Roses for the world: An Indian success story in Ethiopia

Roses for the world: An Indian success story in Ethiopia

Monday, 30 May 2011, 02:35 Hrs   |    12 Comments
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Roses for the world: An Indian success story in Ethiopia
Holeta (Ethiopia): The world's largest exporter of roses is an Indian who grows and ships hundreds of varieties of the prized flowers not just out of India but mostly out of farms in Ethiopia and Kenya.

Just 45 km out of Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, a drive across rolling grasslands at the foothills of the Entoto range brings you to a large encampment, spread over 100 hectares, of greenhouses, cottages and huts from where Karuturi Global has spawned its phenomenal growth.

"Favourable government policies and environmental conditions, flood-safe geographic location and abundant low-cost labour, coupled with its proximity to the global markets, made Ethiopia an ideal location for our business," says chief executive Nagesh Karuturi, who overseas the two east African farms.

The Bangalore-based company, which has a 10-hectare farm near the new international airport, forayed into Ethiopia in 2004 through its 100 percent subsidiary, Ethiopian Meadows Plc.

It leased two farms near Addis Ababa the other larger 385 hectare farm is in Wolisso, about 90 km from Addis Ababa employed over 3,000 local workers and laid the foundation for its successful business that has become the showpiece foreign investment for the Ethiopian government.

With the global floriculture industry witnessing significant growth in the past few decades, driven by the demand from Europe, the U.S. and Japan, Karuturi Global smelt its opportunities at the right time.

'The decision has paid off. For the past four years, we are deriving significant cost benefits from our Ethiopian operations. And a series of such strategic decisions enabled us to become the world's largest and the cheapest producer of cut roses," Karuturi said.

It acquired Kenya-based Sher Agencies in September 2007 for $46 million to emerge as the world's largest producer and exporter of all varieties of cut roses with 13 percent of the global market share.

The bulk of its exports comes from its farms in Kenya and Ethiopia. Its clients are some of the leading names among auction houses, boutique manufacturers across Europe, South and East Asia and the Gulf.

"Its a 365-day, recession-proof industry," says Karuturi, explaining how the temperate climate of east Africa was highly conducive to the business.

Besides being used for decoration and adornment, cut roses finds uses across various sectors of the economy. Its extracts are used in perfumes and natural dyes, food and beverages, hotels and healthcare and also skincare products, Karuturi said.

Karuturi Global produces a total of about 550 million stems annually from its African farms 200 million in Ethiopia and about 350 milllion in Kenya.

"When nobody dared to go to Ethiopia, Karuturi Global ventured into unchartered waters," said Karuturi.

"Our business operations in Kenya and Ethiopia have created employment opportunities for skilled and unskilled labour. Through our business and social welfare activities, we are well accepted in the Sub-African countries as a change agent for growth and prosperity."
Source: IANS
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Posted by:NAZEEF ALI MUHAMMAD - 24 Jul, 2011
8: Congratulations Mr. Karuturi. You make us proud. I hope you will use some of your wealth to alleviate the sufferings of the locals. It hurts to see some heart-wrenching pictures of Ethiopian toddlers who are just skin and bones. All the very best to you and your team.
Posted by:ashwin - 31 May, 2011
9: congratualations on acheving such a big goal, i wish our politician should understand and provide such facilities to native indians in india..Any ways its great that our PM has given a huge economical package to African countries hope this will further strenghten the such medium scale businesses.All the best Rose Man once again u make us proud INDIAN..
Posted by:zaheer Ahmed - 30 May, 2011
10: No wonder our PM has signed so many MOU's during his recent visit to Africa. Looks like Africa is the next target (to spoil? :) :) ).
Posted by:John Manoah - 29 May, 2011
we r not Americans r Chinese... our balance of imports n export with Africa has always been in favour of Africa...
rajesh Replied to: John Manoah - 31 May, 2011
Good to see this comapany continuously doing good.. I wish Nagesh and team All the Very Best.
vijay Replied to: John Manoah - 29 May, 2011