Here's why biotechnology can be a rewarding career
Are you curious about deconstructing the basic building blocks of living organisms?
Does conducting serious research in a laboratory setting sound appealing to you?
Do you like to apply molecular biology knowledge to develop new pharmaceuticals or biofuels?
If the answer is 'Yes', then biotechnology is your forté. After dominating the information technology (IT) scene for decades, India has directed its efforts toward biotechnology. The Indian biotech industry is today what IT was in the 1990s – a sector with a robust growth trajectory and teeming with numerous job opportunities. According to the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the biotech industry is experiencing a fast-paced growth in comparison to the previous years with the biopharma sector contributing about 62% of the total revenue. This is followed by bio-services (18%), bio-agri (15%), bio-industry (four percent), and bio-informatics contributing (one percent).
Whether you are just starting out as a biotech professional, or you enjoy a middle management position, opportunities are plentiful in this field in India. Depending on your degree and specialization, you can make your mark as an animal scientist, biomedical engineer, biochemist, genetic engineer or even an animal science researcher. These specializations require you to work on disease-resistant farm animals, gene-therapy treatments, animal reproduction techniques, biofuels, and so on.
Biotechnologists have an important role to play in this sector because it is the main source of livelihood for nearly 58% of India’s population. According to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the Indian food processing industry has cumulatively attracted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) equity inflow of about USD 8.57 billion between April 2000 and June 2018.
Problems such as crop diseases and soil imbalances have triggered a demand for genetically modified disease-resistant crop varieties that give a higher yield. Similarly, biotechnologists have to develop newer ecofriendly fertilizers that can minimize the harmful effects of synthetic chemicals, making the crops more consumable. Given that the food industry is poised for huge growth, there is tremendous scope for professional agricultural scientists, researchers and agronomists to contribute in this field.
Health sciences is an evergreen sector
Lack of effective cure for several diseases make the health sciences an attractive field for people who are always looking for opportunities to improvise diagnostic methodologies or discover cutting-edge medical therapies for disease prevention and cure. Besides, there is a constant need for talent to develop pharmaceutical formulations using both modern and traditional medical methods such as Ayurveda, medicinal plants and Siddha medicine. With the Government of India's 'Pharma Vision 2020' that aims at making the nation a global leader in end-to-end drug manufacturing, more and more companies are making significant investments in R&D. This in turn has created more jobs for clinical researchers, pharmacologists and biomedical scientists.
Biotech Industry in India
Comprising about 800 companies, the Indian biotech industry holds about two percent share of the global biotech industry. The Government of India has also undertaken quite a few initiatives to encourage further research and attract more foreign investment.
Currently, India features among the top 12 global biotech destinations and ranks third in the Asia-Pacific region. Out of the top 10 biotech companies in India, seven specialize in bio-pharmaceuticals and three have expertise in agri-biotech. Moreover, after the USA, the second-highest number of US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA)–approved plants are in India.
In India, Biocon, Panacea Biotech, Ranbaxy, Aventis, Primal Healthcare and Novo Nordisk are some of the big corporate giants that hire the best biotech professionals. Many private and government research laboratories also need such professionals to develop innovative products by using technical software, genetic coding and more.
Therefore, given the interdisciplinary and diverse nature of biotechnology, professionals can now look forward to a rewarding career where they can utilize their skills, knowledge and experience to revolutionize life. So, if you are looking for a promising career in biotechnology, start your job search today.