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Mauli and Grishma Teli launched the first Halal Cosmetics brand in India

  • JWB Post
  •  July 2, 2015

Halal Cosmetics. These two words when coupled into one become the unique proposition of Ecotrail Personal care, a cosmetic company founded by sisters Mauli Teli and Grishma Teli.

“People were curious. They would come and ask me all kinds of questions. Sometimes even Muslims did not understand what halal had to do with cosmetics. Once we told them about the fat free lipsticks and alcohol free perfumes, they understood,” remarked Mauli, CEO and managing partner of Ecotrail, in an interview.

Mauli Teli was formerly into management consulting in the US and her sister, Grishma was a student of biotechnology in the UK. Both of them fled from their respective workplaces and came down to India to satiate their mutual urge of starting an entrepreneurial venture. They were both interested in personal care products and hence decided to create a niche for themselves in the Indian market.

“Halal has a deep meaning. It means it’s pure, safe, and healthy. What it means in terms of our cosmetics range is that our products are organic, free of animal fat and animal-derived products like keratin, collagen and gelatin, and alcohol free. They are free of any harsh chemicals and animal cruelty. Therefore they are good for everyone,” said Mauli.

They began working on the concept of halal cosmetics in the year 2009, and through their research, found that the Indian cosmetic market was flooded with MNCs using animal-derived ingredients in their products. Such products were considered impure and unacceptable by many consumers, most of which were Muslim women. India being home to a large population of Muslim women, the sister-duo envisaged a brimming opportunity. And so came in existence Ecotrail Personal Care, a halal-certified company headed by the sisters.

The company started functioning through two exclusive stores in Ahmedabad, which gathered a lot of interest. But this interest wasn’t limited to just the Muslim community. People from Jain and other vegan communities also fancied the idea of halal or pure cosmetics.

Only extracts from vegetables and fruits are used in the cosmetics products manufactured at the company’s unit in Sanand. The source of every ingredient is researched and it is ensured that products are 100% free of non-halal ingredients such as alcohol, chemicals like sulfate, paraben and mercury and animal-derived inputs,” explained Grishma Teli, Vice President, Research & Development, Ecotrail.

The company launched its range of 60 halal cosmetic products under the brand Iba last year in September, making it India’s first halal brand in the organized cosmetic market. That’s a first-mover advantage they have here!

The sisters also plan to expand their network by penetrating other cities like Surat, Bharuch and Vadodara (in Gujarat) as well as in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Lucknow, Kolkata.

There is much dialogue about Social Responsibility and Ethics in today’s corporate scenario. But this story is a fine example of creating a business venture out of concerns for ethics, which are quite often, deftly overlooked.

#WomenWhoMakeAChange, are my favorite kind of women! What about you?

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