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Kiran Mazumdar Shaw: Woman Entrepreneur Behind The Success Of Biocon Ltd

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is a self-made Women Entrepreneur who is MD of Biocon, a biotechnology company. Read on to know more about her.

With 600 or more biotech enterprises, India ranks among the top 12 biotechnology hubs in the world. In this post, you will no about a person who achieved financial success on his own via tenacity and determination. Yes, we are talking about one of the richest self-made women entrepreneurs in IndiaKiran Mazumdar Shaw.

“India’s first self-made women billionaire- Kiran Mazumdar Shaw”

Kiran Majumdar Shaw is an Indian businessman and philanthropist and founder of the biotechnology firm Biocon Limited in Bangalore, India. Additionally to being Biocon’s chairman, she also serves as its managing director. Additionally, Kiran got the award Othmer Gold Medal for her outstanding contributions to the advancement of chemistry and science. She got the rank among the top 50 women in business by Financial Times. Moreover, she got 65th rank among the world’s most powerful women by Forbes. Additionally, she got the 2020 EY World Entrepreneur of the Year position. Among women philanthropists, she ranks second on the Hurun Report India Philanthropy List 2019. Also, her net worth for the year 2022 is 290 crores USD.

However, there are a lot of women out there who want to start their own businesses, and Kiran is one of them. Therefore, continue reading Kiran Mazumdar Shaw’s success story to learn more about this remarkable and invigorating woman’s path.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw- Biography

Date Of Birth 23 March 1953
Nationality Indian
Education Bachelor’s degree in brewing from the University of Ballarat, Melbourne
Profession Entrepreneur, Brewmaster
Title Founder, and Executive Chairperson of Biocon Limited and Biocon Biologics Limited
Net Worth $2.9B
Spouse John Shaw
  • Personal Life

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw was born to middle-class Gujarati parents on March 23, 1953. Her father, Rasendra Mazumdar, was the brewmaster at United Breweries.

She had wanted to be a doctor since she was little, but she was unable to secure a scholarship. In 1974, she was the only girl studying in the brewery program. Kiran Shaw married John Shaw at the age of 44 in 1989. When Kiran joined Biocon, John, who was the chairman at Madura Coats, departed his position. As of 2001, John Shaw was Biocon’s Vice Chairman.

  • Professional Life & Career

She began her professional career at Carlton Breweries and United Breweries in Melbourne as a trainee brewer. Afterward, she finished her apprenticeship at Carlton & United Breweries. Additionally, she served as a trainee maltster at Barrett Brothers and Burston in Australia.

She joined Jupiter Breweries in Calcutta as a technical consultant after returning to India, and after acquiring experience there, she went on to work as a technical manager at Standard Maltings Corporation in Baroda. Further, she had to choose her job in Bangalore or Delhi. But then got to know that “it’s a man’s profession” and there is no hiring for women as master brewers in India.

She began looking for employment abroad and got a job in Scotland. Mazumdar met Leslie Auchincloss, the Cork, Ireland-based founder of Biocon Biochemicals Limited, before moving. For the textile, food packaging, and brewing industries, he developed enzymes.

Fortunately, to establish a subsidiary in India, he was seeking an Indian businessperson. While working for the firm, Kiran had an opportunity that changed her life. Leslie gave her the training to serve as a manager at his company. After learning more about the company’s operations and sales, Kiran went to India and started working for Biocon in a leased garage in Bangalore with a 10,000 INR investment.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw- Founder Of Biocon

However, Kiran faced many challenges when she joined Biocon in 1978 because of her inexperience, femininity, and untested business model. Significantly, funding was the major problem because no bank wanted to lend her money.

Following the receipt of her initial finance, she opened her first factory in a neighboring 3000 sq. sq. shed The company’s initial initiatives included the extraction of isinglass and papain (a papaya enzyme used to tenderize the meat).

