Dr R S Kularatne has a BSc (agriculture) from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, an MSc (agriculture) from the University of Virginia, USA, and PhD (Molecular genetics) from the National University of Malaysia.
He is presently Additional Director General (Research) with the Department of Export Agriculture in Sri Lanka.
Dr Kularatne is an Advisor to The Spice Journal with a focus on Spice Agronomics from cultivation to harvest, post-harvest and processing.
Mr Philip Kuruvilla is an agrarian with 41 years of Agriculture and Commodity business background.
He has a successful track record of establishing backward integration and Sustainable Agriculture programs in India, Vietnam, and African countries. He also has hands on experience in the areas of food safety, processing, and quality control.
In addition to being Chairman of The World Spice Organization Mr Kuruvilla is
Vice Chairman, Jayanti Spices
Member, Research Advisory council (ICAR)
Committee member, All India Spices Exporters Forum
Chairman, Expert Committee for Pepper (Forward Market Commission),
Former Managing Director, Jayanti Spices
Former Board member, Spices Board of India
Former Board member, Indian Pepper and Spice Trade Association (Pepper futures exchange)
Former Board member, Indian Institute of Plantation Management, and
Former Chairman, All India Spices Exporters Forum.
Mr Kuruvilla is a Representative Advisor to The Spice Journal.
Dr .M.U.Z.N. Farzana has a B.U.M.S. (Hons) from the University of Colombo, MSc (Plant Sciences and Tissue Culture) from University of Colombo, a Certificate in Teaching of Higher Education from University of Colombo, and a MS in Obstetrics and Gynecology (Unani) from National Institute of Unani Medicine, Rajiv Gandhi University, Bangalore, India.
She has authored numerous research papers including the use of Spices in Traditional Medicine.
Dr Farzana is Senior Lecturer/Researcher and Head of the Dept. of Basic Principles of Unani Medicine at the Institute of Indigenous Medicine, University of Colombo, and a Consultant Physician at the Ayurveda Teaching Hospital, Colombo. “Dr Farzana” is a Representative/Advisor to The Spice Journal, primarily focused on Unnai and Traditional medicines derived from Spices.
Mr. Vijaya Man Sthapit has MSc Botany from Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, and has 25 years of experience working in International Enterprises in Senior Managerial positions related to commercial cultivation, production, and processing of essential oil crops.
His work in enhancing the livelihood of rural communities, training farmers and foresters in sustainable cultivation and harvesting, and utilization of essential oil plants for non-timber forest products (NTFP) is legendary.
Vijaya has a vast knowledge and experience in managing commercial distillation units, and in assisting farmers in design and establishment of field based distillation units.
He is also a leader in promoting cultivation and processing of essential oil crops, and in promoting high quality standards of production, and he is an ardent promoter of organic farming.
Vijaya is fluent (spoken and written) in Newari, Nepalese, Hindi, and English. He is currently employed with IDE Nepal, an International NGO, and is a Representative/Adviser to The Spice Journal.
Born: March 20, 1961
Doctorate of Philosophy in Business Management from Colombo University in 2007.
Dr Jacob is Director of Synthite Industries Limited, the global leader in Spice Oleoresins and other plant-derived natural products.
Awards & Recognitions:
•Served as Vice Chairman during the years 2010-11 and currently a Member of Spices Board of India. As a member of Spices Board, represented India in Codex’s global conference on Food and Hygiene held at New Orleans.
•Inducted into the “Knighthood of the Ecumenical Medical Humanitarian Order of St. Johns of Jerusalem Knights of Charity” on 23rd August 2008.
•Received ‘Global Business Award’ for the year 2003 organised by Global Malayalee Council, for his outstanding contributions towards business, society and for the empowerment of Malayalees throughout the World.
•Received “Udyog Rattan Award” instituted by Institute of Economic Studies, Delhi for outstanding performance in the field of industrial development in the country.
•Ramada Resorts, under the stewardship of Dr Jacob, bagged “Emerging Hospitality Brand’’ award at the Kerala State Business Excellence Awards 2012 ceremony, organized by the Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
•On June 15, 2012, Dr Jacob won “National Leadership Excellence Award for Business Development” conferred on by Global Achievers’ Foundation (GAF) for outstanding individual achievements and distinguished services to the nation. The award was presented by the then High Commissioner of Seychelles.
