Staff Reporter

Revamped company to start functioning on January 1

Procurement of machinery done in four months

Products to be available at Supplyco outlets

Kozhikode: After undergoing a thorough organisational and infrastructural revamp, Kerala Soaps and Oils Ltd., which has remained closed for the last eight years, will commence operations on January 1, 2010, under a new management, the Kerala State Industrial Enterprises Ltd. and in a new avatar, Kerala Soaps Ltd.

Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan will perform the symbolic switch-on of the new factory based at Vellayil, during a public function at Mananchira Square on Friday at 4 p.m. which will be presided over by Industries Minister Elamaram Karim. Housing Minister Benoy Viswom will conduct the first sale of the Kerala Soaps product.

In the first phase, the soap factory, which can manufacture 6,000 metric tonnes of soap annually, will re-introduce the company’s old brands like ‘Kerala Sandal,’ ‘Vep’ and ‘Thrill.’ ‘Wash Well’, the old washing soap, will be re-launched in the second phase.

Speaking to presspersons, A. Pradeep Kumar, MLA, who is the chairman of the Reception Committee, said the reopening of Kerala Soaps, originally founded in 1914, was a fulfilment of the promise made by the LDF during the last Assembly elections.

The Kozhikode-I MLA said the failure of the earlier company was not a reflection of its product quality. He blamed flawed policies and inept management for the downfall of what was once a popular line of products.

Mr. Pradeep Kumar said the January 1 event would also be a celebration of the successful protest by all trade unions to prevent the liquidation of Kerala Soaps and Oils assets that included 2.5 acres at Vellayil, six acres at West Hill and three acres at Gandhi Road, all prime real estate property.

Mr. Pradeep Kumar said the factory work and the procurement of machinery was completed in four months. He said the public sector can perform under time constraints.

Marketing

Managing Director of KSIE, M.D. Josemon said a total investment of Rs.7.5 crore had gone into the revival of the soap unit.

The company would employ 143 persons and special emphasis would be laid on marketing the products. Five sales executives would be appointed in each district of the State.

Mr. Josemon said the soaps would be made available at Supplyco outlets besides KTDC hotels. Government employees would also be motivated to use the product, he said. A music concert featuring top Malayalam playback singers would be held following the re-opening event at Mananchira Square.

More In: KERALA | NATIONAL