Although founded 16 years ago, Global Merchants, a leading manufacturer of herbal extracts, essential oils and organic products, started undertaking a major product diversification and market expansion drive, since the last five years. The drive also witnessed the company that was only into the export market previously, making a significant mark in the domestic market. Retail is the next big plan.
Here, in a tête-à-tête with Cosmedic India, Sakina Jamnagarwalaa, Business Development Manager, Global Merchants, shares deep insights into the company’s growth and future plans. Excerpts from the interview:
Kindly share the progress made by Global Merchants over the years, and the milestones crossed.
Global Merchants was founded by its director Moiz Khorakiwala, about 16 years back. Till five years back we were only into raw herbs and spices, and the export market. Since the last five years, our company has witnessed major growth and diversification. We diversified into various kinds of extracts and essential oils and also, began to make our presence felt in the domestic market. We also grew from a two-person company to a 15-member company. Now, we are planning to enter the retail market, which should take us to the next level of growth.
What are the product categories you have, and to which organizations / industries you supply your products?
We don’t have standard products for sale. We make products as per the requirements of our customer. For each product category that a customer wants, we have a unique code. Even if another customer wants a product from the same category, the code will be different, and so will be the product mix. We have personnel stationed at our manufacturing site, to ensure that products are made according to the different codes.
We supply products to different industries. To give you a few examples, we supply liquid extracts to the cosmetics industry; spice and ginger oils, and garlic extracts to the food industry; essential oils to the cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and food industries; lemon grass oil to organizations that make cleaning product or disinfectants; menthol oils to the pharma industry for making medicines that relieve pain; and we also supply multi-use products for various industries.
There is a recent boom in aroma therapy, and also spas are mushrooming across India. Do you also cater to these sector?
We do have a range of products like spa oils, for salons and the spa industry, and which we also supply to the services industry, especially to star hotels. We make five kinds of oils for sauna and skin recreation, which help you with skin care. We process the oils in such a way that they penetrate the skin, and remain there even after the user takes a bath – while most oils available in the market simply disappear, along with their effects, after a bath.
Do you manufacture all the products, or do you also outsource the manufacturing part?
For liquid extracts we have a manufacturing unit in Vasai, Maharashtra; for powder extracts and essential oils, we have tied up with a company in the north, in Himachal Pradesh.
In how many locations are you present, and what are your staff strength?
I had joined Global Merchants four and a half years back, and during this period we grew from a two-member to a 15-member company. Apart from a manufacturing unit in Vasai, Maharashtra, we have a cutting unit in Rabale, Navi Mumbai; an office in Masjid Bunder, Mumbai. For international operations, we have offices in the USA and Australia, both of which have a very big market for our kind of products. And we also have a distribution tie-up in Europe.
What is your percentage of business from the export market and the domestic market?
We were into 100 percent exports till about four years back. Presently, exports account for Global Merchants’ 50 percent business, while the remaining 50 percent comes from the domestic market.
What are the certifications your products have, especially that cater to the international market?
Over the years, we have succeeded in obtaining various vital certificates, such as USDA Organic Certification, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Certification, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Certification, Lacon Quality Certification, and Halal Certification, just to name of few.
All these certifications are conferred upon the applicants after stringent reviews. Their representatives not only come personally to check the facility and processes but also how the products and the ingredients are stored.
Which product categories will be included in your retail plans, and which specific industry or industries you intend to target in your retail venture?
We intend to enter the retail market with a series of Ayurveda-based products. These will essentially be Ayurvedic capsules and tablets, that address a number of health concerns, such as kidney stones, piles, obesity, and liver dysfunction, among others. Capsules and tablets of several Ayurvedic concoctions like Ashwagandha and Brahmi, will be supplied to Ayurvedic doctors and clinics worldwide. The products won’t have Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), but will be made of 100 percent natural ingredients for which there is a steady demand from across the world. For example, in Germany there are a number of Ayurvedic doctors and clinics, wherein we expect a huge demand for our Ayurveda-based products.