July 14, 2024
Interviews

“Prince of Spices “- Dr. Viju Jacob, the Deputy Managing Director of Synthite Industries Ltd.

Since its inception in 1972, Synthite has been successfully growing through all these years adding more and more products.  Synthite offers more than 500 different varieties of products to its customers. In the year 2012, spice powders were launched in Kerala’s retail market with the brand name ‘Kitchen Treasures’.

God’s will on everything.

Every single day of his life starts with prayer. He ensures that his crucial business decisions and meetings are preceded by prayers. He admits that when the meeting starts with prayers, the right words and ideas befalls on him.

He introspects on his life when he realises that “despite of all the hardwork, the timing of God made him make inevitable decisions, including starting the very successful Riviera Suites service apartments on a staggering time in the real-estate market. It was a time when the real estate bubble broke in Kerala and everyone struggled to do even a single deal.” Says Dr Jacob.

The Ramada Cochin, which is the five-star deluxe resort facing the Kumbalam lake was another triumph.  The growth in the hospitality sector has only tripled after he took over its helm. It was a need of the hour to thrive environmentally and economically when they ventured into Wind Energy. “Synthite confidently take one step at a time”. Says Dr Jacob.

The remarkable growth phase over the years.

Even though we missed a lot of opportunities deliberately, it was my father’s belief and principle to commit to one project at a time, nurture it and then move on to the next. He was very particular about the integrity and quality on whatever he endeavoured into. We took time and effort to identify ourselves, to understand our core strengths. “I learned that my core strength was marketing”. It indeed was the positivity that Dr. Jacob emanated from his father’s persona.  One advice Dr Jacob would like to give to the marketing people is to talk eye-to-eye with the customer. Looking direct at a person’s eye can help you understand him better and interact effectively and easily.

Challenges that had to be confronted.

According to Dr Jacob, 90-95% of the spices produced in India are consumed in the domestic market itself. Today 72% of the extraction raw materials like pepper, turmeric and ginger are imported from other countries like Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia etc. “We must produce some hybrid variety of seeds to cop up with the current challenge” says Dr Jacob.  Another challenge being faced by the Indian spice industry, according to Dr Jacob, is the unhealthy competition from China.

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