Thursday, June 17, 2021

Making wealth out of science

Hyderabad: Hyderabad has always been the hub for healthcare and pharmaceuticals. The city has given many entrepreneurs from these sectors. The city-based serial entrepreneur Dr Srinubabu Gedela has chosen a rare path that connects these sectors, that of open-access scientific journals and health/medical informatics.

His venture Omics International, the world’s leading open-access journal with an estimated 50 million users is still growing. His company owns 1,000 open-access journal titles and posts 50,000 articles every year in medicine, technology and engineering, with support from 50,000 qualified scientists as editorial board members. Going beyond journals, he created a conference division that has organised 3,000 events in 40 countries, worldwide.

He always had a connection with science. He did his M Tech with specialisation in Biotechnology in 2006 and was awarded Ph D for his work on early stage identification of diabetes in 2008. While pursuing his Doctorate at the Andhra University, he received Young Scientist Award in 2007 from South Korea for his application of mathematical modelling for life sciences under sponsorship from Human Proteome Organisation (HUPO).

Dr Srinubabu Gedela

During the award ceremony, he expressed his problems of literature access. He debated that scholars from developing countries are not able to access literature and there was a need for open-access journal.

This is where the entrepreneurial bug bit him. He made a beginning with support he received from several scholars with the launch of first open-access journal called Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics in 2008. He also bought a domain name for Rs 200 and made a website and began building his company named as Omics Online Publishing (now Omics International) catering to information in the fields of biology studies.

During his Post Doctorate studies in Stanford University in 2008 on biomarkers for identification of early stage of cancer, he gathered further support from his Stanford Alumni that helped him grow his open access journals and also bring on board qualified scientists as editorial board members.

He says he found a huge market in the open-access journals. Estimates show that revenues generated by the open-access journals market are around $344 million and $10.5 billion that traditional journals make from global subscriptions.

Gedela acquired recently a 30-year Canada-based scientific medical informatics company Pulsus Group, foraying into major scientific, medical informatics market worldwide. He is keen to expand its operations in India with two new centres- Chennai and Gurgaon in next few months in addition to strengthening Hyderabad operations. Pulsus’ focus will be to lead pharmacovigilance (drug safety) works including collection, archival and monitoring of individual case studies in the global market. He plans to take the headcount at Pulsus from 500 to 2000 in 2018.

Pulsus, which is headquartered in Singapore post the acquisition, has offices in Hyderabad, London (UK) and Ontario (Canada). It has established association with 50 global scientific societies. “Pulsus is young in India and our aim is to become the authentic healthcare informatics source for university libraries, research institutes, students and academic institutions, as well as for corporate R&D departments,” Dr Srinubabu Gedela, MD-Omics & CEO-Pulsus, told Telangana Today.

Sharing his plans about Pulsus, he said, “In every city we will work with partners to develop publications of global interest and enhance reputation to our high scientific standards. We will also look at opportunities in preparing documentation for regulatory compliance in the pharmaceuticals, medical devices and healthcare space.”

Omics has a revenue of Rs 950 crore today, which it plans to take it to Rs 2,000 crore by 2020 while Pulsus which currently has its revenues at $10 million is eyeing for about $60 million by then.

He added, “We want to create the world’s largest digital scientific video library. We have 50,000 videos of expert talks from Omics-organised several scientific and healthcare conferences on several key topics. We want to tap this base. We can provide this to universities worldwide, on subscription mode.”

Gedela operates his business from Hyderabad from a 2,50,000 square feet-office in the Special Economic Zone at Raidurg. More than two-thirds among the 3,000 people employed by Pulsus and Omics are women. He plans to expand his operations soon.

He is also an investor and has made investments in several startups through Indian Angel Network. So far he has invested about Rs 15 crore in about 16 companies that include startups such as Betaout, MeraEvents, stumagz besides others.

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