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Transforming Biocon Into A Global Giant

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Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, 

Executive Chairperson, Biocon
age: 69
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In 1978, when 25-year-old Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw joined Biocon, a subsidiary of Ireland-based Biocon Biochemicals, she had to work from a garage, with a staff of three people. Over the years, she put India on biologics map of the world and at 69 continues to steer her venture as it transforms itself from a supplier to a full-fledged biologics company.
In 2021, she took a bold decision to acquire the biosimilar business of long-term partner Viatris for $3.3 billion. “This will enable full vertical integration across the value chain,” says Mazumdar-Shaw. She also decided to take Biocon into adjacencies such as vaccines—the strategic alliance with Serum Institute for access to 100 million vaccine doses offers assured revenues for 15 years. But the most significant moment for India’s biopharmaceutical industry was approval to the world’s first interchangeable biosimilar, Glargine, in U.S. “This is in line with our aspiration to provide our biosimilar insulins to ‘one in five’ insulin-dependent people globally,” she adds.
Mazumdar-Shaw set up a 1,400-bedded multi-speciality hospital in Bengaluru in 2009 with Narayana Hrudayalaya. Her foundation has also engaged with state governments to implement novel e-health programmes to deliver universal health care.