“Prince of Spices “- Dr. Viju Jacob, the Deputy Managing Director of Synthite Industries Ltd.
For Dr Jacob, the craving for transformation started from his childhood.
After schooling at Cochin, he moved to Trivandrum to pursue for graduation. His father, the visionary and founder of Synthite Industries Limited, Mr. C.V. Jacob, wanted him to be on his own from childhood itself. He passed his Economics and then pursued Commerce at Sacred Hearts College, Thevara, where he met his better half. Later he chose to join his father in his business. Even from his school days, he used to apprentice his father at work; on holidays, he used to work at the shop floor. That helped him to learn the business from an early age. He knew what his father’s vision was for the organisation and for the society. Starting career as a Trainee at Synthite helped him to understand the business from the ground level and it also helped him to be a People’s Man.
After his joining Synthite formally, his father entrusted him with the first independent assignment to expand business to Australia. He took it as an opportunity to magnify his marketing talent. Soon he finalized association with an agency which was extremely successful in the Australian market.
His father was happy to see his son’s accomplishment and recognized his potential in sales and marketing. Out of his major two achievements, the first one was introducing Spice oleoresins and Spice powders in to the Indian market and growing it to a Rs 500 crore per annum level and the second achievement was growing the flower extraction business of Synthite. In 1986, he was entrusted with the prospective task of looking after the flower extraction business located from Synthite factory in Coimbatore. Today Synthite exports marigold oleoresins, Jasmine abosolutes etc to the major perfumery brands around the world. He shared with us interesting facts about how chickens are fed the marigold extract so that the egg’s yolk will be orange in colour. “In western countries, consumers are particular about the colour of egg’s yolk.”
Another utilisation of marigold is to extract an element called Lutein which is extensively used in treating for the degeneration of retina. A very interesting incident he reckons with – way back in 80s when he was suspiciously looked upon by the farmers when he was looking for 30,000 tonnes of marigold flowers. When he was travelling in the interiors of Tamilnadu, he met a nun “who was sent like an angel”, he remembers. This nun mediated with the planters and helped him to contract for 45,000 tonnes of flowers within the stipulated time. Dr Jacob vouches on how God works in different ways when we are committed and are righteously hardworking. He gives another example: “When I was looking after the marigold project, one of our regular customers in Mexico backed off from buying the contracted 150 tonnes product. I rushed to Mexico to convince them, but the effort went in vain. While in the return flight, I accidentally bumped on to a fellow passenger and initiated a small talk. “You wouldn’t believe, he told me that he was desperately searching for marigold from India! I sold him the entire lot of our stock. “I believe that this has happened only with the blessing of the God” Says Dr Jacob.