Dr Villoo Morawala Patell receives French award
French government has bestowed the award of Officier de L'Ordre National
du Mérite (Officer of the National Order of Merit) on Dr. Villoo
Morawala - Patell, Founder, Chairperson and Managing Director, Avesthagen. The
National Order of Merit is an Order of Chivalry awarded by the President of
the French Republic. It was founded on December 3, 1963 by President Charles
The citation of the Award reads, 'This award acknowledges your great merits
as a prominent figure in the scientific field in the entrepreneurship of your
country, as the creator of Avesthagen, a major company in India in the area
of biotechnologies. It is also a tribute to your co-operation with French scientists,
your numerous and fruitful partnerships with major French industrial firms,
and to the affection you have on many occasions expressed for our country.'
Accepting the award, Patell said, "This is indeed a moment of great pride.
This is not just an award for me; it is recognition of the achievement of India
in the field of Science and Innovation. It's an award for the entire industry.
India has arrived on the scientific map of the world and has emerged as an intellectual
powerhouse to reckon with."
Patell is a combination of Scientist and Businesswoman. With the desire to drive
the development of research in Life Sciences, she founded Avesthagen to promote
a sustainable innovation platform for the Nation. Today, after seven years of
business life, Avesthagen has emerged as India's leading knowledge based Life
Sciences Company. The company drives itself on an integrated approach to innovation
leading to convergence of food, pharma and population genetics across the life-science
space. Avesthagen's partners include global companies in each of its fields
of research. French companies bioMerieux, Limagrain and Danone, as also Indian
companies Cipla and Godrej have partnered with Avethagen contributing to the
growth of the biotech industry.
Patell is also a key member of the Task Force and Vision Group for Biotechnology,
instituted by the State Government of Karnataka and founder member of the Association
of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE). She was recently invited as a Member
on the Board of the Bill Clinton Global Health Initiative. Dr Patell has received
the BioSpectrum Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2006 and the Outstanding Woman
Entrepreneur Award for the year 2005-2006 from Federation of Indian Chambers
of Commerce & Industry (FICCI). She was also the recipient of the Ojaswini
Award for Science and Technology.