Research Scientist – Plant Biologist, ekaterra

Unilever R&D Bangalore

type- Full time

Posted 2 Days Ago

job requisition id- R-51147

Job Title: Research Scientist – Plant Biologist, ekaterra

Job Type: Permanent

Location: Bangalore, India

Who we are…and what we offer

With an annual turnover of around €2bn, ekaterra is the world’s largest tea business, with world-class, purpose-driven brands such as Lipton, Pukka, Tazo, T2 and PG Tips. ‘eka’ is a word taken from the Sanskrit language which means unity and one purpose, while ‘terra’ represents the earth and nature. As ekaterra we are truly united in one purpose: growing a world of wellbeing through the regenerative power of plants.

In July 2022, CVC Capital Partners Fund VIII took over the full ownership of the ekaterra business from its previous owner, Unilever. As a standalone entity with a dedicated single-category focus, ekaterra is even better positioned to lead the tea industry, delivering higher growth and value, and a greater impact on the wider world. With 11 production factories in four continents and tea growing estates in three countries, ekaterra is a profitable and growing business whose brands reach hundreds of millions of consumers. It has a presence in over 100 countries.

Under the ownership of CVC, ekaterra has an exciting future ahead with opportunities for increased investments in our iconic brands, our people, and our capabilities.  Combining the strength and scale of our brands with a focus on speed and agility, ekaterra is brewing a corporate start-up mindset that’s opening-up new opportunities for its people to flourish every day.

At ekaterra, we put consumer love at the heart of every decision. We celebrate diverse thinkers who take personal ownership to connect ideas and make impactful things happen; people who share our values around humanity and courage and give their commitment to nurturing the wellbeing of all. In return, we offer a working culture that gives our people freedom and flexibility, and where they can grow both personally and professionally to master their field.

Be part of our amazing blend. Come and grow yourself and, in turn, help us to grow a world of wellbeing.

Your Role

Delivering superior technologies and innovations to solve consumer relevant problems is very crucial for success in the area of plant-based beverages.  Driven by this strong demand, Unilever and ekaterra has set up a Tea Technology Unit under joint development agreement to deliver cutting-edge technologies through fundamental understanding on various secondary metabolite pathways in tea and other botanicals through cross fertilization of ideas between biologists, chemists, chemical engineers. The biology/bioscience/biochemistry/biotechnology expertise are an integral part of other leading-edge expertise that Tea Technology Unit/Unilever Beverages/ekaterra has in the area of process engineering, product chemistry, analytical chemistry, health and wellness. 

Your Key Responsibilities

Main Accountabilities:

  • Elucidating metabolitic pathways for secondary metabolites in tea and naturals and their application in health & wellbeing and end cup sensorial
  • To develop cutting-edge technologies supported by risk-based assessment, consumer benefit to drive product superiority and savings
  • Underpinning the science across  processes, product chemistry/ key technologies/innovations via closely working with Global TPLs, ecosystem partners
  • To influence both Global and local R&D teams on implementing technological solutions in plant based beverages portfolio which are sustainably accretive
  • To support global and local design teams on claims and KBS on product and processes
  • Accountable to build CAP strategy, obtaining regulatory compliances, product safety of new processes, products developed in the team
  • Inspire and actively develop junior team members by proactively working on their development plans.
  • Stakeholders management, get outside-in-first – the scientific insights, technologies etc

Problem Solving:

The employee is expected to create and develop breakthrough pragmatic technologies and help in advancing them through the innovation funnel to the market. This means that they are expected to be keenly aware on latest S&T developments in the external world in the relevant area, consumer needs and competitor trends.


Tea is a mature business with little or no change in 100+ years, hence this job requires a very high level of creativity to identify new technical opportunities and routes to deliver to the category ambition of superiority in teas with a 5–10-year time horizon. This involves scientific creativity, lateral thinking, strategi thinking, building long term R&D road maps, rigor and in depth understanding in the area of plant biology/biochemistry, particularly on secondary metabolites pathways. Candidate will be working very closely within Tea Technology Unit with Scientists, Global TPLs seconded from ekaterra and Unilever for the growth of Unilever and ekaterra tea and naturals business.

Skills and Experience

Key Skills:

  • Strong hands-on experience in biochemistry, biotechnology, life sciences, molecular biology, health and wellness with a proven record on successful delivery of technological solutions to consumer relevant problems.
  • Enthusiasm to carry out hands-on practical R&D experiments in the lab, pilot plant and factories
  • Awareness on relevant latest science developments and how it can be translated to pragmatic and cutting-edge technologies to deliver un-met need of consumers in the area of tea and naturals
  • Pro-active and self-motivated to engage with internal and external science leaders, learning new skills in relatively shorter time frame.

Essential Qualifications:

  • A PhD in Biochemistry, Plant Biology, Life Sciences, Biotechnology, Plant Physiology from reputed institutes/Universities from abroad with 1-2 years overseas post-doctoral research experience in academia or industrial R&D. 
  • The successful candidate will be part of biology skill base in the Tea Technology unit, set up under JDA between Unilever and ekaterra to cater the R&D needs of Unilever and ekateraa tea and naturals business.

Excited about the Role? 

Please apply online. Your application will be reviewed against our requirements, and we will be in touch to provide you with an update on the status of your application.  

By applying for this vacancy, you are confirming that you have made your Line Manager aware of your application and you are eligible to apply for new internal opportunities. 

Should you require additional information, please contact the Recruitment Specialist, Sangita Dhua via this email:

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