State-owned Kerala Soaps set for Gulf exports; aims Rs 3cr net profit this fiscal

Kerala Soaps factory | Photo: Facebook/ Keralasoaps, Manorama

Kochi: Kerala Soaps, manufactured by a unit under Kerala State Industrial Enterprises Limited (KSIE), is all set to export its premium sandalwood-based bathing bars and other niche products to the Gulf countries. The export plan is part of the market-expansion endeavour of the century-old state-owned company.

Minister for Industries, Law and Coir P Rajeeve will launch products for export to GCC countries at a function in Grand Hyatt at Bolgatty Island in Kochi on July 13. The minister will also launch eight other products of Kerala Soaps at the ceremony.

KSIE chairman Peelipose Thomas said at a press conference that Kerala Soaps’ move is to strengthen the presence of its products in the international market. Its bathing bars carry extracts of pure sandal from the forests of Marayoor in the Western Ghats in Idukki district.

The other new products, all under Kerala Sandal label, are liquid sandal & neem hand-wash, Washwell (detergent), Cleanwell (floor-cleaner), Shinewell (dish-wash) and toilet soaps such as Kohinoor Sandal Turmeric, Thrill Lavender, Thrill Rose and Thrill White. 

The launch of the new set of products comes when Kerala Soaps is set to scale new heights in production and financial growth by expanding its market to countries under GCC (six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council), KSIE managing director G Rajeev said.

Established in 1914 during the British rule as The Kerala Soap Institute in Kozhikode, it was then the biggest such training establishment in Asia. Soaps produced by it instantly became popular with even the viceroy figuring among its regular users. After independence, the Kerala government took over the company in 1964. After protracted periods of lock-down, KSIE took over the company in 2010.  

Kerala Soaps today has state-of-the-art automatic machinery capable of producing 12,000 metric tonnes of soap annually. 

Currently, Kerala Soaps sells its products through 3,000 supermarkets across the country. In Kerala, it has 85-odd distributors, which the management is striving to raise to 150 by the end of the current financial year.
In the current fiscal, Kerala Soaps is augmenting its production for increased presence in the international market. The company has set a targeted net profit of Rs 3 crore in 2024-25.

KSIE, a holding company under the state’s Department of Industries & Commerce since 1973, was primarily mandated to nurse back and revive the sick units in the public sector. 

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