• 10 April 2012
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'Our plan is further growth in classical pharmaceuticals'

Mrmsmahadevanceobioz Mr M S Mahadevan,
CEO, Biozeen

Bangalore Biotech Labs, popularly known by the name Biozeen, an ISO 9001:2000 certified turn-key bioprocess engineering organization delivering cost effective solutions to the biopharmaceutical sector across the globe, appointed Mr M S Mahadevan as its CEO in February 2012. Spread over a 32,000 sq ft campus in Bangalore, Biozeen is a complete solutions provider as it offers training and consultancy services for bioprocess technologies. Displaying exponential growth since it started in 2007, Biozeen has had a remarkable compound annual growth rate of almost 70-to-80 percent in the last few years.

In an interview with BioSpectrum, shortly after his appointment as CEO of Biozeen, Mr M S Mahadevan, who was the former global director, strategic marketing at Merck Millipore, outlines the company's business model and the vision he has for Biozeen.

Q What differentiates Biozeen from other companies?
Biozeen is the only company in India that is integrating all the three verticals, which helps a company make a product, develop the process and execute it, and this makes its position very unique in the industry.

My mission is to make sure that we strengthen our core competency of manufacturing equipment, and to continue to be a unique player competing not only in the biologics space, but also in the pharmaceutical space.

We take immense satisfaction in the fact that we are servicing the healthcare industry and that products such as vaccines are made in our fermentors.

Our customers are very conscious of meeting regulatory requirements because of the sensitive nature of the products that are being produced and hence, we are very particular about using the best possible materials and also offer customers an opportunity to choose affordable options

Q What are the steps that you plan to take in the next few years at Biozeen?
As we have developed expertise in the biological therapeutics area, the next obvious expansion step is to further grow in classical pharmaceuticals. We have identified niche spaces, such as aseptic operations, where we want to play a role.

We will certainly try to do so in less than three years' time. The major steps now for this are to attract and retain the right talent and keep growing. We do have plans to invest outside the country and are also open for acquisitions.

Q How do you think will your past experience at Merck Millipore help you in your present position?
My past experience involved planning and strategizing the global operations which gave me exposure to the international market and allowed me to understand market dynamics.

All this, along with my core strength of operations, is what puts me in a good position to handle my current responsibilities. I believe my strength is the combination of operations along with professional experience that I have gained over the years.

Q Can you describe your clientele? What do you think is your USP in attracting clients?
Our Indian clients, who have used our equipment include Gennova Pharmaceuticals, Shantha Biotechnics, Biological-E, Serum Institute of India and Reliance Life Science. Furthermore, we have clients spread across the globe in countries such as South Africa, South Korea and Thailand to name a few.

There are no off-the-shelf products at Biozeen as we customize the fermentors according to the customer's requirements. In doing so, we have a lot of first-of-its-kind achievements in the domain of production in India. We recently manufactured a fermentor with a capacity of 10,000 litres for LG Life Sciences, South Korea, which is one of the biggest in India.

We have the capability to build reactors of capacities upto 25,000 litres as well. We are especially excited about the expertise that we have gained in building a Biokill reactor for a The Biovac Institute, a vaccine company from South Africa. This has been proved to be very effective in initial trials. We are a single point of contact for all their needs.

Q Can you describe the process by which equipment is supplied to the clients at Biozeen?
The entire process is such that once we get the customer's requirements our design engineers build a model after which another team does the 3D visualization of the same. After the entire reactor has been built, we have a system wherein representatives of the company can come and test the product at a special section that we have created, where all the parameters of the reactor can be easily tested and understood. After that, the product is dismantled and then assembled on site.

Q Biozeen reported a CAGR of 70-to-80 percent during the last three years. Do you have any particular goals set for further growth?
Biozeen has already shown a very good growth in the last few years and the best thing that can be done is to maintain it. We will make sure that we grow in the equipment side and focus on expanding the training and consultancy verticals.

Q Are there any specific countries you wish to focus on?
Our strategic focus has been on phamerging economies, such as India, former USSR countries, China and Cuba, as there are major investments happening in biologics, especially biosimlars, in these countries.

Manasi Vaidya in Bangalore

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