Achievers of Maharashtra

(Biosketch of Marathi NRI Entrepreneur… )

Abhijeet Gholap

Biomedical Engineer, Film Producer and an Entrepreneur

Abhijeet GholapOptra Health, Optra SCAN and Optra Systems are three bio-imaging companies that Abhijeet Gholap owns. All have operations in California, in Pune, Maharashtra, and sales office in Holland. Abhijeet is trying to promote the new approach in dealing with cancer, all around the world. The concept is relatively new and yet it has very encouraging response from all over the world.

Born in Jan. 1972, Abhijeet Sharadchandra Gholap hails from Pune, Maharashtra. His parents’ hometown was Pabal near Pune. His father was a state government employee.

Abhi studied at Nutan Marathi Vidyalaya School till class 12. He wanted to pursue higher studies in Biomedical Engineering. With his academic excellence, he got admission at Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai. He completed his M.Tech with flying colors.

After his M.Tech, in 1994, he started working in Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). His specialization at MTech was in biomedical imaging and biomedical engineering and as these were his fields of specialization, his focus was always towards biomedical devices.

TCS sent him to the US on deputation. While he was there, he switched jobs and joined another company.

Soon, Abhi became alumnus of Stanford Graduate School of Business during his executive MBA program.

Abhi and Gauri were friends in IIT, Mumbai, and they got married. They are soulmates and they think alike as well. She is the co-founder and co-owner of Abhi’s all ventures.

Abhi got first opportunity in 2002 when he was in California. When IIT Mumbai’s 50 years celebrations were held in California, Abhi was invired as an Alumni Speaker. Abhi spoke on new technologies of Bio-imaging and got noticed by some Venture capitalist in the audience; and that is how BioImagene started in late 2002.

BioImagene made great and fast progress, and in a short span company grew so much that Roche acquired BioImagene. The BioImagene was born as California’s Silicon Valley start-up model.

This model is not what Indian conventional businessman would like. We Indians build to preserve, and we get emotionally involved. However, a Silicon Valley business model is for creation of wealth/ profit.

He sold his company to Roche for 100 million dollars in 2006.

Gauri’s expertise is in Biotechnology and Abhi’s specialization was biomedical imaging and so the name BioImagene was coined. That point onwards, in every company Gauri is the co-founder. This was the point when Optra group of companies was formed in late 2006.

Abhi and Gauri are co-founders and co-owners of three operating companies under Optra Group, namely, Optra Health, OptraSCAN and Optra Systems.

Dr. Gauri Gholap is a biotechnologist with an extensive commercial research and entrepreneurial background.

Gauri has extensive experience of working in the genetics, cytology, microbiology, molecular biology, medical imaging and bioinformatics fields. Gauri was selected as a young scientist for various research programs in biotechnology and microbiology internationally. She has 11 US patents published to her credit.

Main focus of Optra is to use information technology to solve healthcare problems, which is also termed as Digital health.

( Received with thanks from 'Garje Marathi' by Suneeta and Aanand Ganu, a book published by Granthali)