Neelam Jain, Revolutionary Entrepreneur Administering Success Of Krishgen Biosystems, India’s Leading Brand Delivering Cutting-Edge Biotech Solutions Since 2003
“I think of my business as an extension of my family while my professional family, team KRISHGEN acts as the biggest asset to the brand ensuring that the values, beliefs and legacy of KRISHGEN BIOSYSTEMS are carried forward.”– Neelam Jain
Revolutionary indeed, both Neelam Jain and her Biotech company KRISHGEN BIOSYSTEMS continues to lead ahead while breaking new grounds and innovating world-class solutions in research and biotech industry.
KRISHGEN BIOSYSTEMS, today, enjoys an influential spot in the industry as a name synonymous with a brand delivering novel breakthroughs in areas of biological research, diagnostics, drug discovery and the treatment of diseases. The KRISHGEN team inclusive of its scientists, staff with Master or PHD degree, hundreds of employees and management team with extensive working experience in large pharmaceutical companies continue to deploy their efforts and leave their mark in the industry by delivering solutions backed with their expertise, technical backup.
Headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra and under the supervision of Neelam Jain who founded the company in 2003, KRISHGEN BIOSYSTEMS delivers its clientele worldwide with value-added solutions at competitive prices through its distribution arrangement across the world while maintaining a high standard of manufacturing, laboratory and documentation practices. Emerging in the biotech scenario, Neelam Jain’s privately-owned biotech firm has been leading with academic linkages to support the KRISHGEN’s scientists while the brand delivers many bio-pharmaceutical and preclinical customers by providing a range of Research Use Only kits for researchers and unique assays and reagents for the life sciences.
In an exclusive interview with The CEO Magazine, the visionary anda remarkable name in our Women Entrepreneur Of The Year Issue celebrating revolutionary women entrepreneurs for their remarkable contribution, Neelam Jain shared her views on her entrepreneurial journey, emerging through empire-building challenges, managing family life and leadership role, and other aspects along with responding to the pandemic COVID-19 while administering the leading certified and accredited brand KRISHGEN Biosystems:
THE CEO: Have you always been entrepreneurial? When and how did the idea coin to set up your own business?
NEELAM JAIN: Yes, I have been always entrepreneurial and a significant credit of that goes to growing up with an entrepreneur in the family. I believe, watching my father run a distribution business in textiles was interwoven into my childhood and it has played its role in my entrepreneurial venture.
THE CEO: In this journey of becoming and being your boss, what have been your make or break moments?
NEELAM JAIN: It has been a tough journey from its very beginning as when I started 20 years back, I was juggling my time with my young daughter and a new business. Like many other commendable women around the world, I understand the struggle of a working mother especially as I recall the feeling of guilt for not having been able to give enough time to my daughter while she was growing up.
For make or break moments, I believe, in my journey of many ups and downs, a couple of situations have been significant. First would be the challenge as an entrepreneur to take the call of ‘the switch’ from being a distributor to being an independent developer and manufacturer of our products.
Another make or break moment in my career would definitely be a point of time in late 2010 when we pumped in a large sum of money in R&D, and which created a risky situation. Had we not obtained the milestone of commercialization of the products; we would have probably folded. But we not only dodged the bullet and were able to overcome this challenge but we were also able to gain the confidence to continue developing cutting edge products.
THE CEO: Can you take us through your routine balancing your personal and work life being an entrepreneur heading a leading brand?
NEELAM JAIN: A day in my life usually is kickstarted with an early workout, which is followed by visiting the kitchen planning meals for my family before reaching to pick up my phone and start coordinating with my team so that I am updated by the time I reach office at 10:00 am. Another part of balancing work and personal life would be how I spend my weekends. Well, I have made it a point to take Saturdays off for “family time” to complete all my pending chores and dwell on key issues and challenges facing our business while Sunday is me time to relax with my family.
THE CEO: What are the distinct solutions your brand offers and who is your target audience?
NEELAM JAIN: Our D&B/SMERA and ISO 9001:2008 certified Indian venture offers key value addition focused products including KRIGEN CE Marked ELISA kits and other assay reagents as an innovative cost-effective tool for disease research, drug discovery & development, and molecular diagnostic test development; Therapeutic Drug Monitoring like assays for Rituximab, Adalimumab, Eculizumab, Daratumumab, Trastuzumab and also for Incretin Mimetic – GLP1 Agonist Drugs like Exenatide, Liraglutide, Semaglutide, Lixisenatide; and for peptide drugs which are RUO including for Vasopressin, Octreotide amongst others.
