With policy changes, Indian hand sanitiser makers view export markets

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Know your hand sanitiser.

Chennai:  Alcohol-based hand sanitiser makers are happy with the Central government’s decision to allow its export in containers without pump dispensers.

Manufacturers of alcohol-based hand sanitisers are gearing up to export the product now and are happy at the new market segments that Covid-19 has thrown up for them.

On Monday, the Central government issued a notification allowing exports of alcohol-based hand sanitisers packed in containers without pump dispensers. Last month, the government had banned the export of alcohol-based hand sanitisers.

“We are delighted with the easing of export restrictions on sanitisers as production had to be reduced as unsold inventories piled up. This is what was sought – to allow exports of large capacity/non-pump sanitiser,” Rajiv Nath, Forum Coordinator, Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AiMeD) told IANS.

Hopefully, next is permission to export three-layer masks and then-on Covid IVD (in vitro diagnostic) kits, he added.

Welcoming the government’s move, Sanjay Manocha, Executive Director, Sceptre Medical India Pvt Ltd, told IANS: “We can ship our products to not only to our neighbouring countries – Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan but also to others.”

He said India had earlier exported hand sanitisers to countries like the UK, and the UAE.

Closing last fiscal with a turnover of about Rs 14 crore, Manocha now expects the company to touch turnover of Rs 40 crore.

Queried about the rationale for the expected big jump, he said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown open many new market segments for players like us. Earlier it used to be only hospitals that bought disinfectants. Now the entire industrial/commercial/ residential sectors are open for players like us.”

Similarly, the Rs 369 billion Murugappa Group’s sugar major EID Parry India Ltd will also be assessing the export market.

“With the amendment in export policy of alcohol-based hand sanitisers announced earlier today, we now have the opportunity to export them too. In the coming days we will assess the export demand for alcohol and hand sanitisers and accordingly take a decision on exporting these products as well,” Managing Director Suresh S. told IANS.

The company currently makes hospital-grade hand sanitiser for the domestic retail market comprising ethanol (denatured) and Chlorhexidine Gluconate topical solution to tap on the increasing demand for the product.

The company has put in place a production capacity of 4.5 lakh litres per month (equating to about 1 million consumer packs per month).

EID Parry is amongst the largest ethanol producers in South India. The ethanol is produced in the integrated sugar units across the three southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

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