Co-founder of India’s first fully women-owned biotech company - Aardra Chandra Mouli
UK degree: MSc Management at The University of Warwick
After studying in the UK, Aardra Chandra Mouli returned to India to found Aeka Biochemicals - the first fully female-owned biotech and biochemical start-up venture in the state of Kerala.
TELL US MORE ABOUT AEKA BIOCHEMICALS – WHAT DO YOU DO EXACTLY?
We engage in the research, development and manufacture of bio-products that can be used for developing environmentally friendly solutions. For example, our range of chemical-free plant growth promoters can be used on farms, in the kitchen, or even on terrace gardens at home.
HOW DID STUDYING IN THE UK ENCOURAGE OR SUPPORT YOU TO START UP YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
I am confident that studying in the UK already has and shall continue to help me in my entrepreneurial journey.
My time at University of Warwick really helped me to grasp the basics of managing an organisation, which turned out to be invaluable. Not only that, it also supported me to shape my global outlook – the design and innovation modules, as well as the marketing modules I took, introduced me to a new, fresh and global perspective on how business is done around the world.
WHAT ABOUT THE PEOPLE YOU MET ON YOUR COURSE – WHAT WERE THEY LIKE?
The backgrounds and nationalities of my fellow students were really diverse, which was fantastic. I learnt so much about the wonderful multitude of cultures, beliefs and viewpoints that people have from all over the world. This is definitely something I wouldn’t have been able to experience had I chosen to undergo my postgraduate studies in India. All in all, my time in the UK and the people I met along the way laid a really solid foundation to help me pursue my dream of becoming an entrepreneur.
YOU’VE GAINED A LOT OF RECOGNITION SINCE YOU STARTED UP AEKA BIOCHEMICALS. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR STAND-OUT MOMENTS OR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENTS?
Our team is committed to the promotion of female entrepreneurship. And my company strives to provide employment to young talent in biotechnology and the life sciences, fields in which the job scenario in Kerala is currently quite bleak. So, I’m really proud of that.
When it comes to some of our biggest achievements, we have succeeded in helping local organic farmers to reduce their costs and increase their yield by up to 30% by using our range of products. In 2015, we were selected for the Kerala State Entrepreneur Development Mission scheme. And in 2016, we were awarded the Kairali Innotech Award for ‘Best Non-IT Start-Up’ and also the New Indian Express Group’s ‘Devi Award for Dynamism and Innovation’.
Aardra Chandra Mouli was a finalist of the Study UK Alumni Award for Entrepreneurship, India 2017.