|Birth Day:||March 23, 1953|
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She graduated from Bangalore University with a degree in Zoology in 1973.
Kiran Mazumdar was born on 23 March 1953 in Pune, Maharashtra state, to Gujarati parents. She was educated at Bangalore's Bishop Cotton Girl's High School, graduating in 1968. She then attended Mount Carmel College, Bangalore, a women's college offering pre-university courses as an affiliate of Bangalore University. She studied biology and zoology, graduating from Bangalore University with a bachelor's degree in zoology in 1973. Mazumdar hoped to go to medical school, but was not able to obtain a scholarship.
Her father, Rasendra Mazumdar, was the head brewmaster at United Breweries. He suggested that she study fermentation science, and train to be a brewmaster, a very non-traditional field for women. Mazumdar went to Ballarat College, Melbourne University in Australia to study malting and brewing. In 1974, she was the only woman enrolled in the brewing course and topped in her class. She earned the degree as master brewer in 1975.
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. She started Biocon India in 1978 in the garage of her rented house in Bengaluru with a seed capital of Rs. 10,000. Although it was a joint venture, Indian laws restricted foreign ownership to only 30% of the company, which meant that 70% of the company belonged to Kiran Mazumdar Shaw.
In 1984, Kiran began to develop a research and development team at Biocon, focusing on the discovery of novel enzymes and on development of novel techniques for solid substrate fermentation technology. The company's first major expansion came in 1987, when Narayanan Vaghul of ICICI Ventures supported creation of a venture capital fund of US$250,000. This money enabled Biocon to expand its research and development efforts. They built a new plant featuring proprietary solid substrate fermentation technology based on a semi-automated tray culture process, inspired by Japanese techniques. In 1989, Biocon became the first Indian biotech company to receive U.S. funding for proprietary technologies.
Biocon Biochemicals of Ireland was acquired from Leslie Auchincloss by Unilever in 1989. The partnership with Unilever helped Biocon to establish global best practices and quality systems. In 1997, Unilever sold its specialty chemicals division, including Biocon, to Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI). In 1998, Kiran Mazumdar's fiancée, Scotsman John Shaw, personally raised $2 million to purchase the outstanding Biocon shares from ICI. The couple married in 1998, whereupon she became known as Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw. John Shaw left his position as chairman at Madura Coats to join Biocon. He became Biocon’s vice chairman in 2001.
In 1990, Mazumdar incorporated Biocon Biopharmaceuticals Private Limited (BBLP) to manufacture and market a select range of biotherapeutics in a joint venture with the Cuban Center of Molecular Immunology.
Mazumdar-Shaw noticed the market potential for statins (cholesterol fighting drugs) early on. When the patent of the cholesterol-lowering drug lovastatin expired in 2001, Biocon got involved in its development. Then the company expanded to other forms of statins. Part of her strategy was to enter into long-term supply contracts, establishing a dependable market base over time. Statins soon accounted for over 50 per cent of the company's revenue. The company’s revenue went up from ₹70 crore in 1998, to ₹500 crore in 2004 when it went public.
In 2004, after seeking the advice of Narayana Murthy, Mazumdar-Shaw decided to list Biocon on the stock market. Her intent was to raise capital to further develop Biocon's research programs. Biocon was the first biotechnology company in India to issue an IPO. Biocon's IPO was oversubscribed 33 times and its first day at the bourses and closed with a market value of $1.11 billion, making Biocon the second Indian company to cross the $1-billion mark on the first day of listing.
In 2004, Mazumdar-Shaw started a corporate social responsibility wing at Biocon, the Biocon Foundation. The Foundation focuses on health, education and infrastructure, especially in rural areas of Karnataka which lack healthcare facilities.
Her work in the biotechnology sector has earned her numerous national awards, including the Padma Shri (1989) and the Padma Bhushan (2005) from the government of India. She was given the Economic Times Award for 'Businesswoman of the Year' in 2004. At the Pharmaleaders Pharmaceutical Leadership Summit she was named "Global Indian Woman of the Year" (2012); she also received the Express Pharmaceutical Leadership Summit Award for "Dynamic Entrepreneur" in 2009. The Indian Merchants' Chamber Diamond Jubilee Endowment Trust's Eminent Businessperson of the Year Award was presented to Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw in 2006 by the Governor of Maharashtra, S. M. Krishna. She has also received the Indian Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award (2005), the 'Corporate Leadership Award' by the American India Foundation (2005). and the Karnataka Rajyotsava Award (2002).
