The boss lady of Indian genomics, who dreamed of the Nobel as a little girl – MapMyGenome’s Anu Acharya

Since childhood, she has been in love with physics and dreamt of getting into IIT – a goal that she did achieve. Acharya doesn’t find it difficult to manage multiple roles at the same time and that set her apart from her peers. Even at school, if she wasn’t seen in the library, one could probably spot her doing experiments in the physics lab or playing basketball.

Acharya says she is blessed to find an adviser in her father. Her father always encouraged her to dig deeper and learn everything, and Acharya diligently followed his advice. “The idea was to be a path-breaker in whatever I did,” says Acharya.

After gaining some business acumen, Acharya returned to India to start her entrepreneurial journey with Bandwidth and VoiceGram. Both companies shut down eventually. “Entrepreneurship is not just about great ideas, it is about perseverance and dedication too,” she believes.

However, she shifted her focus completely from physics to genomics and bioinformatics, which led her to start Ocimum Biosolutions. The company had built a huge database on pharmaceutical drug usage and discovered that, while India accounts for one-sixth of the world population, its genome databases were not being computed. This led her to start Mapmygenome in the year 2013 in Hyderabad with her own savings.

The start-up raised Rs.70 million through angel investors, Rajan Anandan and Arihant Patni, in March 2015. Acharya plans to expand, after raising series A funding, to Latin America, South-East Asia and the Gulf countries, besides extending services to top Indian cities through their partners.

Acharya is always bubbling with zeal and enthusiasm and does not believe in lazing around. She often juggles her business meetings and media interactions with cycling, swimming or spending time with her family, especially with her two little daughters. Among her long list of hobbies, swimming is her latest obsession. “I don’t see work and life as two separate entities. I enjoy what I do.”

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