The bright red blood that courses through our body makes sure that we are alive, and awesome the way we are. That, we know. But what we don’t know or rather aren’t concerned about is all the hard work it takes for our blood to keep us that way. Apart from delivering oxygen, energy and taking away the accumulated carbon dioxide and other impurities, blood, or rather its components are also responsible for fighting diseases. However, not all of us are healthy enough to wage that war inside us for a healthy living. The reason ranges from genetic deficiency to lifestyle. So how do we obtain what we lack? For that, we thank the numerous humans around us who donate blood regularly or not-so-regularly.
This whole blood that is donated is separated into its components i.e. blood plasma, platelets and erythrocytes. The blood plasma is further processed through Plasma Fractionation to manufacture Plasma Derived Medicinal Products (PDMPs) that are used to treat various diseases and disorders. These proteins are used for their Therapeutic Value to treat people with life threatening diseases. It is administered to patients who mostly have genetic deficiencies and can not manufacture these proteins in their bodies and need it from external sources to keep life’s battle alive. Human blood saves many lives but it is very vulnerable fluid, as it can also transmit infections like HIV, Hepatitis B/C and many more. So the manufacturing process of these proteins involves a very high degree of precision and safety measures. At the same time unfortunately in India, the availability of plasma is a huge challenge due to varieties of the reasons and therefore India still remains as the import-dependent country for a large number of plasma proteins even as of today.
When Dr. Ranjeet Singh Ajmani started working in this field, there was no proper regulation, process, and less than 10 blood banks in India used to prepare plasma from whole blood donation. His initial years went by spending and understanding the blood banking community, regulators, policymakers, politicians and very learned clinicians. His efforts saw him work hard and travel a lot and resulted in the Govt. of India, issuing the permit, for the first time, of collecting the surplus from Indian blood banks, allowing to send the plasma to South Korea to get converted into products. These products were then made available to Indian patients. Personally a very full filling time for Dr. Ajmani and his team. His stature as an expert in the matters grew, and he soon found himself invited to advise on setting up a plasma fractionation plant in Chennai. However, this was also a time when he felt and saw a different view of the company he was working with, which was completely contrary to his experience of almost 10 years in the organization and totally unacceptable.
The Dawn of a New Beginning
It’s said that the night is darkest before sunrise. Dr. Ajmani was going through a similar phase in his professional life. Although he was very happy with his work, he couldn’t compromise on his ethics and took the tough decision of moving on. After a short hiatus, he took up the role of National Expert-Plasma Fractionation as given by Govt. of India. The new role tested his skills beyond the subject line. He recalls, “My interactions with Govt. Machinery was eye-opening and great learning experience. But while enjoying the spotlight more than I probably deserved, I also created many enemies in the system.” Once again, Dr. Ajmani listened to his inner voice, and drawing strength from his true calling to select a career path, which perfectly matched his purpose of life, he set out is for his new innings at PlasmaGen BioSciences.
A Work of Passion
PlasmaGen BioSciences is an Indian Bio-pharmaceutical organization specializing exclusively in Plasma Protein Therapy. Dr. Ajmani started from scratch to reach where he and his company is today. Along with an efficient team that feels loved, empowered and trusted by one and all, he has been making every effort in the domain of Plasma product Industry and has become an Imperative one-stop destination for the medical fraternity for most of the plasma products need. “My work involves dealing with policymakers, regulators, blood bankers, clinicians, patients groups etc. At times it looks very demanding and difficult, but so is life” admits Dr. Ajmani.
Making a Mark
When Dr. Ajmani started his work, it was new, and different and challenges were a part of the package. Speaking about the same he says, “This is part of the deal, how do you come over it is more of art than science. Human sensitivities are very complex and personal. One needs to deal with an enormous sense of responsibility and care. I still face many challenges like availability of safe plasma continuously, regulations, awareness about plasma product amongst clinicians, patients groups etc.”
Herculean tasks like these require an endless source of motivation and Dr. Ajmani finds it within himself. He feels that life throws many challenges on a day-to-day basis, and one must find at least one reason to enjoy every aspect of life. Apart from that, a supportive environment also plays a vital role for which he thanks his teachers/mentors and his co-workers/every member of his team and most importantly his family. Having a family who understands your purpose more than career is very important. It is through their constant support and the undying faith that he has been able to create a niche and expertise in the cosmos of plasma product therapies.
Today Dr. Ajmani is a renowned name in the industry having many firsts to his credit. Apart from those mentioned already, he developed “Fibrin Glue” a plasma product along with TIFAC and another research organization for the first time in India. He was also a part of formulating plasma policy for India. He is an Expert member of Indian Pharmacopeia Commission (IPC) on blood plasma products, an industry representative and an expert member of the First Committee on the Hemovigliance Program of India. He is regularly invited to give talks/lectures on Indian/Asian scene about plasma products at various international forums and shared stage with noble laureates. The fact that he could create and nurture a team at PlasmaGen with a very strong sense of belongings and commitment and with a Zero rate of attrition speaks a lot about him as a leader. He is also credited with creating awareness of Blood component therapy and the value of plasma from the plasma product point of view.
Views on Healthcare industry
Dr. Ajmani opines that India is a country of extreme contrast and inequality. We are 1.3 billion people with an extreme degree of paying capacity, education level, social status and so on. No one system can fit the bill. We must work towards the various systems, where we can provide basic healthcare support to the last man in the queue. We should develop our models, as a model available in the west or developed world would not work for us. We still have not resolved the basic issues like safe drinking water, TB, Diarrhoea, and on top of it, we have now the challenge of lifestyle diseases like cancer, diabetes, stress. Inequality in healthcare is very shocking and inhumane. He also feels that the biggest challenge is Unequal healthcare system because of policies and that we must develop Public health funding. He is still hopeful that we would be able to grow in Gene Therapy, Personal medicines, Biopharmaceutical field, better diagnostic and treatment protocols for lifestyle diseases.
Follow Your Heart
Throughout his journey, Dr Ajmani has followed his heart and that is what he suggests to others, especially the young entrepreneurs. When you want to charter and walk life on your belief and terms, you may not find enough support from outer world. Society at large enjoy status quo, as any change brings a huge sense of discomfort, readjustment and realignment. It comes with a price tag, be ready to pay and feel happy that you are leading a life, which you wanted. He advises them to see the larger purpose of their lives and select a career path, which would not only give them money but also enrich their life. Work is very important part of ones life but it is not everything, hobbies / recreational activities which allows you to explore you core play a very significant role in long term. He adds, “Also, I am a huge believer that any business options come with a huge risk and challenge, so please have a very close understanding of your own self- know your weakness very well, knowing your weakness in advance is a real strength and be in touch with ground reality.” Do not dream big, dream real, and whatever you do, perfect your craft and be on the top of your game.
“I would also like to say that Life comes before anything, so enjoy your life to the fullest on your terms. Face every challenge of life with a smile. Be, creative, brave and bold,” concludes Dr. Ranjeet Ajmani.