RosebazaarThere is a school of thought that says that if you are going to get something done properly, then you have to do it yourself. It is a principle at the heart of many a great business and it is one that Ramakrishna Karuturi knows well, one that this week has made him the world’s largest cultivator of roses.

He has risen to the top of the rose tree, becoming the world’s largest cultivator of the flowers, after Karuturi Networks, his Bangalore-based company, agreed to buy Sher Agencies, the Kenyan nursery of a Dutch flower producer, in a €50 million (£35 million) deal.

The mechanical engineer, who returned to India from business school in Ohio in the United States a decade ago to run the family cables and transmissions towers business, began his unlikely move into the flower industry one long, frustrating Valentine’s Day. Hunting for a rose bouquet for his wife across India’s IT hub, he drew a blank. Bangalore was a rose-free zone.

So he decided to start to grow them himself. In 1996, the entrepreneur opened two greenhouses on 3.2 hectares of land in the southern Indian city, which is renowned for its temperate climate, and began to export the flowers. Mr Karuturi’s roses are now sold in Africa, America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. With the Sher acquisition, the fourth outside India and a deal financed through foreign currency convertible bonds, Karuturi’s annual production has jumped from 130 million stems to 650 million. Its target is one billion stems by 2010. To achieve that, the company will build more greenhouses in Ethiopia and will seek further acquisitions in the highly fragmented global flower business. It is in advanced takeover talks with a nursery in Ecuador.
Read more at:  Timesonline