Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Sunday, Jun 30, 2002
Jay Shree foray into call centre to shore up income
KOLKATA, June 29
THE BK Birla group company Jay Shree Tea & Industries' diversification into the call centre business is an attempt to make up a 20 per cent drop in income due to the closure of its plywood unit and partial stoppage in production of single super phosphate.
Mr D.M Jain, Managing Director, announced this at the company's 56th annual general meeting. He said the call centre had 60 seats at present, but in three years time it would be increased to 120 seats. About Rs 5-6 crore had been invested in the business.
Regarding tea exports, he said the company fared well in the foreign market in 2001-02 with transactions worth over Rs 20 crore. He hoped it would increase during the current financial year.
The company's packet tea brand (Birla Tea) was doing fairly well in Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana. On the retailing side, Jay Shree Tea depends heavily on dealers in the western India market.
In Assam it recently started an innovative tea-marketing plan. The company introduced direct selling agents and it has fetched good results. In the last two to three months in 2001-02, it sold about 10,000 kg through this network and hopes to increase it to one lakh kg during 2002-03.
In an effort to reduce its losses, the company stopped production of single super phosphate (SSP) at its fertiliser plant located in Pataudi near Gurgaon in Haryana in April 2001.
However, the unit continued with the production of sulphuric acid. This is the third fertiliser unit of the company. The first two fertilisers units are located at Kardah in West Bengal. The fertiliser business contributes about 22 per cent of the total turnover. The units in Kardah have continued to produce SSP and sulphuric acid.
For the year ended March 31, 2002, the company registered a total income of Rs 155.18 crore as against Rs 170.69 crore.
Net loss after taxation increased to Rs 2.13 crore as against Rs 1.56 crore. The company recommended a dividend of 15 per cent compared to 30 per cent in the previous year.
The company has already merged its real estate subsidiary, Shiva's Group Ltd. However, it postponed its earlier decision to merge another subsidiary called North Tukvar Tea Company Ltd.
Mr Jain said that this decision was taken to avoid a payment of `salami' to the West Bengal Government.
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