An Interview with Dr. Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty, Co- Founder and Chief Technology Officer, ADVENT CHEMBIO PVT LTD

An Interview with Dr. Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty, Co- Founder and Chief Technology Officer, ADVENT CHEMBIO PVT LTD


  • Post By : Kumar Jeetendra

  • Source: Microbioz India

  • Date: 29 Dec,2021

Being the largest generic drug manufacturer of the world, and supplier of more than 50% global demand of various vaccines, India had all the resources and know-how to fulfil the need of the masses of various geographies- An interview with Dr. Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty, Co- Founder and Chief Technology Officer, ADVENT CHEMBIO PVT LTD

Rashmi Ranjan is responsible for Quality, Research & Development as well as Innovation at ADVENT. He is also accountable for implementation of company’s Quality Policies and Systems based on cGMP guidelines. A holder of M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemistry from Utkal University, Odisha he has a working experience of nearly 3 decades in research, academics and industry (including his last stint at RFCL Limited as Head of R & D, QA & QC & Custom Synthesis division). He carried out his Post-doctoral research in the field of Chiral amines under the guidance of Prof. Thomas Nugent at Jacobs University Bremen, Germany and has research publications in international journals of repute like “Organic Letters”, “Advanced Synthesis & Catalysis”, “European Journal of Organic Chemistry” etc. and a European Patent to his credit. Here I am sharing few interesting lines of interview with him.

Can you tell me a little about yourself?

A:My native place is in Odisha, but I have been living in Mumbai with my family since last 24 years. After finishing my M.Sc., M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Utkal university, Bhubaneswar in 1994, I worked in academics for 10 years (both in Odisha and Mumbai) before joining Jacobs University Bremen (erstwhile International University Bremen), Germany as a Post-doctoral fellow in 2004 for 2 years. I came back to India in 2006, and joined as Manager-R & D in RFCL Limited, which became part of Avantor Performance Materials in 2011.

I left Avantor in 2012 as GM-Research Chemistry and co-founded ADVENT along with my ex-colleague at RFCL and CEO of ADVENT Mr. Amit Singh in January 2013. It has been almost 9 years of our successful and momentous journey and now we are one of leading Fine and Specialty Chemicals Manufacturers in the domestic arena. In this short span of time, we have established our credentials as a respectable brand in many leading pharma customers in domestic market and are currently exporting to many countries in the Middle East, South East Asia, Africa and Europe which gradually raises our stature as a trusted global player in this segment.

I am a student of Hindustani Classical Music and a spiritual seeker.

How would you like to summarize your experience in a few lines for our readers?

A:Having my roots in Research and Teaching for a cumulative period of 15 years helped me to secure a sound knowledge in chemistry and be conversant with the research in frontier areas of chemistry. Handling undergraduate students during the crucial years of their career for nearly 10 years made me more empathetic and understanding. Both the experiences came in handy when I started my industrial career in 2006.

Within 3 years I was given the responsibility of QA, QC, R & D and custom synthesis functions at RFCL, which opened before me a plethora of opportunities.

To name a few, I learned new things from many of my colleagues who were part of my team and colleagues from associated functions, to adapt to fast-changing scenarios, to adopt different strategies to suit the demands of a fast-growing organization and above all, I came in contact with a wonderful bunch of true professionals at the top starting from the managing director Mr. Sushil Mehta, and the core team which valued and nurtured talents and encouraged the team to develop entrepreneurial skills. It was not surprising that many of our colleagues later became successful entrepreneurs and I was fortunate to work closely with one such friend and colleague Mr. Amit Singh who has a sharp business acumen with astounding analytical skills. We both came out at an opportune moment and co-founded ADVENT CHEMBIO in January 2013 and started our exhilarating journey since then. Later on, complementing our strength few more senior illustrious colleagues like Mr. Rajesh Singh, Mr. Shiv Bagri and Dr. Sumanta Das, with decades of experiences in their respective fields joined us. With great missionary zeal and concerted team work we have brought ADVENT CHEMBIO to the altar of history to challenge the stereotypes and create an organization par excellence.

