Jitendra Kumar earned his MBA degree from The Fisher College of Business while working on cutting-edge research as a post-doc in The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Possessing a rare combination of both research knowledge and business acumen, Kumar has been instrumental in creating a pipeline of entrepreneurs and fostering commercialization in India. He currently serves as the managing director of the Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre (BBC), a state-of-the-art translational research and entrepreneurship center catering to the needs of start-ups in life science.
While a post-doctoral researcher in the field of leukemia and mitochondrial biology in the College of Medicine, Kumar realized the noteworthy role of intellectual property in relation to commercialization of research. Kumar wanted to apply his scientific knowledge to the broader welfare of people around the globe through entrepreneurship. Therefore, he enrolled in the MBA program at the Fisher College of Business to pursue the strategy, technology commercialization and entrepreneurship concentration, while continuing to work as a post-doc.
Kumar was able to run his experiments during the day and attend management lectures in the evening with the support of his wife, Nirupama Lal, who also was a researcher at Ohio State. The couple even welcomed a Buckeye baby during their time on campus. He appreciated all the support from his classmates and faculty mentors and proudly recalls leading a team of management students to the finals of 2008 International Entrepreneurship Challenge in San Francisco, California.
After returning to India, Kumar started as a vice-president in a life science incubator where he formulated strategies for growth of technology business incubation, created a pipeline of entrepreneurs, and worked with research and development laboratories and universities to create entrepreneurial models of commercialization.
Now, as managing director at BBC, which is a joint initiative of Department of Biotechnology, Government of India and Department of Electronics, Information Technology, Biotechnology and Science and Technology, Government of Karnataka, Kumar is creating a vibrant life sciences innovation cluster in Bangalore.
Incubation centers such as the BBC create a breeding ground for inventors by providing the space and equipment with required environmental clearance and also help attract investors to commercialize a technology. Kumar not only mentors the incubator groups with regard to scientific research, but also provides a whole gamut of support to scale up from ideation to commercialization.
Similar to how India has taken the lead in the field of vaccine and pharmaceutical manufacturing, Kumar believes India has a tremendous opportunity to be a leader in artificial intelligence and healthcare data analytics to make a positive contribution to the globe.