CEO Conclave at BioAsia 2016- Make in India and much more


BioAsia 2016 and KPMG hosted a CEO Conclave to encourage global companies to invest in India and also enliven domestic players to increase their size. The event unveiled BioAsia-KPMG in India thought leadership report on Make in India for the biotech sector.

The Panel included the following experts:

  • Dr. Rajiv Modi, CMD Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd
  • Dr. Rajiv Sharma, Govt of India, IAS-Civil Services, Govt. of Telangana
  • Dr. Renu Swaroop, MD BIRAC, Govt. of India
  • Dr. Pankaj Bhai Patel, Chairman, Zydus Cadila
  • Mr. Rogerio Riberio-SVP and Head of emerging Markets at GSK
  • Dr. Prabhal Chakraborty, MD, Boston Scientific
  • Mr. Prasanta Biswal, CEO International Biotech Park, Pune
  • Mr. Utkarsh Palnitkar, Partner, Head of Advisory and Head-Life Sciences at KPMG India (Moderator)
Pic 1
PANELISTS – L to R: Dr. Rajiv Modi, CMD Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Dr. Rajiv Sharma, Govt of India, IAS-Civil Services, Govt. of Telangana, Dr. Renu Swaroop, MD BIRAC, Govt. of India, Dr. Pankaj Bhai Patel, Chairman, Zydus Cadila, Mr. Rogerio Riberio-SVP and Head of emerging Markets at GSK, Dr. Prabhal Chakraborty, MD, Boston Scientific, Mr. Prasanta Biswal, CEO International Biotech Park, Pune and Mr. Utkarsh Palnitkar, Partner, Head of Advisory and Head-Life Sciences at KPMG India (Moderator-on the podium)

Here are a few excerpts from the CEO Conclave:

  • The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) aims for the biotech industry to reach $10bn which is currently around $5bn. In India, the main question is how do we create and sustain the competitive advantage in our Industry.
  • Dr. Pankaj Patel: Online regulation should be implemented; we need to find out ways to shorten the period required to get approvals and create an enabling environment. The HRs in the industry are talking about job creation and how to bridge the gap. For this, the educational system has to be reformed. We have a lot of untrained and not well-trained talent. The talent is not employable and is not industry ready.
  • Dr. Rajiv Sharma: We have a fantastic initiative in Telangana called TS iPAAS where approvals are given in a timely and hassle free manner. We have so far cleared more than 82 approvals, and we have approximately 1,50,000 acres of land available for industries. We are also planning to create specialized clusters promoting investments. The Govt. of Telangana is very friendly and believes in partnering with the industry.
  • Mr. Rogerio Riberio: India is our No.1 priority from a strategic point of view. India has tremendous advantage in terms of quality people, skilled talent and all ingredients to make a much more powerful economy. The challenge is in terms of improving healthcare access and strengthening the regulatory framework.
  • Dr. Rajiv Modi: Should Make in India be proceeded by innovative in India?? What we have on ground today is a wonderful ecosystem for Make in India. Innovation is important and we have a great ecosystem and a young population. At the same time there is a lot of sensitivity from the Govt. and reception from the industry. How can we put the strings on all components? There is a SPIRIT that the pride of India is coming back and this is just the beginning. There is big change happening across all levels in the pharma and healthcare industry. There is a change in the mindset of people in India. Policies which are unheard of are being taken by state Governments now, for eg. if approvals are not given on time, the concerned authority/department will be reprimanded/penalized. The Pharma industry has graduated; as far as startups are considered, there is enough ecosystem support in India. It is not necessary for Make in India to also encompass Make for India or Make from India. We should make, develop and innovate. Make in India cannot happen without Develop in India and Innovate in India. For eg., one in ten tablets used by Americans is made in India!
  • Dr. Renu Swaroop: What is BIRAC (Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council) doing for startups? The DBT in the last 30 years has focused on how innovation becomes a complete enterprise. Innovation comes from academia and startups. It is the only public sector to be nurturing the startups in biotech. To further develop the biotech industry, the innovation ecosystem and resources have to be ready to take advantage of Govt. initiatives and policies. BIRAC is focused on mentorship and training the startups. We have also set up a Bio Incubation Centre and the DBT Cluster which connects SMEs to industry and investors. We aim to have 2000 startups in the next 5 years. Currently we have about 500 startups in the country in the life sciences and biotech sector. Cluster development program focuses on all the key components of the cluster, i.e. startup infrastructure and state policies. How you get the right players connected is more important. Bio clusters in Bangalore and Faridabad are coming up. Pune cluster (Kalyani) is being talked about as well. BIRAC therefore is focusing on getting all the components of Biotech, Healthcare and Life Sciences industry connect with each other, complement each other and create the entire ecosystem.
  • Dr. Prabhal Chakraborty: Start innovating in R&D first. A separate regulatory body is essential for the Biotech industry. At this juncture, the state Governments need to address how to make healthcare really accessible to Indians. Universal Healthcare was an exciting concept, currently on hold, will hopefully come back.
  • Mr. Prashanta: Biotech developing strategy which was released in the year 2000, talked about the industry size reaching $5bn by 2010. We have just reached that target with a lot of difficulty. There are 32 notified SEZs out of which so far only 2 have become operational in India.
BioAsia 2016 CEO Conclave - Day 2 of BioAsia 2016
The CEO Conclave

Overall, the CEO Conclave not only addressed the issues and problems faced in India in the Biotech and Life Science industries, but also gave suggestions for improvements and what can be done in the near future to make the Make in India campaign more successful.


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Scientist-entrepreneur-manager-journalist: -Co-founder, Author; Former Assistant Editor and Director, Biotechin.Asia, Biotech Media Pte. Ltd.; -Founder & CEO, SciGlo (; -Programme Management Officer, SBIC, A*STAR (former Research Fellow). --Sandhya graduated from University of Madras, India (B.Sc Microbiology and M.Sc Biotechnology) and received her Ph.D from the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She worked on oxidative stress in skin, skeletal, adipose tissue and cardiac muscle for a decade from 2006-2016. She is currently working as a Programme Management Officer handling projects and grants at Singapore Bioimaging Consortium (SBIC), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Earlier to this she was a Research Fellow in the Fat Metabolism and Stem Cell Group at SBIC. Sandhya was also the Vice President and Publicity Chair of A*PECSS (A*STAR Post Doc Society) (2014-2016). Recently she founded a platform for scientists - SciGlo ( and is a startup mentor at Vertical VC (Finland). She is an ardent lover of science and enjoys globe trotting and good vegetarian food.