Agri Business

Ramesh Flowers to export potted plants

R Balaji Chennai | Updated on April 12, 2018 Published on April 12, 2018

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An Indian nursery and dried flowers exporter will finally break into a niche market dominated so far by China and Europe – export of live potted plants.

Ramesh Flowers, based in the southern port city of Tuticorin, will soon start supply of live potted plants to a multi-national retailer which is also starting operations in India. The ₹220-crore company is a leading exporter of home fragrances, home decor and dry flower arrangements.

Production, shipment

Mahendra Raj Singhwi, Chairman and Managing Director, Ramesh Flowers Pvt Ltd, said it has tied up with a nursery in Hassan, Karnataka, where the potted plants will be produced and then nurtured at its own facility for 45 days before being shipped out in reefer containers. The company will initially supply areca palms, popular indoor ornamental plants, for the retailer’s domestic and overseas markets. But enquiries are on for 26 more varieties including orchids and lucky bamboo, which are also popular in local markets and are now being imported from China.

The only other supplier in the region for developed international markets is now in Colombo, according to Singhwi.

Stricter norms

The production conditions are stringent to meet European norms and this has been a major hurdle for nurseries. A few small exporters now cater to West Asia. But, for the first time, an Indian exporter is targeting developed markets in Europe.

According to Satyendra K Gutgutia, Partner, Florence Flora, which will be producing the plants, a lot of care has to go into the quality of soil and other medium like cocopeat, there are also strong regulations on the kind of chemical inputs.

The nursery has been working with Ramesh Flowers for over a year now and initially the plants will be sold in the domestic outlets and exports will start in a year’s time. In a few months, supply of other plant varieties will commence, he said.

Ramesh Flowers is expanding its range of businesses in the home decor segment. On Wednesday, it formally announced a partnership with Gala-Kerzen of Germany, a ₹600-crore manufacturer of ornamental and fragrance candles. The German company backed by an European equity fund, Equistone, has acquired a 70 per cent stake in Ramesh Flowers.

Published on April 12, 2018
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