Founder and Executive Chairperson of Biocon Limited Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has been named EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2020. According to EY, Kiran was picked among 46 award winners from 41 countries and territories. From India, Kiran is the third recipient of EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year. Before her, Uday Kotak of Kotak Mahindra Bank won this award in 2014, and Narayana Murthy of Infosys Technologies Limited in 2005.
However, Kiran is the world's second woman to hold the title, following Olivia Lum of Hyflux Limited from Singapore in 2011.
On winning the award, Kiran said, "At its core, entrepreneurship is about solving problems. The greatest opportunities often arise at the toughest times, and that's been my experience throughout my entrepreneurial journey. My business focus is global health care and the provision of universal access to life saving medicine; however, my responsibility as an entrepreneur is greater than simply delivering value to shareholders. Wealth creation can be a catalyst for change, and all entrepreneurs have a responsibility to the world around them and the communities in which they operate".
Kiran added that women had played a hugely important role in economic development, and for too long their contribution was ignored. She said, "It is important that we use the platform of EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year to encourage more women to participate in entrepreneurial pursuits".
The 67-year-old entrepreneur graduated as a Master Brewer from a brewing school in Australia. She returned to India in 1975 to find work as a brew master. After two years, Kiran started Biocon Limited with just two employees, producing bio-industrial enzymes in the garage of her rented house in Bengaluru. A year later, Biocon became the first Indian company to export enzymes to the US and Europe.
EY Global Chairman and CEO, Carmine Di Sibio congratulated Kiran and said, "Her passion to develop low-cost, cutting-edge pharmaceutical alternatives has brought affordable health care to patient communities all around the world. Her drive to innovate has created huge growth for Biocon Limited and helped diversify the company's portfolio of therapies for chronic diseases".
In 2014, Biocon became India's first biotech company to go public and only the second Indian company to pass the $1 billion mark on its first day of listing. The company's market capitalisation is currently over $4 billion.