Social & Philanthropic Activities:
Trustee, CVJ Foundation: Since its establishment in 2008, CVJ Foundation has spent Rs 2.53 crore for noble causes and for the year 2012-13, it has already spent Rs 63.36 lakhs under various schemes like Housing, Healthcare, and Education etc.
Executive Director, Light & Life: Light & Life is a society helping children with acute cancer.
Dr Jacob is Full Time Director of Synthite Industries Limited, global leader in Spice Oleoresins and other plant-derived natural product solutions. Synthite transforms a multitude of pure plant spices into much sought-after flavor & fragrance ingredients, colourants and nutraceuticals as per the requirements of customers world over at its five eco-friendly locations spread over Southern India. Its modern plants and equipment, precision instruments and passionate people ensure value delivery and are the strength behind this USD 70 million company contributing to over 50% of exports of spice oleoresins from India.
Professional Achievements: Under Dr Jacob’s leadership, in 1981, Synthite entered into Indian market and has established itself as a preferred ingredient supplier. Synthite is set to venture into the OTC nutraceuticals market with an array of natural health supplements. With the guidance of Dr Jacob, Sythite witnessed steady business growth. In 1986, with his initiation, Synthite set up its Fragrance division in Maradur, Tamil Nadu for extraction of floral concretes and absolutes. Attached to this unit, new system of floriculture nursery was launched to distribute saplings to farmers. This enabled generation of employment to 1000 villagers in the vicinity. Marigold cultivation was introduced in India by Synthite in a systematic way on a commercial scale resulting in employment for over 14000 farmers cultivating in 15000 acres of land which also enables indirect labour to 250000 workers. Besides the co-generation of electricity and steam by its own agro-waste as fuel, he established wind farms in Tamil Nadu for exploiting non-conventional wind energy for power generation.
Dr Jacob is also the Director of Herbal Isolates Pvt Ltd, Synthite Exports Pvt Ltd and Synthite Properties & Investments Ltd. With his initiatives, the company has today joint venture partnership with Aromco UK, a leading sweet and confectionery flavor manufacturer. Aromco India offers an outstanding range of sweet and flavor profiles in liquid, emulsion and powder forms. Another collaboration of Synthite with Omega Savory Technology, Austria is Symega which is manufacturing savoury ingredients and seasonings for the food industry.
Social & Philanthropic Activities:
Governing Body Member, Synthite Silver Jubilee Charitable Trust: The Trust, in association with the United India Insurance Company, introduced “Viswa Arogya Medical Insurance Policies” for people below poverty line in Aikaranadu Grama Panchayath in Kerala. As per the scheme, each family is eligible for medical insurance up to Rs 30,000/- per year. Over 1600 families comprise of 7000 people are covered under this programme. This scheme is the first of its kind initiated by any private sector undertaking in India. The Trust, within a short span of time, has spent crores of rupees in helping the poor and needy through its various projects.
Trustee, CVJ Foundation: Since its establishment in 2008, CVJ Foundation has spent Rs 2.53 crore for noble causes and for the year 2012-13, it has already spent Rs 63.36 lakhs under various schemes like Housing, Healthcare, Education etc.
Executive Director, Light & Life: Light & Life is a society helping children with acute cancer.
A man of letters, Dr Jacob is a perfect example of a leader who leads from the front. His commitment towards work and society, hard work and dedication has earned him rich rewards. He is married to Mrs Mini and the couple has two children: Ms Neelam & Ms Neethi.
Pradip Maharjan is Chief Executive Officer of Agro Enterprise Centre/ Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI).
He has a Masters in Development Management (MDM) from Asian Institute of Management, the Philippines, 1998.
Masters in Economics from Tribhuban University, Kathmandu, Nepal, 1996.
Pradip is fluent in English and Nepalese (Native speaker)
Pradip’s other professional qualifications and affiliations include:
Community Forestry Extension – 1994, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand.
Productivity Management – 1987, Irish Productivity Center (IPC), Dublin, Republic of Ireland.
Board Member – Faculty Board of Kathmandu University – 2012-2014.
Visiting Faculty of Management for Bachelor in Business Studies, Bernhardt College (Tribhuban University) Kathamandu.
Management Association of Nepal (MAN).
