Kiran Mazumdar Shaw needs no introduction. The Chairman and Managing Director of Biocon Ltd, she was voted twice by Forbes as one of the most powerful women in the world, she is one of India`s most influential and successful female icons.
However, her path to success was laced with multiple challenges and hurdles. Her journey to fame was not a cake-walk. Instead, she worked hard and didn’t shy away from putting in everything she had to reach the pinnacle of success.
In 1978, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw joined Biocon Biochemicals Limited, Ireland as a trainee manager. Soon after joining them, she opened a branch in India in the same year. With an initial investment of INR 10,000 and a rented garage, she commenced her entrepreneurial journey.
Initially, she faced many challenges in getting a loan as the bank did not trust her idea. Her father was also asked to be her guarantor. She had to convince people to join her firm in the beginning. Her first employee was a retired garage mechanic. The quality drinking water, uninterrupted power supply, sterile labs, imported research equipment, and workers with advanced scientific skills were not easily available. Despite encountering all these challenges, she continued to work and never gave up.
But as we say that even luck favors those who refuse to give up. In 1987, Narayan Vaghul of ICICI ventures helped in the creation of venture capital with funds of USD 250,000. In 1989, Biocoin Ltd became the first Indian biotech company to receive US funding for proprietary technology.
In 2014, Biocoin was oversubscribed 33 times when the company went for an IPO. It became the second Indian company to cross the 1 billion mark on the first day of listing.
Mazumdar Shaw is known not only for her professional accomplishments but also for her philanthropic measures. She believes strongly in giving back to society and has pledged to divert half of her wealth towards the development of infrastructure required to battle against Cancer.
Through her journey that was full of ups and downs, she has inspired several women to enter the biotech world in India.
Here are some of the most thought-provoking quotes by Kiran Mazumdar Shaw that will motivate you to achieve something big in your life:
- “I want to be remembered as someone who put India on the scientific map of the world in terms of large innovation. I want to be remembered for making a difference in global healthcare. And I want to be remembered as someone who did make a difference to social-economic development in India.”
- “I think, in terms of corporate philosophy, I've always believed that you've got to treat people in a very, very egalitarian manner in the sense I like to treat people on a one-to-one basis. And I like people to take on a lot of responsibilities because I think with a sense of responsibility also comes a sense of purpose.”
- “As a traditionally risk-averse nation, India has rarely been at the forefront of innovation. Indian companies have mostly imitated others and became very good at it.”
- “I believe that entrepreneurship is about being able to face failure, manage failure and succeed after failing.”
- “I hate the title of being called ‘the richest woman in India’, but it's the recognition that this was the value that I had created as a woman entrepreneur, and that makes me very, very proud.”
- “My legacy is going to be in affordable health care. I am willing to invest in developing that model and the policies around it.”
- “One of my objectives, when I started Biocon, was to make sure that I create a company for women scientists to pursue a vocation.”
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