the potential is immense. Ajmal’s vision is to be a more globally recognised luxury brand enriching customers’ lifestyles by encouraging creativity, innovation and continual improvements,” he says.
|Key offices:………………||Mumbai, India; Dubai, UAE|
|Main brands:||Jabtisan, Hayati, Dewaan, Oudha Al Zaid, Mkt Shams, Abhaar, Ottarid, Rijali2001, Haailah and Baaqa|
|# of branches:||200 retail outlets across 20 countries, with 20 showrooms in Kuwait, 7 retail shops in Dubai and 3 in Mumbai. Ajmal Perfumes also has 500 distributors worldwide.|
|# of employees:||7000 employees with 70% originating from Assam, India|