Spice producer Synthite to set up units in US and Indonesia
The Rs 1600-crore Synthite group, the largest value-added spice producer globally, is planning to focus more on its core activity of export of spice oleoresins by starting two more units in the US and Indonesia and discontinue the personal care products it launched a year ago in the domestic market.
Viju Jacob, managing director of Synthite, said its spice processing unit will come up at Chicago at an investment of Rs 100 crore in next fiscal year. “Majority of our exports are going to the US. We can strengthen our presence and have an easier access to our customers there,’’ he said.
The group, with a turnover of Rs 1200 crore from spice oleoresin exports, will also start a unit in Indonesia. Synthite has units overseas at China, Vietnam and Sri Lanka at present besides in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in India.
“The tax rates are low in the US and the local authorities are quite helpful in setting up the unit,’’ Jacob said. Its unit in the US may deal with most of the spices that the company is engaged in processing.
The Indonesia unit with a lesser investment of Rs 50 crore will look at cinnamon and nutmeg oleoresins. Its unit in China caters to the extraction of paprika, a low heat high colour chilli grown in the country, and garlic. Its Vietnam unit can process pepper, turmeric and ginger while the Sri Lankan plant deals mostly with pepper.
The group had ventured into personal care segment by launching soaps under Vieda brand and hair oils under Nuvo and Kachiya Enna brands a year ago. This was marketed by a 100% subsidiary of the company. Jacob said the company may stop manufacture of the products. “There is cutthroat competition in the field and marketing requires huge expenses,’’ he told ET on the sidelines of a function of Kerala chapter of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce.
The company’s other consumer products currently comprise premium range of spices and seasonings sprig, curry masala and spice blends Kitchen Treasures and nutraceutical products NatXtra.
There have been strikes and disruption of work for many days in the past few months over an issue of transfer of some workers at its unit in Kochi for the first time in the history of 46-year-old unit. The matter, which rattled the company management, was settled after the intervention of the state chief minister.
Source: Economic Times