ISRA 2020
ISRA 2020

Biotech skills trainer: Kunal Vora 

EducationWorld May 2020 | People

Kolkata-based Kunal Vora is the founder-director & CEO of SHRM (Hindi for ‘hard-work’) Biotechnologies Pvt. Ltd (estb.2006), a training and skills development company which offers students — undergrads to doctorate scholars — short-term study programmes in biotechnology, pharmacy & life sciences and provides research, incubation and placement assistance. SHRM Biotech is also the sole company in Eastern India to be accredited by the LSSSDC (Life Sciences Sector Skill Development Council) of the Union government’s National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC).

The company owns two modern research and development lab facilities in Kolkata’s Madhyamgram and Garia suburbs supported by highlyqualified faculty and industry experts. Thus far, SHRM Biotech has certified 6,000 students of reputed higher education institutions including the IITs, NITs, SRM, Amity, VIT among otheruniversities and foreign students from Bangladesh, Tanzania, Nigeria and Nepal.

Newspeg. In the wake of the global Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent nationwide lockdown of education institutions and industry, the company has switched to online learning since April 1 to ensure learning continuity. Leveraging digital learning platforms such as Google Hangout and Zoom, it has expanded its online menu to include bioinformatics, computational biology, data science, molecular biology and drug design, protein modeling, proteomics and genomics among other courses. 

History. A business management alum of Bangalore University and the International School of Business and Media, Kolkata, Vora began his career in 2003 acquiring experience in several multinational companies
(American Online, Ocwen Financial Corp) before going solo. In 2006, Vora invested Rs.25 lakh from his
savings and contributions from friends and family to promote SHRM Biotech.

Direct talk. “During my internship with Ernst & Young and my MBA study programme, I became aware of the fast growth of India’s booming biotech industry and its rising demand for skilled professionals. I saw this as a business opportunity and the idea of promoting SHRM Biotech  to prepare and skill students for this sunrise industry was born,” says Kunal Vora. Training fees range between Rs.10,000-70,000.

Future plans. Dismayed by the severe lack of preparedness of state governments and hospitals to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, Vora has ideated and designed online courses for frontline and healthcare workers, paramedics, and lab technicians to collect sample swabs and real time-polymerase chain reactions (RT-PCR) training. “Skills
training enterprises need to become responsive to changing market need  to survive,” says Vora. Moreover,
SHRM Biotech is starting online programmes in May and June for secondary school students to explore
career opportunities in the life sciences.

Baishali Mukherjee (Kolkata)

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