Updated on 22 January 2013
Dr Anand Kumar, deputy managing director (DMD), Indian Immunologicals (IIL)
"Where the mind is without fear and the head is held very high." This famous quote of Nobel winning poet Rabindranath Tagore is what drives Dr Anand Kumar, the deputy managing director (DMD) of Indian Immunologicals (IIL).
Dr Kumar, who has had a great career working in many big companies in India and abroad, did his masters from PSG college in Coimbatore in microbiology and also obtained his PhD in the same field from ICMR's institute in Pondicherry in 1992. His doctoral research involved the development of immunoassays for the quantification of bacterial toxins.
After his PhD, Dr Kumar joined Transgene Biotek in Hyderabad in 1992. He joined the company as a scientist whose job was to develop immunodiagnostic kits for pregnancy, rheumatoid arthritis, and typhoid. Dr Kumar mentions, "The company realized that there was a big gap between marketing and R&D." And this is when the company made him manager of product development and asked him to act as an interface between the marketing and the R&D teams.
Then in 1994, Transgene, which was primarily a diagnostics company, ventured into the domain of vaccines and went into the development of recombinant hepatitis B vaccines. Dr Kumar says, "Transgene entered in the recombinant vaccine space far ahead of Shantha Biotech and Bharat Biotech. In fact it was the first company in India to venture into recombinant hepatitis vaccine, after buying the technology from a Germany-based Rhein Biotech."
"The company was looking for project manager for this and since I had little bit of commercial knowledge as well as the technical background, I was chosen as project manager for the recombinant hepatitis vaccine project."