“We need women mentors who have achieved success to encourage the next generation ...”
– Dr PM Murali, new chairman of Golden Jubilee Biotech Park for Women
Dr PM Murali, who is President, Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises and Managing Director & CEO of Evolva India has taken over as the Chairman Golden Jubilee Biotech Park for Women recently.
The Golden Jubilee Biotech Park for Women Society is registered as a Society under Tamilnadu Societies Registration Act 1975 and Prof. M S Swaminathan was the chairmanman of the Park prior to Dr Murali. Prof. Swaminathan is now the Life Time Mentor of the park.
The editorial team of the newsletter of ABLE, en-ABLE, has interviewed the new chairman of Golden Jubilee Biotech Park for Women, Dr PM Murali, and Dr Sudha Nair, CEO, Golden Jubilee Biotechnology Park for Women Society, Chennai. The excerpts of the interview will be published in two parts. The first part will feature the broad vision of the new chairman and his views, while the second part which, which will be published subsequently in a day or two, will feature a detailed interview with the CEO of the Park, Dr Sudha Nair
Part 1: Excerpts of the interview with Dr PM Murali ...
eN-ABLE: Now that you have become the Chairman of the park succeeding Prof. MS Swaminathan, what is your vision for the growth of the park and the entrepreneurial eco-system in Chennai?
Dr PM Murali: It is a big responsibility and also a very big shoes to step in. People like Prof. MS Swaminathan are true global visionaries and we saw the growth of Biotechnology, Women’s entrepreneurship and Chennai emerging a cluster two decades ago. The Late Chief Minister Ms J Jayalalitha was largely responsible for the creation of this park and also other TICEL Bioparks in Chennai and the rest of Tamil Nadu. These are unique people with a fantastic foresight into the future.
eN-ABLE: What are your big plans to boost the growth of the Park in the near future?
Dr PM Murali: I see the park’s robust growth in the coming years with BIRAC (Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council) now being associated and some very competent women who have joined the governing board of the park to guide its future. The focus will be on strengthening the administration with top quality professionals and strengthening the infrastructure of the park. We aim to improve the financials of the park where we will be able to support startups with seed money as well. We will be approaching the government with a proposal and also VCs ( venture capitalists) to match the funding. Gradually, we want this project to be role model for other states to emulate as the dedicated women life sciences eco system.
eN-ABLE: How do you propose to plug the entrepreneurs here into the national ecosystem?
Dr PM Murali: We will be putting together a mentor group under the guidance of Prof. MS Swaminathan. Personally, I will be seeking out assistance from high quality professionals like Dr Ramasamy, former secretary of DST (Department of Science and Technology), Government of India and Dr Manju Sharma the former secretary of DBT (Department of Biotechnology), Government of India and others to advise the park. While doing this, it would be very important to see that the current entrepreneurs are helped to grow and get funding and the new ones move in quickly. There is sufficient space in the park for its growth and we will engage with TIDEL and other government organizations to help us with infrastructure development. This ecosystem is bound to grow with so many IT companies around the park.
eN-ABLE: Why should a women chose this park when she can be in any other park enjoying the same benefits?
Dr PM Murali: I think we are grossly under estimating the power of the local ecosystem and the cluster approach. Biotech companies and individuals need an environment to grow. For innovation to happen, like minded people (read entrepreneurs ) should be around in close proximity where they can benchmark and discuss problems and its solutions. You need women mentors who have done it all before to encourage the next generation. Any other park will not have all these ingredients. It will just be a brick and mortar plug and play infrastructure. This is not the only thing women want. They want the human element in their eco system. This park is already buzzing with women leading its growth and you will very soon be hearing about women achievers from here who will be of international stature. The future in my view belongs to Women who have for several reasons have been unable to express and showcase their true abilities. If the right opportunities are provided they will lead from the front. I am really excited to be in the middle of this great transition and hope to contribute to the growth of this park.