Industry pioneer, Dr. Muhammed Majeed, passed away on March 13, 2024

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The industry mourns the passing of Muhammed Majeed, PhD, founder and chairman of Sami-Sabinsa Group.

Dr. Muhammed Majeed, founder and chairman of Sami-Sabinsa Group

Dr. Muhammed Majeed, founder and chairman of Sami-Sabinsa Group

The founder and chairman of Sami-Sabinsa Group, Muhammed Majeed, PhD, passed away on March 13, 2024. Born on September 25, 1948, Majeed grew up in Kollam, in Kerali, India, one of six children. He earned an undergraduate degree in Pharmacy from the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College in 1973, and worked as a teacher prior to emigrating to the United States in 1975. According to his obituary, he had eight dollars in his pocket.

Majeed worked in a pharmacy while pursuing his master’s degree in in industrial pharmacy from Long Island University and went on to earn his doctorate in industrial pharmacy from St. John’s University in 1986. His early experience in pharma included Pfizer, Carter Wallace and Paco Pharmaceuticals in New Jersey, where he was head of research. Majeed started Sabinsa Corporation in New Jersey in 1988. The company was initially launched to make generic drugs, but Majeed saw the potential in India’s Ayurvedic system of medicine and anticipated a market opportunity for traditional Ayurveda in the U.S., but backed by modern science.

In 1991, Majeed established Sami Labs Limited, a research and manufacturing facility in Bengaluru, India. Now a division of Sami-Sabinsa Group Limited, Sami operates eleven manufacturing facilities and employs over 1,400 people, including over 120 senior scientists. The Sami-Sabinsa Group commercially markets over 120 standardized botanical extracts in 17 countries, many of which are patented. Majeed was granted over 500 U.S. and international patents.

Through Sabinsa, Majeed supported small marginal farms in Salem and surrounding districts in the state of Tamil Nadu, India for the cultivation of its Ayurvedic herbs. He was committed, and the company continues to be committed, to fair trade practices and sustainable harvesting, providing training, planting materials, and ongoing support to these farmers as well as their communities. The contracts the company has with farmers also call for paying a guaranteed price even if crop fails due to weather extremes, and Sabinsa pays more for a harvest when market prices dictate.

Majeed and his company have been recognized numerous times for his achievements. He was a two-time recipient of the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award, and presented the National Award for Quality and Innovation by the President of India in 1995, 1997, and 2008, as well as the prestigious Department of Scientific & Industrial Research award in 2002. In 2004 he was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for Distinguished Americans in recognition of his leadership, commitment, and service to his heritage and the American community. For his pioneering role in helping to build the U.S. nutraceutical industry, Majeed was inducted into the New Hope Network Hall of Legends in 2016.

Majeed’s contribution to scientific literature was prolific, with over 200 peer-reviewed research papers, and four book chapters in leading scientific journals. He authored and co-authored 15 books on the history and benefits of numerous herbal extracts. For the last 20 years, Majeed also did philanthropic work through the Dr. Majeed Foundation by providing a base of support for educating children from poor families in India irrespective of their caste, creed, or religion, and women shelters.

Majeed is succeeded as Chairperson of the Sami-Sabinsa Group by his daughter Anju Majeed, PhD, who is the company’s director and senior scientist. He is survived by his daughters Anju and Sami, his son Shaheen, and grandchildren Rizwan, Johara, Nasneen, Ramses, Sunayna, Rajah, and Maximo.

To learn more about Majeed and his accomplishments, read Sabinsa’s full tribute and obituary here.

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