Gelixer CollagenPep: Bounty out of bone

     Print Edition: Nov 14, 2010

Best SME in international trade (Medium)

Nitta Gelatin
Person: G. Suseelan
Turnover (2009-10): Rs 195 crore
PAT (2009-10): Rs 25.5 crore
Business: Makes gelatin, ossein, collagen pep

On June 19, Gelixer CollagenPep, a medication for relieving joint pain, hit the retail market in Kerala without any fuss. The brand was new, the ingredient was not: many drug makers had been buying it from Nitta Gelatin India for their brands. Nitta's Managing Director G. Suseelan is betting that CollagenPep along with two more products that are in the works will fetch Rs 100 crore within a few years.

When Nitta Gelatin India was set up in 1975 as a venture between the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation and Japan's Nitta Gelatin, its only goal was to use cattle bones to make ossein, an ingredient of gelatin.

Drug makers need gelatin to make capsules. The venture flourished and began making gelatin in 1999, while continuing to export ossein to its Japanese partner. Last year, it introduced Chytosan, a product made from shrimp shields and aimed at cosmetics, pharma and pesticide industries. Making ossein from crushed bones spawns a by-product, di-calcium phosphate, which Nitta sells as poultry feed.

-K.R. Balasubramanyam

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