Meet the SHEROES - Dr Florida Tilton
“Apart from being a Scientist-Entrepreneur, I am also a wife and mother of two. So a balance of work and home is what is expected from me, which I strain to keep up,” says Dr. Florida Tilton, Chairperson & Managing Director at Biozone Research Technologies Pvt Ltd.
Biozone Research Technologies Pvt Ltd. is a government recognized laboratory that started off as a Bioscience skill development organization and then gradually moved into the Contract research domain. Let’s hear what Dr. Florida Tilton has to say about her venture and her journey so far.
Can you tell us about yourself?
I was born to an Army jawaan and that exposed me to nationwide travel and stay during my childhood. It is this exposure which nurtured the entrepreneurial spirit in me. My career kick-started with the research stint at SPIC Science Foundation, where I worked as a Research Associate for 7 years. I owe a lot to my mentors at SPIC for encouraging the researcher in me and inculcating the spirit of science and curiosity. I moved on to establish the Department of Biotechnology at Hindustan College of Arts & Science, Chennai, where I headed the department for 4 years.
It was during this interaction with students that I realized the gap between academia and industry. I took it up as a challenge to overcome this problem and contribute to the knowledge discovery process. Hence, came about Biozone. We started off as a Bioscience skill development organization and then gradually moved into the Contract research domain.
How did the idea of Biozone Research Technologies come about?
Once I quit the job at Hindustan College and was wondering what next, I was approached by two of my former students to coach them for their practicals. Thus started Biozone with two students in the balcony of my home at Chennai.
How long has it been since you started the venture and how has the journey been?
We started off in early 2008. As in any entrepreneurial venture, the journey was anything but a smooth ride. The high level of investment compared to slow returns has always been a matter of concern for the sustainability of the Life Sciences companies. We were no different. Amidst the daily struggles, the smiles and satisfaction of the customers and they becoming our ambassadors kept us going. Laurels started pouring in one by one and we are now a Govt. of India recognized laboratory with a couple of funded projects and catering to clients from as far as north eastern India.
What are the core services of your venture?
Biozone Research Technologies Pvt. Ltd. is a premier Bioscience Organization in Chennai, offering biosciences integrated research, analytical, academic, publishing services and herbal products. Research & Development has always been a focus area at Biozone and the In-House R&D unit is recognized by DSIR (Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India). The R&D division is actively engaged in various innovation based discovery solutions for pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries.
Biozone has shaped its business into three key growth verticals with the aim to deliver sustainable long term value for biotechnologists across the globe. Biozone Research Solutions offers customized research services in the fields of Molecular Biology, Plant Tissue Culture & Herbal research, Animal Cell Culture, Bioinformatics, Microbiology and Analytical services. At Biozone Institute of Life Sciences our dedicated training wing offers a wide range of courses and academic services to bridge the gap between industry and academia. The International Journal of Bioscience Research (IJBR), (ISSN no. 2321-7774) is an international, open access, online, peer - reviewed journal for biosciences brought out by our documentation services wing, BRT Publishers.
What are the biggest challenges you face in this line of work?
The biggest and foremost challenge in the life sciences industry is the huge investment and slow returns. Secondly, to establish credibility amongst the clients and gaining their confidence so that they outsource their research work to you is also a big challenge.
What is an average day at work like for you?
Apart from being a Scientist-Entrepreneur, I am also a wife and mother of two. So a balance of work and home is what is expected from me, which I strain to keep up. An average day at work would include meeting up clients, troubleshooting research problems, interactions with my team and definitely a lot of phone calls.
Can you leave our readers with a few thoughts?
Don’t hesitate to chase your dreams. Brave the odds and wait for the light at the end of the tunnel; you will not be disappointed. When you succeed against the odds you stand out unique. Leaving a mark in the society by being unique is the most satisfying of a living I would say.