Mr Apurva Shah, founder and group managing director, Veeda Clinical Research
"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark."-Michelangelo Buonarroti.
Unique individuals are with a free will to make the choices that shape our lives. While some choices come easy, circumstances make some choices more difficult. However, the fact remains that we can, at any time in our lives, change our destiny by the choices we make.
My choice was "clinical research" which brought in the challenge in my life. Making success in this field wasn't easy because in the period 2004-05 several new CROs were mushrooming, promoted by people who had a solid expertise in the field of research. Fortunately by the grace of God, and the backing of family and friends, I got inspired to explore the unknown.
In the end of 2004, I was intrigued by an article in a business magazine about the potential of clinical research industry in India. It spelled out the various reasons such as access to treatment of naive patients, large number of English speaking doctors some of whom are trained in the West and a large number of hospital beds in India would ensure that clinical research would boom in India. It also said that the development of the local pharmaceutical industry and outsourcing from global companies would fuel the growth of a local CRO industry.
There were several forecasts being made to show the growth potential of the industry. Most forecasted it to be crossing $1 billion by 2010 from a very modest $50-60 million in 2004. This milestone has still not been achieved in spite of most of the reasons mentioned above still exist. The main reason is that the government couldn't keep up with the pace of growth of the industry with updating the laws and putting in ways of enforcing them. This is unfortunate because clinical research in my opinion is still one of the major promising socio-economic opportunities that India can take advantage of.