Healthcare technologies is next big frontier for investments: Ratan Tata

Ratan Tata. Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint

Healthcare technologies will be the next frontier for investments as researchers make progress on inventing treatments for some of the diseases that currently have no cure, said Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons.

Tata, who has turned into a prolific investor after retiring as chairman of the $108 billion conglomerate in 2012, has made undisclosed investments in a range of new-age companies such as online marketplace Snapdeal, online wallet and retailer PayTm, cab aggregator Ola, smartphone maker Xiaomi, online furniture seller Urban Ladder and, more recently, virtual currency company Abra and WiFi carrier Sabse Technologies from the US.

Healthcare technologies have the greatest potential to change the world as we see it today, he said. “I think the most exciting thing on the horizon that is likely to happen is different from what one is seeing in India,but is starting to see very much overseas, is the likelihood of medical breakthroughs,” Tata said at an event to inaugurate government-owned incubator T-Hub. “I see a great deal of breakthroughs in treating diseases which hitherto were fatal or had no cure.”

Companies working in the fields of computing, analytics, imaging, life sciences and stem cells have the potential for a breakthrough in the field of medical sciences. Research taking place at companies and labs has the potential to cure some of today’s fatal diseases such as cancer, Tata said.

MIT Technology Review has identified individual scientists, universities and companies that are evolving methods to detect cancer early from blood tests and using cerebral organoids to grow human brain cells to understand brain disorders such as schizophrenia, autism, dementia and mental illness.

Researchers at Google Inc., the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health and the Personal Genome Project are working on creating a global network of genomes that can let DNA databases communicate to help doctors solve medical cases.

US-based Cleveland Clinic is working on innovations such as a medical stroke treatment unit, inhibitors to reduce cholesterol and intraoperative radiation therapy to treat breast cancer.

The impact of medical discoveries will be felt not just in developing countries in Asia and Africa, but in the developed world as well, Tata observed.

However, he said there was “no way” to precisely identify the breakthroughs at this point in time. “Something is going to happen which may be a breakthrough. We don’t know it today because there may be a hundred companies working in that area,” the 77-year-old industrialist said. “But one or five of them are going to be successful.”

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This article was first published on Livemint.com

 

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.