Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, the executive chairperson of Bengaluru-headquartered biotech company – Biocon, has been conferred with the IMC Ladies’ Wing Woman of the Year Award. She is being recognised and awarded the World EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award for her entrepreneurial journey of over four decades.  The leader has been ranked as one of the world’s top 20 inspirational leaders in the field of biopharmaceuticals in The Medicine Maker Power List 2020.

On winning the award, the Biotechnology industry veteran said, “I’d like to dedicate this award to all the women in India who are contributing to the task of nation building through their efforts, no matter how big or small. Thank you so much for this very prestigious award which I accept with all humility.”

“Ms. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is a shining light who has broken the glass ceiling and paved a successful path in the fields of science and chemistry. Her vision, talent, dedication and philanthropic initiatives motivate our IMC Ladies’ Wing members to aspire high,” says Vanita Bhandari, President of IMC Ladies’ Wing and Chief Executive and Managing Director of DBS.

The Ladies’ Wing of the IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry was first introduced in 1966 as a forum for creating socio-economic awareness and encouraging the spirit of enterprise. Today, it celebrates the empowerment of women. The award was first instituted by the wing in the year 1989, as an expression of the organisation’s consistent support for the development of entrepreneurial potential in women.

Read More: 5 ‘First Women’ in India: Pioneers who broke gender barriers in their fields

Her journey so far

Shaw is one of India’s biggest female icons and she spearheaded women in the biotech world in India, which has traditionally been dominated by men. The Biocon founder was India’s richest self-made woman in 2019. “Women have been playing a hugely important role in India’s economic development, and by recognizing their contribution IMC Ladies’ Wing has been inspiring them to excel in their respective fields and make a difference,” said the entrepreneur who started up her bio-pharmaceutical firm in 1978.

At the Precursor to 35th FLO Annual Session: Women Shaping the Future at FICCI auditorium in New Delhi, last year, she spoke about the conception of Biocon and explained that she was 25 when she started up. “My journey started 40 years ago because of gender bias. I call myself an accidental entrepreneur. I started my company out of a garage. I knew it was going to be a challenge but I had the determination to succeed. I was young, had no experience and no collateral. I faced problems in recruitment because people were not ready for women. I had a huge credibility challenge everywhere”, she shared, SheThePeople reported from the event.

I faced problems in recruitment because people were not ready for women. I had a huge credibility challenge everywhere.

With sheer hard work and exceptional entrepreneurial skills, she made Biocon reach the highest position today. “My journey has been of taking risks, leverage technical and innovative Indian talent base to make global impact.”  she had said.

Biocon became the first company to gain approval from the USFDA for two different biosimilars of drugs used in certain cancer treatments. So, what’s her next career goal? Shaw aims at creating a sustainable and affordable cancer care model. Last year, she had said in a statement, “My philanthropic efforts are largely directed towards making a difference to global healthcare especially in the developing world. I am particularly concerned about the unbearable financial burden that debilitating diseases like cancer impose on patients in poor countries.”

As of July 10, 2020, Shaw’s net worth stands at $4.1 Billion.

Also Read: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw Inducted Into National Academy Of Engineering US

Read More Stories By Ria Das

Get the best of SheThePeople delivered to your inbox - subscribe to Our Power Breakfast Newsletter. Follow us on Twitter , Instagram , Facebook and on YouTube, and stay in the know of women who are standing up, speaking out, and leading change.