Dr Renu Swarup, managing director of Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) (File Photo)
Within a short time, the India's most ambitious, not for profit public sector company, has managed to create an efficient platform for new entrepreneurs to join the system. Do the read the first part of the interview below,followed soon by the remaining one.
Q: Please tell us about the startup trends that you have come across in the recent times?
I was recently trying to analyse the growth of biotech industry which was less than a billion before year 2005. Back then, we had 10-15 large biotech companies with around 100 SMEs who were still to figure out their future. There was no organized ecosystem as people were coming on their own and setting up. There was no learning system based on experiences as no bioincubators existed.
But ten years down the line we have the ecosystem. It might require further strengthening and augmentation but it is there to facilitate the transition. New concepts are coming up as in medical devices and diagnostics, we have biologists and engineering coming together which wasn't possible earlier. While earlier one had to find capital to start a company, today an individual can go to an incubation centre and rent out the space. They are getting mentors at places like IITs where expert faculty exists. Apart from BIRAC, the TDB and DST's programmes too help. These critical components are helping to bring spotlight on India. Investors are getting attracted by the ecosystem and we are happy to find mentions in global reports. I am sure with the continuing pace and mix of right policies, we will be able to push the biotech sector to new heights.