Kiran’s can-do attitude and determination have been the company’s driving force. When the banks refused to lend her money, Kiran developed a business model that would still enable her to grow. “It forced me to create a model that was based on revenues and profits, rather than venture capital,” she explains. That gave her the cash flow to fund the research and production of pharmaceutical drugs.
“At its core, entrepreneurship is about solving problems,” she says. “The greatest opportunities often arise at the toughest times, and that’s been my experience throughout my entrepreneurial journey.”
Under Kiran’s leadership, Biocon has evolved from manufacturing pharmaceuticals such as statins and immunosuppressants to discovering, developing and producing biologics to treat chronic diseases such as diabetes. Biocon has been consistently ranked as one of the highest R&D spenders in India.
Throughout Biocon’s incredible growth, Kiran has been driven by her ambition to create a business that would leverage science for the benefit of society. Biocon is leading efforts to provide affordable insulin for patients around the world by producing rh-insulin at less than US$0.10 per day, a third of current prices.
Kiran has been leading Biocon’s corporate social responsibility programs in health care, education, science, startups, and civic and social issues. She is the second Indian citizen to join the Giving Pledge global initiative and has received two of India’s highest civilian honors. However, Kiran is not ready to stop pursuing her goal “to develop affordable blockbuster drugs with the potential to benefit a billion patients.”