By Christy Lau
Young entrepreneur Supranee ‘Sujani’ Doowa’s new business venture, Incas superfoods is here to help you enhance your diet.
She’s colouring the world, one superfood at a time. At only 28 years old, Supranee ‘Sujani’ Doowa is the Founder and CEO of Incas, one of the only superfood brands in the current Thai market, offering a range of rainbow-hued powdered supplements made from organic plants sourced primarily from Peru.
Born and raised in Thailand, this independent go-getter thought of her entrepreneurial endeavour eight years ago, and so she began pursuing her passion at The University of British Columbia by majoring in Food and Nutritional Sciences. She later obtained the knowledge she needed to kick-start her own company by completing the MBA programme at Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration.
It was during a life-changing trip to Peru, where Sujani was introduced to the nutrient- dense plants of South America, and came home determined to share their holistic benefits with others. It took a year of meticulous research and development before Incas was officially launched at the end of May 2019 at THAIFEX, the leading annual international trade exhibition for food and beverages, sparking much interest and curiosity. With her competitive pricing and colourful packaging, Sujani looks set to change the healthy food industry – for the better.
How did Incas come about?
Organic food has always been a part of my life growing up and superfoods were always a mainstay in our household, as my dad has always been very naturopathic. Last year, my husband and I went on a trip to Peru, where we discovered all these exotic plants you can’t find in our part of the world. I did some research and was completely fascinated by the amount of nutritional value they offer, so when I came back to Bangkok, I decided I wanted to set up a business to make these products available to the Thai market.
Why did you choose the name Incas?
In Peru, we learned a lot about the Incan empire and how these plants were a large part of their diet. We were so inspired, we named the brand after them, and now we are ready to build our very own Incan empire.
What products do you offer?
We have 10 products altogether, seven of which are sourced from Peru. They are all 100 percent natural, vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO, with no preservatives and additives. The ‘Smart’ series is the first set I created, and includes lucuma, great for skin detox; camu camu for immunity; sacha inchi for muscle support; mesquite for digestion; and gelatinized maca for energy, all packaged in sachets for convenience. There is also the ‘Rainbow’ series, designed to colour your food, while providing nutrition. It covers pink dragon fruit powder, a top source of mono-saturated fats; the purple-hued black goji berry, the anti-ageing powerhouse; and the blue spirulina, also known as the superfood of the sea. Additionally, we also offer yacon syrup, a natural weight loss sweetener, high in fibre.
Why did you choose to sell them in powder form?
It’s mainly an issue of freshness. If I imported the actual plants from South America, they wouldn’t be ripe anymore by the time they reached Thailand. Incas products are all 100 percent naturally derived, so you aren’t compromising on quality, and the best part is that they all have a shelf-life of two years.
Why should customers buy your products, as opposed to other kinds of health food products on offer?
Eating healthy can, and should, be a fun experience. Sticking to a clean diet can be so challenging, but with our products, you’re not changing the food you are eating, you’re just supplementing what you’re already eating. There are a variety of ways to incorporate Incas superfoods into your daily life, from sprinkling it onto cereal, to mixing it into your smoothies or teas, or using it in cakes and other desserts.
What were some of the surprising factors you learnt from running your own business?
It’s tough, especially if you’re doing it alone. There is a lot of frustration and risk involved. I didn’t expect to go through so many procedures. Initially, I had to find suppliers for the products, and then I had to figure out how to have them imported. I also had to come up with the branding, set up the website, and figure out the design for the packaging. Finally, I had to get approval from the FDA and that took a lot of time.
I always wanted to be my own boss and run my own business.”
What would you say is your greatest achievement?
Finally seeing what I envisioned in my hands. I worked hard for so long, so when I finally saw the end product, it was the best feeling ever.
What is your favourite part of your job?
I always wanted to be my own boss and run my own business. Every day, I wake up and I’m very passionate because I’m doing what I love. I handle everything so it can be exhausting, but it’s also fun and rewarding.
Where can customers purchase your products?
Through the official website. Incas is also on all major e-commerce platforms right now, including honestbee, Lazada and Shopee. As for brick-and-mortar stores, we can be found at every BaiMiang Healthy Shop outlet and at FITCRAZE, an activewear pop-up store.
What are your future plans for Incas?
I am obviously going to be expanding our product range in the future. Eventually, I want to be a household name for healthy food in the Asia-Pacific region. Society is evolving, and more people are looking at convenient and sustainable ways to be healthy, and I want Incas to be the answer to that question. I am also expanding our distribution channels and am hoping to be available in major local supermarkets in the near future.
What advice would you share with others who want to start their own business?
You need to be dedicated and willing to take big risks. It’s also important to have a good support system. I’m thankful to my families and husband for supporting me throughout my journey. The last and most important thing is that you have to believe in your product. With that passion and a strong work ethic, nothing can stop you.