Born on March 23, 1953, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is a multibillionaire businessman from India. She is the founder and executive chairman of the Bangalore, India-based biotechnology companies Biocon Limited and Biocon Biologics Limited, as well as the former chairperson of the Indian Institute of Management. She received the Othmer Gold Medal in 2014 for her remarkable contributions to the advancement of chemistry and science. She was listed among the top 50 businesswomen in 2011 by the Financial Times. She was ranked 68th on Forbes' list of the most powerful women in the world in 2019. She was recognised as the 2020 EY World Entrepreneur of the Year. John Shaw is her husband.
Early Life & Education
Bishop Cotton Girl's High School in Bangalore was where she received her education; she graduated in 1968. She then enrolled in Mount Carmel College, Bangalore, a women's college that is a part of Bangalore University and offers pre-university courses. She majored in biology and zoology, earning a bachelor's degree in zoology from Bangalore University in 1973. Despite wanting to go medical school, Mazumdar was unable to secure a scholarship. She worked as a trainee brewer in Melbourne at the Carlton and United Breweries and as a trainee maltster in Australia at Barrett Brothers and Burston. Between 1975 and 1977, she also spent some time working as a technical consultant at Jupiter Breweries Limited in Calcutta and as a technical manager at Standard Maltings Corporation in Baroda. However, when she looked into the possibilities of extending her career in Bangalore or Delhi, she was informed that she couldn't be employed as a master brewer in India because "It's a man's work." She started looking for opportunities abroad and received a job offer from Scotland.
Before Mazumdar could make a move, she was introduced to Leslie Auchincloss, the Irishman from Cork who founded Biocon Biochemicals Limited. The business owned by Auchincloss created enzymes for use in the textile, food-packaging, and brewing industries. In order to establish an Indian subsidiary and obtain papain, Auchincloss was looking for a partner in India. Mazumdar agreed to take the position on the proviso that if she changed her mind after six months, she would be offered a position as a brewmaster equivalent to the one she was resigning from.