India is amongst the top 12 biotech destinations in the world and is the largest producer of recombinant Hepatitis B vaccine. The industry is expected to experience significant growth amid favourable business conditions. By FY 17, India’s biotech industry is estimated to increase to US$ 11.6 billion from US$ 4.3 billion in FY 12. The sector is divided into five major segments – pharma, services, agri, industrial and informatics. The bio-pharmaceutical sector accounted for the largest share of the biotech industry, with a share of 64 per cent in total revenues in FY 13. Bio-pharma export revenues contribute more than 64.5 per cent to total export revenues of the biotech industry; the segment registered a growth of 25 per cent in FY 13 to touch US$ 1.4 billion.
India’s billion-plus population base offers a huge market for biotech products and services. Increasing economic prosperity and health consciousness, rising investments from domestic and foreign players, 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) through automatic route for manufacturers of drugs and pharmaceuticals, and a low cost and skilled labour force are some of the growth drivers.
Increasing government expenditure is likely to augment growth. In its 12th Five-Year Plan, the government aims to spend US$ 3.7 billion on biotechnology compared to US$ 1.1 billion in the 11th Five-Year Plan.
India has the potential to become a major producer of transgenic rice and several genetically modified (GM) or engineered vegetables. Hybrid seeds, including GM seeds, represent new business opportunities in India based on yield improvement.