Mar 08 2016. views 1547

The Full DNA : Trevor Rajaratnam and Jacqueline Fernandez 

Anusha David spotlights the hottest styles and statements in and around Sri Lanka – from political leaders to celebrity CEOs, masters of the game to fashion icons and stars of the silver screen and stage. Here are society’s leaders talking about the determination, vision, smarts, competence and professionalism. Today, she speaks to Trevor Rajaratnam and Jacqueline Fernandez. 

The Body Shop, the iconic global retailer of cosmetics and toiletries launched in Sri Lanka recently. The Body Shop was founded in 1976 by Dame Anita Roddick, in Littlehampton, England. The beauty brand pioneered social activism and was built on the philosophy that business can be a force for good. The Body Shop seeks to make a positive difference in the world by offering highquality, naturally-inspired skincare, hair care and make-up produced ethically and sustainably. 

Today we feature Jacqueline Fernandez, the brand Ambassador for The Body Shop who needs no introduction and Trevor Rajaratnam, Director, The Body Shop Sri Lanka, a veteran in Sri Lanka’s travel industry. 

Trevor Rajaratnam 

Does Quest Holdings perceive Sri Lanka as a market for ‘ethical’ products such as those marketed by The Body Shop? 

Yes, absolutely! The Body Shop has always led the way with great products with natural ingredients and its ethical stance. Sri Lankans are very well educated, well-travelled, responsible and aware citizens and they would like to shop from brands that offer ethical products. I feel consumers in Sri Lanka are excited to see that an inspiring and ethical brand like The Body Shop has considered Sri Lanka as a potential market for its products. 

‘Enrich not Exploit’ – is this a reality when it comes to businesses across the globe, especially in the third world? 

As a company, we seek to protect and enhance the planet, its people and our products in every part of our business: ingredients, products, packaging, stores and campaigns. Under each pillar we have specific, measurable targets that make us accountable for delivery. “It’s in our hands” means we acknowledge that we have the power to make positive changes in the world and as a business have the responsibility to do that; but also that every one of us including all our customers, have the power to make a positive difference in people’s lives. We believe that this true whichever part of the world we reside in. 

Why didn’t Quest Holdings open their own stores rather than go through Softlogic? 

The Body Shop looks towards partnerships which provide the right locations for The Body Shop brand to expand in the market. Our associations are based on mutual respect and similar values. 

This is 2016, so why is it that such a respected brand as The Body Shop took 40 years to enter Sri Lanka? 

The entry of a brand in a country depends a lot on factors about the country; for example right business opportunities, retail scenarios, government policies, business environment etc. I feel The Body Shop has entered the market at the right time and it augurs well for Sri Lanka as a country that The Body Shop has launched here. We hope that we will be able to serve our customers with our ethical and world class beauty products. 

In your opinion how seriously is CSR taken amongst local corporates? 

Corporates and consumers are increasingly driven by responsibility towards the planet and society at large. There are corporates who are meaningfully enriching the lives of the local communities. I hope others also will get inspired and contribute towards the betterment of our local communities and work toward making the planet a better place. 

Jacqueline Fernandez 

What made you agree to be the Brand Ambassador for The Body Shop Sri Lanka? 

It’s been a long association with The Body Shop and it is an absolute pleasure to be the face of this inspiring, natural and ethical beauty brand in my country. The Body Shop has always led the way with great products with natural ingredients and its ethical stance. The Body Shop sees the world as their source of beauty and brings the most potent and precious natural ingredients from around the world. The brand is a role model and by associating with it I hope to help restate their philosophy to my fans. 

What is your favourite product by The Body Shop and why is it so? 

I am addicted to The Body Shop products. My personal favourite is the Fuji Green Tea body care range. This range is a ‘sensorial care range’ along with Green Tea’s anti-oxidant benefits. The three step rituals ‘Cleanse and Detox’, ‘Replenish’ and ‘Refresh’ completely revive the body and detoxes the mind. 

The Body Shop was the first international cosmetics company to introduce Fair Trade practices to the cosmetics and toiletries industry. Do you think the other giants in this field should follow suit? 

The Body Shop has pioneered fair trade in the cosmetics industry and still has the strongest program in the industry. Over 90% of The Body Shop products contain at least one of 19 ingredients which are sourced through our Community Trade program. I sincerely hope other cosmetics companies get inspired. This will make a big difference to people’s lives and benefit marginalized communities at large. 

The Body Shop’s manifest is to ‘Enrich not Exploit’. Do you practice this in your daily life and how practical is it for big businesses to adhere to this? 

Forty years ago, Anita Roddick set out a challenge for The Body Shop to tackle the big issues of her time. We’re now tackling the big issues of today. I hope The Body Shop’s ‘Enrich Not Exploit’ commitment inspires a new generation of customers, supporters and especially millennials to truly care about how a company operates. The Body Shop courageously pioneered new ways of thinking, acting and speaking out as a company.  Their ground-breaking campaigns were ahead of their time and changed laws on animal testing, domestic violence and human trafficking. They were the first in beauty to use community trade and they still have the strongest programme in the industry. They have been leading a way for businesses to be ethical and sustainable and I sincerely hope that they are able to inspire other big businesses also to become more sustainable and ethical. Being an actress, I also try to practice this manifesto in my own small way. I have always been against animal testing and the use of animals in the entertainment industry. 

The Body Shop says ‘Activism is in our blood ’. What are your thoughts on the following issues : 1. Sex Trafficking , 2. Self Esteem – the doll Ruby who challenges the female beauty stereotype, and 3. Animal Testing? 

Dame Anita Roddick, the founder of The Body Shop, always believed that the business of business should not just be about money, it should be about responsibility, about public good and not private greed. The Body Shop has always raised concerns about social issues like ‘sex – trafficking’, ‘self-esteem’ ‘girl child education’ and advocated ‘no animal testing.’ Being the brand ambassador of such an ethical brand makes me feel both proud and honoured. 

Will you insist on your makeup artistes on film sets using only The Body Shop products on you? 

Yes, I love to use The Body Shop products in my daily essentials as well as on shoots. My makeup artist uses a lot of The Body Shop makeup products for putting together my looks. In my recent GF BF song a lot of The Body Shop make up was used. 

What is your next film? 

I have Housefull 3, Dishoom and Flying Jatt lined up. 

Interviewed by Anusha David


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