Kiran Mazumdar Shaw | Braves by their Broken Hearts! (Motivation)

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw

  • Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (born March 23, 1953, Pune, Maharashtra state, India) is an Indian businesswoman, who is chairman and managing director of Biocon India Group. 
  • She is also the chairperson of Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.
  • She led an enterprise that utilized India’s homegrown scientific talent to make breakthroughs in clinical research.
  • In 2014, she was awarded the Othmer Gold Medal for outstanding contributions to the progress of science and chemistry.
  • In 2019, she is listed as the 65th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.
  • She is the daughter of a brewmaster (produces Beer) for India-based United Breweries. 
  • Mazumdar hoped to go to medical school, but could not obtain a scholarship.
  • Mazumdar-Shaw originally planned to follow in her father’s footsteps. 
  • In 1974, she was the only woman enrolled in the brewing course and topped in her class.
  • She earned an undergraduate degree in zoology from Bangalore University in 1973 and a graduate degree in brewing from the University of Ballarat, Melbourne, in 1975. 
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw's Interview

  • After a brief period as a trainee manager at Biocon Biochemicals Limited, of Cork, Ireland, to learn more about the business, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw returned to India.
  • Upon returning to India, however, she found no companies willing to offer a brewing job to a woman. Instead, she did consulting work for a few years before meeting Leslie Auchincloss, then owner of an Irish firm, Biocon Biochemicals. 
  • Impressed by Mazumdar-Shaw’s drive and ambition, Auchincloss took her on as a partner in a new venture to produce enzymes for alcoholic beverages, paper, and other products.
  • She started Biocon India in 1978 in the garage of her rented house in Bengaluru with a seed capital of Rs. 10,000.
  • Within a year Biocon had become the first Indian company to export enzymes to the United States and Europe, but progress was slowed as Mazumdar-Shaw continued to face skepticism and discrimination. 
  • She found it difficult to find employees in India who were willing to work for a woman. Investors were equally hard to come by, and some vendors refused to do business with her unless she hired a male manager. 

  • Initially, she faced credibility challenges because of her youth, gender and her untested business model. Funding was a problem. No bank wanted to lend her money, and some required her father be a guarantor. 
  • A chance meeting with a banker at a social event finally enabled her to get her first financial backup. She also found it difficult to recruit people to work for her start-up. Her first employee was a retired garage mechanic.
  • Nevertheless, the company had begun to turn a profit by the time Auchincloss sold his interest in Biocon India to Unilever in 1989. 
  • In 2001 Biocon became the first Indian company to gain the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the manufacture of a cholesterol-lowering molecule. 
  • The company subsequently expanded exponentially. Profits jumped more than 42 percent in 2003 alone. 
  • After a wildly successful initial public stock offering the following year, Biocon’s stock-market value skyrocketed, and Mazumdar-Shaw, with a nearly 40-percent stake in the company, became the richest woman in India. 
  • Over the following years, Biocon continued its trail-blazing work, with the testing and development of the world’s first orally consumed insulin product among its most notable undertakings.
  • Biocon's major areas of research now include cancer, diabetes, and other auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. 
  • Because of the high percentage of people in India who chew betel or tobacco, India accounts for eighty-six per cent of oral cancer in the world, known locally as "cancer cheek".
  • Diabetes is prevalent, and people who do not wear shoes are at risk to have a minor scrape or injury develop into gangrene, or "diabetes foot".
  • Biocon is also working on drugs to treat psoriasis, a skin pigment disease which can result in social ostracization.


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