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Nadia Hussain Khan: The Queen of Pakistani Television

Nadia Hussain Khan, a talented and versatile actress who has captured the hearts of audiences with her dynamic performances on the small screen. With her undeniable charisma and range, she has become one of the most sought-after actresses in the television actors industry of Pakistan, known for her ability to bring depth and nuance to even the most complex characters. From her breakout role to her latest project, Nadia has made a lasting impact on the entertainment world and continues to captivate audiences with her talent and charm. Starting from the Fashion industry to media, she has excelled in every industry she stepped in. During an exclusive interview with TINDS Nadia shares her journey of coming this far.

TINDS: Where were you born?

Nadia: I was born in London. My father was posted in England due to his work. Me and my brother both were coincidentally born there and luckily we got the British Passport. We moved back to Pakistan when I was probably around 4 or 5 years old.

TINDS: Tell us a little about your childhood.

The Queen of Pakistani Television Nadia Hussain Khan's Rise to Fame - Tinds
The Queen of Pakistani Television Nadia Hussain Khan’s Rise to Fame

Nadia: I had a rather regular childhood. My parents would often get strict when we were up to any mischief. I remember being a very shy kid when there were people around, however I was exactly the opposite when I was around my own people. I would be very dominating and bossy with my younger brother, I remember we used to fight a lot and we were often thrashed a lot as well.

TINDS: 3 words that describe you the best.

Nadia: Energetic, Fun-loving & Spontaneous.

TINDS: What did you study in?

Nadia: After being done with my O & A levels, I did my bachelor’s in dental sciences and I am a qualified dentist.

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TINDS: Tell us a little about the transition from being a dentist to being a part of the world of Fashion.

Nadia: After my A levels I had a few months to spare before my college started, so I thought of doing something to utilize the time because I was immensely bored. One of my friends who was doing an internship in an advertising agency reached out to me to do a campaign for a clothing brand. I was in some ways associated with the media because of my aunt, who is a famous ghazal singer, but I had never thought of getting into modeling. It was during that time that I got an offer to do a campaign for Lakhani Mills. It was basically a studio shoot. After that Shamaeel Ansari, who is also a family friend, was having a fashion show and she found out that I was also modeling on the side, so she told my parents that they should let me do it for her. I just did one outfit for her on the ramp and it was my first fashion show ever. I was only 20 when I started off which was at the end of 1999, I think.

TINDS: How did you balance work and education?

The Queen of Pakistani Television Nadia Hussain Khan's Rise to Fame - Tinds
The Queen of Pakistani Television Nadia Hussain Khan’s Rise to Fame

Nadia: It was literally within a couple of months that I had gotten so popular. Then I was approached to do the millennium cover of SHE magazine which was a really big deal as there weren’t a lot of magazines back then, around 15 years ago. And since then, there has been no looking back. Even though I didn’t feel like I wanted to continue this for the rest of my life, it just so happened that I did. I refused a lot of projects too because I was working as well as studying at the same time. I constantly had exams over my head, but I just couldn’t help it. I mean I had shows that were happening in Lahore and people would be like, “We don’t care, come to Lahore in the afternoon and do the show,” and then I would go back the same night and then college in the morning. At times, I would attend my classes, rush to the airport, take the four o’clock flight, land in Lahore at six o’clock, get my make-up done, do the show without rehearsal and then take the late night flight back. I had a hard time managing my work and studies but I was able to do it relentlessly, I kind of learned to manage both along the way.

TINDS: Were your parents always supportive of everything you did?

Nadia: There wasn’t much support from my mother at all initially. She was worried my education would suffer. So it became a challenge for me to prove myself in this field as well as in my studies. Consequently, I had to work extra hard on both. I got distinctions in my studies. My dad, on the other hand, was a lot more supportive. It wasn’t until very late when my mother got comfortable with what I was doing.

TINDS: We know that you’re also a successful entrepreneur. Tell us a little about your businesses.

