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Kiran Mazumdar Shaw


Biocon Ltd.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is an Indian billionaire entrepreneur. She is the executive chairperson and founder of Biocon Limited and Biocon Biologics Limited, a biotechnology company based in Bangalore, India and the former chairperson of Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. In 2014, she was awarded the Othmer Gold Medal for outstanding contributions to the progress of science and chemistry. She was on the Financial Times 2011 top 50 women in business list. In 2019, she was listed as the 68th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. She was named EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2020.

Born - 23 March 1953 (age 69)

Bangalore, Mysore State, India

Alma mater -

Bangalore University (B.Sc.)

Melbourne University (M.S.)

Occupation - Founder & chairperson of Biocon


Before Mazumdar could move, she met Leslie Auchincloss, the founder of Biocon Biochemicals Limited, of Cork, Ireland. Auchincloss's company produced enzymes for use in the brewing, food-packaging and textile industries. Auchincloss was looking for a partner in India to help establish an Indian subsidiary to supply him with Papain. Mazumdar agreed to undertake the job on the condition that if she did not wish to continue six months later she would be given a brewmaster's position comparable to the one she was giving up.

Philanthropic activities

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.

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.


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.

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.

Board memberships

Mazumdar-Shaw is a member of the board of governors of the Indian School of Business, a term member on the board of MIT, USA till 2023, and a past member of the board of governors of the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad.

Dr Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairperson, Board of Governors, IIMB, with Shah Rukh Khan during IIMBUE 2015 on Dec 11

As of February 2014, Mazumdar-Shaw became the first woman to head the board of governors of the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB).

She is an independent director on the board of Infosys. She is also a member of the General Body of Maharashtra State Innovation Society. She is also a member of the advisory board of the MIT Jameel Clinic.

Awards and honours

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.

She was placed #14th in the Hurun India Philanthropy List 2019 for a donation of ₹72 crore (US$9 million) and was ranked #2 in the list of Women Philanthropist of 2019, by the Hurun Report India Philanthropy List 2019.

International awards

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),

'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 the 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.

Indian awards

Her work in the biotechnology sector has earned her numerous national awards, including

The Padma Shri (1989)

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).

The Karnataka Rajyotsava Award (2002).

Honorary degrees

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.

Distinguished Professor for the Program
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