The postal department staff will get a commission for selling the products and the postmen will be allowed to hand-deliver them to customers.

Gaurav Raghuvanshi

Ahmedabad, Feb. 12

THE next time the postman comes to deliver a letter at your house, he may pester you into buying products based on that wonder plant called aloe vera.

With growing awareness about the medicinal attributes of aloe vera, a plant grown in semi-arid areas, Sheetal Agro Industries, a Gujarat-based company, has tied up with the Department of Posts to market products like shampoo, anti-septic cream and facial scrub.

The company is also producing aloe vera juice, which is quite popular among beauty-conscious customers. Priced at Rs 175 for a 300 ml pack, the juice can be mixed with other juices to get the health benefits of the plant. "We are exploring the possibility of blending aloe vera juice with other fruit juices and market them as health and energy drinks. One needs just 30 ml of the aloe vera juice in a day and our pricing at about Rs 600 per litre is much less than imported brands that retail at over Rs 900 per litre," Mr Sharma said.

In addition, the company is offering a `neem' and aloe vera-based pesticide and a bio-compost made from aloe vera bagasse. "We have worked out an exclusive arrangement with the postal department. Our products will be available across all the post offices of Gujarat and we hope to expand to the entire country in the next couple of years," Sheetal Agro Director, Mr Pradeep Sharma, told

Business Line

.The company has formed a farmers' cooperative covering 650 acres of land at Nakhatrana in the Kutch district of Gujarat to grow aloe vera. The farmers have been funded by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) through the Kutch District Cooperative Bank and the company has committed to provide them with an annual income of Rs 50,000 per acre from the crop. The postal department staff will get a commission for selling the products and the postmen will be allowed to hand-deliver them to customers, Mr Sharma said, adding that the company had worked out an attractive incentive scheme for the postal workers.

Before the launch, the Department of Posts carried out trial marketing of the products in Surendranagar, Bhuj and Surat and got encouraging response to the products, especially in rural areas, according to the Chief Postmaster General, Gujarat circle, Ms Radhika Doraiswamy.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 13, 2006)
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