Health E-Insights: Where will the most significant growth occur in Sabinsa in the next few years?
Mr. Majeed: Depending upon what happens with the NDIs, it's very likely that in the next few years the most growth for Sabinsa will be from companies buying old dietary ingredients (ODIs). Since Sabinsa has been supplying raw material ingredients for the past 23 years, many of the ingredients we sell have not changed and therefore we feel our significant growth will come from ODI's. Looking past five years, we have plans to engage the functional foods marketplace in a big way, not necessarily just in the U.S., but outside as well. We see growth in several other marketplaces, especially Latin America and perhaps even Russia. Beyond that, natural drugs will play the inevitable future of Sabinsa. Everything we have worked on, from our expertise in manufacturing to our synthetic chemistry masterpieces, and our global agricultural cultivation centers, will culminate in understanding and delivering safe natural drugs to the world.
Health E-Insights: What’s the future of the nutraceutical industry in India and what role might Sabinsa play?
Mr. Majeed: The market size potential for India is estimated at the same population of the entire U.S. Taking that into consideration, it's game on for many of the marketing companies. Right now, you can see the explosion of fast food franchises throughout India, and these are some pretty fancy looking places, not just your ordinary drive-thru's. Some of the newer Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) groups have also entered India, and for the most part, they do have a good following of people. This resonates with the potential of India and the nutraceutical industry. As far as what Sabinsa, or in the case of India, our sister company Sami Labs can do, in the past we have explored direct to retail as well as direct to physician marketing. Our future marketing efforts on finished goods will explore MLM based opportunities as well as Internet sales in India.
Health E-Insights: What excites you most about your company?
Mr. Majeed: I could simply say our research capabilities and our manufacturing, but there are several others, such as the ability to stand the test of time when it comes to the science we have brought out on our ingredients. Companies know, if it's from Sabinsa, it can be trusted and that Sabinsa will stand behind the validity of that ingredient. Also, our intellectual property portfolio is something that leaves me in awe and has received great confirmations from institutions and worldwide organizations. For example, the Thomas Alva Edison Patent awards from the State of New Jersey tells a story of how these patents are evaluated with dedicated R&D and not just submitted for patent-sake. We have over 70 useful global patents for our customers to leverage. Lastly, our portfolio of ingredients spans more than 40 different categories. Year after year, I find it exciting when a new category can be discovered or even when we publish new science on ingredients that will change the marketplace. And I'm very excited about our partnerships with farmers to cultivate raw materials to our standards. I guess I have to say I'm excited about Sabinsa in general.
Health E-Insights: If you could improve just one area of your organization, what would it be?
Mr. Majeed: That we spend more time with our customers. I see that now, as I have left the chair in my office and traveled to see many of our customers. I travel with most of my sales people and it's a joy spending even just five minutes, be it with the purchasing person, senior management or even the owner of the company. I get great insight and I am humbled by their passion for this industry. In some rare cases, I'm disappointed that Sabinsa did not reach out sooner or did not inform the customer of an ingredient or service that we offer. I have learned a lot to bring back into the marketing of Sabinsa, but that most importantly, face to face meetings is time well spent.
Health E-Insights: What’s your proudest career achievement?
Mr. Majeed: We were struggling to break into the functional foods area, primarily getting GRAS affirmations. We knew we wanted to do self-affirmed GRAS and we had many people to call and many people called us. I knew this was not just the demand of the hour, but a calling for what would be the future of Sabinsa ingredients, so I took a stand to get this done for the company. Many late nights and months later, we had our first self-affirmed GRAS ingredient. We went for six more and have another four line up as well. Some of these will be submitted to FDA soon, so I'm looking forward to more proud moments.
Health E-Insights: What do you value most in your day-to-day life?
Mr. Majeed: Family—in one single word, which inspires thoughts of my own personal life, but also that of Sabinsa, a family company. Nothing is more important than the value systems our family inspires. No matter what walk of life someone is from, ultimately it is family in which we find joy, harmony, pain, personal growth and everlasting relationships. That, and chocolate.
Sheldon Baker wants to interview you. Contact Sheldon at SBaker@BakerDillon.com. Follow him on Twitter @NutraInk and visit his website at www.BakerDIllon.com.