Dr. Asha Oroskar, Co-founder, President and CEO of Orochem Technologies Inc., is an entrepreneur with an uncanny ability to find “technically feasible opportunities” which are not easily identified by common approaches to businesses. Identifying opportunities and then being able to technically convince the superiority, validity and marketability of such an approach to the client’s interests is a unique skill she possesses. Additionally, her ability to “break the ice” allows her to draw out and Flesh out such needs, which always manages to bring out an End to End solution for a prospective client. Asha has never been afraid to present her “ideas”, and that too several of them in parallel, which enables her to bring in continued success for her prospective clients.
An ability to Visualize and Accomplish Success
Asha gained her confidence to start her own company because she sensed, a total set of unique solutions were needed to “vetting” new ideas for their viability and success of newer endeavours. Asha believes, new business initiatives, both at larger and smaller corporations, always need blessings from experts which will reasonably buffer the initial failures of newer initiatives being considered both for launch and market entry.
Entering a Market on a Conviction But without Purchase Orders in Hand
With her excellent skills in the laboratory and a very high ability to “always visualizes herself as a “benchtop analyst/biochemist”, enabling Asha to uncover unique approaches to always “breaking new ground” in transforming product development from R&D to manufacturing products, all within the same infrastructure such that growth is accommodated within stages, allowing the Client to pace their investments to math market potential!
Her Leadership at Orochem
Dr. Asha Oroskar co-founded Orochem Technologies with her husband Dr. Anil Oroskar, in 1996 at her home in Oak Brook, Illinois. At Orochem, Asha is involved in developing innovative value-added, high throughput devices, to serve the Biotech and the Bio analytical industry. Her first product at Orochem was a high-throughput synthesis 96-well plate for Oligonucleotide Synthesis, which went on to become an industry-standard format and then lead on it to be implemented in the leading Oligo houses of the 384-well Oligo Synthesis format.
Asha is among the prominent names, to integrate depth prefilters into high-throughput filter plates, a concept first introduced by Orochem into the diagnostic community, and now routinely used for DNA extraction from human tissue samples in the identification of infectious agents. A scientist by training, an innovator by experience and a business woman by nature, Asha brings together all the qualities needed to bring innovative products to market rapidly, and keep them successful by bringing continuing innovation, flexibility in manufacturing modes, and cost consciousness to enable value for their clients.
Overcoming lack of Peer Recognition
The early stages of starting up brought many hurdles for Asha. Among them was the lack of precedence and “peer recognition” of her abilities, skills and performance, especially because of Asha’s passion for contributing to “the up and coming fields”, she chose to contribute her entrepreneurial skills without a demonstrable history of previous successes. Another major challenge she faced, which every new business also faces, is to convince prospective clients of “the definitive survival of her business”; since Orochem is a 100% self-funded privately owned business.
Despite a whole host of such challenges, Orochem went on to become a successful and extremely agile business company, able to provide clients a lower-cost approach for launching a company’s product in the initial stages, until manufacturing by automation approaches for demand and larger volumes kicks in. Orochem enables kick starting client’s efforts due to their expertise in Technology transfer through “R&D to manufacturing expertise” by absorbing their upfront costs while always getting themselves to become a part of their solutions going forward.
Anil, a Co-founder, Who Influenced Asha the Most
For Asha, her parents and her husband, Anil, are the most influential people in her life. The undying persistence over academic degrees from an institution, has been a significant contribution of Asha’s parents towards Asha’s continued confidence in her ability to succeed in her goals. Asha’s husband Anil Oroskar is also the co-founder of Orochem.
Anil Oroskar is a PhD holder from the University of Wisconsin, who co-founded Orochem and joined the company on a full-time basis in early 2006. Anil is a Chemical Engineering graduate from IIT Mumbai. Anil came on board at Orochem Technologies armed with a significant expertise in the commercial scale chromatographic separations of petrochemicals and nutraceuticals. Anil has also founded the Center for Innovation in the Chemical Industry at the University of Illinois.
Serving the needs of the Nutraceutical Industry
Orochem’s products which were traditionally developed for laboratory scale sample concentration and sample detection using chromatography, with Anil joining, Orochem became the fundamental and unique skillset for Orochem to design processes and establish commercial systems, for Commercial scale Operations’ in the nutraceutical arena.
On the basis of Anil and Asha’s unique expertise in the design of Simulated Moving bed Chromatography using liquid chromatographic separations, Orochem now occupies an elite niche, one which is completely vertically integrated from chemistries to separations of hardwired systems designed with process parameters customized to produce the Tons of Scale of product planned for. Orochem has worldwide recognition for being exclusively able to convert within the shortest possible time frame, a Chromatographic separations’ process from lab scale to commercial scale using their own customized chemistries. Orochem has developed significant process parameters, patented such separations processes, and installed commercial systems at client sites globally for purified Omega3Fatty acids, Krill Phospholipids, Tagatose, and Stevia amongst other important molecules in other continents.
A Strong Desire to Contribute
Deliberating on “Is entrepreneurship, something that is inborn or can be learned”, Asha says,“Entrepreneurship may not be easily taught. It can however quite possibly, be gleaned by passionate learning and being closely associated with good mentors.” Asha believes, entrepreneurship comes from an inherent underlying passion, a strong belief in a desire to contribute, and to fulfill a need, and an unrelenting persistence and faith in one self, almost in the face of daily challenges.