Harrisons Malayalam - Planting Dynamic Growth
10/24/2011 10:16 AM Monday
An integrated agriculture operation giant – this is what the company primarily describes itself as. Can you just take us through the various business segments of the Company?
Harrisons Malayalam Limited (HML) is primarily a Plantation Company. We are the largest Rubber producers in India and we have large Tea plantations as well. Besides these two plantation crops, we grow spices, namely Pepper, Cardamom and Clove. We are also the largest producers of Pineapple in the country. Company has small plantations in Cocoa and Coffee also. Besides the agricultural operations, company also has a Projects Engineering Division and C&S Division (Clearing & Shipping) as well as Plant Tissue Culture. Other than the tea and Rubber, all other operations are comparatively small.
India has predominantly been an agrarian economy. HML’s presence in this vital sector dates back to many years. How has been the journey so far considering that you operate in segment which is the cornerstone of the India economy?
HML’s history can be traced back to more than 150 years. All along, it has been a pioneer in the plantation sector. Majority of the plantations in South India can be linked to HML at some point or the other. Plantations have changed many hands in the past. This is primarily due to the very nature of the business and their profitability which is totally dependent on the commodity prices and the wages being paid to the workers. There have been times when the costs have been comparatively high for a longer period and the plantations have been losing money. That is the time when plantations become very vulnerable and the ownership tends to change. During the favourable commodity prices, plantations tend to make handsome profits. Therefore, the Plantation Industry must be seen from long term perspective. Same has been the experience of HML. We have also faced many hurdles in our past; but we have been able to overcome them.
Tell us something about your brands. How strong are the company’s brands in the various segments that it operates in?
HML itself is a brand in Rubber. Harrisons Cenex (centrifuged latex) sells at a premium mainly because of our commitment to the quality and our professional and transparent dealings. We provide an excellent customer service to all our rubber users.
In Tea, we have one premium brand for each of the geogra-phies we operate in. The name of the brands are ‘Surianalle’, ‘Moongalar Gold’ and ‘Surya’. All these three brands are the brands in the bulk tea segment. Buyers in the various auction centres buy these brands and pay premium prices for the teas mainly because of our attention to the quality and dependability of the offerings in the auctions. Our blenders and tea packteers rely on HML to offer quality teas in the auctions every week and hence they are sure of our teas for completing their blends.
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