Sunrider International Unveils Manufacturing Facility In India

New Delhi, Nov 14: | Updated: Nov 15 2003, 05:30am hrs
Even as the $700-million Sunrider International announced opening of its first manufacturing facility in India on Friday five years after it started its base here the direct selling majors founder and chairman Dr Tei Fu Chen admitted that frequent management changes had led to the companys dismal growth in the country.

The Indian operations are embarassingly small as of now. We have, perhaps, not been able to find the right people, he said, while speaking to the FE.

He, however, added that I am not in a hurry. I am willing to invest. India ranks very high on our list of priorities.

To put things in order, Sunrider has already initiated a restructuring exercise at its 100 per cent subsidiary Sunrider India Pvt Ltd since late last year. The entire Indian operations have been brought under the direct supervision of Sunrider International director regional operations David Cowlishaw. Based in Australia, he also controls two other crucial Sunrider markets Australia and Japan besides India.

Mean-while, the post of country manager at Sunrider India, which was last held by one Mr Gurdeep Singh has been done away, while the operations part of the company are being looked after by Mr Vijay K Sharma. Sunriders rather slow pace of growth in India is intriguing considering that the direct selling industry has taken off quite well here. Also, other foreign direct selling companies like Amway, Oriflame, Avon, Herbalife and Tupperware seem to be in reasonably good health. Dr Chen, however, does not agree. According to him, other direct selling companies are just creating hype and not actually making profits, We are not here to create hype and get into problems later, Dr Chen said. Post restructuring, the company is eyeing $120 million in the next five years through its range of herbal products. We are expecting $10 million per month through direct selling network in the five-year span, Sunrider chairman said.

He said that the company, through its 100 per cent Indian subsidiary, will introduce a wide range of products herbal-based health food, health beverage, beauty and personal care products in the country. He said that Sunrider, which boasts presence in over 30 countries, wanted to emulate its success story in China, where its sales recorded 40 million dollars a month. The US-based company has invested Rs 12.5 crore so far in its manufacturing facility, which will become operational next month.