• Biologist & Scientist
• Writer & Author
|Titles earned||Queen of Biotech|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 161 cm
in meters- 1.61 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 3”
|Weight (approx.)||in kilograms- 70 kg
in pounds- 154 lbs
|Awards, Honours, Achievements||• Titled as the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year 2020
• Nikkei Asia Prize for Regional Growth and Express Pharmaceutical Leadership Summit Award for Dynamic Entrepreneur (2009)
• MV Memorial Award, given in honour of the great engineer and visionary Sir M Vishwesharaiah
• The Wharton Infosys Business Transformation Award (2006)
• The Padma Bhushan in Science and Engineering (2005)
• The Lifetime Achievement Award from the Indian Chamber of Commerce (2005)
• The Economic Times Businesswoman of the Year award (2004)
• The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Healthcare & Life Sciences Category (2002)
• The Padma Shri in Trade and Industry (1989)
Note: She has various other awards and allocates associated to her name.
|Date of Birth||23 March 1953 (Monday)|
|Age (as of 2023)||70 Years|
|School||Bishop’s Cotton Girl’s High School, Bangalore in 1968|
|College/University||• Bangalore University
• Melbourne University
|Educational Qualification||• Bachelor of Arts/Science, Bangalore University
• Master of Science, Melbourne University Forbes
|Caste||Gujarati Brahmin Bloomberg|
|Relationships & More|
|Marital Status||Widow Hindustan Times|
|Marriage Date||Year, 1998|
|Husband/Spouse||John Shaw (He was an entrepreneur & Vice-chairperson of Biocon.)
Note: He died on 24 October 2022 at a private hospital in Bengaluru after battling cancer. Hindustan Times
|Parents||Father- Rasendra Mazumdar "Brewmaster at United Breweries"
Mother- Yamini Mazumdar "Entrepreneur"
|Siblings||2 Younger Brothers
• Ravi Mazumdar "Professor of Mathematics" in Canada
• Dev Mazumdar "Software Engineer"
|Net Worth (approx.)||Rs. 29,030 crore The Hindu|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Kiran Mazumdar Shaw
- Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is an entrepreneur from India, and she started a large biotechnology company, Bicon in the year 1978. She is known to be India’s first woman Brew Master. She is the Managing Director and Chairman of this company. She is known amongst the wealthiest women of India.
- Kiran Mazumdar, in an interview, shared her childhood memories describing how she spent her childhood in breweries. According to her, she played with the owner’s son, Vijay Mallya, they used to play hide and seek in the breweries and grew up smelling beers and were familiar with this industry. Vijay Mallya’s father, Vittal Mallya was the chairman of the United Breweries where her father worked as a brewmaster. Her father, Rasendra Mazumdar, also contributed to the creation of the Kingfisher beer.
- Since childhood, Kiran aspired to become a doctor but could not obtain a scholarship and was disappointed with it. At that time, her father was her mentor and suggested her to pursue bachelors in zoology from Banglore. He wanted his daughter to follow his footsteps and study brewing. Despite the gender issues in society, her father motivated her to pursue her career in Brewery as she was interested in science. Her two younger brothers were more interested in engineering at that time.
- After completing her graduation in India, at the age of 21, her father sent her Australia to study fermentation science. Kiran was the only girl in her class among all men as then, it was not considered a profession that women could pursue. According to Kiran, she learnt a lot of new experiences with those boys in Melbourne, and she developed confidence and a sense of success while studying with them.
- After returning from Melbourne, despite her certifications in the brewery, Kiran faced difficulties in finding a job as a brewmaster in India due to the gender inequality that prevailed in the country. Earlier she began her professional career working as a trainee brewer at Carlton & United Beverages. Later, she was offered the job of a consultant or a job managing a laboratory but of a brewmaster. She tried hard to find a job in India but soon gave up and decided to move out of India (Scotland) to search for a job. Before that, she had a chance encounter with the entrepreneur, Leslie Auchincloss, founder of an Irish firm, the biotechnology company ‘Biocon Biochemical.’ Her meeting with him changed the direction of her life. He was an ambitious businessman. He was keen to manufacture a plant-based enzyme that was found in papaya. Papayas were largely grown in India, and he felt India would be the right place to produce that enzyme. When he met Kiran, he was on a visit to India to see if he could set up a small manufacturing operation in the country. He quickly made a joint venture with Kiran for his firm to create industrial enzymes for beer, food, and textiles all around the world. The project gradually evolved by growing microbes and under precise temperatures and pressures.
- Soon, Kiran secured all the required permits to start with her own business in her garage. First, she had a company name, Mission Statement and made an initial investment of twelve hundred dollars, but she lacked employees. Many candidates arrived for the interview at her garage, but they were disappointed with the company and had job insecurities as Kiran was the only woman heading the company. Later, she ended up highering two, about to retire car mechanics as her employees.
