“Take risks in your life, if you win, you lead, if you fail, you can guide!”
Starting a business has never been an easy feat. It even gets harder when you are a woman and you have to raise a family and continue research work as a scientist. These many challenges however have proved to be no match for Dr. Florida Tilton who has managed to not only enjoy an industrious research career but also grow a multimillion business out of it – all this while raising two children.
With over 25 years of experience in biotechnology research, 13 of which having been spent as an entrepreneur, Dr. Florida Tilton has not only cemented a top spot in the biotech world but also the business world. Indeed this success won her the All India Women Entrepreneurs Award 2018. She then got awarded by the Delhi Management Association in recognition of her entrepreneurial acumen.
Dr. Tilton’s Early Life and Education
Dr. Florida Tilton was born to an Army jawan. She spent her childhood travelling and living all across the nation. As a consequence, she was able to acquire an entrepreneurial mindset as a result of this experience. He has research experience as a Research Associate at the SPIC Science Foundation. There she worked for seven years, served as a springboard for her professional career.
Dr. Tilton attained most of her education from the University of Madras in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Here she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Botany, a Master’s degree of Science and Philosophy in Plant Biology/Botany, and later a Ph.D. in Botany (Plant Molecular biology and Cancer targeted phytotherapy). She later went ahead to enjoy an industrious career as an academician before crossing over to the business world. As an academician, she established the Department of Biotechnology at Hindustan College of Arts & Science, Chennai, which she headed for 4 years. It was during her time when she finds a gap between her academic and industry while holding a discussion with some of her students about which gap she set out to address as an entrepreneur.
Venturing into the Business World
When she graduated from Hindustan College, she was joined by two of her former students, with whom she co-founded Biozone Research Technologies in 2008, marking the beginning of her business career. According to its website, Biozone Research Technologies began as a biosciences research and academic organization aiming at bridging the gap between academia and industry that Dr. Tilton and her students had previously noticed.
The business has evolved over time into a research organization that provides technical and analytical services in biosciences, as well as publishing solutions.
Biozone Research Technologies: An overview
Biozene has organized its company into three major growth verticals in order to provide long-term value to biotechnologists across the world. This Research Solutions provides tailored research services in the areas of Molecular Biology, Plant Tissue Culture & Herbal Research, Animal Cell Culture, Bioinformatics, Microbiology, and Analytical Services.
The company’s operations are headquartered in Chennai, and it includes an institute of life sciences that offers a variety of training programs, a research and development wing that offers customized research solutions, and a publishing wing that publishes an online peer-reviewed journal for biosciences.
The company has achieved significant success over the years, including recognition from the Ministry of Science and Technology – Government of India, as well as collaborations with notable academic institutions, organizations, and research laboratories such as SynkroMax Biotech Private Limited, Central Leather Research Institute (CSIR), Asthagiri Foundation, Lifeline Hospitals, and Hindustan Uni.
Challenges in Business
Whereas Biozone Research Technologies has attained a considerable amount of success, the growth came with its own challenges. Being a life sciences company, Dr. Tilton had to deal with the requirement of huge investment to set up facilities, while at the same time the yield slows down. She further had to struggle to establish enough credibility and gain the trust of her potential clients so as to outsource their research work to her company.
Through staying positive in distress and always utilising her strengths, and working on her weaknesses, are what have helped Dr. Tilton to navigate the terrain to establish herself as one of India’s top female entrepreneurs.
Academic and Research Career
Despite leaving an active academic career earlier, she has continued to contribute to the academic sector through her advisory role on academic councils of several colleges across Tamil Nadu. She also serves as a biotech research advisor for Master of Philosophy Studies in a number of universities including Bharathidasan University Trichy, PRIST University Thanjavur among others. Her areas of research expertise cover plant biotechnology, bioinformatics, molecular oncology, and genomic studies.
Owing to her active research career both in academia and industry, Dr. Tilton has a number of research papers until now in peer-reviewed international journals that are credited to her name. She is also Editor-in-Chief of her company’s international peer-review journal – the International Journal of Bioscience Research (IJBR). Dr. Tilton’s holds excellence in academia and industry. She has won several awards and invitations to speak on several platforms nationally and internationally. She is among India’s top 40 women entrepreneurs having successfully begin and establishes Biozone Research Technologies.
Dr. Florida Tilton’s advice to the Youth
Based on her own life experience, Dr. Florida Tilton believes that success comes to those who do not give up. She further advises that one should always have a plan B to their plans and calculations.
“You should not stop yourself from pursuing your dreams and aspirations. If you persist despite the odds and wait for the light at the end of the tunnel, then you will not be disappointed. When you succeed in the face of hardship, you distinguish yourself as special.”- says Dr. Tilton. She learns that being distinctive and making a difference in society is the most satisfying way to earn a living.
In today’s workforce, women are taking the lead. We have a lot to learn from her. The enterprises and efforts are more than simply a source of wealth. She successfully demonstrates that gender is not a barrier to success.
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