Biocon chairperson and managing director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw won the EY entrepreneur of the year award for 2019 on Wednesday for innovation and enabling the availability of affordable, life-saving medicines through her strong investments in research. She will now represent India at the EY world entrepreneur of the year award in Monte Carlo in June where she will compete with business leaders from 60 other countries.

The award recognises entrepreneurs who, with their disruptive ideas and passion for growth, are creating successful global enterprises. “The winners of this year come from both long-established and new-age businesses, but what is common to them is how they have transformed their companies or reimagined the entire sector by taking bold bets, and using technology and innovation to delight their customers,” said Rajiv Memani, chairman, EY India.

“These inspiring entrepreneurs have pursued a strong purpose and focused on creating long-term value for all stakeholders.”

The eight-member jury panel, led by Kotak Mahindra Bank managing director and CEO Uday Kotak gave awards in nine other categories. Adi Godrej, chairman, Godrej Group won the lifetime achievement award for the way he has transformed the 120-year old Godrej brand of consumer products and home utilities into a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate. “With high integrity and ethical values, Mr Godrej has been a torch-bearer for high standards of corporate governance and is also associated with numerous philanthropic contributions in healthcare, education, and the environment,” EY said in a statement. Godrej was also the winner of the EY entrepreneur of the year award in 2012.

Falguni Nayar, founder and CEO, Nykaa e-retail won in the startup category for bringing many Indian and global beauty brands closer to consumers with her omni-channel strategy and a customer-centric model, enabled by digital technology. She has not only successfully grown revenues with a 150% CAGR in three years but has also remained equally focused on being profitable, EY said.

Kuldip Singh Dhingra, chairman, and Gurbachan Singh Dhingra, vice-chairman, Berger Paints won in the consumer products and retail category, and Yashish Dahiya, CEO and co-founder, PolicyBazaar, won in the financial services category for revolutionising the sector while rapidly building scale. With 100 million visitors on his platform and 500,000 transactions a month, PolicyBazaar s among the country’s top unicorns with a recent valuation of $1.65 billion.

“The ingenuity and passion of entrepreneurs will have a big role in accelerating our economy to $5 trillion growth target. Our government is committed to creating more opportunities for entrepreneurs, so we can all together work towards making India a world leader in every key economic and social indicator,” said Anurag Thakur, minister of state for finance and corporate affairs, who was the chief guest at the award ceremony.

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