The biotechnology sector is more prevalent in Indian lives than is often acknowledged. It enabled the Green Revolution, which enhanced farm yields and made the country self-sufficient in food production. A similar contribution from the sector was witnessed in the White Revolution. It can play a key role in driving India’s growth story forward by meeting its healthcare needs, addressing the challenges of food security and meeting its energy needs.
Fortunately, the Indian government realised the potential of the sector quite early and has been proactively working towards its development to its maximum potential. In fact, when the size of the biotechnology industry was merely $4 billion in 2011, it had set a target for it to touch $100 billion by 2025. As of 2016, the Indian biotechnology industry was valued at $11 billion.
The industry is still at a nascent stage when compared to more mature economies. The developed world has a history of heavy expenditure on research and development and has superior manufacturing capabilities. India on the other hand has a very low spending on research and development activities. It has managed to develop research facilities, but they are not comparable to the facilities in the developed economies. Another major problem that is hindering the country from achieving its full potential is the lack of knowledge on commercialization of research, which happens due to weak industry-academia linkages. Since India is already behind on the curve, it is imperative that it works towards establishing a policy and regulatory environment that is conducive to the sector’s growth.
The report analyses the competitiveness of India’s biotechnology industry. It starts by comparing the Indian biotechnology sector with other emerging biotechnology economies such as China as well as developed biotechnology economies such as United States. It helps in analyzing where India stands in comparison to the world in the biotechnology inputs such as human capital, technology transfer etc. biotechnology outputs such as exports, agricultural production, usage of biofuels etc. Going forward, the competitiveness analysis brings out the issues that need to be addressed, the opportunities that will shape up the future of the biotechnology industry in India and provide recommendations for policymakers to enhance the competitiveness of the industry with the aim of attracting investments.
The report suggests to work on four broad areas – infrastructural facilities, access to capital, legal & regulatory system and human development.