Mr GS Krishnan, regional president, Novozymes South Asia
In the global business warfare, every country has created its own niche. While China is known for its manufacturing competency, the US for its technological leadership, India in the last two decades has been able to make its mark on the global map through its IT services revolution. Going forward, India is advantageously positioned in the biotech sector and has immense potential to become the new global leader in the next decade, if it takes the right steps.
India is already ranked among the top 12 biotech destinations worldwide and third largest in the Asia-Pacific region. The industrial biotechnology market accounts for approximately four percent of the biotech industry, mainly comprising of industrial enzymes that clocked Rs625.94 crore in 2010-11, growing at a rate of 10.98 percent for 2010-11, as against Rs564 crore in 2009-10. Although, enzymes have been used for more than 50 years in the detergent, textile, food and feed industries, Indian industrial enzyme market is at nascent stage with a marginal share in the global market. However, it is ready for the next leap as it is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 15 percent till 2015.
Increasing environmental concerns, climate-change issues, stricter industry regulations, and recognition of the need for more sustainable products are the factors driving the growth of the industrial biotech segment especially, food and beverage, detergents, textiles, and fuel ethanol.
While the majority of the companies in India have started to acknowledge the benefits of the biotech solutions, most of them are still reluctant to change from the traditional practices. Cost has been seen as a major barrier in the adoption of new technologies, which is not always the case, especially in the long run.
The other bottlenecks are regulatory approvals. While there is a big effort from the regulatory authorities to make the regulatory frame work in line with international best practices, the approval process still remains cumbersome. This makes it difficult to implement innovations and commercially launch new products for the benefit of the industry.