Though careers in this field are cropping up, it’s tough for entrepreneurs to find a foothold. “When I started my business, I took whatever work came my way. Beggars can’t be choosers and neither can start-ups,” says Mehul Parekh, MD and founder, Unimark Remedies. Parekh always knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur but couldn’t make up his mind about the field. He studied to become a chartered accountant and worked for six months to learn the ropes of running a business.In 1982, Parekh set up Rainbow Fine Chemicals, a pharmaceutical marketing company with Rs 3 lakh as seed money. However, Parekh knew that the opportunity and money were in making medicines. So, after his brother got a master’s degree in organic chemistry, Parekh decided to venture into the field confident in the knowledge that he could bank on his brother’s expertise. In 1995, he set up a manufacturing unit and renamed his company Unimark Remedies. “The biggest challenge is always funding. I bought the premises simply because the owner was the only one willing to sell it on credit,” says Parekh. In 1997, he purchased another plant, this time promising the owner that if he put in the capital, he would get to share the profits. “I avoid putting in huge amounts because it blocks the money that can be invested in more important areas,” he adds.
Besides funding, another roadblock faced by entrepreneurs is government regulations. Concurs Das: “Some subjects, such as highway emergency, are nobody’s baby. The police dumps it on the Transport Department, which says it’s a Health Ministry issue, which, in turn, states accidents to be a police matter.” If such issues were to deter people like Das, the healthcare sector would be in a comatose state. The fact that it has begun to emerge from it speaks volumes about the healthy outlook of such entrepreneurs.
Kerala Nalsarovar Road, Kerala Village, Bavla, Ahmedabad District, India,