Nilisha Ferrao left her high paying job in Mumbai and returned to her roots in Goa recently to start her own business venture, selling handcrafted cold pressed coconut oil. Her brand is aptly named Narla, as ‘Narl’ means coconut in Konkani. Nilisha who hails from Navelim, in South Goa was determined to create a product from coconut as it is synonymous with Goa.
“As my late maternal grandmother used to say ‘a coconut tree is like a son in the house.’ Each and every part of the tree can be used and benefitted from,” remarked Nilisha.
The fantastic thing about her product is that it is 100% coconut oil, which contains no fragrances, preservatives or additives. The nutrients are also not lost, as the coconut is cold pressed and only exposed to natural sunlight.
“My mission for the brand is to provide nourishing, healthy and natural solutions using local produce. And in turn motivate and encourage farmers by deriving value for their produce,” said Nilisha.
The brand was launched in January this year and it has already found many takers. The initial research and development for the product almost started by accident, as Nilisha explains, “I used to give coconut oil to some of my friends to use. This oil was handcrafted at home with home grown coconuts and they simply loved it. They started telling me instances where their skin cleared up and other different uses and kept asking me for the next batch. I then started researching about coconut oil, which we have all grown up with but somehow forgotten or taken for granted. I learnt that pure and cold pressed coconut oil has so many benefits – skin care, hair care, dental care, infant care, weight loss, helps manage diabetes and is actually good for the heart!,” said Nilisha.
Nilisha has put in a lot of hard work and effort to ensure Narla could get off the ground. She sourced the coconuts from farmers in Quepem and Canacona, which gave her product a truly ‘Made in Goa’ feel.
“Everything was done personally and quality control given a topmost priority. Only the best quality coconuts are used and the oil is stored only in glass bottles which are eco-friendly, recyclable and reusable,” enlightened Nilisha.
Nilisha has already enlisted customers from Goa and beyond, which includes orders being shipped to Pune, Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai, besides smaller cities.
“My mission is to encourage people to eat local and live a healthy nourishing life,” signed off Nilisha.