Mazumdar-Shaw received an honorary doctorate from her alma mater, Ballarat University in 2004, in recognition of her contributions to biotechnology. She has been awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Abertay, Dundee, UK (2007), the University of Glasgow, UK (2008), Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK (2008) and University College Cork, Ireland (2012). She received an honorary doctorate from Davangere University, India, at its first convocation, July 2013, in recognition of her contribution in the field of biotechnology.
Biocon, Infosys and other companies have had a significant impact on Bengaluru. These companies attract many scientists who would otherwise go overseas. Once a "pensioner's paradise", Bangalore is now called "the best urban working environment in India". Biocon Park, built in 2005, is a ninety-acre campus with five thousand employees. Outside the developed city, however, infrastructure is still poor.
In collaboration with McMillan India Limited and teacher Prathima Rao, Mazumdar-Shaw has supported development and use of a basic mathematics textbook, introduced in Kannada schools in 2006.
The death of her best friend, Nilima Rovshen, and the illnesses of her husband and her mother with cancer, have motivated Mazumdar-Shaw to support cancer research and treatment. In 2009, she established a 1,400-bed cancer care center, the Mazumdar-Shaw Medical Foundation, at the Narayana Health City campus in Bangalore, collaborating with Devi Shetty of Narayana Hrudayalaya. In 2011, she added a center for advanced therapeutics with a bone marrow transplant unit and a research center. Her goal is to create a world-class cancer center.
She funded a multi-year research program by creating the Biocon Cell for Innovation Management with Prasad kaipa at the Indian School of Business in 2009.
After the 2009 flood, Biocon, Infosys and Wipro all committed to rebuilding homes for flood victims in north Karnataka. Biocon committed to building 3,000 houses at a cost of Rs 30 crore.
As of 2010, Mazumdar-Shaw was named among TIME magazine's 100 most influential people in the world. She is on the 2011 Financial Times’ top 50 women in business list. As of 2014, she was listed as the 92nd most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. In 2015, she had risen to 85th in the Forbes ranking. She was voted global Indian of the year by Pharma Leaders Magazine in 2012.
As of 2014, Biocon directed about 10% of its revenue into research and development, a much higher proportion than most Indian pharmacological companies. Biocon has filed at least 950 patent applications based on its research activity. Mazumdar-Shaw has remained actively engaged in acquisitions, partnerships and in-licensing in the pharmaceuticals and bio-pharmaceutical areas, entering into more than 2,200 high-value R&D licensing and other deals between 2005 and 2010.
Mazumdar spearheaded Biocon's evolution from an industrial enzymes manufacturing company to a fully integrated bio-pharmaceutical company with a well-balanced business portfolio of products and a research focus on diabetes, oncology and auto-immune diseases. She also established two subsidiaries: Syngene (1994) which provides early research and development support services on a contract basis and Clinigene (2000) which focuses on clinical research trials and the development of both generic and new medicines. Clinigene was later merged with Syngene. Syngene was listed on BSE/NSE in 2015 and has a current market cap of ₹14,270 crores.
Mazumdar-Shaw dislikes the term "philanthropy", believing that it often provides temporary fixes rather than addressing the root cause or the underlying situation. She prefers the term "compassionate capitalist", believing that properly applied business models can provide an ongoing foundation for sustainable social progress. Mazumdar once said, "Innovation and commerce are as powerful tools for creating social progress as they are for driving technological advancement. When they are put to use for social progress, the implementation is a lot cheaper, a lot more people benefit, and the effect is more lasting." In 2015, she joined The Giving Pledge, promising that at least half of her wealth will be dedicated to philanthropy.
Mazumdar-Shaw is the recipient of several international awards including the Othmer Gold Medal (2014) for outstanding contributions to the progress of science and chemistry, the Nikkei Asia Prize (2009) for regional growth, the ‘Veuve Clicquot Initiative For Economic Development For Asia' Award (2007), Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Life Sciences & Healthcare (2002), and 'Technology Pioneer' recognition by World Economic Forum (2002). In May 2015 Federation University Australia (formerly the University of Ballarat) named a road in its Mt Helen campus as Mazumdar Drive. Kiran and Shaw attended the opening ceremony. She was elected as a member of the United States National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2019 for development of affordable biopharmaceuticals and the biotechnology industry in India. She is the first Indian woman to get this honor. In January 2020, Kiran became the fourth Indian citizen to be honoured with Australia's highest civilian honour.
Currently, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is 68 years, 4 months and 1 days old. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw will celebrate 69th birthday on a Wednesday 23rd of March 2022.
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