In 1995, when Clelia Cecilia Angelon started Surya Brasil, a vegan brand that offers Henna cream hair colour, the world was still unaware of the concept of Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) brands or businesses. But for Clelia, it was something that she was totally convinced about.
“I happened to come to Chandigarh, India and it was then that I was introduced to Henna. As they say, there was no looking back. I knew I had to take this back to Brazil with me,” says Clelia in a conversation with HerStory.
The early days
And from there, the journey of establishing Surya Brasil began. Then a mother of two small kids, Clelia recollects the journey of constantly commuting between India and Brasil for work. She adds, “I had a partner in India who would manufacture the Henna. So, in the initial days, I would go to Chandigarh, ensure the products were made right and then work towards shipping them back.”
Today, Surya Brasil offers a wide array of Ayurvedic, natural, and organic hair product range such as Henna cream hair colour, colour fixation shampoo, conditioner and mask, and the ecosilver line for people who do not like to colour their hair, an organic face line, and nail polish.
The company has been offering natural, multi-ethnic, multi-gender and multi-functional personal care products across the world for the past 25 years. Surya Brasil currently has a presence in over 40 countries, spread across all seven continents.
Back to India
Twenty-five years after Clelia’s Chandigarh visit, the company opened its operations in India in August this year. To which, she says,
“There have been many country launches for us since inception, but this one is very special due to my affinity and empathy for Indian culture. I have visited India many times and each of my visits has been a learning yet fun-filled experience. We expect a similar journey for Surya Brasil amid Indian consumers, as all our products are crafted keeping consciousness and sustainability of all living beings and environment in mind.”
Over the years, Clelia has had a chance to understand what works for the brand and how to expand it. “We worked on different kinds of packaging to ensure that the right one would stick. Like any business, I learnt things the hard way, figuring out processes, understanding what works and what doesn’t work,” says Clelia.
But what mattered the most was ensuring they had the right team on board. It is important, Clelia explains, to bring the right people and keep going. “There will be many times in your journey where you simply want to give up. But if you truly believe in the brand and the product, things will eventually work in your favour.”
Even during the pandemic, the brand expanded its presence across six new countries.
“The Indian identity originates from my admiration and empathy towards the Indian culture, and the belief that Surya being the supreme soul, brings light and warmth to the world,” says Clelia. In the Indian market, the Brazil-based brand will initially launch its hair care range including all-natural Henna Hair Colour Cream (hair colour), Colour Fixation Restorative Shampoo, and Color Fixation Conditioner.
Establishing itself in Indian market
The brand is considered the world leader in vegan hair colour and is void of harmful chemicals such as PPD, EDTA, GMOs, Gluten, Ammonia, and its by-products such as Ethalonamina, Diethalonamina and Triethalonamina.
The products will be unveiled by Surya Brasil at a starting price point of Rs 925 each. The color fixation shampoo, conditioner and mask will also be launched to ensure the best results of the henna creams.
The products will be available on all leading online and offline platforms through Beverly Hills Sales Pvt Ltd, which is the distribution partner of Surya Brasil in India. While the Henna cream is priced at Rs 925, the shampoo is priced at Rs 775, the conditioner at Rs 825, and the hair mask at Rs 625.
“We are very bullish about the Indian market, and I feel we can make our mark felt strongly here,” says Clelia.