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Few people have the strength to power through all of life’s obstacles, let alone consistently come out on top. Yet here to claim her success is the businesswoman who found her way into the nation’s hearts, Nurhayati Subakat. Though most know her as the founder of Wardah, Nurhayati’s Paragon Technology and Innovation group is anything but a one-hit wonder. With Make Over, Emina, and Innovative Xalon in the palm of her hands, Nurhayati’s perseverance has proved to be fruitful in the journey to building her beauty empire.

“Before I founded this company in 1985, I had just quit my previous job because it took away too much of my time with my family,” says the living legend. “As someone with a pharmaceuticals background, I suddenly realised that making make-up shouldn’t be that different from making medicine. That was when I ventured into making my own haircare line, Putri.”

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Gaining its feet through direct selling in just five years, Putri found its home in salons all over Tangerang. But, of course, whatever endeavours one pursues in life, few paths are as smooth as the stories make them out to be. It was during the same year that the company finally started to relish the results of its sales efforts that it faced its biggest obstacle yet— when its home industry caught on fire.

“I was faced with two choices: give up or persist,” she claims, revealing that she chose the latter to salvage her employees’ livelihoods. With support from family, friends, and other parties, Nurhayati rebuilt Paragon Innovation and Technology and launched the line that would propel it into the fame it claims today: Wardah. It’s no coincidence that Wardah is the leading halal make-up line in Indonesia. Since its launch in 1995, the company has mastered the art of balancing quality and economically friendly prices. “I started at a time when there were no halal beauty products,” says Nurhayati. “We couldn’t compete with existing make-up brands, so instead we took a leap into the dark and made an affordable niche line.”

This story appears in the October 2018 issue of Indonesia Tatler. For the full story, grab the copy at your nearest newsstand, or subscribe here.

See also: October 2018 Cover: Wanda Ponika, Raline Shah & Magda Hutagalung Share Their Experiences With Cancer

Tags: Society, Nurhayati Subakat, Wardah, Close-up, Strength