Brazilian company’s internationalization started with the Arabs

05 de outubro de 2017

São Paulo – Opportunity literally knocked at the door of Floractive, cosmetics manufacturer based in Cajamar, 30 km from São Paulo. Three years ago, Egyptian representatives looked for the company in search of products to supply beauty salons in the country. Founded in 2011, the company’s international expansion started at that moment.

“I’m really pleased to say that we arrived at the Arab countries due to the high quality of our products,” says Jane Sarrasi, executive director of the cosmetics manufacturer whose portfolio includes over 150 products for men and women. According to her, these representatives from Egypt initially looked for another company which, upon learning of the purchasers’ needs, suggested Floractive.

After that sale, the number of clients in the region increased through word-of-mouth marketing. Jane Sarrasi says that currently the company also sells its products to distributors in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Morocco and other markets in North Africa and the Middle East. In addition to these countries, Europe, United States, Mexico and Central America are other destinations for Floractive, now an international company.

Arabs buy mainly hair straightening and women’s hair treatment products such as W One, Marroco, Flora Plex and Blue Tox. The focus is on professionals: the company sells more to professional beauty salons than it does to end consumers, according to the executive.

All the products are halal-certified, an initiative taken by the company. “They didn’t demand it, but we sought the label to distinguish ourselves,” says the executive director. The suppliers are also halal, which made it easier for Floractive to get the halal label – production is done by a third-party plant in Cajamar, where products are also manufactured for other brands.

After the somewhat sudden internationalization, the company went looking for specialization. “We wanted more strategic work,” says Jane Sarrasi. “The first export took place by chance, but we needed something more robust,” she explains.

A member of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Floractive takes part in the main cosmetics trade expos in Brazil and in Dubai's Beautyworld Middle East. In the last few years, it also organized events in Egypt, took part in trade shows in Morocco and visited its distributor in Lebanon. The executive director left the region with a very positive impression of the Arabs and says she loved the local culture.

Jane Sarrasi estimates that half of the company’s sales go to the global market. From the volume exported, around 40% goes to the Arab countries. “Saudi Arabia is the largest client [in the region],” she says.

One of Floractive’s challenges for the next few years is to export also their men’s line to the Arabs – the company produces shampoos, hair wax and shaving creams, among others. “They don’t have this culture yet,” says Jane Sarrasi. Social media is a tool that can help promote these products, and the company has been making a large investment. The executive director reveals: soon, the company’s social media profiles will have an Arabic version, as well as its website.

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*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani