Bharat Biotech founders Dr Krishna Ella and Suchitra Ella who built India’s finest vaccine legacy were bestowed with Padma Bhushan India’s third highest civilian award. The award for the vaccine making duo come in recognition of the important role played by their company Bharat Biotech in extending the Covid-19 vaccination programme in the country.
In the 68 years since the Padma awards were constituted this is unique instance when a husband-wife duo has been honoured together with the prestigious civilian award in India.
The inspiring leaders of innovation who delivered to the nation the India’s first indigenous covid19 vaccine COVAXIN have a legacy of over 25 years creating novel vaccines that prevent diarrheas’, typhoid fever, rabies , hepatitis and other viral infections — will be conferred with the Padma Bhushan award.
Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech has a track record of innovation with more than 145 global patents, a wide product portfolio of more than 16 vaccines, 4 bio-therapeutics, registrations in more than 123 countries, and the World Health Organization (WHO) Pre-qualifications.
It was in 1995-96 that Suchitra Ella mooted the idea of returning to India to pursue the dream of entrepreneurship to her husband Dr. Krishna Ella. Both of them quit their promising careers in the US to relocate along with their two young children.
Dr. Krishna Ella, an University of Agricultural Sciences Graduate from Bengaluru, travelled to the US for his MS from the University of Hawaii and Ph.D., from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, before taking a faculty position at the Medical University of South Carolina-Charleston.
25 years of grit , passion describes Dr Krishna Ella, Suchitra Ella’s Entrepreneurial Journey
Driven by a passion to develop novel vaccines to combat infectious diseases that effect developed world healthcare challenges, Dr. Ella moved back to India with his wife Suchitra in 1996 to establish Bharat Biotech International Limited, a company that has several vaccines to its portfolio today, and haveing delivered over 4 billion vaccine doses to the poorest and most underserved in over 116 developing countries through UNICEF, GAVI and other distribution channels.
As the Joint Managing Director of Bharat Biotech, her vision and hard work, leadership and organisational capabilities have helped in fostering a sustainable growth path for the company. Her divergent thinking with a new outlook has helped in shaping the challenging yet path breaking efforts of Bharat Biotech.
Besides her work at Bharat Biotech, Suchitra Ella essays multiple roles in various professional and non-profit organisation.
Suchitra Says “2021 is a pandemic year throughout the world, passing through unprecedented bad times in health, jobs, livelihoods, education, economic losses, etc. Working women have always been the backbone in millions of families the world over (that are) facing adversities.
They multitask, rise above the rest bravely to support and sustain through ups and downs,” says Ella, who adds that 2021 has been personally challenging as well. “It has been the most challenging yet satisfying year so far in terms of facing the COVID-19 virus head on, successfully developing Covaxin and enabling 24×7 efforts to maintain world-class quality, manufacture and distribute the vaccine across the country. Our goal is to fully maximise all our efforts to make India a COVID-free nation.”