Gladys Ileana Ramos de Orellana
Gladys is the founder and managing director of BHOGA, a Guatemalan company that sells cosmetics created and developed by Guatemalan women, taking advantage of the benefits that nature provides. Bhoga is a Sanskrit word that means “joy and enjoy in all its forms”. BHOGA’s cosmetic products are 100% natural, using elements such as cereals, sea salt, dried herbs and pure vegetable oils. In addition, they are free of chemicals, preservatives, dyes and artificial fragrances; friendly to the environment; and certified by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). BHOGA offers completely safe and reliable products in their pure form, working in synergy with nature, transforming raw material into natural cosmetics.
BHOGA contributes to the country’s human development by improving health and well-being in people who use its products. It also empowers women, since the BHOGA team personnel and several of its suppliers have predominantly female employees. As family economies rely on Guatemalan women, their income generates additional opportunities for their children’s development. BHOGA is currently in an initial phase of entering the domestic market, where it is experiencing positive acceptance and constant growth.
There is a global trend towards the consumption of products that are natural, eco-friendly, non-aggressive to the body and without added chemicals. Guatemala, with one of the most important ecosystems in the world, has taken the lead in the production of seeds, plants, oils and other products from its forests, wetlands and jungles. From 2013 to 2015, BHOGA grew its sales by 75%. As the country regained political stability, the incorporation of Mayan culture in economic and political life has gained momentum as never before. Aware of these everyday realities, BHOGA focuses on 100% natural products, transforming but not changing the chemical composition of the raw materials, thus maintaining their purity. “The Empretec workshop had a huge impact not only on the company but also on my personal life. I feel empowered and have developed my managerial skills. Thanks to Empretec, the dream of creating a cosmetic company became a reality,” says Gladys.
Consumers nowadays look for natural cosmetics that replicate the social and environmental values being adopted by society. BHOGA is developing its presence in the domestic market, which is responding favourably and displaying constant growth. The next step is to tap into the opportunities arising from growing international markets. As an example, the North American natural cosmetics market has surpassed the US$5 billion mark with over 600 brands on sale, with the highest growth in the “truly natural” market. BHOGA has carefully incorporated the market trends in its product formulation.