Monday, April 18, 2016

Doing Well by Doing Good Against Cancer: Insights from Top MBA Colleges in Delhi NCR

Top MBA Colleges in Delhi NCR like Ishan Institute of Management & Technology are consistently reinventing the academic curriculum and pedagogy for PGDM and MBA courses by institutionalizing industry best practices where ever possible or by inculcating them as add-ons in the form of case studies, research papers and business research projects. The first graduate business school of Greater Noida, Ishan Institute of Management & Technology has to this extent integrated case studies on CSR and sustainable business models in papers of strategic management, rural and industrial management and business ethics. An area of academic interest that the academicians of the business school have been pursuing off late is the development of business and revenue models that are based on bottom of the pyramid markets and are based on people, planet and profit. Our academic endeavours in this direction have been streamlined by the classification of such business models into new business development, new product development and new market development for bottom of the pyramid people. One such very exciting piece of business news that is still a work in progress is the involvement of Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates in the fight against cancer.

Venture Capital Investments in the Fight against Cancer
In the last week while participating in an off-the classroom question and answer session with PGDM students the faculty of business administration came across a knowledge resource from Bloomberg. It shows the spree in VC investments in the fight against cancer along with the details of the start-up companies that are engaging in the development of liquid biopsy for the effective diagnosis and treatment of cancer. A summary of the information is shared here with along with the expression of intellectual gratitude and indebtedness to Bloomberg for sharing this information publicly.
Given that the healthcare sector is highly dependent on research and development, it becomes a challenge to develop a business model that has experiments as the guarantor of the bread and butter stream. This is where the participation of angel investors, private equity funds and mezzanine capital sources becomes critical to the survival of these start-ups that are engaging in the development of cutting edge technology to fight cancer. The role of VCs as investors is a heartening sign and shows that at least corporations and corporate philanthropists across the world care about contributing to the fight against cancer in a way they understand best-business.

The New Product Development Paradigm for Cancer

It is common knowledge that cancer is an intruder that sheds bits of DNA and spreads them across the blood stream of the human being affected. These bits of DNA are the gold pots of knowledge that doctors and medical technologists are betting on. Given that we have the technology for genetic sequencing; it is possible to develop techniques of liquid biopsies that are less expensive and less invasive in comparison to tissue samples. The objective is to develop an all encompassing and all pervasive blood test that would examine for traces of cancer in the blood sample of a human being long before any visible symptom and sign of cancer becomes visible to the naked eye of the doctor. It shall be a simple to administer blood test and this is exactly the point that VCs like Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates are eyeing.

The Challenges and the Opportunities

The above stated stuff may amount to tall talk in the absence of any scorching evidence on the time duration that it may take to develop such a blood test based on liquid biopsy. Assuming that it may take ten years at least for the entire cycle of experiments, consistency in results and clinical trials before the medical community across the globe takes it seriously, it is a Himalayan task to accomplish. Of course the fact that FIIs are participating will provide scale to these efforts.
The efforts though are worth the returns. The liquid biopsy offers prospects of early detection that can save lives and initiate treatment at the earliest and thus increase the life span of a cancer patient.

New Market Development and Current Business Activity

The market opportunity for the liquid biopsy super screening test that shall examine traced of all forms of cancer may hit annual sales of USD 200 billion in the formative years itself. As of now there are 38 companies across the world that are selling or developing some form of liquid biopsy. The mean pricing of the new product being developed by companies is at $1000 per test. The head count of people who can be saved stands at 7.4 billion. Illumina’s CEO Jay Flatey opines that the first commercial version of the liquid biopsy shall be ready to be launched in the market worldwide by the year 2019.

Why this is Important to Top MBA Colleges in Delhi NCR?

According to the National Cancer Registry Programme of the Indian Council of Medical Research more than 1300 Indians die every day due to cancer. Between the years 2012 and 2014 the mortality rate due to cancer in India increased by 6%. The mortality rate is the highest in the North East wit most cases of cancer belonging to the type of stomach cancer followed closely by breast and lung cancer. At Ishan Institute of Management & Technology, the first MBA college in Greater Nodia, Delhi NCR we aim to incorporate the latest and cutting edge technology and business models on cancer treatment as a case study for sustainable business development for bottom of the pyramid markets. There are ambitious plans of extending the case study into a fully fledged business research project on the development of cost effective and efficient solutions to health care problems by putting them into the templates of Gandhian engineering.