En­tre­pre­neur turns from can­dles, can­dies to ‘heal­ing drink’

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - SUNDAY BIZ - By Sharon Robas-Ma­caw­ile

FOR MORE than a decade, El­iz­a­beth G. Seim had man­aged dif­fer­ent busi­nesses rang­ing from aro­mather­apy things to can­dies.

Re­cently, she heads the com­pany that im­ports and dis­trib­utes the coun­try’s first colostrum-based food.

Seim started as an en­tre­pre­neur in the ’90s, sell­ing aro­mather­apy prod­ucts in her store Re­gen­eré, a chain of well­ness prod­ucts shop, ini­tially lo­cated in the Edsa Plaza Shangri-La Mall.

“I was the one who in­tro­duced aro­mather­apy in the Philip­pines,” Seim de­clares, cit­ing prod­ucts such as aro­mather­apy can­dles were not read­ily avail­able in the coun­try back then.

She adds that most of these prod­ucts were sourced abroad, and be­came a hit to many lo­cal pa­trons.

“I have a niche mar­ket here. And cus­tomers re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate it be­cause they don’t need to go abroad to buy it. It may be a bit pricey but many of our clients are thank­ful that it’s avail­able here,” Seim shares.

Re­gen­eré has had many branches in lead­ing malls in Metro Manila, in­clud­ing one branch with a spa in Rock­well. Al­though the stores no longer ex­ist to­day, Seim re­lates how it had been a suc­cess: “It was very good . . . be­cause I was the only one who had those prod­ucts. I have a niche mar­ket. When I go abroad and see one-of-a kind things I buy them and put them in my store…and cus­tomers love it.”

She also ven­tured in a Candy Ex­press fran­chise lo­cated near the then “Ri­p­ley’s Be­lieve It or Not” mu­seum in the Shangri-La Mall, tak­ing ad­van­tage of the many cus­tomers vis­it­ing the mu­seum. How­ever, when ‘Ri­p­ley’s’ ceased op­er­a­tion, Seim de­cided to close Candy Ex­press as she wasn’t keen on mov­ing it to an­other lo­ca­tion.

But her pen­chant for well­ness prod­ucts prod­ded her, to­gether with a Malaysian busi­ness part­ner, to put up SNI Philip­pines Inc. in 2008. SNI Philip­pines started im­port­ing and dis­tribut­ing health prod­ucts in many parts of the coun­try. Its mother com­pany is the Malaysia-based SNI World.

Seim re­calls how she wasn’t too keen on the idea of the ven­ture in the be­gin­ning, but af­ter know­ing the many health ben­e­fits the prod­uct con­tains, her hes­i­ta­tion turned to en­thu­si­asm.

SNI’s main prod­uct to­day is the IgCo Nat­u­ral Colostrum Skim Milk, a healthy food and drink made from bovine colostrum im­ported from New Zealand.

An­ti­bod­ies

Colostrum is the pre-milk sub­stance pro­duced dur­ing the first few days af­ter the birth of a hu­man or an an­i­mal. It con­tains large amounts of an­ti­bod­ies or im­munoglob­u­lins (Ig), as well as vi­ta­mins and min­er­als that help pro­tect new­borns from viruses and bac­te­ria.

“It is the only food in na­ture that con­tains an­ti­bod­ies,” says Seim, SNI Philip­pines’ man­ag­ing di­rec­tor.

Stud­ies show that colostrum has great ben­e­fits not only to new­borns but to adults as well. And re­searchers prove that bovine colostrum has nearly sim­i­lar prop­er­ties as that of hu­man colostrum, thus it’s a good al­ter­na­tive source for com­mer­cial con­sump­tion.

IgCo (Im­munoglob­u­lin Colostrum) is 100 per­cent nat­u­ral colostrum blended with skim milk in pow­der form, made us­ing a slow freeze dry­ing tech­nique. This process pre­serves colostrum’s ac­tive bi­o­log­i­cal com­po­nents such as the im­mune and growth fac­tors.

“It is safe and it’s all nat­u­ral be­cause the cows in New Zealand are pas­ture fed, no in­jec­tion, etc.,” ex­plains Seim.

She says that their tar­get mar­ket is “ev­ery­body…sick or not sick, young or old,” adding that it’s a pre­ven­tive agent that pro­tects the im­mune sys­tem in or­der to pre­vent get­ting sick, and can be taken even by those with lac­tose-in­tol­er­ance as it has a very low lac­tose con­tent.

IgCo’s 15g-sa­chet re­tails for P75. Seim stresses that it is rec­om­mended to be taken on an empty stom­ach early in the morn­ing or be­fore bed­time and must be dis­solved only in luke­warm or cold wa­ter, not hot wa­ter.

From 300 dis­trib­u­tors in the first month of its op­er­a­tion, SNI has now 3,000 dis­trib­u­tors all over the coun­try.

‘The mir­a­cle food’

Seim adds that many doc­tors and med­i­cal prac­ti­tion­ers, who call the prod­uct “The Mir­a­cle Food,” vouch for IgCo’s many health ben­e­fits, that’s why they rec­om­mend it to their pa­tients.

In fact, at SNI web­site (www.snion­line.com.ph), there are many tes­ti­monies by IgCo users re­lat­ing how the prod­uct made them healthy and well, in­clud­ing a 17-year-old girl who was di­ag­nosed with Hodgkin’s Lym­phoma in 2008 who de­clared how IgCo pro­tected her from get­ting se­ri­ous in­fec­tions while un­der­go­ing chemo­ther­apy treat­ments.

Other health ben­e­fits of colostrum aside from boost­ing the im­mune sys­tem are: it helps lower blood sugar to nor­mal level; main­tains strong bones and a healthy in­testi­nal tract; helps build mus­cles; min­i­mizes al­ler­gies; and helps heal wounds faster, among oth­ers.

But SNI is not only about mak­ing prof­its. Seim stresses their ad­vo­cacy of help­ing out and giv­ing back to the com­mu­ni­ties through the com­pany’s SNI Care pro­gram which con­ducts out­reach pro­grams all over the coun­try by con­duct­ing feed­ing pro­grams and med­i­cal mis­sions. They also give out IgCo sam­ples to poor com­mu­ni­ties and, with the help of doc­tors, ed­u­cate peo­ple about the ben­e­fits of colostrum. SNI also spon­sors and par­tic­i­pates in sev­eral med­i­cal con­ven­tions and sym­posia.

SNI Academy, on the other hand, is the com­pany’s train­ing pro­gram for its mem­bers and in­ter­ested par­tic­i­pants, who want to be­come a mem­ber or dis­trib­u­tor, which teaches ba­sic com­mu­ni­ca­tion and pre­sen­ta­tion skills, as well as per­son­al­ity devel­op­ment and spir­i­tual well­ness.

Seim is op­ti­mistic that SNI will go a long way in help­ing Filipinos be­come healthy, as well as giv­ing them op­por­tu­ni­ties to earn. “We are slowly but surely grow­ing,” she beams, adding that more colostrum-based prod­ucts are be­ing de­vel­oped by the com­pany.

She con­cludes by at­test­ing that aside from the suc­cess of the busi­ness, noth­ing makes her hap­pier and ful­filled than help­ing oth­ers and see­ing them happy, healthy and well.

IGCO Nat­u­ral Colostrum Skim Milk

EL­IZ­A­BETH G. Seim

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