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Lab info boost to biotech

With the state government announcing biotech as a priority sector, and signs of growth visible in the other sectors as well, LabVantage Solutions has drawn up its expansion plans in Calcutta.

By the end of 2004, the New Jersey-headquartered company — a provider of laboratory information management system and enterprise quality management solutions — will pump in $ 1 million to augment infrastructure in its set-up in Bengal Intelligent Park, at Salt Lake Electronics Complex (Saltlec).

And in a year’s time, the headcount at its city office will go up from 25 to over 100. For human resource requirement — ranging from experts in bio-sciences to hardcore IT professionals — the company has tied up with Jadavpur University.

“As the Asia Pacific headquarters of our operations, the city office is delivering results and we want to grow further here,” said James J. Aurelio, president and chief executive officer, LabVantage. For The Chatterjee Group company — with Purnendu Chatterjee as one of its most “significant investors” — the Saltlec operation contributes around 10 to 15 per cent to the company’s revenue. In a year’s time, the share is expected to grow up to 25 per cent.

“The cost advantage is the main reason behind our focus on Calcutta. Besides, we see tremendous growth opportunities in food and beverages, oil and gas and biotech sectors in the region. We want to cater to these industries with our solutions,” added Aurelio.

From Haldia Petrochemicals to Indian Oil and Chembiotek to Indian Railways, the company, in just four years, has already roped in a diverse set of clients.

“We have very little competition in our domain and as we offer complete customised solutions to our customers, we expect to grow fast in the region and also in other parts of the country,” said Anil P. Kastuar, president of the company’s India operations. To make its flagship product, Sapphire, visible in the market, LabVantage has recently stepped up its marketing initiatives.

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