Beginning with a small food testing laboratory, Dr Deepa Bhajekar stands tall today as a founder of D technology. With fifteen years of experience in analyzing more than 20 lakh samples of processed foods, beverages, water, meats and agri commodities, Dr Deepa today heads a team that is taking on the challenge of providing innovative technologies in various areas of food at pilot level which eventually can be scaled to the industry level.
She also represents food research bodies at Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) as member of its Central Advisory Committee (CAC).
In 2015 she started d technology that operates as a research and development company focusing on technological solutions in the food sector. The company offers training course on analytical instruments, such as HPLC, GCMS-MS, LCMS-MS, and others. It also provides advisory services in domain areas, including processed foods; milk and dairy; spices, herbs, and condiments; beverages, juices, and soft drinks; fruit and vegetable products; food grains, pulses, and cereals products; health foods, functional foods, and nutraceutical; oils and fats; fish, poultry, and meats; and ingredients and additives.
Before setting up d technology, Dr Deepa Bhajekar set up MicroChem Laboratory, one of India’s premier food testing providers, in 2000. With regional laboratories in Delhi and Pune, the company had over 40 skilled analysts and technicians. Later in 2009 Silliker, the world leader in the field of food safety and quality services and part of the Mérieux Alliance group of companies, had invested in the MicroChem Laboratory. Dr Deepa led the team at MicroChem before starting another firm called D technology.
When asked about professional journey she quips, “I did work in a company first few years and realized soon enough that I was very strong on decision making and had an individual thought process. Hence I ventured into business. I like to focus on virgin territories and for me the chase and adrenaline is in creating from zero and taking it to a global level.”
To a question on challenges faced as a woman in the male-dominated food industry, she asserts “I have founded it extremely easy to run a business as a woman (since I could never know the other!!) and honestly do not recall any instance of gender being a problem. I have never thought of running the business differently as a woman and have always felt welcome in the industry. There have been challenges when sometimes people you hire of the other gender question your abilities as a leader and that is a mind-set that can be annoying to deal with.”
When asked about the difference in the way males and females plan out their career, she opines “Women are perhaps more emotional in decision making, which can at times be a strength or can be a hurdle. In my opinion women are great multitaskers.”
Advice from Dr Deepa Bhajekar to the budding women entrepreneurs is “If you have a strong mind, focus on your goal, a resolve as hard as graphite, clear vision and a family support system to “dare to dream”, everything is achievable.”