Starting, Surviving, Succeeding: Sherill Ramos Quintana of ORYSPA
Sherill Ramos Quintana is the founder of ORYSPA, a pioneering brand in the health and wellness sector. But originally, entrepreneurship had no appeal for her.
It was only while attending school bazaars with her son that she saw how entrepreneurship was a good fit for mothers like her.
The Start of it All
She first went into aromatherapy, selling scented candles, essential oils, and virgin coconut oil. But she was no different from other micro-entrepreneurs, her products one of many on the market.
That’s why when she discovered rice ban (or darak) during a Department of Trade and industry (DTI) product development session in 2008, she realized she found a unique business opportunity.
A rice byproduct, darak is normally used as live feeds. However, the oil extract from rice bran is rich in vitamins E and A for skin renewal, and contains oryzanol, an anti-oxidant that suppresses skin ageing.
From darak was born ORYSPA, a portmanteau of the rice’s scientific name, Oryza sativa, and spa. Sherill started this micro enterprise operating from a kitchen with just Php 5,000 in capital .
Surviving the Market
Before launching her product, Sherill applied for patents both here and abroad with the help of DTI. The region 4 trade office also helped bring her products to Barakalan, a DTI-sponsored trade show for the Southern Tagalog region held in SM Megamall.
Her first store in 2010 was an instant success, giving a full return of investment in less than a year. In 2011, she started franchising.
Now, ORYSPA Solutions is making P35 million in annual income with investors keen on buying into the company. It also has 30 branches nationwide and an export distribution network spanning the US, Singapore, the Middle East, Russia, Poland and other European countries.
Spreading Her Success
While ORYSPA has won several awards, including the 2016 ASEAN Business Awards for Excellence in Healthcare, Sherill was named ASEAN Woman Entrepreneur in 2016 and 2016’s Most Inspiring Filipina awardee for Go Negosyo.
Believing her product’s unique selling proposition, Sherill created a market based on her own needs: a busy mother of four wishing to be pampered.
“Challenge yourself to imagine the opposite of the norm. In business, it pays to be deviant,” she said.
She also refused to detach the Filipino brand from her original vision: “It is like I am building a house with one post missing because my motivation lies in being known as a Filipino brand.”
Sherill further believes that Filipinos need to build homegrown brands where production and employment creates wealth locally in order to set up a strong base of entrepreneurs.
“Becoming a better entrepreneur is striving to be a better person,” she said.