Dr Ajay Vikram Singh, postdoctoral scientist in Bio-Medical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Center for Biotechnology & Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS), New York
I pursued my Masters in biotechnology from Pune University in 2005, one of 3 star BT school in India with a promising GPA and immense hope for a bright career with an enterpreunial dream in future. Soon after my Masters, I traveled to Europe for a Ph.D with the encouraging thought that a foreign Ph.D degree will certainly present more opportunities as compared to my inland counterparts pursuing PhD in contemporary fields. In those days, we grew in an atmosphere where candidates fetching a higher degree from foreign soil,were welcomed with a big applause and mercurial career in science and technology unbiased with the tag of academia or industry was envisioned for all. I finished my PhD in Medical Nanotechnology from reputed European School of Molecular medicine (SEMM) in 2011.
However, soon after that,on returning to my homeland, the job search experience and the high expectations for a career in biotechnology industry I was faced with the harsh reality. The immense belief in the growing economy and the biotech sector in India, lead me to reject a job offer from Medical Nanotech spin-off from SEMM and I decided to move to India. I choose to stay in Pune to a city from where I spent precious during my M.Sc. Another emotional reason to select Pune as future destination was because I found my better half from Pune itself. Above all, the city harbors biotech giants like Serum Institute of India, Venkateshwara hatcheries and many other fast growing Pharmaceutical biotechnology industry. Also, its proximity to Mumbai, that has top BT firms like, Piramal, Wockhardt, Bharat Serum and Glaxosmithline, made it perfect choice for paving a career in biotech sector.
Immediately after return to India, I uploaded my resume to all job portals and started seeing all possible options from newspaper, magazines to internet to social networking sites (linkedin, facebook, and twitter contacts). Much to my surprise, I did not received any call from companies in spite of an impressive resume with a substantial amount of research publications in high impact peer reviewed journals. The next phase was to retrospect and trouble shoot for the failure. I interacted with a couple of seniors and mentors from Pune University from where I pursued my Masters and people strongly recommended to be open for location, and not restrictmyself to Pune but also other places in India including North region, Noida, Delhi Gurgaon, and south Hyderabad and Bangalore.
Also, after discussion with seniors colleagues well placed in industry, it was clear that job hunting in biotech sector in India demands specific skills, and I needed to develop these skills to win the game. It's not an academic job search for postdoctoral fellow or project assistance in academia or science institute that if you know certain skills and you will be given an offer.
Riding on this suggestion and recommendations from my Pune University biotech mentors, I personally approached couple of established Biotech firms in Pune. Much to my surprise, companies HR interviewed me and shown interests in my CV. I want to include here, that while working with Dr Murali Sastry,who is among top 5 Nanotechnologist and most motivating mentors I have ever met, during my master's thesis,he clearly mentioned that Nanotech researchers great role and future in shaping and starting biotech industries. Those inspirations also lead me to complete my Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (PGDBA) and specialization in Marketing via Symbiosis, Pune with heir distance learning MBA program for NRIs. This lead many companies to assure me that I fit at least somewhere in their biotech sector human resource. Even most of HR managers assured me that currently financial Year (2011-2012) is about to over but soon they will call me. This always kept me on wait and after 2 complete month job hunt, I was nowhere to accomplish to my dream to serve growing biotech sector of country.