Updated on 10 September 2012
Dr Satya Dash, senior consultant to IIM Bangalore and IISc, was the next to speak on opportunities and challenges in biotech companies. Highlighting the challenges for country such as India where the economy is in transition phase, there are challenges of increasing population, increasing demand for food, increasing dependence on imports and the rising disease prevalance. He said, "and this is where opportunities lie; Opportunities in lifesciences lie to feed the world, fuel the world, heal the world and clean the world." He then mentioned that India has a couple of success stories under its belt such as vaccine, drug discovery, MAS and Bt cotton success.
Mentioning the challenges in the biotech field he mentioned that the regulatory regime in the country has multiple windows and it is cumbersome and undefined. Along with that, the industry lacks institutional mentorship mechanism. For start-ups there is not enough information which can provide market insights and understanding of the markets.
Although present, there are very few networking platforms available for young start-ups. In life sciences, since results come after a long period of time, the venture capitalists are not patient and thus are still reluctant to invest in these companies. At the moment there is no testing and prototyping facility available for companies from medical technology sector. There needs to be more collaborations between industry and academia which will further enhance the growth of the life sciences sector.
He concluded his talk by highlighting that there is immense opportunity lying in the life science sector. The ecosystem is growing and there is palpable dynamism in the sector. The support system by the government is there and is continuously evolving to provide more opportunities to the players in this upcoming sector.
Dr Taslimarif Saiyed, COO and director, C-CAMP, spoke about the organization's experience in life science entrepreneurship in India. He began his talk by talking about the incubation in academic environment. There is a need to to integrate industry environment in academic campus so that the researchers and students get the taste of the industry and get some basic understanding of the entrepreneurial side of the industry.