Chairman & Managing Director – Biocon
“Our ability to continuously scale new heights across the biopharmaceutical value chain enables us to realise the promise of future therapeutics.”
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw was born on March 23, 1953 in Bangalore. She had her schooling at Bishop Cotton Girls School and Mount Carmel College at Bangalore. After completing her B.Sc. in Zoology from Bangalore University in 1973, she went to Ballarat University in Melbourne, Australia to pursue her further studies and got herself qualified as a master brewer.
She started her professional career as a trainee brewer in Carlton & United Beverages in 1974. In 1978, she joined as a Trainee Manager with Biocon Biochemicals Limited in Ireland. In the same year, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw founded Biocon India in collaboration with Biocon Biochemicals Limited, with a capital of Rs.10,000. She initially faced many problems regarding funds for her business. Especially banks were very hesitant to give loan to her as biotechnology was totally a new field at that point of time and moreover she was a woman entrepreneur, which was a rare phenomenon at that time.
Biocon’s initial operation was to extract an enzyme from papaya. Under her stewardship Biocon transformed from an industrial enzymes company to an integrated bio-pharmaceutical company with strategic research initiatives. Today, Biocon is recognised as India’s pioneering biotech enterprise. In 2004, Biocon came up with an IPO and the issue was over-subscribed by over 30 times. Post-IPO, she Shaw held close to 40% of the stock of the company and was regarded as India’s richest woman with an estimated worth of Rs. 2,100 crore.
She is the recipient of several prestigious awards. These include ET Businesswoman of the Year, Best Woman Entrepreneur, Model Employer, Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Life Sciences & Healthcare, Leading Exporter, Outstanding Citizen, Technology Pioneer, etc.. She was given important positions in Industry Councils as well, including Vice-President, Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Karnataka (AWAKE). She was awarded Rotary Award for Best Model Employer, National Award for Best Small Industry. And most note worthily, the Padmashri in 1989 and Padma Bhushan in 2005 from the Government of India.
Her vision for the future is to grow into a global bio-therapeutics company with very innovative and proprietary products and technologies.