The biotechnology sector of India is highly innovative and is on a strong growth trajectory. The sector, with its immense growth potential, will continue to play a significant role as an innovative manufacturing hub. The sector is one of the most significant sectors in enhancing India's global profile as well as contributing to the growth of the economy.
India is among the top 12 biotech destinations in the world and ranks third in the Asia-Pacific region. India has the second-highest number of US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA)–approved plants, after the USA and is the largest producer of recombinant Hepatitis B vaccine. Out of the top 10 biotech companies in India (by revenue), seven have expertise in bio-pharmaceuticals and three specialise in agri-biotech.
India has no dearth of talent in biotechnology, as a number of institutions, both government and autonomous, provide the necessary opportunities for the students seeking to obtain a degree in this sector. The Government of India has provided adequate scope to this sector by providing facilities for Research and Development (R&D) in the field of biotechnology.
The Indian biotech industry holds about 2 per cent share of the global biotech industry. The biotechnology industry in India, comprising about 800 companies, is growing at an average rate of about 20 per cent. The Indian biotechnology sector is expected to grow from the current US$ 5-7 billion to US$ 100 billion by 2025, growing at an average rate of 30 per cent, as per Union Minister for Science and Technology Mr Harsh Vardhan.
Biopharma is the largest sector contributing about 64 per cent of the total revenue followed by bioservices (18 per cent), bioagri (14 per cent), bioindustry (3 per cent), and bioinformatics contributing (1 per cent).
The high demand for different biotech products has also opened up scope for the foreign companies to set up base in India. India has emerged as a leading destination for clinical trials, contract research and manufacturing activities owing to the growth in the bioservices sector.
India's biotech sector has attracted significant amount of attention over the past two decades. Several global companies have aggressively joined hands with Indian companies due to India's strong generic biotechnology potential. Some of the recent investments and developments in this sector are as follows:
A Network of Technology Centres and promotion of start-ups by Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) are among the steps taken by the Government of India to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the agro industry proposed by the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) in a new scheme. The Government of India has taken several initiatives to improve the biotechnology sector in the country as well as offer enough scope for research in this field. The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) along with other government funded institutions such as National Biotechnology Board (NBTB) and many other autonomous bodies representing the biotechnology sector, are working together in order to project India as a global hub for biotech research and business excellence. Some of the recent major initiatives are as follows:
Provisions of 2015-2016 Union Budget:
With the country offering numerous comparative advantages in terms of R&D facilities, knowledge, skills, and cost effectiveness, the biotechnology industry in India has immense potential to emerge as a global key player.
India constitutes around 8 per cent of the total global generics market, by volume, indicating a huge untapped opportunity in the sector. Outsourcing to India is projected to spike up after the discovery and manufacture of formulations. Hybrid seeds, including GM seeds, represent new business opportunities in India based on yield improvement.
India currently has a marginal share in the global market for industrial enzymes that is estimated to reach about US$ 4.4 billion by 2015. Hence, there is an opportunity in focused R&D and knowledge-based innovation in the field of industrial enzymes, which can innovatively replace polluting chemical processes into eco-friendly processes that also deliver environmental sustainability. Another interesting field of study is the area of bio-markers and companion diagnostics, which will enable to optimise the benefits of biotech drugs.
India has all the ingredients to become a global leader in affordable healthcare. If there is an annual investment of US$ 4.01 billion to US$ 5.02 billion in the next five years, the biotech industry can grow to US$ 100 billion by 2025, with a 25 per cent return on investment, and set a growth rate of 30 per cent year-on-year.
Exchange Rate Used: INR 1 = US$ 0.0151 as on November 15, 2015
References: Press Information Bureau (PIB), Media Reports and Press Releases, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Department of Biotechnology.