Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Executive Chairperson, Biocon Limited, interacted with students & teachers of Delhi Government Schools during an online session organized by EMC Delhi on 07th October 2020, as a part of the government’s Entrepreneurship Mindset Curriculum.

“Entrepreneurship is a very important part of our economic future and having a focused session on entrepreneurship is very important for young students,” said Ms. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw while interacting with the students.

Ms. Mazumdar-Shaw shared her personal journey of how she became an entrepreneur overcoming the challenges she faced as a 25-year-old, first generation woman entrepreneur in the nascent field of biotechnology.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw while delivering the session to students.

Although she was a good student in school and, college and even topped her batch during her Master Brewer course in Australia, she had to face job rejections in India because of her gender.

“When I came back from Australia after completing my post-graduation and bagging top rank in my college, I was extremely confident of getting a good job. Instead, I did not get a single offer as nobody wanted to offer a job to a woman,” she said.

When she grew despondent, her father encouraged her and told her not to lose hope. Eventually, as fate would have it, she met an Irish entrepreneur who was looking for a partner to start an enzymes business in India. He persuaded her to take on the challenge and start her own business.

Ultimately, I trusted my skill-sets and believed in myself.

“Entrepreneurship is not just about making money. You must have a vision of how you can make a difference to people’s lives through your entrepreneurial venture. You should always have a sense of purpose. That purpose will drive you to succeed. You should always think of giving back to society,” she told the students.

The journey of becoming a successful entrepreneur is never an easy one. In 1978, she started her company in a garage with just 10,000 rupees. During those initial days, nobody was willing to give her a loan to expand her business as they did not understand biotechnology and therefore, failed to grasp her business idea. There were numerous other challenges she faced because of her gender, like recruiting talent and dealing with suppliers. Finally, she found a banker who was ready to back her idea and gave her a credit line to expand her business.

“There was one person who found my idea interesting and agreed to provide me the loan. Therefore, whenever you feel stuck in a situation, there will always be a person who will listen to you, you just need to be patient and not give up,” Ms. Mazumdar-Shaw added.

Key Takeaways from the session

  1. Don’t give up easily. You will get many people who will say ‘NO’ to you, but if you believe in what you’re doing and if you think this is something very important for you, you will find a way. Learn to articulate your idea well to people and keep trying it over and over again because somebody will listen to it.
  2. It’s very important to first build a very good team. You cannot do everything yourself. You can start by doing it yourself but later on get a very good team of people with whom you can share the responsibilities.
  3. Have a clear sense of purpose. When you start a business or when you join a business, you must have a sense of purpose. What is the purpose? Why am I doing this? Why am I so excited about what I am doing? If you don’t enjoy it, if you don’t think your job is that exciting, you will not be able to be productive and successful.
  4. Believe in Yourself. When you’re an entrepreneur, you must come up with that idea that excites you, you must share that idea with a sense of purpose and you must drive your business with that huge sense of commitment that you will not give up.

To watch the recording of the complete session, click here:

One thought on “Entrepreneurship is not about making money but about having a purpose: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

  1. Very apt message.
    Entrepreneurship has a purpose and not the purpose of money. Building strong ecosystem of entrepreneurs, nation building and bringing smart things which impact society deeply.

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