Gill meets Prudvi Kaka

Gill Meets Prudvi Kaka NIOD-group-625x416-0

What is your background?

I came from beautiful India to beautiful Canada with an educational background in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. I started off my career in Canada back in 2013 with a dream to become a pharmacist initially, but fortunately landed in beauty. My initial beauty formulation experience started at another cosmeceutical lab briefly and this led to DECIEM.

Where does your passion stem from?

The world doesn’t trust beauty products and most people seem to view this category as a giant scam, but I live and breathe the possibilities in science every day and always try to explain to people around me that beauty products are functional and can deliver real results today; even still, they don’t completely believe me and this disbelief actually builds my passion further.

I want to talk about NIOD; it has often been said that NIOD is light years ahead of all else and that it has helped dramatically change people’s lives; you are an integral part of that change, so can you tell me what this means to you and the work you do?

First, I am fortunate to be part of the DECIEM team and I thank Brandon for giving me this responsibility. NIOD is far ahead of others, not merely because of science but because of our passion. In the corporate world, a scientist’s passion is never shared with the larger team and especially not shared with administration. At DECIEM, everyone seems to share my passion. Brandon’s love of us and what we do encourages so much passion within me. When I hear positive feedback from our audience, I naturally become inspired to deliver next-generation products. I also love reading critical comments, which give me the balance to know there is still much more left to do.

NIOD was launched on a health platform, as opposed to a beauty platform, why do you think this was so important?

We are in a world where the creators of beauty don’t take science seriously. In many cases, brands just sell products that either do nothing or damage the skin, but the idea of NIOD begins with a focus on skin health from every angle that we can. For example, on the popular subject of desquamation (peeling), we can compare NAAP 15% with acidic peeling methods. Ageing slows cellular processes resulting in dead skin accumulation. Acids work by loosening corneocyte attachments and by reducing cell cohesion at the lower level of the stratum corneum to promote cellular renewal, but this approach is neither precise nor gentle and actually dehydrates the skin.

On the contrary, NAAP 15% begins with regulating body’s immunocompetence and capacitance by stimulating many genes (like Kallikrein 5 and 7, Desmocollin 1, Desmoglein 1, Occludin, Filaggrin, Involucrin, Cathelicidin and Beta-Defensin) leading to normalised desquamation like the early stages of life. With this difference in approach, NAAP is more a skin health product and less a skincare product.

What comes first, the pioneering ingredients or the thought?

I think it’s a blended flow that leads to innovation because thought without technology is largely a dream and technology without thought is lifeless.

What has been your greatest scientific breakthrough?

To be honest, I don’t have any. I have worked hard to bring together some unique innovations so far with the help of our loving team. If they have changed people’s lives for the better, then I will
think of them as our collective achievements; and at times when we fail, I know that our team will continue with the same spirit. Questions like this one are so good as they drive me to a loss for words, acting as a reminder that the journey ahead will be more challenging.

This may be difficult to answer, but which NIOD product are you most proud of and why?

It’s tough to answer this question because NIOD products have each had their own very unique journey full of challenges and rewards, but Photography Fluid, while it may not appear to be an advanced scientific product, is the one that gives me a feeling of humble pride. The reason for this choice is that PF created a new category to highlight that less (make-up) is more, but scientifically, this “less” involved a lot more work.

We have seen foundations, BB creams, CC creams and many other forms of foundation, but this product uses an entirely different approach of combining two ideas: light-refractive prisms and chromatic radiance technologies of vegetable and fruit origin, which scatter light in many directions and offer uniform radiance to the skin. On the other hand, nearly every other complexion product in this category still uses some basic pigments which make the face look “painted”.

NIOD is a journey; we launched the first Yešti formulation (Sanskrit Saponins) a couple of months ago and we have just released Mastic Must, the second Yešti formulation; As NIOD looks to the future, the Yešti formulations (within NIOD) are a retrospective journey honouring ancient knowledge and wisdom. Your thoughts on both please.

Technologies have evolved in beauty, but nearly everything still carries a connection to our past. We (and especially many scientists) often forget that science started from raw plants, extracts and basic chemicals before it evolved into bio-transformed extracts, plant cells, stabilised polyphenols, peptides and encapsulation systems. NIOD believes in science and uses technology from nearly all of these evolved segments, but NIOD also gives respect to the past when respect is due, through Yešti. Yešti is like a traditional healer who uses sound ancient knowledge to treat ailments, allowing NIOD to travel in in both directions: our past and our future..

Your personal hopes and dreams for NIOD?

Our audience sees only a small frame from our story: the frame of unique products and concepts coming to life. I am privileged to see the the whole picture and experience every part of the process from an emotion to skids of products ready to leave us. The passion that our team is investing in every area is unimaginable and at this pace, my hope is that NIOD evolves from being “products” to being a trusted friend in the minds of our audience.

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