“We’re working on some unique extracts beneficial for improving memory and cognition”

03 April 2024 | Views

World's leading manufacturer and innovator of standardised botanical extracts since 1989, Arjuna Natural firmly believes that technological innovation is the only way to success. The company has patented numerous innovative products and invested heavily in research. Arjuna was the first private company in Kerala to receive approval for an in-house research by the Government of India. As a commitment, the company invests about 10 per cent of its profit towards conducting innovative studies for new products in various universities in India and abroad. To find out more about the company’s plans for the nutraceutical and healthcare market in India, BioSpectrum interacted with Dr Benny Antony, Joint Managing Director, Arjuna Natural in detail.

How was FY 2023-24 for Arjuna Natural globally, particularly India? How much revenue was generated, and how much growth is expected in FY 2024-25?

I feel elated with our performance FY 2023-24, where we could venture into new and unexplored markets and have seen an incremental growth in our existing products and launch of new products for the consumers worldwide. We have seen an increase of 12 per cent globally, while the Indian market has grown by 5 per cent. Arjuna group global annual turnover is above Rs 500 crore, and in FY 24–25, we hope to hit the Rs 600 crore milestone.


Is the company planning new collaborations or investments in India this year? 

India boasts one of the fastest-growing economies globally, with a large and diverse consumer base. The country's GDP growth rate consistently outpaces many other major economies, presenting ample opportunities for businesses to expand and thrive. We have partnered exclusively with certain companies worldwide for our top-selling products and also working in collaboration with certain MNC’s in India. Additionally, in India we are also venturing into B2C space with the launch of Curegarden. We are also expanding in the field of animal nutrition. Currently, to increase our production capacity, we are in the process of expanding to a 60,000 sq ft facility in Erode.



What are the latest offerings at Arjuna Natural for the Nutra industry? Any major plans in store for 2024 for the Indian Nutra market?

Women’s health is one of the verticals we are working on now. As you are aware that the burden of menstrual pain is the single most prevalent gynaecological complaint that affects over half of women in their reproductive age regardless of age or socioeconomic status. We have created a novel botanical formula Cramp Eaze (Curegarden) which offers a natural holistic solution to   manage menstrual discomfort, allowing women to enjoy their daily activities without interruption. 

Furthermore, we are also working to integrate our clinically proven products into the food market. We are in discussions with a number of food sector companies that could use our clinically approved ingredients to fortify their food ingredients.


How is Arjuna Natural currently addressing the mental healthcare market with its products?

When we consider that 57.8 million persons globally are now dealing with mental health difficulties, we can leverage the potential benefits of dietary supplements and functional foods to promote mental well-being, support cognitive function, and reduce the risk of mental health disorders. In our product portfolio we have innovative solutions to promote mental well-being. Our ashwagandha extract in ‘Shoden’, with the highest purity of 35 per cent withanolide glycosides, is hailed as the most potent and most bioavailable ashwagandha extract globally and has been clinically studied for stress management. It has been clinically proven to help the body adapt to stress and modulate the stress response system, promote emotional well-being and improve sleep quality. We also manufacture Omega-3 fatty acids with high levels of DHA which promotes brain function and mental health. Furthermore, BCM-95, the world's most researched and bioavailable turmeric extract, has been proven in clinical trials for its neuroprotective activities that can aid in preventing oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which are linked to the aetiology of mental health illnesses. It has also been studied to reduce anxiety and depression. Currently we are working on some unique extracts beneficial for improving memory and cognition.



What are your views on the concept of healthy ageing? How is the company exploring this space? Are you launching new products in this regard for the Indian healthcare market?

In my opinion by adopting healthy lifestyle behaviours and staying proactive about health, individuals can age gracefully and maintain a high quality of life throughout their later years. Research has always been woven into our DNA and our clinically validated products help in healthy ageing through supporting joint health, improving mental health and cognition, providing better sleep, improving immunity and endurance, and supporting optimal health.

For the Indian market, Arjuna has introduced Curegarden, which offers well researched, clinically proven formulas fortified with active botanicals that not only improve general health, but targets specific conditions associated with healthy ageing. 


With Ayush Ministry strengthening the focus on traditional medicines as a mode of healthcare in India, what are your views on partnering with the government for developing new healthcare products? What are your  expectations from the government in terms of supporting R&D, developing policy guidelines, etc.?

Partnering with the government to develop new healthcare products, including traditional medicines, has the potential to yield significant benefits for public health, research and cultural preservation. Collaboration between governments, research institutions, industry stakeholders, and local communities can help harness the potential of traditional medicines while ensuring safety, efficacy, and accessibility for all. Additionally, I would like to inform you that we have a long history of working with government organisations. We were the first company in Kerala to establish a DSIR approved research centre in 2001. We have contributed to developing Pharmacopoeias standards and SOP’s of manufacturing of five medicinal plants under Ayush in 2008-10. Our numerous projects have involved collaboration with several government departments and institutes, with which we continue to engage. Recently, with the funding from the Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India we have co-developed a stable gingerol product from the ginger variety “Karthika” with Kerala Agricultural University. We have recently been granted an Indian patent too and we are in line to commercialise it soon. This ingredient has high market potential in India and abroad. Once the product is commercialised, there will be a sustainable income for farmers /SHGs/FPOs through cultivation and this will help to foster further academia-industry collaboration.

We look to the government for support in research to  develop innovative products from traditional Indian plants and their clinical validations. We also request the government to exclude cultivated and value-added plant extracts from the purview of the National Biodiversity Act.


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