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Indian Woman Builds Bio-tech Empire Single Handedly

  • 14
  • 05
  • 2016

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw. That name probably does not mean anything to you at the moment. But she is well known in India and has single-handedly built India’s first bio-tech empire, despite many setbacks.

Being a woman in India is hard today, but it was even harder a few decades back. This discrimination did not stop Kiran.

Learning on her own and not taking “no” for an answer was what made her a success story shared by millions.

Kiran claims she fell into the path of entrepreneurship by accident although it would be easy to say she was born for it.


Originally wanting to follow her father’s path, she began to study in Australia and work hard to learn and become a brew master. After many years, she returned to India but was told she would not be hired as a master brewer because “it’s a man’s work.”

These obstacles were not new to her, so she changed paths slightly and dived into an area related to brewing, biotech.

“It was very courageous in a way because I had no idea what I was getting into. I feel entrepreneurs are also, you know, people with guts, people who take risks, people who do not want everything laid out for them. You’re willing to struggle, you’re willing to take up a challenge, but it’s with a sense of purpose,” said Kiran in an interview.


Taking baby steps, she started the biotech company Biocon, learned about business and built in-house businesses, expanding enough to revolutionize an untapped industry in less than 40 years.

After reading an interview and Kiran’s biography, I consider she should not just be a role model and inspiration for women, but for everyone that needs to know that it’s possible to overcome social barriers and obstacles society can put upon your path.

Photo credits: Paul Prescott /

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