Sisco Research Laboratories: Leading the Industry with Excellence

Sisco Research Laboratories
S.K. Agarwal | Chairman | Sisco Research Laboratories

Biotechnology industry has flourished over the years. India is one of the first countries to have a department dedicated to Biotechnology. It is among the top 12 destinations for biotechnology in the world, with approximately 3% share in the global Biotechnology industry. In fact, there are more than 2500+ biotech companies in India.

Sisco Research Laboratories Pvt. Ltd. (SRL) is one of the oldest and most respected manufacturers of specialty fine chemicals, microbiological, nanotechnology and biotechnology reagents. It has certifications such as ISO 9001-2015, cGMP, FDA & CE. Today, the company employs about 300 personnel to manufacture and service the needs of scientists, researchers, quality control managers of industries, researchers of institutions and academic bodies.

SRL is considered amongst the five best Reagents and Biochemical providing companies in India. It is patronized by almost all the National Laboratories, CSIR, ICMR, ICAR, DRDO, IITs, NITs, NISER institutes and National Universities leading to accreditation and acceptance by the multinationals and Indian manufacturers and even overseas buyers. It recently bagged the “Award for BEST SME 2020.”

Here’s how the company has been growing over the years and has become a force to reckon with.

Brief us about your company, its inception story and the vision behind.

Our company began its journey way back in 1975. It was a time when India’s premier Research institutes and academic bodies such as Universities and Colleges were relying wholly on imported reagents and chemicals. Our Chairman, Mr. S.K. Agarwal had a vision to contribute to this ever increasing ocean of scientific research and learning in the country. The challenges were of very high magnitude, such as technological challenges which involved designing, production and testing methodologies for developing laboratory reagents, raising of capital, operational challenges to setup manufacturing locations, train people and make them understand the importance of high quality testing and manufacturing standards and more importantly, the biggest challenge was to understand the perception and buying behaviour of Indian scientists, researchers and students who did not have the confidence on Indian made products and preferred to import chemicals from the leading companies in the world. Having closely observed these trends in the industry, he thought this was a great opportunity in India that had an immense potential, and as the business acumen he had due to his skill sets, he decided to embark on the vision of manufacturing specialty chemicals and reagents in India which had the same quality standards or even better than the ones available from international brands, but emphasis was given to affordable pricing strategies, which could help various scientists get reagents and chemicals who had limited financial grants from the government of India. The vision was to contribute to the growth of scientific research in India.

Kindly provide a brief overview of your products and services.

We manufacture and supply more than 6000 products in about 15000 SKU’s. Our products are broadly categorized into Organic & Inorganic reagents, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology reagents, Nanotechnology products, Microbiology dehydrated culture media and PCR reagents.

With regards to your organization’s profound industry experience, how do you think the chemical industry and market have evolved and what can be expected in the forthcoming years?

The last 44 years have been a rollercoaster ride in the industry. The fine chemical industry has grown by leaps and bounds in the last 4 decades. In the financial year ending March 2018, the Indian chemical industry stood at USD 163 billion dollars and is currently growing at about 9%. It is estimated to reach USD 304 billion by 2025. The fine chemical manufacturing segment that we are a part of is also known as “Knowledge chemicals” industry that has a share of 5-7% in the total Indian chemicals industry. So markets have evolved and we are in a very important phase of growth which is being experienced in India. It is well documented that biotechnology is going to be the most dominant segment as product applications are being developed to either substitute or to provide improved manufacturing processes for each of the chemical segments viz. Basic, Specialty as well as knowledge more focused to protect the environment.

We are therefore expecting growth rates in excess of 30%-40% on year-to-year in the next 5 years as we are expanding the business of exports of these products in the Indian subcontinent, Far-east, Europe and US.

What are the benefits gained by your clients/users from your products/solutions/services?

Our products are touching many Industries (Pharma, FMCG, Cosmetics, etc). They had been initially procuring our products for their R&D / pilot scale production and have now frozen many of our products for their Bulk Production. Introduction of newer range of diagnostic reagents has created a shift in the buyers’ preference for SRL products and also gaining advantage of economical prices and promote availability.

Considering the necessity of adapting to the volatile technological disruptions and/or development of cutting-edge solutions, how does your company sustain its competency in the Bio-Tech market?

Biotech market, to our understanding, is divided in two segments, one, the Diagnostic Reagents which is a combination of traditional biochemistry and ever increasing applications based on instrumental analysis. The other segment is based on molecular biology, PCR techniques and latest biosimilar applications. Our company, with its reputation in quality and innovation since last 44 years is very well poised to meet the current challenges to adapt to new technologies and cutting edge solutions.

Could you list out the most growth-deteriorating challenges for your organization till date? (Talent acquisition/infrastructure/or anything apart from the above question’s response)

What does the future hold for your organization in terms of internal as well as holistic development?

Entry of the MNC laboratory chemical companies in the Indian Market, with their large volume of operations and infrastructure worldwide was a reckoning factor for Indian companies. However, we are equally marching ahead with larger visibility amongst biopharma and biotech companies and research institutions and universities with our strong image of quality, service and treating our business as a tool of serving the scientific community in India and abroad.

Would you like to highlight any awards, accolades or testimonials your company has achieved throughout?

  • S.K. Agarwal was awarded with the Indian Achievers Award in 2014 for Industry Development in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainable Development.
  • “SRL” is among the 20 top biotechnology companies as per the survey conducted by “Bio Spectrum” a reputed magazine representing biotech industry in India. It had published a profile of Mr. S.K. Agarwal, as a leader in the field of biotechnology related reagents in the country in the year 2013.
  • S.K. Agarwal was honoured the Appreciation ward in 2010 by ISGF & AISG, Belgium for his contribution in support of Scout and Guide Fellowship during the past 50 years in India. He has been a member of the ISGF World Committee from the year 1993 to 1999.
  • The company also makes its modest contributions towards CSR activities.

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