A deep analysis of the Indian startup ecosystem will reveal majority of the ventures are focused on mobile, e-commerce, education, consumer and internet verticals, to generate quick profits and grab market share. The Gene Box (TGB), is a promising Mumbai-based business venture with a distinct focus on genomic science and data-driven technology, enabling it to stand out from the rest of the crowd.
Essentially a holistic health platform that looks at an individual’s genetic blueprint, TGB was founded in 2015 by Pranav Anam, a geneticist with an aim to translate genomic information into meaningful insights. It aims to serve 100,000 Indians in the next three years with benefits of predictive genetic analytics.
To put it in simple words, TGB is India’s leading AI-powered platform that offers genomic solutions for preventive healthcare; the kind of science-focused ventures you will find in abundance in the San Francisco Bay Area. An enterprising graduate in genetics from Newcastle, the UK, Anam has ushered in a new age of health and fitness practices by demystifying genetic testing.
“The billion plus population of our country makes India a powerhouse of human resources in the global economy. However, if we look at the genomic data available globally, it primarily represents the Caucasian population; the representation of the Asian population is quite low,” says Anam, CEO and founder, The Gene Box (TGB).
According to Anam, genome sequencing plays a crucial role in gaining deeper insight to a community, solving problems that they typically face. “The lack of enough information on the Asian population has made it challenging to look deeper into population-specific issues in India. As a company, TGB wants to fill the gap by analysing the India-specific genetic information,” he says.
A concept finding common ground
Genetic information has multiple uses and TGB collaborates with nutritionists, fitness experts, healthcare providers to enable interventions through genomic reports. Anam says, “We believe that personalisation is the key – the trial and error routine associated with a ‘One Size Fits All’ approach is obsolete. But there are very few companies in India who have the insight and capability about genomics and its effective reporting. This provides us with a huge opportunity to not only establish a new business sector but also to bring substantial qualitative change in the lives of scores of Indians.”
TGB acts not merely as an information provider, but an enabler, driven by accurate sequencing performance, exhaustive knowledge repository, robust report generation engine and a holistic risk scoring system. “Very recently, we helped a sport academy to identify the strengths of 40 children that would help them become a better professional sportsperson at an international level. We have also worked with a few athletes and helped them train to leverage their strength areas – we are happy to see them running marathons now,” he says.
Collaborations and outlook
TGB is working with consumer genomics companies internationally that employ TGB’s proprietary data-to-reports platform to generate reports for their customers. Anam says, “Our aim is to create value for Indian genomics data. TGB is a unique platform that businesses can use for a wide range of purposes. A good share of the revenue comes from businesses who subscribe to our research and report platforms. We are looking to raise funds by demonstrating our abilities to its best.”
TGB intends to improve the Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) interventions in this sub-field of genetics for better healthcare products. “We hope that the insights created by TGB’s platform will drive the healthcare industry into precision medicine and care in multiple domains—applications of genomics data are varied and can span from personalised nutrition and fitness plans to medicine, nutraceuticals, cosmetics, FMCG products, improved interventions for better management of lifestyle, etc,” he adds.
The global genomics market is expected to rise at an exponential CAGR of 18.7% between 2018 and 2026. In 2018, the market was valued at $15,888.8 million and it is anticipated to reach $62,614.6 million by 2026.