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Bangalore tops Indian growth, Australia
Bangalore tops Indian growth
Correspondents in Bangalore
July 12, 2004

INDIA'S IT outsourcing centre of Bangalore is emerging as the country's fastest growing biotechnology city as well, an industry official said.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, chief of Biocon, India's largest biotechnology firm, said export revenues of technology companies in the southern state of Karnataka, of which Bangalore is the capital, rose 43 per cent to ¥7.5 billion ($227 million) for the year to the end of March.

"Total revenues of biotechnology firms in Karnataka have grown from 14 billion rupees to ¥15 billion rupees during the year to March 2004," Mr Shaw said.

Of the 240 biotechnology firms in India 110 are based in Karnataka and Bangalore houses 97 of them.

"Bangalore is the fastest growing biocluster in India as well as Asia," Mr Shaw said adding the biotech sector in the city employed 9,000 people.

"During the next two years projected investment in the biotechnology sector is about ¥10 billion rupees," she said at the inaugural session of Bangalore Bio 2004 exhibition.
Shaw said during the last financial year, 25 new biotechnology firms were set up in India of which 17 were in Karnataka.

"Karnataka has also attracted the maximum venture capitalists' funding with eight million dollars being invested in the state's biotech industry," she said.

The nascent biotech sector hopes to emulate India's burgeoning software and outsourcing industry. Officials said the manpower skills required were common to both.

They said new opportunities for India were emerging in the field of clinical trials and bio-informatics.
According to global accounting firm Ernst and Young, India is one of the five emerging biotech leaders in the Asia-Pacific region. It is ranked third in the region based on the number of biotechnology firms.

It said India would generate $US5 billion ($6.9 billion) in revenues and create more than one million jobs over the next five years.

Karnataka chief minister Dharam Singh said a ¥1-billion biotech park would be set up in the state in 2006.



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