Naturoceuticals, cosmoceuticals, E-commerce
Over the course of a degree in civil engineering, Toti Nigrelli acquired the digital marketing skills that would later benefit him and drive him into establishing etaPHARMA, a company aiming to provide holistic well-being, high quality of life and health, focusing on the environment and sustainability. Since 2016, etaPHARMA has poduced and distributed nutraceuticals and cosmoceuticals, employing 2 local members of staff and 1 developer supportino the founder and CEO.
According to Regulation 432/2012 of the European Commission on health and food products, a small number of nutrients, such as probiotics, antioxidants, enzyme complexes, vitamins and polyunsaturated fatty acids can be beneficial to health.
Nutraceuticals, drawing little on Hippocratic tradition and Ayurvedic medicine, group together a set of functional foods (also know as farmafood) containing those nutrients, making them available for mindful consumers in the form of beneficial natural food integrators. Within the same framework, a Etapharma’s second branch, cosmeoceuticals concentrates on products that go beyond the chemist’s galenic prescription, based solely on the cosmetic technologist’s indications, by adding a dermathologist’s approach in order to prioritise skin care over temporary aesthetic improvement.
EtaPHARMA promotes environmental sustainability by dealing exclusively with recyclable shock-proof packaging and chipsters made in Italy (nutrauticals in Ragusa, cosmeceuticals in Bologna). This has an impact on production costs, but they allow the company to lighten its footprint and to offer customers only certified, guaranteed and verifiable products. EtaPHARMA also limits its impact by keeping its headquarters in pre-existing buildings within the historical urban fabric of Mussomeli, thus zeroing soil consumption.
TRADITION AND INNOVATION
Technologically, etaPHARMA has striven to immediately create an in-house management and sales platform, which has significantly reduced operational costs, compared to other businesses that outsource its implementation. Such initial savings freed up funds which were allocated to the exploration of potential destination markets. Four years after starting up, etaPharma has a presence in all Italian regions of Italy, as well as Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Spain.
VALUES AND DISCIPLINARIES
In terms of disciplinary, etaPHARMA complies national provisions (which incorporates the EU legislation) on nutraceuticals, and directly with the EU legislation in the case of cosmeceuticals.
SCALABILITY AND RESILIENCE
From the beginning, the business model was conceived to be easily scalable, so much so that the get marketing platform eased sales enormously. Toti Nigrelli believes that he has infected the spirit of doing business to those close to him, and among them, to a person operating in the highly competitive eyewear sector at a national scale; this friend too has adopted a business model similar to etaPHARMA.
Online nutra- and cosmoceutical sales has experienced no crisis. Turnover has increased by 40% from 2019 to 2020. "So, for those who approach the business in times of crisis, I would suggest thinking of something scalable with a strong digital component because the capital required is often small, but the growth it is potentially sustained and rapid ”concludes Nigrelli.
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