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Organon (India) to shift operations to Mumbai

Kohinoor Mandal

KOLKATA, Nov. 28

AFTER being in operation for over 35 years in the city, the pharma MNC, Organon (India) Ltd (earlier known as Infar India) has decided to move out lock, stock and barrel to Mumbai.

According to industry sources, the management has already informed employees that the corporate and marketing departments will be shifted to western India by the end of the current financial year.

Though there was not any official communication regarding the future of the two production units, sources hint that the factories are likely to be sold out as "going concerns''. The registered office is most likely to be shifted in the next two years.

Mr P.B.J.M. Rohof, Chairman and Managing Director of Organon (India), while admitting that the marketing and corporate office was being shifted to "create a more competitive and performance driven ethos'' within the company, denied shifting of the registered office.

``After operating for two years in Kolkata, I realised that to attract more talent and create better networking with the customers, I need to move over to a place where activities are going on. We also looked into places like Bangalore, Delhi and Hyderabad,'' Mr Rohof told Business Line.

The two manufacturing facilities, which directly employ over 300 people, are located in Kolkata and at Ganganagar in North 24 Parganas. While the Kolkata factory produces pharmaceutical items, the Ganganagar unit manufactures bulk drugs. He denied any proposal for closure of these units and said that they will continue to operate.

Approximately 125 people are employed in the marketing and corporate operations. Departments to be shifted first will include HRD, IT, finance, administration and logistics. Only a skeletal outfit is likely to remain in Kolkata to manage back-office activities. Organon will announce a "healthy financial package'' for the employees to compensate their shifting expenses.

It may be noted that Organon, now the pharma arm of Akzo Nobel, started its Indian operations as a joint venture company with the Kolkata-based Mehtas. Last year, the Dutch pharma major bought out the Indian partner's stake and subsequently made a 100 per cent buyback offer.

At present, it holds over 97 per cent stake in the Indian outfit. The company has been delisted from the stock exchanges and renamed as Organon (India).

Organon India is yet to decide on the fate of their proposed new plant at Kona in Howrah district.

The company bought 10 acres of land from the State Government at a price of Rs 5 crore in 1999-2000. Construction work was supposed to begin by end 2002, but nothing has happened till date.

``About five years back, the parent company wanted to increase capacities. So we bought this land. However, the Organon headquarters had currently kept the proposal on hold. Even I do not know when this factory will be constructed,'' he said.

Industry sources said that the company has already started outsouring its products from different units. According to Mr Rohof, this was being done for the last two decades.

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