Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Executive Chairperson, Biocon and Biocon Biologics, spoke at the India Global Forum (IGF) organized in Bengaluru to celebrate 75 years of Independence and to showcase the very best of the ‘New India Inc.’ The session titled “Inspiring Journeys with Ms Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw” was moderated by Edie Lush who is an award-winning journalist, author, broadcaster and podcaster.

In her conversation with Edie, Kiran spoke about how she set up Biocon in 1978 in India during the “Licence Raj” when there was a lot of bureaucratic red tape. Being a 25-year-old woman trying to set up a business in the nascent field of biotechnology was a daunting challenge. She had to overcome credibility challenges because of her gender. But her sense of conviction and purpose led her to success. She faced challenges not just in raising capital but also hiring talent as in those times people perceived that a woman cannot provide job security. She believes that access to capital, access to talent and access to technology are some of the most formidable challenges even today.

She believes that building credibility is very important be it as a woman or a women entrepreneur or a biotech entrepreneur.

The glass ceiling disappears when you start demonstrating credible success.

As an entrepreneur,  one should be able to take a risk, but it is very important to take calculated risks, she said.

It is very important to articulate your idea well when explaining it to the investors who will invest money in your idea.

She also spoke on the topic of diversity and inclusion. “A gender balanced economy is a smart and sustainable economy. Without the inclusion of women in the economic mainstream, none of the UN SDG Goals will be accomplished. So, it is important to be inclusive across the board,” she said.

Ms Mazumdar-Shaw said that technology is a great transformer and women must be a part of the digital transformation journey. “Women are change-influencers and change makers. Women are daring, they are willing to experiment, willing to explore, willing to listen and willing to change if necessary. Women look forward to experimental opportunities while men on the other hand are rigid, worried and insecure. Men are not as big risk-takers as women,” she said.

On her business purpose and impact she wants to make, she said, “My sense of business purpose is about making huge impact on Global Healthcare. I chose Biosimilars, Biologics and complex Generics because that’s the most expensive part of healthcare costs. I want to make a big difference there through innovation by delivering affordable innovation and make an impact keeping health equity in mind. To me health equity, affordable access is my business purpose.”

The session was held at India Global Forum on 08th March 2022.