What were the challenges you faced in your work and how did you overcome them?

A:The initial phase of our journey, like any other adventure/venture, was challenging. Acceptance of a new brand like ours in the market took some time, but with patience and hard work we persisted, stuck on, and put systems and teams in place. Bringing in tailor-made solutions for customers’ end-use in a time-bound manner, developing and supplying many import-substitute products at a reasonable price, expanding our product ranges to encompass a vast array of Fine & Specialty Chemicals (including HPLC  grade solvents & solids, GC & GC-HS grade solvents, GC standards, Research chemicals, Formulated products etc.), advanced building blocks and Pharmaceutical standards etc. while providing consistent quality and service helped us to establish ourselves as a reliable supplier and partner in a short time. Additionally, some deft handling of the financials, focused customer working and proper supply chain management by Amit in the initial years ensured that we stayed on course. With the commissioning of our new state-of-the-art FDA approved, cGMP compliant plant for manufacturing of Pharmacopeial grade and HPLC grade solvents last year, we are poised to take the leap to the next orbit of our journey. Now with more than 50 people on the roll and an empowered young team, we look forward to meet any challenge and convert them to opportunities for our growth.

In your opinion what is the strength of Indian pharmaceuticals that allow it to sustain its position in the pandemic situation as well?

A:In fact, it is the crisis during COVID pandemic that brought out the inherent strength of Indian Pharma Industry to the fore.

Being the largest generic drug manufacturer of the world, and supplier of more than 50% global demand of various vaccines, India had all the resources and know-how to fulfil the need of the masses of various geographies. Our strengths are our country’s large pool of Chemists, Scientists and Engineers, our expertise in the field, low cost of production and large domestic consumption which ensured that both the productions of essential drugs and development of COVID vaccines continued simultaneously. In addition, Government of India’s generous fiscal support and boosts in the form of Make in India, Atmanirbhar Bharat and Start-up India initiatives propelled the industry like never before and we became the first country in the world to administer 1 billion vaccine doses to our populace. As an allied industry, our Fine and Specialty Chemicals segment also rose to the occasion and served as a perfect foil to the Indian Pharma industry during this pandemic by supplying all the Raw materials and excipients that are needed to manufacture the vital life-saving drugs and vaccines in adequate quantities and on time.

Could you summarize the research and development you have recently been involved with regarding Quality, Research & Development as well as Innovation at Advent?

Our R & D has four major objectives:

A:Purification and development of Laboratory reagents, fine and specialty chemicals, tailor-made reagents & products used in the Pharma and allied sectors, electronic and chemical industries, Universities and Research Institutes etc.

Design and synthesis of exclusive screening compounds and combinatorial building blocks

Synthesis of key intermediates as well as the scale up of promising lead compounds of drug candidates and pharmaceutical Impurities

Development of new non-infringing routes for existing molecules that are more efficient than the original

As I mentioned earlier, we focused our R & D on Import-substitute and tailor-made products to gain quick entry into pharma majors. We worked on innovative synthetic routes to develop and service some high value products, intermediates & building blocks at fraction of the price which our customers were procuring earlier globally. Besides partnering with R & D of few pharma majors in their discovery research, we also put our emphasis on developing pharmaceutical impurities of crucial APIs which are in demand in the domestic and overseas markets.

Apropos Quality, our prime focus has been to create systems and processes and ensure that they are followed scrupulously at every step of our operations to provide impeccable products to our customers.

What do you need to do to further accelerate your research work flow at Advent in the future?

A:In our evolutionary journey we have reached a stage to create our integrated R & D facility, where both the contemporary and futuristic developmental needs of the industry will be addressed.

Many of the advanced intermediates & building blocks which have been approved by our customers in small/pilot scale need to be further scaled up. A dedicated cGMP facility for custom synthesis and well-equipped R & D lab having adequate in-house analytical back-up will accelerate our march towards creating a knowledge-based organization. The horizon looks bright and we are on right track to fulfil our mission.


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