Often entrepreneurs believe that becoming a leader is the final terminus in their entrepreneurial journey. However, leadership is a journey, and not the destination. “We make pathway decisions about the people we lead, our organizations, and ourselves. Every time we make these decisions, it sets us on a new pathway. Our leadership and career journey only has stopovers,” says Dr. Nagma Abbasi (Founder & CEO at NextGen Life Sciences), a genius scientist, and a remarkable entrepreneur.
Dr. Nagma has been striving for excellence since her childhood and is committed to delivering exceptionally in her endeavours. She had no prior experience in entrepreneurship or was seldom exposed to entrepreneurs, making her the first-Gen entrepreneur of her family. The journey was difficult but she was highly supported by her family which motivated her to work hard towards her goal. Her entrepreneurial journey began with the establishment of NextGen Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd. in 2014. The company was established to cater to the untapped opportunities of the industry and become the frontrunner in providing biological research products and services.
The Initial Journey
Being a scientist herself, Dr. Nagma was aware of the pain points of scientists in the Biotechnology, Life Sciences, and healthcare industry. Having this experience was beneficial for curating the services of NextGen Life and turning it into a successful establishment. However, like any other startup initially, the company too had to face a few challenges like capital investments, assembling a quality team, building a customer base, and good relationship. “Today, with such hard work and determination of me and my team we deliver the best of services and solutions which are smart and futuristic, and NextGen Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd. has become the most preferred brand for clients,” proudly asserts Dr. Nagma.
The key achievement for NextGen has been the consistent growth for the last six years in terms of revenue and profitability. The company has been successful in attaining customer trust in a short period by providing excellent services in the industry.
Augmenting Portfolio of Products and Services
The company was established with an aim to bridge the gap between the needs and pains of researchers of the Life Science/ Biotech Industry and assist the scientists to gain insight on the recent innovations and technologies, assuring a sound knowledge of the subject matter. Henceforth, with its augmented spectrum of products and solutions, it is empowering the mounting realm of complex analytical challenges. NextGen addresses a wide range of requirements such as the sample, material characterization, and chemical analysis to clinical diagnoses and biological-based therapeutics handling.
The company offers products for Cell Analysis, Cell Culture & Transfection, Cloning, DNA & RNA Purification, Gene Expression Analysis & Genotyping, PCR, Protein Expression & Analysis, Real-Time PCR, Sequencing, and Synthetic Biology. In addition to these products, its portfolio also comprises of Cancer Research, Stem cell research, Drug Discovery and development, Plant Sciences, Epigenetics and Services for Sequencing, Next Generation Sequencing, and Bioinformatics.
Currently, NextGen is enthusiastic about the futuristic innovations in Biotechnology like Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) in clinical laboratories, NGS Data analysis, and interpretation of unknown genetic variants. With its presence in North India, it is planning to expand its network in West and South India as well. It is looking forward to the new technology and its application-CRISPR. CRISPR technology is a simple yet powerful tool for editing genomes. NextGen Life Sciences is keen on transforming the modus operandi of research and future need for scientific discoveries and innovations. “Our company’s mission is to discover, delineate, and deliver high-quality products and excellent services that enable millions of lives to live a healthy and better life,” said Dr. Nagma.
Meeting the Demands of COVID-19
NextGen was spontaneous in delivering the needs of the healthcare and biotech industry in the time of COVID-19 as well. The sudden lockdown was surprising for many people and businesses equally as no one were prepared for this halt. Despite the urgency, Dr. Nagma was proficient in managing the team. The NextGen team initially required guidance from Dr. Nagma but soon was swift to adapt to the changes and operate remotely. Being well-versed with the relevant technology helped the team in remote working.
Due to COVID19 cases surging across the country, the clients started demanding products for COVID-19 Testing Kits and instruments. As per ICMR guidelines, the gold standard test Real-Time PCR testing has been recommended for all clients. The NextGen team educated people about the Real-Time PCR testing kits options available in the Indian Market and provided the best solutions to customers. The team worked meticulously with its associates and partners to create the best quality products available on highly competitive pricing to customers as a total End to End solution and contributed in the fight against the novel coronavirus. Dr. Nagma proudly asserts, “We feel proud to serve the nation in such a difficult time and serve for this noble cause of saving lives.”
Uniquely Qualified for Leadership
Leadership was vastly challenged in the tough times of COVID-19. Dr. Nagma believes that being patient and managing things with limited resources is crucial to make women uniquely qualified to lead at large during this pandemic. Remote working and managing personal life at the same time is not an easy task. However, Dr. Nagma believes that women have managed to keep themselves and the team motivated and positive during this pandemic due to their multitasking skills.
Regardless of gender, this pandemic has proved to be a new learning experience for all business leaders. The pandemic has prepared the leaders for new challenges and helped to adjust to the new working environment. “I learned more about Time management, working with limited resources, working with extended hours, cash flow management, challenges, motivation, and customer relationship during this difficult time,” said Dr. Nagma.
Responsible CEO and Home-maker
Apart from the several challenges an entrepreneur encounters, the work-life balance remains the classic one. However, Dr. Nagma managed to attain the perfect balance between the two. She belonged to a family background with working women and had grown watching them manage between work and home. This taught her to manage between the two.
Dr. Nagma is a family-oriented person and at the same time is well aware of her professional life responsibilities. She asserts that the trick is in managing time and priorities. She adds, “If I’m at work then I’m 100 percent at work and I just behave like a responsible CEO and when I’m at home with my family I behave like a Homemaker.” Decision-making is an important aspect of life and Dr. Nagma believes that if one is good at decision-making, s/he can manage personal and professional life well.