Journey from Brewer to Biotechnologist: Kiran Mazumdar Shaw

Kiran Mazumdar: The Unheard Story of India’s Richest Lady
By Shruti Chandnani - Apr 2 2021 12:58PM - 2426 Read
Kiran Mazumdar: The Unheard Story of India’s Richest Lady

It is said that some are good at education while others are good at life and it is very difficult to make your path in life through your education. The case was true for the now biotechnologist, Kiran Mazumdar, but she didn’t stop in difficult times and made her path.

Born in a Gujarati family, Kiran was a studious child. She pursued science after schooling and got a graduate degree in Zoology, after this, as advised by her father; Kiran studied brewing and got a master’s degree in brewing.

She searched for various jobs in the field, but in India, as sexism has always been there since the start of the human race, she wasn’t considered appropriate for the desired position as the position demanded manly work.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw – CAREER

Frustrated by such criteria she searched for jobs abroad and landed up getting a job in Carlton and United Beverages as a trainee brewer. While working there she came in contact with Auchincloss, the founder, and owner of Biocon Biochemical limited, Ireland, which manufactured industrial enzymes and commercialized them to Brewing companies.

After coming across the fact that Kiran was Indian and that she has pretty good brewing knowledge, he offered her a franchise of his company and asked her if she was interested in opening it in India as he wanted to make it global.

Kiran took the opportunity but with a condition that she may leave the idea if it doesn’t interest her and will expect a similar job as she had in the beverage company which was agreed by Auchincloss.

Before starting her venture Kiran trained under Auchincloss’s company and learned the processing and manufacturing of enzymes and trained herself to work in a similar environment.

Biocon Limited Success Story - Inception

After this, she returned to India and opened a small company in her rented house’s garage. From here, the now-famous Biocon’s venture began. The starting is always difficult and Kiran had to face a lot of problems in her small company.

Initially, no bank was interested in giving her a loan as she didn’t have any mortgage or for that matter a house of her own, there was no recruitment in the company as it was owned by a woman and people underestimated and thought it might be a big fail.

Kiran hired a retired garage mechanic as her first employee as there was no choice. The labs were dirty, no skilled staff, no scientific equipment, etc. made it very difficult to work but still, Kiran managed to produce enzymes within a year and exported them to the US and Europe.

After this, the company made a profit, and with this Kiran bought a 20-acre land to start an official company. Initially, the company manufactured industrially important enzymes but soon after too many projects it innovated itself to a complete biopharmaceutical company.

It worked on producing Novel enzymes and focus on low-cost alternatives for drugs. Soon after, it became an IPO (Initial Public Offering) with the advice of Narayana Murthy. Since then the revenue of the company has increased and reached skyscrapers.

Biocon Limited - SUCCESS

It became the first company to get funding from the US to work on research projects and develop new ideas related to drugs and enzymes. The company has also launched its two subsidiaries namely Syngene Biocon, a research Centre which primarily focuses on the development of customized drug and Clinigene Biocon, which primarily focuses on clinical research and development.

The company has also opened a “Corporate Social Responsibility” wing at Biocon which focuses on health, education, and infrastructure. As cancer runs in Kiran’s family her prime target audience is cancer patients.

Biocon Limited Today

Today, Biocon is a leading Biotechnological company in Bangalore and actively recruits chemists and biologists. It produces active pharmaceutical ingredients and exports them to the US and Europe. It is the first company to produce Human insulin and sells it in bulk and formulated forms.

The main Therapeutic areas in the company are related to Diabetology, Cardiology, Nephrology, and Oncology. It has merged today with many companies to help them grow and succeed. The company has many awards and recognitions under its name and it continues to grow today.

Last Words

Kiran, the founder and chairperson of Biocon and today a billionaire, is satisfied with what she has but once revealed that she misses out on living the normal life as she doesn’t have much time for herself as most of it is invested in the company.

She also added that she couldn’t experience motherhood as she got married only at the age of 44 to John Shaw who is the vice president of Biocon. However, she has no regrets and is happy where she is today.

Today, she is an inspiration to many and many follow her principles of success. She is a public figure and is all over the media because of her success and ideas for future development.

Shruti Chandnani
Shruti Chandnani

I’m a science student currently persuading BSc Biotechnology and am interested in technological content writing. I have been writing since age 13 and want to explore more in the field mentioned . I’m interested specifically in Artificial Intelligence , Data science and Data Analytics

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