Shaking the tea industry with her absolute willpower to succeed, Ruvinika Ranasinghe, the Founder/Director of Térapy Ceylon, an Ayurvedic tea that marries ancient holistic wellness of Sri Lanka with our island’s prized export commodity, Ceylon Tea is known to be redefining norms and setting benchmarks ever since she set foot into the industry.
Setting standards in an industry that is predominately male-dominated, Ruvinika is one of the few ladies that have successfully stood their ground despite challenges, actively contributing towards reshaping the future of the industry as we know it. The protagonist picks up the venture from her family, being a second-generation tea exporter, growing alongside the ever-evolving tea industry.
Her well-rounded academic preparation stems from a foundation of marketing and branding after receiving her education at Ladies College, Colombo. She then finished her Bachelor’s Degree at RMIT Australia, specializing in business marketing. “Needless to say, my passion has always been to create a brand that shares my country’s pulse through its heritage and culture”, added the selfless protagonist.
Térapy Ceylon incorporates native herbs collected from Ayurvedic practitioners in rural areas. The team collaborates with growers who obtain these substances in their natural condition. Ruvinika states that her personal attention is undoubtedly given to each aspect of this process, including closely working with farmers, in order to ensure that by no means the quality of the products are reduced while ensuring that the environment is protected alongside the business. Ruvinika brings out the purest intention that is driving her to actively take part in ensuring the protection of green earth. “Sustainability of the project and sourcing is close to my heart. As a vegetarian for environmental reasons, I was passionate to develop a brand with a backward integration towards sustainable environmental practices that ensure we did not harm our environment in all areas we operated on.”
Despite the many reasons that have held back other entrepreneurs from pursuing their passion, Ruvinika was one of a kind, impatient to reveal the authentic goodness of Térapy Ceylon to the rest of the world. She states a bunch of reasons for this undying drive, most concerning the general good of those who would benefit from a fresh and unspoilt cup of tea in a world of toxicity and poison. “While many businesses were closing or holding back on investments, I felt that the world was ready for a change in the way they went about their general health. The discerning tea drinker was ready for a holistic wellness tea that they could enjoy as a part of their daily routine. We in Sri Lanka are blessed with the ancient Ayurvedic herbal teas we consume for the relief of common ailments. I was passionate to share this with the world. We had invested over 5 years of research and development on the product testing and creation, we felt the time was right to launch it.”
Térapy Ceylon is a truly unique product range that displays our country’s culture and heritage to the world. The brand has been recognized by the Export Council of Australia under the Women Trading Globally platform, as well as being selected as a portfolio company by SriLanka100, a program funded by USAID in partnership with STAX Inc. What’s more, Ruvinika has successfully started exporting the product to many countries globally and is currently in the pipeline to introduce many new and exciting products to her wellness tea range portfolio.
Being a mother of two teenage boys, Ruvinika is living through a phase in her life that brings forth challenges as a routine. Nevertheless, she states that her absolute passion for her career has kept the flame in her alive, burning, pushing her beyond miles that she thought impossible. As tough as converting passion into a career is, Ruvinika is one that has managed to make it look easy, surely through unrecognized hard work behind the scenes. “Routine will always take you where motivation cannot.”, she states. “Apart from your daily routine, one of the most important things towards a successful life is a successful mind. I always take time to protect the mind and my spiritual self. I believe if you can’t look after yourself you are no good for anyone around you. I invest daily in promoting anything that enhances my personal growth. That could be anything from meditation to regular exercises, to engaging in competitive sport, surrounding myself with positive friends and people, reading books to enhance my knowledge and more”. In her point of view, “there is certainly no magic to making your dream a reality. If you want it bad enough, you just have to go out there and make it happen”
While others see competitor brands in the same industry as a threat, Ruvinika encourages more brands and more products to be developed and exported from Sri Lanka. She optimistically recognizes a whole world of opportunity and states that the more successful brands we have in Sri Lanka, the more we boost the credibility and value of our country’s product quality, amongst consumers in other countries. She states “That is not competition, but collaboration in enhancing our country’s product quality perception”
Supported and encouraged by many in the industry, she believes that every venture should be equally applauded, ensuring that tea as a collective wins the recognition it deserves. In her opinion, she believes that it is high time exporters take a turn towards targeting end-users. “Gravitate towards owning our own brands and taking our products to the end-users. As many of the traditional distribution channels are becoming obsolete, taking products to the end consumer is becoming easier and more cost-effective through e-commerce platforms and social media channels. All export companies should take advantage of this opportunity. From Ceylon Tea to the garment trade, I feel we must slowly start marketing our own brands to the consumer.” she provided her personal experience while believing that this approach will act as a valuable investment towards our country’s infrastructure, and act as a sustainable long term plan.