The Science of Innovation

17 August 2016 | Column | By Dr Benny Antony, Joint Managing Director, ArjunaNatural Extracts

R&D centre R&D centre

The unique challenges and needs of the international market are helping us to spur innovation and create new products. Local is the new global. We are creating products inspired by the international end consumer requirement. The research and development (R&D) centre is developing innovations for the entire world. Curegarden, the finished product arm of Arjuna, makes available these innovative products in the domestic market for end consumer use. Kerala is a region of pristine natural beauty and is rich in beautiful beaches, Ayurvedic spas, temples, cosmopolitan colonial coastal towns, and has unique geographical and cultural features. It is also known for its wonderful spices’ plantations and coconut groves. Kerala has an overpowering tropical landscape with many rivers and countless waterways.
Away from the noisy, busy city, a village- Always, of peace and serenity has been created where our scientists develop innovative products for the betterment of humanity. It is the vast expanse of the azure sky, the lush greenery, fields filled with rows of colorful crops, the rustic backdrop of the village all that entice them. The company has the most modern research labs which employ well qualified and motivated research scientist, work on cutting edge technologies across almost all areas of business. The advanced R&D unit at Arjuna is a complete research facility for phytochemistry, pharmacokinetics, formulation and development, pre-clinical studies.
The state-ofthe- art laboratory at Arjuna has been approved for in house research by the Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India, since 2002. A separate and exclusive R&D unit equipped with a pilot plant was also set up. The laboratory employs advanced high-tech equipment. Other distinctive features include, specialised equipment for blood plasma analysis as well as a well maintained, Central government approved animal house. We feel that R&D focus is absolutely important for herbal extraction company to fight global majors and stay afloat. The only way to have a strong presence in the market is to have a pipeline of exciting launches which will require superior R&D.
Our goal is to augment consumer experience while also fortifying our leadership position in the market. We have our own unique way of doing research and development and its fruits have touched the lives of millions internationally. The wealth of companies in the 21st century is intangible, in the form of knowledge assets. While the rich companies had somewhat more physical capital, the majority of their wealth is intangible capital – knowledge, goodwill, and intellectual property assets.
We rank among the greatest players corroborated by the emergence of new product every year, more than 50 products till now. How then Arjuna build its intangible capital to take its place among the world’s leaders? It must innovate. And it’s not a question of potential. Instead, it must live up to its potential. Our 25 granted, 30 ongoing patents internationally and 75 publications in reputed journals are the result of innovative young minds of the people. We could lead the world, given the right support, shown by the studies on the anti-diabetic properties of traditionally known insulin plant.
This project costs about $2 million jointly funded by Government of India and us. We are rich in the most important modern resource — the human mind. People everywhere have the capacity to innovate and create. The company’s cosy, congenial and convivial atmosphere is ideally suited for developing and improving individual talents that translates into innovation in every field. Our facility is more like a large joint family indicated by low attrition.
Our Coimbatore facility uses solar energy for the manufacture of curcumin, an innovative step that impressed many of our international customers. Green energy meets the total requirement of power for turmeric extraction. Innovation is not limited to the new product development but it also takes big leap in other areas of functioning. Recognising the importance of promoting environmental awareness amongst its employees we have started ‘Go Green’ activities on, aimed to involve labourers, staff and management team alike. Each individual can make a difference in their area with programmes to save energy, recycle, reduce waste, and conserve water. With drought making every drop of water precious, there is a special focus on rainwater harvesting in this company.
We have a recharge well of 250KL capacity. As a home owner, the responsibility to conserve and use resources judiciously is on us. Let’s make the commitment now. We have established an effluent treatment plant with adequate capacity to treat the waste material produced by various units. The fully functional effluent treatment plant at our manufacturing facility uses multi-stage evaporation to ensure zero discharge of effluents.
Arjuna Natural Extracts is India’s leading manufacturer and exporter of standardised botanical extracts for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries for more than two decades has received many awards for innovation, is functioning at four manufacturing locations in South India.

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