Anita and Sheetal Craft Effective Vegan Products for Natural Skincare
What’s your story?
We started ZeroYet100 from a pure need for a natural deodorant, and most importantly, one that worked! Both of us love hiking, keeping fit and being healthy vegetarians, as part of our cultural upbringing. In keeping with our lifestyle, we searched for a natural deodorant. The search seemed endless, as we bought and tried practically every product we could find on the commercial market. Some worked well and some didn’t. During our search, we realised many of the commercial deodorants were made using harsh chemicals. So we created our own hand-crafted deodorant from a simple concoction of three ingredients. It did the job, but was very messy to use. When we shared the product with our friends, we realised it was time to make a stable formulation that was suitable for all weather conditions, in order for it to be more appealing to customers. Our successful deodorant led us to launch our all natural skincare line, thanks to overwhelming requests from our users.
What excites you most about your industry?
The continuously evolving movement in sustainability. We started off with no awareness of minimalistic packaging and, in fact, thought it would be more “classy” to have our products in fancy packaging like the big brands. Soon after we launched, a lot of our customers asked us what they could do with the packaging once they were done using the deodorant and whether they could send the empty packaging back to us. Some asked if we could sell them the “pot deodorant” without the plastic spatula! That was when we started looking into upcycling our plastic sticks to make chunky crayons. We introduced a “paper push-up” option for our deodorant stick, and changed our spatulas from plastic to wood. Now, when we plan to introduce a product, our first test is, “how can we use sustainable packaging?” If it doesn’t pass that, we scrap the whole idea. We now have a successful line of face cream, powder face wash, face mist, coffee scrub, hand sanitizer, as well as infused body oils.
What’s your connection to Asia?
Hong Kong is our home. Sheetal moved to Hong Kong from Mumbai 14 years ago and Anita has lived in Hong Kong all her life. Our immediate families also live in Asia which gives us another deep connection.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Hong Kong. This is where ZeroYet100 was born! We like that our products can receive a lot of exposure given the mixed cultural crowd and plentiful business opportunities through conventions and fairs. Also, people in Hong Kong love to support local businesses.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
To strongly consider going plastic free, and, if possible, to go package free.
Who inspires you?
Green movements such as Green Queen, Green is the New Black, Live Zero and Unpackt (Singapore). They show us what the reality is if we don’t take things seriously, like reducing waste. And, we always enjoy meeting new people who inspire us.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Every day has been a learning process for us and each day surprises us in new ways. Since neither of us come from a tech background, even the simplest “magic” that Social Media can do for a business is a “wow” factor for us. We’re looking forward to many more “wow” moments.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
We would involve people who could grow with us and improve their lives, such as NGOs. Although it’s still not too late to get involved, there are just two of us running the business, and we do tend to have too much on our plate! We still have this initiative in mind, so we will somehow tick this box in the near future!
How do you unwind?
We like to cook, go on hikes, spend time with friends (that’s real therapy!), and explore places we’ve never seen before. Even in a small place like Hong Kong, there are so many hidden gems!
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Lombok Island in Indonesia. It’s quiet, and a new discovery for us; not too many people and limited transportation, therefore, less pollution.
Everyone in business should read this book:
“The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfilment of Your Dreams,” by Deepak Chopra. Most of us have a subconscious belief that business means being aggressive, holding negativity and jealousy amongst competitors, but after reading this book, we feel business can be done with compassion for all, and with the aspiration that “we can all grow and succeed together.”
Shameless plug for your business:
Our products are vegan, cruelty-free, and 90% plastic free. We want you to feel good, inside and out, when using our products. We are committed to using natural ingredients that work as hard as you do. Our ingredient list sparks joy, not fear. Our products are gender-neutral and safe for everyone to use, including expectant mamas. We want everyone to have access to products that serve them, and the environment: ZeroYet100 – “Nothing Toxic yet Totally Effective.” Shop our total range of natural skincare. Our company is very transparent and that’s part of what makes our customers believe in us and our products.
How can people connect with you?
Very easily – On our Website: ZeroYet100.com, Email: [email protected]. Phone: +852 2524 4948. Call anytime, or contact us through Social Media and Email. Since our office is centrally located, our customers often come by. They’ll always be able to find one of us.
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connects’ series of more than 500 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’ and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.