There is Space for Every Brand in Market, Conditions Apply

18 Jan, 2022 13:57 IST|Reshmi AR
Clelia Cecilia Angelon, Surya Brasil Founder CEO

Surya Brasil combines the power of Ayurveda and technology along with the rich natural resources of Brazil.

Surya Brasil is a global name synonymous with natural and conscious products. In an exclusive interview with Sakshipost, Surya Brasil founder and CEO Clelia Cecilia Angelon tells Reshmi AR about the growth of her brand which thrives on manufacturing cruelty-free products.

Surya Brasil stresses on natural products with ethics. Please elaborate on this

At the core of Surya Brasil are three essential elements – innovation, sustainability and social responsibility. We refer to Surya Brasil as a conscious company with ethics because of the way each of our products is crafted. Over the past 25 years, all our products have been completely cruelty free, most natural, multi ethnic and multi gender. All we use as ingredients are Ayurvedic herbs, plant extracts, natural salts and minerals of Brazil, all blended together with the help of cutting-edge technology. They cause no harmful impact on one’s body as well as the nature and surrounding. We firmly believe that a company can be successful with ethics while respecting the nature.

The brand combines the power of technology and Ayurveda. How does it work?

As mentioned earlier, technology is used at Surya Brasil to blend the power of Ayurveda with natural resources of Brazil. We all are well versed with the fact that Mother Nature is the source of everything we need to lead a happy and healthy life. While Ayurveda is the underlining element of all our offerings, technology is the methodology to adapt and get into natural products with performance. For example, our flagship Surya Brasil Henna Cream has all nature-oriented ingredients, but comes to the users in a ready to use package, and that is made possible only by technology.

South Korea is known for its cosmetics industry, how does a brand which thrives on the use of rich natural resources of Brazil intend to take on competitors?

A point you just mentioned is that South Korea is a name synonymous in many ways with the global cosmetics industry. This is precisely the fact that makes a unique proposition in the market. We are the only one globally, offering healing virtues of Ayurveda along with rich natural resources of Brazil, catering to more than 40 countries. For instance we have been in the US for over 24 years, 20 years in Europe and 18 years each in Japan & South America.

Basically, there is space for every brand in the market because each brand can be rich in its own way, provided it thrives on nature based solutions and as long as it doesn’t harm the consumer and any living been on the planet. We believe in creativity and collaboration, which is the exact opposite of competition and destruction.

Tell us about your Ayurveda course in Kerala. What insights did the course provide?

The Ayurveda course that I pursued in Kerala was an incredible and a great learning experience. However, it was just an introduction of the basic principles and philosophy of Ayurveda. It really opened my mind and heart into an altogether different direction by understanding how Ayurveda is essentially a way of life.

What differentiates vegan products from the regular ones and what is the market like for vegan products?

A vegan product is one wherein there is no use of animal ingredients, and neither are they tested on animals. Vegan products are cruelty free and cause no harmful impact on oneself or environment. The market today is growing towards vegan products in general, be it food & beverages, vestments or cosmetics. The increased awareness about the harms of chemicals and toxins post the outbreak of pandemic is also a catalyst in the market’s growth. We were a pioneer in Brazil for vegan cosmetics. If you can have a cruelty free product with high performance, why to choose a similar or even inferior one that has come out of a suffering and pain of a living been?

What is your product USP?

All our products are free of Ammonia and its by product as ethanolamine, diethanolamine and triethanolamine. We are also free of harmful ingredients as PPD, resorcinol  synthetic fragrance or edta. While we offer products made of herbals and fruits from Brazil and India, they are also easy to apply and use at home. Also, they treat and condition the hair while colouring, ensuring 100% gray coverage. It can be used in chemically treated hair as well.

What does the Product line for the Indian market look like?

In India we are currently offering an extensive range of henna cream in as many as 15 different colour variants, including black, brown, burgundy, red etc. It is accompanied by our colour fixation range of shampoo, conditioner and hair mask. Soon, we intend to introduce Ecosilver line in India, crafted especially for those with gray hair.

Elaborate on Brand ethos and vision, emphasis on Ayurveda

Ayurveda is science in harmony with Nature. We believe that a company not only should respect the nature and all being, but also dedicate some of their profits to protect animals, social work with communities while encouraging self sustenance through organic crops and capacitating them to have an income in humanistic and ethical way. We offer our employees twice a week Yoga sessions, per day meditation. We believe in Mahatma Gandhi’s mantra of - Be the difference you want to see in the world.

Positioning of the brand and how it intends to capture the nature-oriented personal care segment

Today Surya Brasil is present in all continents. We are among the biggest players in US for more than 15 years through stores like Wholefoods, Sprouts, Natural Grocers etc. We have been growing organically since we started 26 years ago. But since the segment of natural oriented is growing very fast, we will be more aggressive on social media and other marketing channels in India as well as other countries.

What challenges did you face as a woman entrepreneur?

I faced many challenges throughout my career, like having a different vision of the current business model. My biggest allies were the consumers who liked the products and became regular buyers. The market used to see me more as an animal activist rather than an entrepreneur, since we have an NGO too where we work on animal protection, communities upliftment and environmental protection. However, as an entrepreneur, my focus has always been solving on the most pertinent problems related to the global personal care industry.

Can you share your journey as an Entrepreneur?

I started my first business with a small shop in Oxford Street of London. I went back to Brazil and started distribution of Indian garments and crafts, following which I also took up distribution of an American henna brand Egyptian Henna. In 1995, I created Surya Brasil together in partnership with an Indian friend Kanwal J Singh. Within two years we entered the US market, and soon we were in Japan, followed by other countries like UK, Ireland, Chile, Uruguay, Holland, Australia, Congo etc. In 2006, we started our NGO and rescued some animals like a lion from a Circus, rescued pigs that escaped from a slaughter house, horse, guinea pigs etc. Most recently in 2020 we opened three countries in Africa and other countries like India, Hong Kong, Argentina, Costa Rica, Italy,  Columbia and New Zealand. This year, we are planning to invest in all continents in marketing, especially in social media.

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