Apart from our unique assay kits which are used by pharmaceutical companies, cosmetics and food industry to test and use as quality control, our brands Genlisea and Kribiolisa, now enjoy worldwide recognition.
THE CEO: In this competitive business ecosystem, how do you build a successful customer base?
NEELAM JAIN: I learnt a key philosophy about building successful customer relationships in the very early days of my entrepreneurial establishment which is to keep it simple. The focus is only on the customer – to deliver to him a quality product, timely with all technical support.
THE CEO: 2020 had witnessed a rough start and many derailed businesses, what are the challenges you are facing and how do aim to overcome them?
NEELAM JAIN: We have taken up the challenge, in the year 2020, to harness all that we know including our expertise, knowledge and skills, to develop tests and tools for scientists to develop the vaccines and medicines required to fight the deadly Covid-19. In the times of pandemic, our team is focused to respond to the situation by working day and night to help offer tools for Covid-19.
As a leader guiding the brand, I believe this is a coming of age time for us while we aim to develop key solutions required today and move KRISHGEN as a company to the next level. In 2020, we stand amongst a very few companies worldwide which are able to offer the tools for novel COVID-19 virus pandemic.
THE CEO: How are you strategizing your company’s business model in the near future? How are you planning to align with the latest technological trends?
NEELAM JAIN: With upcoming KRISHGEN’s business model, our aim currently is to add muscle to our manufacturing and focus on increasing our global reach. Being in an industry where technology is the core area, I am aware of the fact we cannot afford but to be updated on the current trends. Having said that, we plan to align with the latest technological trends and a step towards the same includes our efforts dedicated in the direction of developing the next generation assays to be used for gene therapy and in other areas.
THE CEO: What are the core values you ensure are followed by the team?
NEELAM JAIN: While we value transparency in our dealings with our users and customers along assuring our customers of quality and support as a brand, I robustly believe, being honest is a core value each member of my team should believe in and showcase in the operations. It defines as being honest to your product, honest to your customer and honest in your approach in supporting them.
THE CEO: Being at a successful position, what are your thoughts about a diverse workforce in top-level management teams?
NEELAM JAIN: I robustly believe, it is a given, coming from where I have been. I think women, will find more and more representation at the management levels as they bring in their key advantages of being more sensitive and adept at multi-tasking.
THE CEO: What do you believe are the most important things to progress in a leadership position? What drives you?
NEELAM JAIN:I was fortunate to have started my own company, which ultimately made me the boss, but to be a pioneer and stand amongst the leaders in the country in a technology-driven space is of prime importance, I believe, the most important things to progress in a leadership role is dedication, hard word and the positive outlook. For me, being positive, is an essential element that helps you overcome all obstacles and constructively face them.
THE CEO: How do you define success? Whom would you like to credit your success to?
NEELAM JAIN: According to me, success is being able to pursue your dreams and be able to achieve them. The biggest satisfaction is being able to support your employees and ensure that being a part of the team has made a difference in their lives. A person I would like to present with the credit for my success is my father who I turn to when I am stuck and need his earthy advice on how to move ahead in business.
THE CEO: Being a part of the industry for more than a decade, which are the recent achievements/accolades you are proud of and would like to share with our readers?
NEELAM JAIN: Although over the years, we have been recognised by many reputed organisations like in GHP- the Global Health & Pharma Magazine awarded us the Product of the Year Award 2019 for our Nipah virus test kits, our recent accolade is becoming a part of the National Biomedical Resources Indigenization Consortium (NBRIC) to help develop resources for life sciences tools in India.
THE CEO: What is your vision for the future of the company?
NEELAM JAIN: My vision for the future would be to enter the big league internationally as a Leading Life Science Tools Provider Company, penetrate and gain acceptance with leading scientists across the world.
THE CEO: What would be your message for the aspiring women entrepreneurs reading this interview right now?
NEELAM JAIN: My advice for all aspiring women entrepreneurs would be to ‘Take The Leap“, even though it comes with its own baggage of trials and tribulations, ups and downs, the journey at the end is ‘Worth It’.