Updated on 31 December 2012
The couple, literally, put in everything they had in the company. They sold their assets raising about $50,000 (Rs 2.7 million) to get started. "We were passionate about it and that drove us. In the first month of operation itself we got a contract of about half-a-million rupees. Couple of more projects followed. Being first generation entrepreneurs, we ended-up quoting low price for the projects that we executed," says Dr Kumar.
In spite of that the company clocked a turnover of about $60,000 (Rs 3.8 million). In the second year of operation (2009-10) the company got good projects and also received the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) recognition, which enabled the management to apply for grants.
RAS Life Sciences bagged two Biotechnology Industry Partnership Program (BIPP) projects; one with Institute of Liver and Biliary Science, Delhi, and the other with Revelations Biotech in Hyderabad in 2012. The company's revenue in the second year of operation had shot up to $130,000 (Rs 7.2 million).
By 2011, RAS Life Sciences was making everything required for diagnostics, in-house. And that was a eureka moment for Dr Kumar.
He thought: "If we are doing everything, why not manufacture as well." The company then applied and got license for manufacturing diagnostic kits from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI).
Dr Kumar says, "There are diagnostics kits from Roche and other MNCs at an exorbitant $290-$380 (Rs 16,000- Rs 21, 000) whereas we offer the same at about $32 (Rs 1,800)." In November 2011, RAS got license for 26 diagnostic products. Apart from that, the company also applied for setting up a FDA-compliant manufacturing unit to make its products and has been allotted a five-acre plot in the biotech park in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.