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My name is Shambhavi Naik and I am the Founder of CloudKrate Solutions. I have a PhD in Cancer Biology from the University of Leicester, and postdoctoral experiences from the National Centre for Biological Sciences and the Institute of Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine. After 10 years in academia, I studied public policy at the Takshashila Institution and continue my public policy engagement to better understand life science policy in India. 

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My Story

2016 was an extremely eventful year – I had just published my first research paper from my postdoc, I had trained 3 summer students and successfully organized India’s first postdoctoral symposium at NCBS. By 2016, I had worked my way through a Masters, a PhD and 3 years of postdoctoral work all for one cause – trying to find how breast cancer cells work. 2016 was also the year I resigned from my job as a cancer researcher at one of the most sought-after institutions in India to start CloudKrate, a tech based startup to help scientists with material management.

One of the oft-asked questions I get is “Why did you leave science, why are you wasting all your training?” The transition from doing bench work to starting a business was not easy; it took a lot of work to get underway and even more learning about the nuances of the trade. But the crux of creating a solution was data – I had extensively networked with cientists and suppliers to carefully understand their pain points and bottlenecks in this fragmented ecosystem. Running a startup is not very different from how scientists work - I apply the same principles to CloudKrate: I observed scientists wasting their precious research time on managing resources, I hypothesized a good inventory management system that would help re-channelise time and I have been experimenting with CloudKrate to figure out the best product fit for solving the issue. My training in science has taught me these principles - robust data collection, critical thinking, and flexibility to pivot. I have never felt that I have wasted my training because it was never about the techniques, it was always about the attitude.

“But why CloudKrate; why not another biotech startup? There are so many health concerns in India, surely we need more research done.” Saying I am helping scientists maintain their resources doesn’t sound as sexy as saying I am researching cancer. But scientists in India struggle to get their lab supplies on time resulting in inefficient project planning and delays. Through CloudKrate, I am helping researchers save time so that they focus on their research, be it finding a vaccine for dengue, a biomarker for cancer, or a cure for Parkinsons. We expect to save laboratories upto 400 man-hours a year over a year, that’s an additional 2 months of extra research time/laboratory. That means that even if only 6 cancer labs work with CloudKrate in a year, it would make up for my absence from the field. Improving research productivity in all these labs simultaneously is worth more than me working at a lab bench.

Getting chemicals and resources has been a barrier for many labs wanting to start up and CloudKrate is changing that slowly, one lab at a time. Soon CloudKrate will have revolutionized the supply chain in life sciences industry, making research in India hassle-free.  

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