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Biocon: India's leading biotechnology enterprise

Biocon is India's leading biotechnology enterprise headquartered in Bangalore. It is the brainchild of its Chairperson, Dr. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw. Since its inception in 1978, it has evolved from an enzyme manufacturing company to a fully integrated biopharmaceutical enterprise, focussing on healthcare. With successful initiatives in drug discovery and development, bioprocessing and global marketing, they deliver products and solutions to partners and customers in over 50 countries.

Biocon has been the pioneer of biotech revolution in India. It has many firsts to its credit. It is India's first biotechnology company. It's also the country's first biotechnology company to export microbial enzymes to USA and Europe and to receive ISO 9001 certification in India. Biocon is the first Indian company to be approved by US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for the manufacture of lovastatin, a cholesterol-lowering molecule and it is also the first company, globally to manufacture human insulin.

Dr. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, the Chairperson and Managing Director of Biocon India Ltd. runs the company with the help of:

  • The Board of Directors, which determines strategic business moves and the achievement of corporate goals.
  • The Scientific Advisory Board, which advises the organization on various research programmes, evaluates the intellectual property generated and identifies research partnerships.
  • The Key Management Team, which executes its role in corporate governance through regular reviews of financial performance and critical business issues.
  • Syngene, a Biocon subsidiary, established in 1994, is the country's first biotech custom research company in drug discovery. It provides customized R&D services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors.

    Clinigene, another Biocon subsidiary, established in 2000, has India's first CAP (College of American Pathologists) accredited clinical research laboratory, setting a standard for laboratories in India. It is a Clinical Research Organization that offers global biotechnology and pharmaceutical majors strong clinical trial, regulatory and laboratory capabilities for drug development.

    Biocon, Syngene and Clinigene together constitute The Biocon India Group, which is recognized as India's leading biotechnology conglomerate.

    Biocon's track record of commercialization has been outstanding. It has commercialized more than 25 enzymes in over two decades. Biocon's biopharmaceutical foray began with statins and immunosuppressants. Their commercial success is evident in the rapid market share they have gained in US and Europe.

    Biocon is committed to finding biotechnology solutions for customers across the world. It offers specialized outsourcing services. It also provides high quality technical research services.

    In recognition of its contribution to spearheading the biotech revolution in India, Biocon has been awarded the Biotech Product and Process Development Commercialization Award 2001 by the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India. Syngene International has also been awarded the Certificate of Excellence for Export Achievement by the Government of India, for two consecutive years 2002-2003.

    Building its intellectual capital and driving its growth are its employees. Biocon, Syngene and Clinigene together employ approximately 1500 qualified personnel from biologists, chemists, computer scientists, medical practitioners, pharmacologists, engineers, finance / legal / marketing analysts to general administrators. 10% of the employees hold a PhD degree, 30% have a Masters degree in Science and the remaining are graduates with a Bachelors degree in Science, Commerce or Arts.

    Intellectual Profile of 1500 Personnel (2004-2005)
    (source: www.biocon.com)

    Biocon is continuously building up its employee strength to keep pace with its growth. A lot of people would be eager to have a career in India's top biotech company. A visit to the careers site of Biocon revealed that Biocon requires doctorates, postgraduates and graduates with backgrounds in biotechnology, chemistry, molecular biology, bio chemical/ medical engineering and genetics. It also needs MBAs (marketing and sales, finance, legal and human resources) and MCAs (visual Basic and Oracle). The positions advertised for ranged from Scientists, Project Managers to Executives. (For more details you can visit the website www.biocon.com)

    Biocon is committed to community-support initiatives and corporate citizenship programmes with particular focus on child welfare. As a company that is knowledge-driven, Biocon is also committed to nurturing education at all levels. It offers scholarships, awards and assistance to economically disadvantaged children.

    Biocon aims to be the first Indian company to set up production of monoclonal antibodies. Presently it is focusing on Diabetes and Oncology which are emerging as two important areas for disease research. Biocon's mission is to be "an integrated biotechnology enterprise of global distinction."

    For Comments: psjamwal@amity.edu

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