When I started researching and formulating isaku products, I was clear that they will be packaged in environment-friendly glass as far as possible. If a certain product works best in tubes, that is the only time we would be using plastic, but even those would have to be responsibly sourced and manufactured.
The reason why we made this decision was three-fold:
1. Glass is environmentally viable opposed to plastic and isaku is a brand that believes in doing rather than talking.
2. A key role of packaging is to protect the product from outside elements. Some molecules can slip through certain plastics but glass acts as a much superior barrier.
3. We believe that there’s no point in creating a natural product free of harmful substances if it’s encased in chemical-laden plastic containers that may leach plasticisers and impact the product. Glass is perfect because it is inert and does not interact with the product at all.
So, armed with conviction and self-righteousness, we started the process of finding suppliers of glass jars. And that was the beginning of a NIGHTMARE!!
A nightmare that set us back more than 6 months ...numerous flight tickets and sleepless nights in hotels. And lots of mental anguish and doubts.
If you are wondering why, let me explain-
There are thousands of suppliers of plastic packaging but finding suppliers of glass jars and bottles is a difficult proposition.
Glass jars are only used by high-end premium brands. Since they are much more costly than plastic containers, hardly any Indian brand uses them (Off hand, I can’t think of any Indian Brand that primarily uses glass packaging).
Glass is fragile and breaks easily which can increase the costs for the brands. In addition, having glass packaging is heavier and it increases the cost of shipping. To get around this and to subconsciously make the customer feel good about their products, even the most premium natural and ayurvedic brands use plastic containers that look like glass.
When we finally located a few such suppliers, we faced another problem. Most of the Indian suppliers of glass jars and bottles export their products. Or they supply them to large companies in huge quantities. As a new brand, ordering such huge quantities was not feasible for us.
Two arduous months and many trips later, we were finally able to locate one supplier in Mumbai willing to supply the jars in the quantity required and we immediately placed an order and paid in full.
So began the wait for the glass jars…..
We kept following up with the supplier regularly with 100s of phone calls. We also made multiple trips to meet the supplier and literally begged him to expedite our delivery.
Finally, after 3 months of much cajoling and requesting, we received the jars. Thus, our quest to find the elusive glass jars ended and we were finally able to start manufacturing isaku products.
What the entire episode taught us was; if one believes in something that’s not popular or common, it is a long, hard road. But no belief or philosophy can take root and make a positive contribution unless one is ready to put in time, effort, money and lots and lots of perseverance.
So, if you believe in something and the path is difficult and you are almost ready to give up, DON’T. Because what I learnt in this entire journey is that it may take a while but ultimately you will definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel.