Biotechnology major Biocon today announced the setting up of a centre of excellence here for advanced learning in applied Bio-Sciences and said the bio-tech sector aims at a revenue of USD 100 billion by 2025.
The centre -- Biocon Academy -- would train and develop industry ready talent for India's Biopharma sector and enable global competitiveness, the company said.
"India has a potential of becoming a global innovation hub for Biotechnology. The Indian Biotech sector is estimated of the size of USD 11 billion today and it has grown at the CAGR of 20 per cent over last 10 years. The aim of the sector is to realise the revenue of USD 100 billion by 2025," Biocon Chairperson and MD Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw told reporters here.
"If this is the trajectory that we need to aim for, it may call for a very impotent talent pool, and a very large talent pool that enables us to achieve this goal," she added.
Stating that India has a very large opportunity to aim and achieve its goal of USD 100 billion by 2025, Mazumdar-Shaw said: "In order to do that we need appropriate talent to get us there."
She said: "Today as we all know there is a very large gap that exists between the quality of human capital available and the need of the industry. While we have the academic sector in our country graduating a large number of biotech professionals we do believe they are not industry ready."
"We have today over 725 biotech institutes in India, graduating 40,000 students per annum, but is it the appropriate relevant and rich talent pool we are getting? For which the answer is no, because barely 2,000 students get employed each year," she added.
Pointing out that the challenge is huge and immense, Mazumdar-Shaw said: "What BT Finishing Schools (Government of Karnataka initiative) and we at Biocon through the academy are planning to do each year, it is very very small scale; ....over the next few years if we were able to actually create or expand the talent pool by 10,000 each year - that will be quite a lot."
To a question on actual demand from the industry for graduates, she said "it is difficult to answer that- it is bit of a chicken and egg situation. If you had the talent pool you will have industries that will come in. You will have much more entrepreneurial companies being formed because of the right talent."
"As we don't have the right talent for now- we don't have enough industries formulating in the biotech space."
Adding to that she said "Biocon hires 1,000 new employees each year; we find it very difficult to get the right kind of students- it takes a lot of time to train these students to be industry ready. Out of 1,000 we hire almost 80 per cent are freshers."
The Biocon Academy will offer advanced learning in Biosciences that will provide the required proficiency for enhanced carrier prospects in biotechnology for engineering and science graduates, company officials said.
The Academy's 'Biocon KGI certificate programe in Biosciences'- in collaboration with Keck Graduate Institute (KGI), California will start its session in January 2014. KGI is premier American graduate institution, devoted solely to bioscience education and discovery.
To a question on money set aside by Biocon for the academy, Mazumdar-Shaw said "The infrastructure we have created is very high-end, our investment in just creating the infrastructure has amounted right now to about Rs 10 crore, in addition to that every year we will have to spend upwards of Rs five crore as part of administration cost.
"There will be academic cost, curriculum and faculty cost which is from KGI," she added.