Philippine Daily Inquirer
Entrepreneur turns from candles, candies to ‘healing drink’
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.
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.