She failed to secure a seat at any medical college but her success story inspires thousands of women to never lose their spirit and to take risks.
She has been featured as the sole woman in Fortune India‘s esteemed list of the “Top 40 Most Powerful Business Women in India” for four consecutive years. Furthermore, she holds the distinction of being the only female managing director of a pharmaceutical company listed on the National Stock Exchange (NSE).
Meet Dr. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, an Padma Shri (1989), Padma Bhushan (2005) awardee, the woman entrepreneur behind the success of Biocon Ltd.
Dr. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, hailing from Mumbai, India, was born into a middle-class family. She pursued her studies in Australia at University of Melbourne, specializing in malting and brewing. In 1974, she graduated at the top of her class and obtained a master brewer degree in 1975.
After returning to India in 1972, she embarked on her professional journey as a brewery trainee at Mysore Brewery Limited.
Driven by her vision to develop affordable medicines for individuals facing life-threatening illnesses, particularly cancer and diabetes, and to create employment opportunities for educated youth in rural areas, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw established Biocon Ltd. in 1978.
With an initial investment of ₹10,000 from her personal savings, she set out to provide scientific solutions to ‘farmers‘ challenges through the introduction of value-added products.
Biocon’s flagship product, insulin glargine injection, has successfully penetrated more than 22 developed markets worldwide. Furthermore, Biocon Limited achieved a significant milestone as the first Indian company to employ recombinant DNA technology in developing specific antibodies for autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis.
The company also obtained approval from the United States Food & Drug Administration (USFDA) for its products, a noteworthy achievement among Indian pharmaceutical firms.
In addition to her remarkable achievements in the business world, Dr. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is also known for her philanthropic endeavors. She demonstrates her commitment to giving back by donating a significant portion of her income to various NGOs.
Through her leadership, generosity, and commitment to making a positive impact, Dr. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw continues to be a role model for aspiring professionals in India and beyond.
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