Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, India’s Richest Self-made Woman Entrepreneur

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is an Indian entrepreneur who is best known for her significant contribution in the fields of biotechnology. She is the Chairman and Managing Director of Bangalore-based biopharmaceutical company Biocon Limited. She has taken her company to the pinnacle of success with her excellent leadership and sheer hard work. Today, Biocon is India’s second largest company that has crossed the $1-billion mark with its revolutionary capabilities, and global reliability in its manufacturing and marketing activities. The company’s products and research services go from pre-clinical to clinical development and their commercialization with a prime focus on oncology, diabetes, and auto-immune diseases.

Kiran Mazumdar was born on 23rd March 1953 in Bangalore and completed her schooling from the city’s Bishop Cotton Girl’s High School in 1968. Initially, she wanted to pursue medicine but changed her plan and completed her BSc in Zoology from Mount Carmel College under Bangalore University in 1973 and post-graduation in Malting and Brewing from Ballarat College, Melbourne University in 1975. In 1978, she started her company Biocon with the seed capital of Rs. 10,000 in Bangalore. Initially, the company was bio-pharmaceutical that did research on diabetes, oncology and auto immune diseases but later she started two subsidiaries Syngene and Clinigene. Syngene was founded in 1994 to offer development support services and Clinigene in 2000 to focus on clinical development services. Kiran Mazumdar faced several challenges at company’s first stage but she overcame all one by one with hard work, determination, patience and never-give up attitude.

Her contribution to biotechnology earned her numerous awards including Padma Shri in 1989, the Karnataka Rajyotsava Award in 2002, the ‘Business Woman of the Year’ Award in 2006 from the Indian Business Leadership Award committee, CNBC-TV18, and the ‘Corporate Leadership Award’ in 2005 by the American India Foundation, Padma Bhushan award in 2005, the Nikkei Asia Prize in 2009 for Regional Growth and Express Pharmaceutical Leadership Summit Award in 2009 for her Dynamic Entrepreneur. Kiran received an honorary Doctorate of Science from Ballarat University in 2004, honorary doctorates from University of Glasgow, UK and Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK in 2008. She has been appeared in the Economic Times Businesswoman of the Year in 2004, Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people and Forbes Magazine’s 100-most-powerful-women-2012.

According to Forbes 2012, her net worth stands at $900 million which makes her India’s 63rd richest entrepreneur.