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Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai October 14 , 2020
Since the Government of Kerala is going ahead with the centrally sponsored project, the International Research Institute of Ayurveda (IRIA) in Kannur district, the director board of the Kerala Ayush cluster, Care Keralam, is now in a feverish bid to attract investors, especially non-resident Indians (NRIs), to mobilize Rs. 10 crore for reviving the cluster by creating an operational environment.
 
The cluster has been in a dormant stage for the last five years due to the financial crisis and the conditions there give the impression that Care Keralam is on the verge of closure or temporary shutdown.
 
Although the board members of the cluster, who are all industry captains of the state Ayurveda sector, approached the government several times requesting to save the cluster, no government intervention happened so far. Finally, the board has decided to lure some investors from India and abroad, it is learnt.
 
In their attempts, the directors held discussions with six NRIs and a few Indian business people, hopefully a possible result will come out by next month, said the vice-chairman of the cluster, Dr. Anil Kumar whom the director board has assigned to do all the work in the absence of a managing director. According to him, the situation is likely to improve from next year as some investors have shown their interest to put money into the cluster scheme. He further said a minimum of Rs. 10 crore is urgently required to save Care Keralam from the present crisis. For repayment of bank loans, Rs. 8 crore is required and another two crore is necessary for reviving the operations in the plant.

“We look forward to associating with industry players in India and also with Indians doing businesses abroad to tap investments for Care Keralam. We hope that our efforts will fetch good results and the unit can be saved from its present state. We are attempting to pump in about Rs. 10 crore from potential investors,” Dr Anil told Pharmabiz.
 
On the side of benefits to the industry on revival, he said the cluster can procure raw materials from other states including north India for the industry requirements in Kerala and the produces can be put for standardization and validation by utilizing the process technology generated through the most modern machineries established in the cluster. Further the laboratories set up in the unit are handled by experts in the field, which can be made available for checking safety, quality and efficacy of medicines manufactured by small scale units. Production units for tableting, blister packing and facilities for labeling and encapsulation are operational even now with limited technical hands. Dr Anil said because of poor salaries, some expert technicians resigned from the job in the last two years.
 
Initially the cluster was a joint venture between the Kerala government and the Ayurveda companies. The Rs. 15 crore project launched to develop the Ayurveda sector in Kerala was inaugurated in 2012.

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