Emami to launch babycare products, buy Egyptian healthcare unit

By Aparajita Gupta, IANS,

Kolkata : The $675-million diversified Emami Group has decided to acquire a healthcare unit in Egypt to tap the fast-growing African market. It will start growing jatropha there to export to India and launch babycare products in the domestic market in 2011.

Support TwoCircles

“We have almost finalised the deal for a personal healthcare products manufacturing unit in Egypt. It will be an acquisition of around Rs.30 crore ($6.6 million). the talks have been on for the past three months,” said Aditya V. Agarwal, director of the Emami Group.

“Out of our total exports, around 30 percent is shipped to Africa. The total exports of the company every year is around Rs.120 crore ($26.5 million),” Agarwal told IANS in an interview here, underscoring the importance his group attaches to Africa.

The company director said the babycare products were slated for launch during the last quarter of this fiscal, with plans initially in the powders, soaps and oil segments, which are a Rs.1,200-crore ($265 million) market in the country, and growing fast.

“We have already test marketed the products in Karnataka. these will be under the brand name of Emami Healthy and Fair. In the first year of our operations, we are eyeing 2-3 percent of the market,” Agarwal said.

Talking about the newly-launched edible oil brand Healthy and Tasty, he said the second manufacturing unit was coming up in Andhra Pradesh and will be operational by the first quarter of 2011-12.

“This unit will double our capacity from 1,000 tonnes to 2,000 tonnes per day,” he said, speaking about the volumes at the existing unit in Haldia in West Bengal.

In Ethiopia, Agarwal said, Emami has been allotted 100,000 acres of land for cultivating jatropha — an oilseed that is crushed for use as transport and cooking fuels — as also for any type of cash crop or agricultural activity.

He said jatropha will be grown, crushed and crude oil would be extracted in Ethiopia and then exported either to India or some other country for refining it further. “We will grow around 100,000 tonnes per annum. Each acre normally gives one tonne of crude oil.”

In the fast-moving consumer goods segment, a Rs.1,000 crore ($225 million) business for the group, the Emami director said products were available across three million outlays in India, with rural markets contributing about a fourth of the turnover.

“We are looking at a turnover of around Rs.350 crore ($77.5 million) in the current year from the rural areas. We do a lot of regional and localised communications to touch the hearts of our rural folk.”

(Aparajita Gupta can be reached at [email protected] and [email protected])