Profit-making streak continues for over 18 years
THRISSUR: Oushadhi, a 100 per cent Kerala government-owned Ayurveda medicine producer, is embarking on an ambitious Rs100-200 crore ‘Ayurveda Gramam Project’ in Kannur, where the whole gamut of Ayurveda – right from research and development (R&D) to medicine production and facilities for Ayurveda treatment, will be housed in one campus.
The discussions on the unique project have already started with different agencies and authorities by Oushadhi, which is India’s largest Ayurveda medicine producer in public sector with a long product list of about 450 medicines.
The Oushadhi chief informed that the Kerala Government is seeking support on all fronts from the Centre also on this project, which on completion will go a long way in helping improve awareness in the Ayurveda stream of medicine among the people.
Talking to businessbenchmark.news, Dr KR Viswambharan (seen in the picture), chairman of the company, said currently Oushadhi is busy carrying out investments of about Rs50 crore towards setting up a new plant for oils and lehyams (different forms of medicines), modernization and strengthening of IT system in its whole operations ecosystem, and also for the construction of a sophisticated corporate office within the sprawling Kuttenalloor (near Thrissur) production facility.
Dr Viswambharan also said the Manipur Government is keen to have Oushadhi presence in their state. “We are holding government-level talks on the prospects of setting up Oushadhi production facilities in Manipur too,” he said further.
“However, these are initial levels of engagement and may take time for a proper shape to crystallize on the final plans,” he added.
While discussing on the challenges faced by Oushadhi or for that matter, any producer of Ayurveda medicines in the country, Dr Viswambharan said non-availability of raw materials is posing an insurmountable roadblock to its business growth.
He said the company is currently encouraging and promoting different labour and agricultural groups in the state to supply the different agro products that form the raw materials for Oushadhi.
“Being a fully-owned project of Kerala Government and having been fortunate to enjoy the goodwill for decades, we can’t think of compromising on quality, and this policy is in fact eating into our bottom line,” said the Oushadhi chief.
Oushadhi is not bent on increasing its profitability at the cost of its commitment to the society and that is the reason why the company has confined about 80 per cent of its sales to the institutions under the government of Kerala from where higher prices can’t be demanded.
The company has the distinction of being one of the very few industrial ventures under Kerala Government to have reported profits for long – now about 20 years in a row. While the company reported a sales turnover of Rs97 crore for 2016-17, it has grown about 40 per cent to Rs136 crore for 2017-18.
Though the 17-18 financials are yet be audited and hence more details are yet to be published, the chairman is confident that the profit must have improved by at least 20 per cent for 2017-18.