Leadership étude from the Father of Indian Microbiology Business, Dr Gangadhar Motiram Warke
He rooted biotechnology in a foundation of focused determination and nurtured it with a passion for discovery and an effort to push the boundaries of biotechnology in India. From a pilot phase project kitchen startup to establishing a global brand with presence across 150 countries, Dr Gangadhar M. Warke schematized the voyage of Indian Microbiological Industry with laying the foundation of HiMedia Laboratories Pvt. Ltd in 1976.
Continually pushing its masterliness to perform at the highest levels, HiMedia’s caravan started 43 years ago to clear the vapor of the Indian Microbiological Spectrum. In yesteryears, without exception, most types of raw materials and culture media for microbiology were imported from the USA and Europe at a very high price. Researchers had to struggle considerably for obtaining the media and allied products on time. Hence, the impulse for developing cost-effective and quality products turned out to a major motivation for Dr Gangadhar M. Warke and he hammered out his direction, along with his wife Mrs Saroj G. Warke and Dr Gangadhar’s younger brother Mr Vishnu M. Warke, four decades ago in pursuit of “Make in India” dream and to deliver valuable insights for researchers and scientists who strive to resolve complex genetic challenges. Dr Warke gave up his lucrative pharma career and a cushy job for this noble cause and the journey of the company started with 5-6 products. Today with an all-inclusive portfolio of 7000 products and diversification & flourishing into other fields of Biosciences, the company is focusing on the future with an experienced, passionate team, motivated to continue redefining what is possible in biotechnology.
The R & D unit of HiMedia has been approved by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. Of India. With the motto, “Quality First” HiMedia is committed to develop and provide excellent quality products and technical service worldwide. HiMedia has necessary Quality Certifications such as ISO 13485: 2016, ISO 9001: 2015, ISO 27001:2013 and WHO GMP in place. Our Microbiology Testing Lab is NABL accredited and establishments registered with USFDA and we supply IVD, CE marked products that are registered in Europe.
HiMedia’s Information Technology Department is as long-standing as the company itself. Company’s co-founder Mrs Saroj Warke, herself an engineer from Pune University has a sizable team working under her directorship to achieve all programming, monitoring and publication goals. HiMedia achieved a unique distinction of being the first implementer of Suite on HANA (SAP ERP on HANA) in India in 2014. Besides customizing the life-science requirements in SAP HANA, it has churned out many applications and products to meet the ever-growing requirements of R & D, Inventory, QA, Manufacturing, Distribution, Designing and Publishing to have a lead in the operational edge. This department has been a key enabler for the company’s exponential growth over the past decades, holding efficiency at an optimal level.
Shouldering his responsibilities with all sincerity and commitment, Dr G M. Warke is continually broadening his vision, spectrum and role in spearheading the organization. The Founder and CMD of the company, Dr G. M. Warke is M. Sc. and Ph. D. Microbiology from the Mumbai University. He himself has been instrumental in innovating over 7000 Biosciences products including microbiological media for our country. His immense knowledge and amazing command over microbiology recipes led to HiMedia’s historic contribution to the world of microbiology. Due to which, he is referred by the patrons as “Father of Indian Microbiology Business”. Novel and unique Biosciences products of HiMedia have always been appreciated globally over 150 countries for excellent quality, accuracy, and reasonable prices. HiMedia always has been on toes to invent quality products that are rapaciously used in hospitals, clinical studies, agricultural industry, pharmaceuticals, food fermentation, and processing industry, environmental care, cosmetic, dairy, water sanitation, educational and research institutes.
Right from launching its first product Vitamin B12 assay medium in the market four decades ago to innovating various unique indigenous products like HiVegTM Media (animal free media), HiCynthTM (TSE/BSE/GMO risk free chemically defined media), “HiEncapTM” (pre-weighed Encapsulated Dehydrated Culture Media), HiFastTM (water testing kits), Enhanced variety of Primary cells and stem cells media (ATC media), Harmonized Media, Chemically defined serum-free media (CDSFM), Molecular Biology Kits, Agricultural based products, PCR Machine and kits, HiMedia’s technical team has been working hard achieving each goal under the leadership of Dr G. M. Warke.
So how does one find all these marvellous features in one individual? It is nearly impossible. In this interview, we get up close to Dr G. M. Warke’s life as an entrepreneur where he talks about his challenges in life, how passionate he is about his line of career and well, also note the answer at Question in which he gives a great piece of advice to all entrepreneurs.
What has been the development path of your establishment? Brief us about the milestones of the organization.
HiMedia is the largest media, reagent & kit manufacturer in the world for the fields of Microbiology, animal & plant tissue culture, Molecular Biology, Agriculture and Hydroponic. Being a technology-driven company, research and innovation have always been its prime aim and base of the company. It is always considered essential for the changing global demands.
HiMedia is accounted and has been listed among the top three brands in the world, in the most prestigious organizations such as the American Society of Microbiology publication titled ‘Handbook of Microbiological Media-Fourth edition’-CRC & ASM press by Ronald M Atlas, 2010. This value creation that we have done for our nation is our major achievement. HiMedia has been the recipient of several prestigious awards such as Rajiv Gandhi National Quality Award (2006 and 2011) and so on. Recently, HiMedia received most prestigious “Pride of Maharashtra Award” under the category of “Best Company of The Year Award” for 2018 and “BRAND AMBASSADOR OF MAHARASHTRA for 2018 (Category: Research & Innovation)” by Maharashtra Industrial and Economic Development Association (MIEDA).
What kind of impact do you intend to make in the Indian healthcare space?
Pharmaceutical and health care industry understands useful and harmful microbes, their role in disease & in climate change, their life cycle with respect to molecular genetics and biochemical & physical parameters, their susceptibility for antibiotics & drugs. They use this information to answer many important global questions by developing new therapies. Right from studying disease-causing agents to clinical testing/trials of drugs, different varieties of high-quality media and other raw materials are demanded in a huge quantity by pharma and health care industry. In short, the quality and cost of media and raw materials can eventually decide the total cost and quality of the final products of pharma and health care services. If pharma and healthcare industry get the best quality of raw materials and media at reasonable costs, ultimately that will have its share in making affordable healthcare products for the common man.
For this reason, at HiMedia we have always tried and developed cost-effective best quality media and raw materials using our state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities. And we promise to do it persistently through our research and innovation. HiMedia is in a massive growth phase and is an aggressively growing company in all Biosciences segments. Hence the extended family of HiMedia will continue to grow in service to the humankind. Innovation is in the DNA of HiMedia. Teamwork and innovation will always keep HiMedia at the frontiers in Biosciences.
What are the reasons for your success? What does it take to become a successful entrepreneur?
HiMedia understands the pain and sufferings of our scientists, researchers, and all the end users. Hence as mentioned earlier, HiMedia is not just a business, it’s a Mission for the entire HiMedia’s extended family and it works towards it with great passion in order to leave their mark on the nation and in the world at large. Today if we survey any pharmaceutical, biopharma or biotech organisation in India you will find the majority of them use our products and services in some form. It is mainly because of our urge to provide all our patrons high-quality products at the most optimum costs. One more point in our success is that we promptly attend any queries, issue or service requests of our customers and help them to gain more. The strong and deep tech-sales network is one more reason for our success.
What advice would you give for the future ‘Doctorpreneurs’?
Tony Robbins once quoted, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible”. One must first set up short term and long-term goals and keep achieving those goals one by one with smart hard work and determination. Your every step should be for the improvement of humankind coupled with affordable cost and the quality of the service. We always owe something to the society at large and all our efforts should be aimed in that direction. In fact, we should feel privileged to be able to do so.