of the emerging markets for SERVA is India”
—Dr Barbara Muller,
managing director, SERVA
headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany is a supplier of a range
of reagents for electrophoresis and chromatography, precast gels for
isoelectric focusing, carrier ampholytes, collagenases etc through its
global distribution network. Here are the excerpts from an exclusive
interview with Dr Barbara Muller, managing director, SERVA.
What is the current
product portfolio of Serva?
SERVA offers top quality products for life sciences including fine
biochemical reagents, electrophoresis consumables (including
ready-to-use gels) and instruments, microbiology reagents and special
enzymes for tissue disintegration. For more than 50 years
SERVA provides expertise in manufacture, development and distribution
of products worldwide. This know-how is the platform for outstanding
customer service. Our mission is to bring innovative products to the
life sciences market to fulfill the needs of customers. Technical
competence and total quality management are the basis for continuous
What are the best
selling products of SERVA?
Our best selling specialty products comprise the range of reagents for
protein electrophoresis – gels, ampholytes and markers, also
used in proteomics 2D applications, and the special grade
(including GMP grade) collagenase enzymes for cell culture and
isolation of organelles. The broad offering of the products include
antibiotics, buffers, detergents, dialysis tubings, enzyme substrates,
ion exchange media, peptones, stains and surfactants. The interest
shown by scientists in our collagenases and electrophoresis reagents
provided significant growth to SERVA’s specialty products,
particularly in the Europe and Asian markets.
How much do the
Indian sales contribute to the revenues?
We just started with Axygen in the Indian market in 2008. We have been
supplying our products directly or indirectly (dealer) to some
customers at research institutions in India over years but only with
the excellent efforts from Axygen and their active promotion
of SERVA products we started to see an increase last year.
Hence, the overall contribution from India to SERVA’s
international business is still not very big, yet we expect to see
continuous growth through the exclusive partnership with Axygen in
What are the emerging
markets for the company?
SERVA provides services to 70 countries worldwide, mainly through
global network of individual and independent partners. As a European
company SERVA’s prime domain is the European market place,
but certainly one of the emerging markets for SERVA is India. We also
see growing interest in SERVA’s proprietary products and
specialties from other countries in South-East Asia and China.
How do you look at
India as a market for biotechnology suppliers ? What products are
currently being marketed in India?
There is attractive market potential for SERVA’s specialties
in cell culture and protein electrophoresis; but, there is a strong
need for the range of fine chemicals in India, which is, of course, a
very competitive market. Our fine chemical products feature top quality
and consistent performance, our customers value this fact very much.
SERVA is certified to ISO 9001:2000, and we dedicate our capacity and
integrity to guarantee consistent product performance and continuity of
Many Indian manufacturers seem to concentrate on supply of chemical
products and intermediates to the fast growing pharmaceutical and
biotech industry. Some of our bulk products are used in pharmaceutical
production where consistent quality level is most important. But this
is only a part of our business. Typically, SERVA offers reagents of
research grade, featured in our main catalog. Those reagents are
packaged in containers for analytical purposes in research
What are your plans
for the coming years in terms of revenue target, introducing new
products and targetting new markets?
At SERVA, we maintain our own product development department mainly
focused on applications in protein electrophoresis. This brings to the
market a constant flow of new, innovative products (e.g., the range of
SERVA precast gels) for bioseparation and particularly, proteomics.
Also on offer are new special grade collagenases provided from our
dedicated partner Nordmark Arzneimittel, a German producer of
pharmaceuticals. Nordmark is the world’s largest manufacturer
of GMP collagenase and SERVA as exclusive marketing partner aims to
supply these products for new applications evolving in medical research.