'The most pertinent problem we discovered at the onset was that many people did not realise that using chemical-laden products might give immediate results, but are harmful in the long run.'
The Covid-19 pandemic made people look at traditional ways of wellness and healthcare in a different way. In India, Ayurveda products have become a rage in the last two years. Many ayurvedic companies have upgraded their products to cater to the growing demands of consumers. In an exclusive conversation with the Financial Express Online Clelia Cecilia Angelon, Founder & CEO, Surya Brasil talked about Ayurveda’s growth, renewed interest in wellness products and more. Excerpts:
How has covid-19 impacted the outlook of consumers globally regarding Ayurveda related wellness products?
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If there’s one good result of Covid-19 pandemic, it is the spread of awareness towards being health conscious and leading a healthy lifestyle. They no longer want to compromise by using products laden with harmful chemicals and toxins that might leave harmful after effects. As a result, consumers have started to look for more natural, sustainable and easy to apply at home products.
The increased awareness has led to more and more people resorting to Ayurvedic, natural and vegan products. A manifestation of it is our exponential growth over the recent past across different geographical regions, including within Brazil. A multitude of other countries such as Columbia, South Africa, Kongo, Kenya and Costa Rica, among others, have begun to work with us, now successfully importing and selling our products. People across the world are now more aware of the benefits of using nature-oriented hair care products. For instance, our Surya Brasil Henna Cream hair color is widely considered the most natural, comprising ingredients from India and Brazil, and it’s evident in its market performance. With regard to Ayurveda products, our goal is to expand our business at the same rate that we spread consumer awareness.
Please brief about the journey of Surya Brasil?
Surya Brasil was created in 1995 in collaboration with a friend of mine Kanwal J. Singh, who I have known for more than 40 years. He helped me choose the name Surya – the God of Light. In addition, he introduced me to Indian philosophy and culture through epics like Mahabharat, Ramayana, Guru Nanak and spiritual leaders such as Osho, Aurobindo Ghosh, J Krishnamurti, Swami Ramdev, and so much more about the land of deities and beliefs. This knowledge that I gained has increased my love and admiration for Indian culture and explains my Déjà vu I experienced in 1974 where I felt empathy and a feeling of being in India before. It was a wonderful experience, and I will never forget this.
The creation of Surya Brasil has fulfilled my dream that I had since I was 8 years old. This dream was to have an ethnic company that respects and benefits the consumer, all living beings and serves society through social works in every country we are present. My dream was to have a company where creativity, collaboration, spreading love and awareness were the true goals. Profiting from Surya Brasil is a positive by-product.
What products do you plan to launch in India and on what basis the selection has been made?
We plan to launch our hair care products in India at the onset. The main factor behind the decision is the holistic virtue of our hair care range, which includes high performance henna cream, hair colour and colour fixation conditioner restorative, among other holistic range of products.
Our products, which are a combination of Ayurveda, technology and rich natural resources of Brazil, are also conducive to the climatic conditions and lifestyle of Indian men and women.
What are the problems you found and have been trying to solve through your brand?
The most pertinent problem we discovered at the onset was that many people did not realise that using chemical-laden products might give immediate results, but are harmful in the long run. After realizing the gap, we took it as a mission upon ourselves to make consumers aware that it is possible to have natural cosmetics, which are vegan and sustainable, giving desired performance without harsh chemicals.
We are a conscious company with ethics that has been offering most natural, multi-ethnic, multi-gender and multi-functional personal care products across the world for the past over 25 years.
How many countries are you currently present in?
With presence across all continents, Surya Brasil currently caters to people in more than 40 countries, including the United States, Japan, Europe and South America. Within the US, our products are currently being sold at Whole Foods, Sprouts, Vitamin Shoppe, Amazon and many other e-commerce retailers. We began our operations in 1995 and at present in 2021, we stand firm as a global company that has been in the US for 24 years, Japan for 18 years, UK for 20 years and now heading to India.
Which kind of Ayurveda products have seen an upsurge in demand since the onset of the pandemic?
The focus of users has been on healing and enhancing or improving their immune system through products that do not possess aggressive chemicals, which are often the root causes of many illnesses as you may know. Ayurveda being the oldest healing science, is currently the best possible alternative, especially when it comes to personal care solutions. While it does not have any side effects, the ancient herbs and natural components make each product extremely beneficial for complete personal wellbeing.
Do you think the spike in demand will continue to hold post pandemic? What kind of innovations are you doing to keep the demand up?
The pandemic has brought about instrumental changes in our day to day life, and many changes brought are definitely permanent to a great extent. This stands true also with regard to nature-based and Ayurvedic products. The demand for such products will continue to be high, however, the consumers would be much more selective and informed than what we have seen till now. With regard to innovations, we might see more nature based healing solutions for specific needs of different individuals.