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Piatan Natural makes its debut in the cosmetics market through e-commerce and direct sales

Established in the state of Goiás, outside the Rio-São Paulo axis, the brand plans to conquer both capital cities and aims to franchise its business by 2018.

Igor Sebba, founder of Piatan Natural

Igor Sebba, founder of Piatan Natural

Hailing from an engineering background, Igor Sebba had virtually no experience in the cosmetics industry when he decided to create a beauty brand in the central state of Goiás. In his view, being based outside tradition trade regions of the southeast and northeast of Brazil was more of an opportunity than a threat.

Counting about 6.5 million inhabitants and flaunting an industrial growth rate of 66,3% between 2003 and 2012 – compared to the 31,2% national average –, Goiás is a surprising fertile market for a landlocked state. “It has a privileged location in the country’s center, and shapes up as an interesting market with way lower cost margins if compared to other states,” says Sebba.

But he was not blind to the challenges facing the enterprise, which is one of the reasons why Piatan Natural is rooted in the fastest-growing cosmetics category: natural and sustainable products. “The same people who are shifting to healthier food habits are also translating this shift to other sectors, including beauty. Going green is the next big thing, it’s both the present and the future”, says Sebba, supported by a recent study by Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT). The 2015 Biodiversity Barometer reveals that more than 90% of Brazilians look for natural raw materials when purchasing cosmetics and 88% believe they should contribute their share to environmental preservation.

The founding of the company this October was preceded by two years of research. Piatan Natural hit the ground running with 53 products in its catalogue, including skin and hair care, fragrances and diffusers. The lines are branded according to their main benefits – Detox, Hydrate, Renew and Refresh. Another highlight is the men’s grooming range, named “Do Rui” (loosely translated as ‘Rui’s Own’). It pays homage to a famous barber in the state’s capital, Goiania. Ruimar Ferreira has had his barber shop in the same location for over 40 years, after taking over the business from his father, and has served high-profile clients such as soccer players Pelé and Maradona. “The local stories are as beautiful and meaningful as any other. We’re at the height of a movement to restore traditions, one I can really relate to,” says Sebba.

Piatan Natural's product range

Piatan Natural’s product range

He claims that Piatan’s products contain around 90% natural ingredients (including butter, oils and extracts), are free of chemicals such as silicone, parabens and petroleum derivatives, and are cruelty-free. The packaging is made from renewable and 100% recyclable green plastic made from sugar cane and prices range between R$ 20 (box with three vegetable soap bars) and R$ 130 (fragrances signed by Brazilian fragrance house Vollmers and French-based MANE).

The company decided to enter the market through two sales channels: e-commerce and direct sales. Open to everyone regardless of age, gender, ability or experience, the latter is an established Brazilian trend. It is estimated that over 4.6 million people in Brazil work with direct sales, which pushed the category to achieve R$ 41 billion in sales in 2015, out of which 84% came from beauty and personal care products according to the Brazilian Association of Direct Sales (ABEVD). “I take pride in helping create opportunities in a time of economic distress in the country,” says Sebba.

Starting with as little as R$ 192, Piatan Natural consultants earn access to an online channel hosted in the company’s e-commerce platform. The head office looks after handling and shipping while consultants get a 20% cut.

It’s through this hybrid of direct sales and e-commerce that Piatan Natural expects to set foot in São Paulo and Rio. “São Paulo is the heart of the country’s economy and hosts all the big brands. Rio is a strategic market because it embraces an active and healthy lifestyle, in tune with the brand’s values. If we are to conquer Brazil, these two states are vital,” says Sebba, who plans to franchise the business by 2018.

Renata Martins

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© 2016 - Brazil Beauty News - www.brazilbeautynews.com

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