Science to drive future biz

It can be daunting for any entrepreneur to sell his successful company and plunge into unchartered waters.

But Sreedharan Nair Santhosh, better known as Sam Santhosh, did what would have been unthinkable to many and a few months ago sold his multi-million company, California Software Co Ltd or Calsoft, which he had started in California in 1992 and began life all over again in Kochi.

Being from Viyyur near Thrissur, it was a daring return to his roots as he established SciGenom, a company that is into DNA sequencing to predict and treat diseases.

What drove him to make the change is his belief that future enterprises will be science-led rather than technology-led.

“The gestation period for science to become technology has fallen considerably. And the future belongs to companies investing in their labs,” he told DC on the sidelines of TiEcon Kerala 2012.

SciGenom has a 10,000 sqft lab in the Cochin Special Economic Zone and employs 60 people, of which around 25 were brought from the US labs.

The entrepreneur took a short-term course in biology in a US university to have a better grip on his new venture and is passionate about its future.

He believes that Genome sequencing, which is a $4 billion business now, will turn into a $25 billion business by 2025.

“My company is into molecular diagnostics based on DNA samples and we have tie-ups with around 15 hospitals. This is only one part of the business and we will expand to other areas so-on. We are al-so planning to start ano-ther lab in Chennai,” he reveals. His advice for future entrepreneurs: “If you have a good idea, don’t wait. Money won’t be a problem. The key is a scientific mindset.”

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