Molbiogen: on the road of becoming a pioneer in the Lifescience Management market
Research is one such field that requires expertise at a premium level. You must have seen big laboratory equipment in your academic days. These essentials require a soft-hand and meticulous approach towards its handling. Now, with everything transforming into professional, this critical field of providing laboratory equipment is also taking an organized and professional form with help of the digital revolution. This unsaturated domain is seeing a new generation of entrepreneurs who are challenging the status-quo established by traditional family based eco-system. Pondering over the major developments in industry and technology, Pranjal Sharma during his stint with a Swiss Multinational company called Roche as regional head in Kolkata while handling the Life-science and Molecular Diagnostics Business for the company in Eastern India astutely observed the gaps in the market and indifference to addressing the issues. In the meantime, Pranjal completed a course on Business Management from IIM-Calcutta and decided to create a brand which can cater to the total need in the Life-science Market in Market. His prior experience in the business area helped him start Molbiogen in the year 2013. Within no time, the firm’s unique business model was whole-heartedly accepted in the market. Delivering products and services in time was in the area. So, the firm started procuring the fast-running products for faster delivery while keeping the quality of products to the recommended international standards and dealing with the best brands to keep the clients satiated.
The CEO Magazine’s representatives spoke with Pranjal Sharma, also the Director of Molbiogen, and looking after the entire operation of this single owner still not a private limited firm. Here are some of the edited excerpts.
Solutions offered and the uniqueness
We strive to give the best of the brands at an affordable price and faster delivery. Time is essence and money for a researcher. Logistics is a problem in this region. We deliver faster than our competitors. The customer already knows the quality. So, the only assurance they need is good service backup and prompt response which we provide them. We deal with a wide range of products instead of concentrating on one single product.
Tell us about your first paying customer and revenue expectations over the next year
Our first customer came from Rajiv Gandhi University, Itanagar giving us an order of Rs 3000/- but it was very satisfying to serve customers from so interior. Next year we are expecting a total turnover to reach around 5.0 Crore.
Measuring Success and its metrics
We have a certain different view of measuring success. For us adding new customers to the base while keeping our existing customer base intact is a triumph. Business will grow automatically after that.
Perception of Market and Sales
The Lifescience Market segment where we operate here is very big even if we consider the Market for North East India. It would not be less than 70-80 crores per annum. We would want to be a major player in the market in the coming next five years. Our target plans include capturing at least 18-20% of the market. To ensure that, we have to grow by around 25-30% per annum which are doing at this moment. We want to continue with keeping the momentum. Currently, we deal with most of the leading Life-science companies in the world. The data is available with the companies and in the public domain as well.
Did you have access to the various resources you need to launch a business?
Looking at the investment culture in India, Finance was hard to find by for a start-up business in India. It still a big constraint for a growing business like us. Finding well-trained manpower is equally a big obstacle.
Who are your clients? How do you work on your long-term relationship with your clients?
Our clients are Universities, Top Academia, Research Institutes, etc. we have a very good customer relationship. We have successfully been able to retain most of our customers due to our relentless customer engagement though satisfied personalized service. For us each customer is unique, and we understand our customer requirements very well.
Have you reached out to potential customers for feedback?
Yes, we constantly take feedback from our customers and apply them to improve upon ourselves.
What next for the company? What do you see happening in the company industry in 2018-19?
Plans are underway to expand geographically in coming days. But Life-Science Research Business is totally based on Govt Funding. Next year being an election year, we do not foresee any great change in this market. Hence, we will be focusing more to expand our Molecular Diagnostics business next year in the Northeast part of India. It is an upcoming area, and we want to rule the market in years to come establishing ourselves as a leader in the area.
With such a fast-growing team, how do you make sure everybody stays motivated and how do you support the corporate culture?
We are a small family in terms of numbers, and I keep my door open all the time. I give a lot of space and freedom to everybody to work and perform. We celebrate successes and embrace failures and sorrows together so that all get motivated.
What are the big achievements?
Our achievements are having completed several turnkey projects where we have built complete laboratories from scratch.
How do you learn in your life and what is your biggest dream?
Every day brings us a new avenue of learning. I try to learn from whatever happens around me. My biggest dream is to launch our own Molbiogen range of Products which we are currently working on.
Does your idea already exist in the same way you were going to create it?
The Idea already exists, but it needs refinement and new adaptation.
If you weren’t building your startup, what would you be doing?
I would have been working somewhere.
Who are your peers?
Most of my peers are working in the Industry.
Tell us about how did you overcome failure?
I am very positive. I take failure as a learning experience.
Do you consider yourself a hardworking person or a smart person?”
I am a little bit of both Hardworking and smart working.
What gets you excited about the future?”
Nobody has seen the future. The uncertainty, that’s the exciting part.
What was your journey like to get where you are?
It is difficult to comment on the ongoing journey. I am in the midst of the Journey. There are still miles to go.
What was the most difficult lesson you have learned as an entrepreneur?
No lesson is difficult if you want to really learn it.
What advice can you give entrepreneurs who want to venture into the same domain in the future?
Believe in yourself and be ready to walk that extra mile when required will sail you through. Never give up.
Molbiogen is led by Pranjal Sharma, a post-graduate in Agricultural Biotechnology from Assam Agricultural University and holds an executive business management course from IIM Calcutta with around 15 years of experience in Strategic Planning, Business Development, Channel Management, Sales & Marketing. Prior to entering entrepreneurial waters, he was associated with Roche Diagnostics India as Regional manager.