Ecnomic Times
Friday, June 17, 2005

Sami Labs plans to set up plant in Salem by year-end

To Expand Area Under Cultivation In TN To 15,000 Acres
M Allirajan
Coimbatore 16 June

SAMI Labs, the Bangalore ­based health sciences com­pany, plans to set up a man­ufacturing unit in Salem by the end of the current fiscal. "The fa­cility will have a capacity to process 50 tones of medicinal plant material every day," Man­aging Director Muhammed Ma­jeed said.

The company will increase the area under Coleus Forskohlii (a medicinal plant) cultivation in Tamil Nadu from the present 3000 acres to 15000 acres. In the last fiscal Sami invested close to Rs 10 crore in Salem and adjoin­ing areas for coleus cultivation through its associate company MGP Herbals Care.

The investment for cultivation in the current year would be to the tune of Rs 50-60 crore. The company is expanding its coleus cultivation area to primarily meet the increasing demand for its flagship weight management product, ForsLean. "The require­ment is going up every year. We need about 15000 tones of coleus next year as the overseas orders are booming," Mr Majeed said. Sami gets about 20% of its revenue from the sale of ForsLean, he added.

More than 5000 farmers in 15 districts in the state are involved in the project. "We are extending support to the farmers by arrang­ing loans and crop insurance. We provide them with all the farm inputs," said Mr G Palanivel MD of MGP Herbals.

It is also launching its model contract farming project for turmeric in Erode and Salem districts this year Initially the project would cover 1000 acres.

The clinical trials for Sami's ‘natural' glaucoma drug is in ad­vanced stages and the company was hopeful of getting the license to manufacture it soon. It would commission its Hyderabad facility by the end of the year and addi­tional manufacturing capacities are coming up at its existing pro­duction base at Nelamangala near Bangalore .