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Kiran Mazumdar Shaw
How Biocon Founder
Became India’s First Biotech
Queen?
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is an Indian Entrepreneur and Philanthropist who founded a
biotechnology company, Biocon Limited in Bangalore, India. She is the Chairperson and
Managing Director of Biocon. She received the Othmer Gold Medal for her exceptional
contributions to the progress of science and chemistry. Financial Times named her in
the business list of top 50 women.
Forbes listed her as the 65th most powerful woman in the world. She was
also named EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2020. She was ranked #2 in the Women
Philanthropist list of 2019 by the Hurun Report India Philanthropy List 2019. As of the year
2020, she has an estimated net worth of $4.6 billion.
ABOUT
PERSONAL LIFE
• Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw was born to Gujarati parents in
Banglore on 23rd March 1953, in a middle-class family.
Her father, Rasendra Mazumdar was the head brewmaster
at United Breweries.
• Since childhood, she aspired to become a doctor but
couldn’t get a scholarship. In 1974, she was the only girl
pursuing brewery course and topped in her class. At the
age of 44, Kiran got married to John Shaw in the year
1989. John was working as the chairman at Madura Coats
but left the job to join Biocon with Kiran. John Shaw is
serving as the Vice Chairman of Biocon since 2001.
EDUCATION
• Kiran initially wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps. She studied at Bangalore’s Bishop
Cotton Girl’s high school.
• She then took a pre-university course from an affiliate of Bangalore University, Mount
Carmel College. She further graduated with a bachelor's degree in zoology from Bangalore
University in 1973.
• Kiran wanted to pursue medical college but was unable to get any scholarship in any
medical college. Her father then suggested to pursue fermentation science and get trained
as a brewmaster, which is a very non-traditional field for women.
• She went to Ballarat College, Melbourne University in Australia to study malting and
brewing. She earned her degree of master brewer in 1975. Kiran Shaw was the only
woman who opted for the brewing course and with her intelligence, she topped in her
class.
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw - Founder of Biocon
• Kiran started with Biocon in 1978, she faced many challenges because of her youth, gender, and her
untested business model. No bank wanted to lend her money, thus funding was a big issue.
• After getting her first funding she started with her first factory which was in a nearby 3000 sq. ft shed. The
extraction of papain (a papaya enzyme used to tenderize the meat) and isinglass were the company's first
efforts (obtained from tropical catfish and used to clarify beer).
• Biocon India was the first Indian firm to make enzymes and ship them to the United States and Europe
within a year of its founding. Kiran invested her first year's profits in a 20-acre property, with plans to grow
in the future. Kiran transformed Biocon India from an enzyme manufacturing firm to a fully integrated
biopharmaceutical company because of her unique thinking and ideas.
• In 1984 Kiran discovered some new dimensions. At Biocon, a research and development
team was created to focus on the development of innovative solid substrate fermentation
methods. Biocon Pharmaceuticals was the first Indian biotech business to obtain funding
from the United States for unique technology.
• Kiran started looking for alternative opportunities which were cost-effective as well low-
cost. She had also proposed that drug companies be cost-sensitive in marketing to
developing countries so that people can afford the drugs they need.
• Kiran and her husband John have always seen the need to provide people with the best
they can, thus increasing and supplying affordable vaccines and medicines in India and
helping society to overcome their medical requirements.
Success story
• Kiran met Leslie Auchincloss, who is the founder of Biocon
Biochemicals Limited, of Cork, Ireland. The aforesaid company
produces enzymes to be used in brewing, food packaging, and
textile industries. Auchincloss was desperately looking for an
entrepreneur in India, who would help her in establishing an Indian
subsidiary of Biocon.
• Kiran agreed to undertake the offer on a condition that if she did not
wish to continue post six months, she would be given the position of
brewmaster. She started working as a trainee manager at Biocon
Limited, Cork, Ireland to learn more of the business. Post the
training period, she returned India to establish the business.
• In 1989, Biocon Biochemicals of Ireland was acquired from Leslie
Auchincloss by Hindustan Unilever. The partnership with
Unilever helped Biocon to establish best practices and quality
systems across the world. Unilever then sold its chemical division
including Biocon to Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI). Her husband,
John Shaw invested $2 million to purchase the shares of Biocon
from ICI.
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw - Awards & Recognitions
• Kiran Mazumdar has been awarded several times for her leadership and success in entrepreneurship.
• She has been Conferred with the Bombay Management Association (BMA) Business Leader of The Decade Award in 2022.
• She has been awarded with the "Spirit of TiE - Trailblazers Award" by TiE Bangalore on World Entrepreneurs Day in 2021.
• Biocon has been recognized among the Top 20 in the The Medicine Maker Power List 2019 under the Business Captains category in
2019.
• Kiran has received Padma Shri in the year 1989 and Padma Bhushan in the year 2005.
• Recipient of EY World Entrepreneur of the Year (2020) and EY Entrepreneur of the Year India Award (2019).
• Recipient of Order of Australia (2020).
• Recipient of ICMR’s Lifetime Achievement Award for
Outstanding Achievement in Healthcare (2019).
• Recipient of AWSM Award for Excellence (2017).
• Knight of the National Order of the French Legion of Honour
(2016).
• Recipient of Othmer Gold Medal (2014).
• Recipient of Global Economy Prize for Business (2014).
• Ranked among the world’s 16 Most Powerful Women in
Leadership in 2021 by CEO Magazine.
Conclusion
The second richest self-made woman in India is the star and
pride of the nation. Nobody knew about Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw but now she is
one of the most influential women in the country. She has shown the world that
a woman can do everything and is a living inspiration for young woman
entrepreneurs.
