The Swagene storyline — highlighting entrepreneurial lessons of 2016


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Did you know that your genes decide everything? From drug response to personality traits, everything can be predicted based on your genes. It is just like how food advertisements can influence your eating behaviour. These lifestyle and medical genetic questions lie at the centre of what this multiple award-winning genetic lab, Swagene, has to offer.

 From how to control and reverse balding to how to treat cancer, Swagene has solutions brewing in their lab. It makes advanced personalised medicine available, accessible, and affordable for diseases, including infections, cancer, pregnancy, infertility, heart disease and others, which are being used by top specialists all over India. “Swaviva” was recently launched as their Lifestyle Genetics brand for conditions ranging from fitness and nutrition to hair and skin wellness. They are actively exploring startups and chains in related fields to help personalise solutions offered to their customers in gyms, spas, etc.

 The founding team is an accomplished scientist-doctor duo. Dr Sooraj Ratnakumar got his PhD from Cambridge and did several years of postdoctoral research in the USA, UK, and Switzerland, while Dr KM Vani is an experienced gynecologist and obstetrician with expertise in quality and patient safety.

Learnings from 2016:


  • Establishing expertise is priority in hard tech- Sooraj, Founder of Swagene, told YourStory, “We found early on that the top specialists in every medical specialty absolutely valued the expertise we provided. So we kept building more upon our knowledge in serving our customer and non-customer doctors diligently in queries irrespective of whether we offer those tests. Even today, we heartily partake in all molecular medicine discussions leading to frequent invitations to speak and present at national conferences.”


  • External challenges can force a downturn, overcome them- “While in December of 2015 we faced massive floods in Chennai thus losing quite valuable inventory because of lack of electricity for several days, 2016 is ending with its own set of challenges, including the demonetisation and a severe cyclonic storm. We have learned by now to stand firmly rooted during these times and especially use these brief imposed hiatus as opportunities to introspect and improve.”

Key Milestones till 2016:


- DSIR-certified R&D laboratory

- DIPP-certified Innovative startup


- FICCI DST-Lockheed Martin Gold Medal for Innovation

- CII Startup of the Year, healthcare

- NASSCOM 10K Startup

- IIT Kharagpur: Most Innovative Startup, Empresario

- IIM Ahmedabad: Masterplan Winner

- BITS Pilani: Conquest Winner

Featured in National media

- Business Standard

- CNBC Young Turks

- Economic Times Health

- Yahoo! News

- Part of stories in Economic Times, Times of India, Indian Express, Deccan Chronicle

- Featured on various blogs and online media outlets

Swagene Storyline


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