The Queen of Pakistani Television Nadia Hussain Khan's Rise to Fame - Tinds
The Queen of Pakistani Television Nadia Hussain Khan’s Rise to Fame

Nadia: I got married during my final year of college and had my first baby soon after. When my baby was about 6 months old, I started working in a dental clinic. By that time I was so popular as a model and I used to be paid a very handsome amount compared to that of what I was getting from working at the clinic. I instantly realized I wasn’t going to be able to continue working for somebody else. My husband offered me to start my own business in a place which was a clinic and up for sale. I got a little fearful initially because I had never done business before and I stalled it. By the time I had my second baby, I was so deeply involved in modeling that I never got back to dentistry. It was around 2006 when I decided to start my aesthetics clinic. But then I had my third baby and I wanted to focus on my children. It was later when I decided to give doing business another shot and started my Salon at a new location. I started my Makeup Brand ‘Bling by Nadia Hussain’ in 2018 because I figured it was time for me to cash in on my name as a brand.

TINDS: Why do you think the customers would be attracted to your brand instead of many other available foreign brands?

Nadia: To be honest, the big brand products have very limited availability around the whole country. It’s only available in the big cities and a very few stores are selling them. Me being who I am, my brand has a different kind of significance to the customers because of my involvement in it. I have purposely kept my prices lower than many available drugstore brands so that my products are affordable to more people around the nation.

TINDS: Doing so much, how do you manage your professional and personal life?

Nadia: It’s entirely about prioritizing. I generally try not to mix work with family commitments. I try to divide my time as much as possible but it is not always possible for anybody to do this fluently and sometimes I fail to do that as well. There are times when I have had to refuse commitments because of work or family. It’s kind of something that I have stopped feeling guilty about, because nobody can do it all. My whatsapp status still says, “If only there were more than 24 hours.”

TINDS: What occupies most of your time throughout the day?

The Queen of Pakistani Television Nadia Hussain Khan's Rise to Fame - Tinds
The Queen of Pakistani Television Nadia Hussain Khan’s Rise to Fame

Nadia: It depends actually on the schedule. When I have a drama recording, the entire day is usually spent at the shoot, it’s always a lengthy process. I have been very busy the past few months because I am doing two back to back dramas and they are both around 60-70 episodes each. I have kind of been at it almost on a daily basis. It has been mentally draining because I feel like I have not been able to give a lot of time to my children.

TINDS: Which profession of yours do you enjoy the most?

Nadia: I’d say I enjoy acting the most but I think the business side is very challenging, which in fact gets awfully stressful at times because of the reality of our country or economy as a whole. It is not always fancy about being an entrepreneur, I think it takes a toll on everybody who has been at it. There are hardships that entrepreneurs face which other people don’t even have a clue about.

TINDS: What have you had to struggle with coming this far?

Nadia: I was a medical student so I have had to struggle with understanding the business aspect of running and owning a business. I feel this should be taught as a part of the medical curriculum on how to manage a business as well because it is going to be useful for the students later in their life. Also, once I got very busy with everything that I have been doing my routine with my kids changed a lot and I wasn’t able to be available for my younger kids. Getting over that little bit of guilt was quite challenging as well.

TINDS: What have you had to struggle with coming this far?

The Queen of Pakistani Television Nadia Hussain Khan's Rise to Fame - Tinds
The Queen of Pakistani Television Nadia Hussain Khan’s Rise to Fame

Nadia: I was a medical student so I have had to struggle with understanding the business aspect of running and owning a business. I feel this should be taught as a part of the medical curriculum on how to manage a business as well because it is going to be useful for the students later in their life. Also, once I got very busy with everything that I have been doing my routine with my kids changed a lot and I wasn’t able to be available for my younger kids. Getting over that little bit of guilt was quite challenging as well.

TINDS: What would your advice be to newcomers in the industry?

Nadia: I believe everybody deserves a chance to do what they wish to. If somebody feels that they can do something, they should go ahead and give it a shot without the fear of failure. Also, everyone should try and be very realistic because the real world is not a fairytale and failures are a part of it. Everyone should be aware of what they are getting into.

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