AIM. Alumni, (Asian Institute of Management), Philippines.
ADB/Japan Scholars Alumni- Japan.
Founder and Executive Member: Ethnobotanical Society of Nepal
Pradip has extensive experience in implementing and managing community development projects, as follows:
High Mountain Livelihood Improvement Project:(including raising income levels of Small and Medium Farmers, and development and promotion of Spices and Essential Oils.)
High Value Agriculture Project:(including development and marketing of Non Timber Forest Products such as and Spices and Essential Oils, to enhance the income of the poor farmers in the region.)
One Village One Product:(planning and implementation in 22 districts of Nepal, promoting products which have unique identity of the district and potential for enhanced development and marketing.)
Dr Kamal Perera has a B.A.M.S. (Hons) from the University of Colombo, MSc (Food Science and Technology) from University of SRI Jayewardenepura, a Certificate in Teaching of Higher Education from University of Colombo, Accreditation with SEDA teaching qualification from United Kingdom, and a PhD in Pharmacology from China Pharmaceutical University. He specializes in Pharmacology and Immune medicine.
Dr Perara has authored numerous research papers including the use of Spices in Traditional Medicine. He is Senior Lecturer/Researcher and Head of the Dept. of Allied Sciences at the Institute of Indigenous Medicine, University of Colombo, and a Consultant Physician at the Ayurveda Teaching Hospital, Colombo.
“Dr Kamal” is a Representative/Advisor to The Spice Journal, primarily focused on Ayurveda and Traditional medicines derived from Spices.
Dr PN Ravindran is a well-known authority on Spices having about 30 years of experience in the field of spices research and development.
He held various positions in the fields of spices and medicinal plants research such as :
National Coordinator for Spices Research in India under the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR),
Director, Indian Institute of Spices Research (IISR),
Principal Scientist and Head of the Division at IISR,
Founder Director of the Centre for Medicinal Plants Research at Kottakkal, Kerala;
Advisor, Tata Tea and Tata Global Beverages.
Dr PNR was also the founder and founder Secretary of the Indian Society for Spices as well as founder editor of the Journal of Spices and Aromatic Crops.
Dr PNR has to his credit more than 250 research and review papers and the monographs on all the major spices –
Black pepper (Harwood Academic (now CRC Press, USA),
Cardamom (Taylor & Francis, London),
Cinnamon & Cassia (CRC Press),
Ginger (CRC Press) and Turmeric (CRC Press).
He has compiled the research and developmental work on spices in India since its independence under the title:
Advances in Spices Research:
History of spices research and development in India since independence.
PNR also served as a Consultant for IAEA.
Dr PNR is currently on contract with CABI for the preparation of the prestigious Global Encyclopedia on Herbs and Spices.
Dr.P.S. Sreekantan Thampi (Dr P.S.S. Thampi for short) has been with The Spices Board India (Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India) as Deputy Director for the last 25 years handling promotion and publicity programs for Indian spices across the world.
Dr Thampi has travelled worldwide promoting the saga of Indian spices, he is known for his involvement and understanding of the trade and commerce in spices. He is currently handling international initiatives of the Spices Board with Codex Alimentarius Commission, Rome, as the Working group Coordinator and is active in highlighting Indian initiatives in Codex committees for Food Hygiene and Pesticide Residues.
He is also the Organizing Secretary for the World Spices Congress, Chief Editor of the Spices Board’s publications, and responsible for Corporate Social Responsibility projects of the Spices Board across the country.
He leaves behind a colorful career as a journalist with India’s leading national newspaper, The Indian Express, for nearly ten years prior to joining the Spices Board. A graduate in Economics, a post graduate in Rural Development and qualifications in Journalism, Marketing Management, and Personnel Management.
Dr Thampi has a PhD in Market Promotion for Spices from the Gandhigram Rural University of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, and is a Representative/Adviser to The Spice Journal.
Dr. A G Mathew has an MSc (oils and aromatics) and a PhD (food chemistry).
He is an internationally renowned Scientist in the field of Oleoresins, and a world leader in Research Technologies related to Spices.
Dr Mathew is Technical Director at Plant Lipids in Kerala, and is author of several books including “Indian Spices” and “Natural Food Flavours and Colorants” and numerous scientific papers.
Dr Mathew is a well-wisher to The Spice Journal.