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The legacy - making India the biggest supplier of serums & vaccines in the world.

Inspired by the Swadeshi revolution of the early 20th century, a young boy named Narendranath Dutta decided to dedicate his life for the national cause, but didn't know where to start. Despite being born & brought up in a very poor family, he had great human values (He was the son of a Sanskrit teacher), and by the time he finished schooling, he had realized the importance of healthcare and its role in national development.


That's how he chose to pursue his higher education in medicine, and thanks to his hard work, he had managed to secure a medical seat with scholarship. But the scholarship was only for the college fees, which forced him to explore additional income in the form of part-time jobs apart from his full time study. Such was his humility that he actually agreed to work as a coolie at a nearby shipyard every night, and by sunrise, he would be back in the hostel to freshen up, and spend the whole day attending medical college.


In the early 1920s, he had finished his medical education with flying colors, and was hired by the Army as Medical Officer and posted at West Asia, where he rose to prominence as Captain! After serving the Army, Captain Narendranath Dutta returned to Calcutta, and decided to take up his childhood ambition of starting his own swadeshi company, through which he could fulfill the medical needs of the nation.


In 1925, he came across a small group of highly qualified Doctors who were also inspired by the Swadeshi movement had already started a small firm called "Bengal Immunity Company" during their spare time, but couldn't take it forward due to their busy schedules. Since it was such a noble cause, Narendranath decided to take it forward, and within 2 years, singlehandedly transformed it from a garage-startup into a full fledged company with factories & research centres spread over 30 acres!


By the 1940s, Bengal Immunity Company (Calcutta) had become a pioneer in immunity & healthcare, and was in fact the very first company to produce & market serum commercially. Such was its reputation that Armies around the world used to place bulk orders at his company, since it was one of the very few companies in the world which could fulfill the stringent military standards & specifications.


However, by the 1990s, due to intense pressure from International activist organizations like PETA, the company was forced to discontinue several animal-based serums, which in turn severely affected the company prospects, leading to its eventual downfall. Although there is absolutely no trace of Bengal Immunity Company today, one cannot deny the role played by the company in laying the foundation for India's serum & vaccine industry which in turn gave birth to several other newer Indian companies which are carrying forward the legacy of Captain Narendranath Dutta, by making India the biggest supplier of serums & vaccines in the world.

Story by
Guru Prasad

Guruprasad (or “GP” in short) is a Chief Engineer & Technology Mentor by profession and spends a...

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