Process Stream is the first tenant at 500 Alexander Park since the Scotland-based architecture firm, RMJM, downsized and abandoned its Princeton location in 2011. The new occupants are not designing any buildings, but they are providing a crucial building block for the pharmaceutical industry.
When you open a bottle of prescription medicine, you do so with the confidence that it’s safe, or at least not made improperly. Contaminated medication is a rarity — the stuff of headlines and multi-million dollar lawsuits.
The people who make your drugs take quality control very seriously, and rightly so: a slip-up in manufacturing could hurt or kill people, and incidentally, could easily doom an entire pharmaceutical company.
But how does it get this way? Drug manufacturing is, of course, heavily regulated by the FDA, but the way companies comply with the strict rules is extremely complicated, even for the Mercks and Johnson & Johnsons of the world.
That’s where Process Stream comes in. The company, founded in 2008 by Bobby Roy and Mickey Shah, is a consulting firm that helps big drugmakers as well as food and beverage makers create processes for quality control. The software and services sold by Process Stream cover everything from how manufacturers track complaints to how they make sure they are doing all the necessary inspections in their factories.
“It’s kind of a neat space,” Roy says. “You’re making sure companies are really doing what they’re supposed to be doing in terms of quality and compliance. When you get into it, you really see how much goes into maintaining the quality and the high cost of good quality. As a consumer, it’s very important, but you don’t see it.”
Roy and Shah’s business has been taking off lately, so much so, that they are moving from quarters in Carnegie Center to Alexander Park. Process Stream, which has about 30 employees in its New Jersey office, was outgrowing its Carnegie Center office. It started 2013 with five employees, and ended the year with more than 30. The company also opened an office in California.
Roy was looking around for somewhere to expand, and saw that 500 Alexander Park was available. At first it didn’t seem like what Roy was looking for. The old office was far from the headquarters he imagined for his growing company. “We were looking for a Google-type space,” he says. “But it’s hard to find in the Princeton area.”
Since the Google headquarters didn’t exist in the Route 1 corridor, Roy decided that an old building could be renovated to be the space he wanted, especially with building owner (and architect) J. Robert Hillier designing the fit-out (see commercial real estate story, page 10). The space at 500 Alexander Park appealed to him for a number of reasons, not the least of which was that there was plenty of room for future expansion. As a lifelong resident of the Princeton area, Roy also appreciated the history of the building.
Roy grew up in East Brunswick. His father, Swapan Roy, moved to the area from India in 1968 and worked at Roche for 25 years before founding his own company, Biotech Support Group, which he still runs on Deer Park Drive. “I think that’s where I get that entrepreneurial kick,” Bobby says. Roy, who is 35, went into the consulting field after graduating from Rutgers with a degree in biology. He was doing the same work he is now, but as a consultant. After a few years, he decided to branch out on his own, starting off as a one-man shop and later joining forces with Shah to form Process Stream. Now he lives in Hillsborough and is married with two young children.
Roy hopes to give the old office building new life with his company. Roy and Hillier have re-imagined the office as an open concept workspace with low cubicles for working, and an area for ping pong tables and a juice bar for downtime and relaxing.
“It’s neat to see it come full circle,” Roy says. “I think it’s a pretty unique space in the Princeton marketplace, so that’s pretty cool.”
Process Stream, 500 Alexander Park, Princeton 08540; 609-955-3549; fax, 609-520-8731. Bobby Roy, CEO. www.process-stream.com.