The biotechnology sector in India has shown a high growth trajectory with its impressive innovations across various industries and its recent novel application in the manufacturing industry. The revenue from biotechnology sector contributes fairly to India’s economy as well as helps India to improve its global image and presence in the world market of biotechnology.India accounts for 2 per cent share in the worldwide biotech space/industry. On the global stage,India is counted among the world’s top 12 biotech destinations and stands third in the Asia-Pacific region. India also accounts for the second highest number of biotech plants approved by the U S Food and Drug Administration, popularly known as USFDA.
Job Scenario in Biotechnology Industry
Biotechnology sector in India employs 20,000 professionals as per the current year. Biotechnology offers a wide variety of job opportunities that aren’t only limited to one being a scientist. The jobs in biotech firms may range from sales/business development and marketing, to research and development, to manufacturing and quality control and assurance.The biotech companies in India offer expertise in bio-pharmaceuticals and in Agri-biotech. Therefore, these two areas have a lot of job opportunities in India.
One and a half decade back, India had almost 300 biotech companies whereas this number today stands at 800 and continues to grow with 100 per cent FDI allowed in this sector. More and more students are pursuing biotechnology as a career and with government initiatives to encourage this sector further, job interest in biotechnology have increased too.The launch of Biotechnology Industry Partnership Programme (BIPP) is providing a much-needed boost to industry participation. The research activities are often outsourced and thus engaging a high number of low-cost, skilled labor force.
The private and public initiatives in research and development have led to an increase in the number of fellowships. In FY 2015, the number of fellowships in biotechnology increased from 100 to 250 per year for PhD students whereas there were100 postdoctoral and 50 foreign associate-ships, as reported by ibef.org.
Opportunities in Biotechnology Sector in India
The diversity in India- in terms of population, flora and fauna, India provides great opportunities for genomics and prospecting of new drugs.Indian government’s policy on GM crops has also encouraged the business of Agri-biotech companies.With our vast and varied profiles of patients, India also provides great research opportunities in the field of clinical research and trials.
Within the last two-three years, India has witnessed major investments in biotechnology sector. A lot of multinational companies in this field have shown their interest in setting up their units in India to extend their operations in Asia. With high investor interest and developing infrastructure, by 2030, India’s biotechnology sector will be counted in the top three players of this field. Plus such huge investment would mean more employment opportunities for India’s young workforce.
Govt. Initiatives to boost Biotechnology Sector in India
The Indian government has provided adequate financial support for the growth of biotechnology sector and encourages state-of-the-art biotech Research and Development (R&D) facilities. As per the Ministry for Science and Technology, the biotechnology sector in India would require an investment of US$ 5 billion for further development of human capital infrastructure and R&D to realize India’s dream of valuing biotechnology technology at US$ 100 billion industry by 2025.
The growing demand for biotech products across the world has resulted in attracting a lot of bio technology companies to set up their base in India, therefore, making India a preferred destination for setting up manufacturing units, contract research and clinical trials.
With affordable talent, modern R&D facilities, pool of latest skills and knowledge, cost-effective infrastructure, India is expected to pull more interest of foreign biotech giants, thus putting itself among the top three global key players in the field of biotechnology. Yield improvement and industrial enzymes are two biotech fields where India needs to focus more to increase its overall share in the global biotechnology market.
Challenges for Biotechnology Sector in India
- Low expenditure on research and development by the industry.
- Indian products are still looked upon in comparison to products manufactured in developed countries.
- Poor entrepreneurial skills
- Poor quality of human resource in this specific field
- Still requires more venture funding
- Lesser number of public private partnerships in biotechnology.
Top Employers in Biotechnology in India
The 800 biotech companies in India are valued at US$ 11 billion and have shown a spectacular Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 20 per cent. The best 10 of those 800 companiesthat employ the most biotech professionals are: Biocon, Serum Institute of India Panacea, Biotec Limited, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Limited, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited, Wockhardt, Bharat Serums and Vaccines Limited, Novozymes, Indian Immunologicals Limited and Shantha Biotechnics Limited.