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September 2009

Laser Legend

Laser pioneer scores with Pranalytica by putting lab innovations to work

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – C. Kumar N. Patel, founder, president and chief executive officer of Pranalytica Inc., knows lasers. The recent success of his company, though, is more a credit to his ability to adjust market focus and produce a commercial application of a laser that had been more of a "lab curiosity" than anything else.

A former director of physics and materials research at AT&T Bell Laboratories, the 71-year-old Patel is credited with the development of the carbon dioxide laser, carbon monoxide laser and the Spin-Flip Raman laser and was nearing the end of his 32-year run at the organization when the lab produced the work that led to the development of quantum cascade lasers in the early 1990s.

The latter was the laser that Patel attempted to introduce to the commercial market in 1999 when he founded Pranalytica. Perhaps due to the well-established commercial use of carbon dioxide lasers – widely used as laser scalpels for surgery and in laser skin resurfacing – Patel targeted the medical industry. The company developed a breath analysis sensor device using quantum cascade lasers, but ran into trouble selling the equipment, mostly because doctors were more interested in leasing the devices than buying them.

(Click on headline for complete article)

Sub Featured
Shri Thanedar: Ambition rising

Aggressive moves propel St. Louis testing business from $7M to $60M

ST. LOUIS — Six years ago, Shri Thanedar's Chemir Analytical Services was a $7 million company with steady revenue, an impressive list of clients and a firm foothold in the specialty-testing industry, but for the ambitious Thandedar that was not enough.

South Asian VC fund raising plummets

Total of $1.54B in 2008 drops massive 34 percent from $2.07B high in 2007

For the first time since the IndUS Business Journal started its annual venture capital report in 2002, South Asian entrepreneurs saw a drop in venture capital fundraising from the previous year, raising $1.54 billion in 2008, down from $2.07 billion raised in 2007.

Abbot buys nutrition business for $130M

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. – Abbot Laboratories has agreed to acquire the nutrition businesses Wockhardt Ltd., Carol Info Services Ltd., and certain Wockhardt subsidiaries and group companies for $130 million in cash.

The transaction also includes nutrition manufacturing facilities located in Lalru and Jagraon, India.

Engineering vet finds passion with Muslim nonprofit

Non-muslim Krishnamurthy embraces fight of extremism

SAN FRANCISCO – All good businessmen take experience from their past professional lives and build on it for future success. Ravi Krishnamurthy is no different, but the outlet into which he poured his professional experience is not as typical.

For Houston franchisee, Charley's is worth the wait

HOUSTON – Like many in franchising, Nick Patel joined the industry because he knew it would be a good investment. However, his decision to join Charley's Grilled Subs was also driven by the fact that he loves the food – so much so that he persisted for 10 years until finally getting his franchise shot.

Make effort to negotiate your commercial lease

For most business-owners, entrepreneurs and franchises, negotiating a good lease or renewal against an experienced agent or broker can be a challenge. After all, real estate agents and brokers are specialized sales people. Their job is to sell tenants on leasing their location at the highest possible rental rate.

NASA data shows groundwater trouble

Research finds water levels in North India on decline

WASHINGTON – A recent study, using NASA satellite data, has found that groundwater levels in northern India have been declining by as much as one foot per year over the past decade. Researchers concluded the loss is almost entirely due to human activity.

Qatar on rise in U.S.

Airline opens U.S. offices, as it charts course for lucrative American market

DOHA, Qatar – Qatar Airways is amping up its efforts in the United States and the airline views U.S.-India travel as a crucial component of this effort.

Software maker Apptio raises $14M

VC Report

Apptio, a provider of on-demand IT financial management software, has raised $14 million in second round funding. Andreessen Horowitz Fund and Shasta Ventures were joined by return backers Greylock Partners and Madrona Venture Group.

VC executives report industry ‘broken'

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — A recent survey found that more than half — 52 percent — of the venture capital executives polled indicated their industry was currently "broken."

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