Moreover, within a year of its founding, Biocon India became the first Indian company to produce enzymes and export them to the US and EU. With plans to expand, Kiran put her first year’s earnings into a 20-acre property. Kiran transformed Biocon India from a business that produced enzymes into a fully integrated biopharmaceutical firm as a result of her creative ideas and manner of thinking.

Additionally, Kiran made some new dimensional discoveries in 1984. At Biocon, a team of researchers and developers was formed to develop new methods for solid substrate fermentation. Additionally, Biocon Pharmaceuticals was the first Indian biotech company to receive investment from the US for novel technologies.

Kiran started looking for low-cost and cost-effective alternatives to existing opportunities. For patients to afford the medications they require, she also suggested that pharmaceutical corporations sell to developing nations while taking into account costs.

Kiran and her husband John have always understood the need to provide people with the best care by increasing and distributing vaccines and medications in India.

  • Expansion of Biocon

She was successful in launching two Biocon subsidiaries, Syngene in 1994 and Clinigene in 2000. While Clinigene concentrated on clinical research trials and the development of both new and generic medications, Syngene offered a contractual early research and development support service. Clinigene eventually merged with Syngene, and it currently has a market capitalization of Rs. 14,270.

Kiran established Biocon Biopharmaceuticals Private Limited (BBLP) as a joint venture with the Cuban Center of Molecular Immunology to produce and sell a particular line of biotherapeutics in 1990.

  • Board Membership

She serves as a term member of the board of MIT, USA, and the board of governors of the Indian School of Business until 2023. Formerly, she attended the Indian Institute of Technology in Hyderabad. Kiran was the first woman to serve as chair of the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore’s board of governors (IIMB).

On the board of Infosys, she serves as an independent director. She belongs to the Maharashtra State Innovation Society’s General Body. Kiran also serves on the MIT Jameel Clinic’s advisory board.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw – Philanthropy

Because of the enormous success of her business, Kiran is now able to give to and support those in need but without the means to do so thanks to Biocon. Since Kiran really believes in giving to others and cares about people, she donates at least half of her fortune to charitable causes.

Moreover, she established the Mazumdar Shaw Foundation in India. Fortunately, the motive of the organization was to aid the needy with the help of her husband John. The foundation’s main areas of focus are a healthy environment, healthcare, art, and education. To assist the economically disadvantaged segments of Indian society, the Foundation is active in a wide range of health and educational outreach initiatives.

In collaboration with Devi Shetty, the Mazumdar Shaw foundation also built a 1400-bed cancer treatment facility in Bangalore. Moreover, her vision is to build a top-notch cancer center that offers reasonable care.

Notable Rewards

  • She got the Business Leader of the Decade Award from the Bombay Management Association (BMA) in 2022.
  • On World Entrepreneurs Day in 2021, TiE Bangalore gave her the “Spirit of TiE – Trailblazers Award.”
  • In the Business Captains category of The Medicine Maker Power List 2019’s Top 20, Biocon got the rank among the Top 20.
  • In 1989, Kiran got the Padma Shri award and in 2005, she got the Padma Bhushan award.
  • The 2020 EY World Entrepreneur of the Year as well as the EY Entrepreneur of the Year India Award recipient (2019).
  • Recipient of the Australian Order (2020).
  • ICMR Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient for Outstanding Contribution to Healthcare (2019).
  • AWSM Award for Excellence Recipient (2017).
  • Knight of the French Legion of Honor National Order (2016).
  • winner of the Othmer Gold Medal (2014).
  • Business recipient of the Global Economy Prize (2014).
  • Listed by CEO Magazine as one of the 16 Most Powerful Women in Leadership in the world in 2021.

Additionally, Kiran enjoys reading novels and writing books as well. Two very famous books by her are,Ale and Arty” and “India’s Innovation Challenge for Inclusive Development.”


Therefore, Kiran is the star and pride of India. Additinally, she is the second-richest self-made woman in the country. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw was unknown, but now she ranks among the most famous women entrepreneurs in the nation. Moreover, she has demonstrated to the world that women are capable of completing any task and serves as an example for aspiring female business owners.

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