She rented out a small shed to start the manufacturing of the products. The three of them began with their process of extracting the plant-based enzyme, papain, an enzyme that breaks down proteins, gathered from the latex of papaya, and later, sold it as a food enzyme. This process required an elaborate mechanism. Her project got successful within a year and after that, Kiran planned to expand her company. She brought a 20 acre property with all the savings from the first year of her business. Many opposed her of buying that property and told her that she won’t even require half an acre also. But she went on to buy it with the confidence to make its full use in the future, and later, was successful in expanding her business up to 100 acres in India; further, up to 50 acres in Malasia also. Biocon operates in more than 75 countries in the world.
- Kiran had never been to any business school, and she had built this empire on her own using her common sense and passion for her business. Kiran became the sole owner of the company in the year 1981. Biocon then expanded from producing plant-based enzymes to creating bio-stimulants. After Biocon got an IPO in 2004, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw became the richest woman in India. Biocon is considered India’s largest biotech company and Asia’s largest producer of insulin. In addition to generic drugs, Bicon has expanded its product line to develop its own pharmaceuticals which are expensive and is a risky venture. They were successful in making a revolutionary class of insulin for patients dealing with diabetes that could be consumed orally rather than injecting in the body. Along with this, the Biocon research department has also headed for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.
- In 2007, she spent 15 million dollars for 1400 bed, Mazumdar Shaw Cancer hospital in Banglore. She also founded Biocon Foundation, which is a philanthropic organization carrying out environmental and health programs to help the weak parts of the society, a community-based health operation that serves 50,000 patients within a radius of 10 miles from Biocon headquarters. Biocon foundation programmes donate millions to ensure health insurance coverage for one hundred thousand Indian villagers. One of Kiran’s best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer and later, her husband, John was also diagnosed with renal cancer. So, her work became more relevant to her.
- She serves on the Global Advisory Committee for the Women and the Green Economy Campaign (WAGE) initiative and is a member of the MIT Charter Society, USA, in honour of her philanthropic commitment to the Institute. She is also associated with The Live Love Laugh Foundation, a leading not-for-profit organisation spreading mental health awareness, as a member of its Board of Trustees.
- Kiran has been featured in the Time’s 100 Most Influential People, Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women, and Financial Time’s Top 50 Women in Business; moreover, in 2007, Bicon was ranked as the 7th largest biotech employer in the world by Med Ad News, a leading US trade publication. She made more than 2000 high-value R&D licensing deals from 2005 to 2010. The Economic Times placed her at India Inc.’s top 10 most powerful women CEOs for the year 2012. Upon this, she has held several honorary and advisory positions. Among them, she was the Chairperson and Mission Leader of the Confederation of Indian Industry’s National Task Force on Biotechnology, a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Trade & Industry in India, Member, Board of Science Foundation, Ireland, Member, Board of Governors, IIM Bangalore and many others.
- Kiran married at the age of 44 to John Shaw, a Scotsman and Indophile, who was working as the managing director of Madura Coats. Kiran and John first met in the 1990s when he had come to Bangalore to visit the headquarters of Madura Coats. They dated for seven years and later, got married in 1998. After their marriage, John Shaw quit Madura Coat and joined Biocon. He became the Vice-Chairman of Bicon in the year 2001.
- She has written books ‘Ale and Arty’ and ‘India’s Innovation Challenge for Inclusive Development.’
- Apart from being widely recognised as one of the most influential business leaders in the field of biotechnology, Kiran is India’s first self-made woman billionaire. Economic Times
- Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is the second Indian after Azim Premji to become a part of the Giving Pledge global initiative created by Warren Buffett and Bill, and Melinda Gates that encourages billionaires to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes.
- India’s famous film actor Shah Rukh Khan once quoted Kiran Mazumdar Shaw to be his role model.
- In August 2020, Kiran Mazumdar was tested positive for COVID-19. In an interview, talking about this, she shared her experience quoting,
My first symptoms of COVID-19 were a mild feverish feeling, late evening on 16 August. I had felt similar symptoms in early June and I tested negative, so I just took a Crocin and thought it would take care of it. The next morning though, I continued to feel feverish and I measured it 99°F. That’s when I decided to test myself and my entire household as I have my 89-year-old mother, a cancer survivor and my 71-year-old husband, a cancer patient to worry about. I immediately self-quarantined in a separate room and waited anxiously for the test results. At 5 pm I was told that I tested positive but that everyone else at home, including my staff, tested negative. Mercifully, the virus spared my mother and my husband. I asked for the CT, or the Cycle Threshold value to assess my viral load and when I saw it was 23, I felt the load was safe enough to be home quarantined under tele-supervision.”
Soon she recovered and shared her experience with all.