The life of an entrepreneur is not an easy one. The desire to branch out on their own means forgoing the security of a salaried job to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams, not knowing if it will result in a windfall or prove to be a trial by fire. As if that is not scary enough, a serial entrepreneur will take on this challenge repeatedly. For most serial entrepreneurs, the common trait they share is that they have more fear of regret than of failure. Serial entrepreneurialism is alive and kicking in the business world as Vipul Jain, CEO of Advancells and a serial entrepreneur with a record of successful business ventures, proves.
An MBA from Rochester Institute of Technology, New York, Vipul established Advancells in 2013. The research-based company focuses on providing cutting-edge stem cell therapies for patients with life-threatening diseases and also targets lifestyle diseases with anti-aging technology. Extending the family business of garment exports, Vipul started his career in 1999 by establishing a fabrics import enterprise and went on to establish four other companies, each one successful.
“My father, an extremely progressive person, always encouraged me to do something path-breaking,” Vipul begins, going on to say, “I had seen the way he built up his business over the past 30 years and though it is an excellent model, my heart was never in joining the family business. I wanted to do something innovative that could create a legacy for me and my family.” The journey of Advancells was not sudden, but a gradual one. “While my entry into healthcare space was a result of an opportunity, moving further into stem cells was a well-thought-of move,” he reveals.
Getting candid about the pros and cons of a serial entrepreneur, Vipul opines that the biggest advantage is that one always gets to experiment and play with new technologies, interact with new people, enhance learning and be part of change constantly and consistently. “Disadvantages are that you never feel settled as you are constantly on a lookout for new opportunities. It might become a classic case of always moving ahead without really focusing on one thing at a time,” he admits, adding that being a serial entrepreneur gives him a rush.
Vipul believes that regenerative medicine will change the world of medicine. “I am a strong believer that the person who will live healthily till the age of 150 is already born, which means that we are going to see some revolutionary changes in the practice of medicine over the next 10-20 years. Be it 3D printing of artificial organs, or stem cell-based regeneration of body parts, we are looking at an era where there will be no mortality due to the factors of aging, diseases or trauma.” Vipul wants to take center stage when that happens and is positioning Advancells to be a world leader when this revolution comes. He has a very robust internal research team with a constant focus on bringing technology from bench side to bedside.
How has his research-based company been received in India? “Surprisingly, very well,” says Vipul. “India has always been a keen follower, especially when it comes to medical research. It looks like there will be a good case study where India might just take the lead in stem cell technology and be a world leader. We have all the required resources and brainpower to make it happen; all we need is a supportive legislature, progressive regulators, understanding investors, and gritty innovators and you will see things rolling,” he promises.
It is not all work and no play for Vipul, who is passionate about theatre and movies. Traveling to new places, especially with his family, is another of his favorites. One destination that will remain etched in his memory forever is Rome. “I found it fascinating as it was a perfect mix of thousands of years of history amalgamated with a modern developed city. The citizens are proud of their heritage and yet have such a modern outlook towards life,” he feels.