OmniActive shifts management focus to North American market
“OmniActive has always been in international business,” Bhattacharya told NutraIngredients-USA.
“It was incidental that our initial bout of discovery and innovation took place out of India. We set up our manufacturing base there and our scientific teams were there. Our footprint has expanded already to have our teams located in six or seven different countries,” he said.
Integrated supply chain
OmniActive’s business is built around primarily macular carotenoids, in particular lutein derived from marigolds, as well as zeaxanthing from paprika. The company also supplies a capsicum extract, a curcumin extract and ginger and offers delivery technologies for those ingredients. To supply its raw material, the company has built a network of more than 10,000 farmers in India.
“We started the company simultaneously with a US and an Indian prescence. We built a very strong team that handles many of our functions and our fully integrated supply chain. Having this in place helped us do a more comprehensive and more engaged job of dealing with our partners,” Bhattacharya said.
Markets changing rapidly
But conditions are changing, and the company saw a need to be more closely connected with developments in major markets. Even with modern communication technologies, the distance between North America and India still imposed some burdens in keeping up with current developments, Bhattacharya said.
“With regulations, with directives coming into place so often, we need to have our ear to the ground with respect to how can we help shape the future in these markets,” he said.
In addition to moving the headquarters, OmniActive has also moved its research center of gravity to its R&D facility on Prince Edward Island that opened its doors in March 2012. Chief technology officer, Jayant Deshpande, PhD, will relocate there and lead the company’s global R&D teams from that base.
“The goal is to further enhance the level of engagement to what we have always with our partners in research in responding to very important needs that are emerging from markets worldwide,” Battacharya said. “It is an extension of our company’s philosophy of being an innovation based and innovation driven company.”
Benefits of supplementation for lowest quintile
OmniActive got a boost recently with the results of the much anticipated AREDS2 study that was released in March.
The study found adding lutein, zeaxanthin and/or omega-3 fatty acids to the original AREDS eye health formula did not lessen the overall risk for macular degeneration (AMD). But it did find significant benefits were associated with lutein and zeaxanthin in people with the lowest intake of the carotenoids in their diet.
“Low dietary intakes of lutein are representative of the general population, and these people experienced a 26% reduction in progression to advanced AMD,” Bhattacharya said.
“This is an important message. There is a substantial portion of the population with intakes of lutein below one milligram per day.”