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Corporate Giant Seeks
Kerala Ayurveda Pie

By  AA News Desk

Kerala, the picturesque Southern-most State of India, has long been marketed as a traditional healthcare destination of Asia. The business has been booming. And things may be different forever after India’s corporate giant, the Rs 52,000-crore Tata Group seeks to market the state as a healthcare destination.

The Group, quotes Indian’s premier Financial Express, is just a breath away from Kerala’s buoyant ayurveda business. The legal blocks to this entry could well be on their way out by the end of the state assembly session, opening next week.

While claiming a big slice of the $500-million Ayurveda pie with 15 per cent annual growth, is very much part of the Ratan Tata-led Core Group’s evolving global footprint strategy, it was only the Kerala land laws that had been standing in the way of its farm-level backward integration, the newspaper adds.

The main options spelt out are to either set up an Ayurveda division under Tata Tea or takeover a local Ayurveda firm with reputed production practices. Of this, the first option is to set up a new unit under Tata Tea, the World’s second largest tea plantation company.

Unlike Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL) whose Ayurveda links had been strictly in the FMCG segment, the Tata Industries has eyes on the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical segments. Tata Group is a strategic stakeholder in the nutraceutical player Avestha Gengraine Technologies, which has formed a Rs 10-crore special purpose vehicle (SPV) firm with Kerala government.

V Venkitaraman, executive director, Tata Tea, confirmed that the group was looking forward to “utilising its tissue culture, research expertise and product development in growing Ayurveda herbal plants within its tea gardens”, adding that it was ‘premature’ to talk of any industry tie-up or takeover. .

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