REFERENCE:
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw Success Story | Biography | Education (startuptalky.com)
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw - How India's First Biotech Queen Built Biocon

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Kiran Mazumdar Shaw - How India's First Biotech Queen Built Biocon

  • 1. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw How Biocon Founder Became India’s First Biotech Queen?
  • 2. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is an Indian Entrepreneur and Philanthropist who founded a biotechnology company, Biocon Limited in Bangalore, India. She is the Chairperson and Managing Director of Biocon. She received the Othmer Gold Medal for her exceptional contributions to the progress of science and chemistry. Financial Times named her in the business list of top 50 women. Forbes listed her as the 65th most powerful woman in the world. She was also named EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2020. She was ranked #2 in the Women Philanthropist list of 2019 by the Hurun Report India Philanthropy List 2019. As of the year 2020, she has an estimated net worth of $4.6 billion. ABOUT
  • 3. PERSONAL LIFE • Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw was born to Gujarati parents in Banglore on 23rd March 1953, in a middle-class family. Her father, Rasendra Mazumdar was the head brewmaster at United Breweries. • Since childhood, she aspired to become a doctor but couldn’t get a scholarship. In 1974, she was the only girl pursuing brewery course and topped in her class. At the age of 44, Kiran got married to John Shaw in the year 1989. John was working as the chairman at Madura Coats but left the job to join Biocon with Kiran. John Shaw is serving as the Vice Chairman of Biocon since 2001.
  • 4. EDUCATION • Kiran initially wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps. She studied at Bangalore’s Bishop Cotton Girl’s high school. • She then took a pre-university course from an affiliate of Bangalore University, Mount Carmel College. She further graduated with a bachelor's degree in zoology from Bangalore University in 1973. • Kiran wanted to pursue medical college but was unable to get any scholarship in any medical college. Her father then suggested to pursue fermentation science and get trained as a brewmaster, which is a very non-traditional field for women. • She went to Ballarat College, Melbourne University in Australia to study malting and brewing. She earned her degree of master brewer in 1975. Kiran Shaw was the only woman who opted for the brewing course and with her intelligence, she topped in her class.
  • 5. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw - Founder of Biocon • Kiran started with Biocon in 1978, she faced many challenges because of her youth, gender, and her untested business model. No bank wanted to lend her money, thus funding was a big issue. • After getting her first funding she started with her first factory which was in a nearby 3000 sq. ft shed. The extraction of papain (a papaya enzyme used to tenderize the meat) and isinglass were the company's first efforts (obtained from tropical catfish and used to clarify beer). • Biocon India was the first Indian firm to make enzymes and ship them to the United States and Europe within a year of its founding. Kiran invested her first year's profits in a 20-acre property, with plans to grow in the future. Kiran transformed Biocon India from an enzyme manufacturing firm to a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company because of her unique thinking and ideas.
  • 6. • In 1984 Kiran discovered some new dimensions. At Biocon, a research and development team was created to focus on the development of innovative solid substrate fermentation methods. Biocon Pharmaceuticals was the first Indian biotech business to obtain funding from the United States for unique technology. • Kiran started looking for alternative opportunities which were cost-effective as well low- cost. She had also proposed that drug companies be cost-sensitive in marketing to developing countries so that people can afford the drugs they need. • Kiran and her husband John have always seen the need to provide people with the best they can, thus increasing and supplying affordable vaccines and medicines in India and helping society to overcome their medical requirements.
  • 7. Success story • Kiran met Leslie Auchincloss, who is the founder of Biocon Biochemicals Limited, of Cork, Ireland. The aforesaid company produces enzymes to be used in brewing, food packaging, and textile industries. Auchincloss was desperately looking for an entrepreneur in India, who would help her in establishing an Indian subsidiary of Biocon. • Kiran agreed to undertake the offer on a condition that if she did not wish to continue post six months, she would be given the position of brewmaster. She started working as a trainee manager at Biocon Limited, Cork, Ireland to learn more of the business. Post the training period, she returned India to establish the business. • In 1989, Biocon Biochemicals of Ireland was acquired from Leslie Auchincloss by Hindustan Unilever. The partnership with Unilever helped Biocon to establish best practices and quality systems across the world. Unilever then sold its chemical division including Biocon to Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI). Her husband, John Shaw invested $2 million to purchase the shares of Biocon from ICI.
  • 8. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw - Awards & Recognitions • Kiran Mazumdar has been awarded several times for her leadership and success in entrepreneurship. • She has been Conferred with the Bombay Management Association (BMA) Business Leader of The Decade Award in 2022. • She has been awarded with the "Spirit of TiE - Trailblazers Award" by TiE Bangalore on World Entrepreneurs Day in 2021. • Biocon has been recognized among the Top 20 in the The Medicine Maker Power List 2019 under the Business Captains category in 2019. • Kiran has received Padma Shri in the year 1989 and Padma Bhushan in the year 2005. • Recipient of EY World Entrepreneur of the Year (2020) and EY Entrepreneur of the Year India Award (2019). • Recipient of Order of Australia (2020).
  • 9. • Recipient of ICMR’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Achievement in Healthcare (2019). • Recipient of AWSM Award for Excellence (2017). • Knight of the National Order of the French Legion of Honour (2016). • Recipient of Othmer Gold Medal (2014). • Recipient of Global Economy Prize for Business (2014). • Ranked among the world’s 16 Most Powerful Women in Leadership in 2021 by CEO Magazine.
  • 10. Conclusion The second richest self-made woman in India is the star and pride of the nation. Nobody knew about Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw but now she is one of the most influential women in the country. She has shown the world that a woman can do everything and is a living inspiration for young woman entrepreneurs. REFERENCE: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw Success Story | Biography | Education (startuptalky.com)