Asia’s poultry group to set up vaccines plant in Jura
Asia’s largest poultry company, Venkateshwara Hatcheries Group India (VH Group), is to set up a poultry vaccine production facility in Bassecourt in the canton of Jura. If this seems an unlikely move at a time when so many western pharmaceutical and vaccines companies are transferring production to Asia, it was certainly not an accident.
“At a Biotech forum in France, a consultant appointed by us met with VH Group representatives. This was the first move. VH managers didn’t have a thought about Switzerland as a place to set up a new facility. But they were impressed by the Swiss quality standards,” says Sabine Schenker, spokeswoman for BaselArea, the economic promotion agency for Basel and its region. Bassecourt represents a major stepping stone for VH Group to expand into Europe. The vaccines are intended mainly for European and Asian poultry markets. The new production facility, which should be operational by the end of 2011, is expected to provide up to 50 jobs. A new division for human biologicalsThe Indian CEO of the Swiss subsidiary has already moved with his family to the canton of Basel-Land, which is connected to Bassecourt with a regional express train service. The project to set up the facility and get it running will be led by a dozen Indian managers. Communication will be the biggest challenge in this venture. “The Indians need indeed to find English speaking partners in the Jura,” emphasizes Fabio Speciale, business consultant at Basel Area.
Since its foundation in 1971 in Pune, India, the VH Group has grown to become a conglomerate with an annual turnover of some 700 million dollars. The group has 26 registered companies in India and operations in Bangladesh, Vietnam and other countries in the Middle East and Africa. It is a fully integrated poultry company, which recently opened BV Biologicals, a division dedicated to manufacturing human biotherapeutics.