How an ‘accidental entrepreneur’ is on a mission to change capitalism

Biocon’s Dr. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw shares how she overcame challenges to turn a US$500 investment into one of Asia’s leading biotech companies.

In September 2020, Pamela Spence, EY Global Health Sciences and Wellness Leader, had the opportunity to chat with Dr. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Executive Chairperson of Biocon and the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2020 Award winner.

Dr. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Executive Chairperson of India-based Biocon Limited, was named EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2020 in recognition of her incredible journey from “accidental entrepreneur” to a health and wellness pioneer and the leader of one of Asia’s strongest innovation-driven biotech companies.

The company she founded in 1978 with just US$500 is a pioneer of Bangalore’s technology hub. Pamela Spence, EY Global Health Sciences and Wellness Industry Leader, invited Dr. Mazumdar Shaw for a discussion and began by asking what prompted her to start her own business:

In 2020, Dr. Mazumdar-Shaw, who recently recovered from a COVID-19 infection, has been at the forefront of tackling COVID-19 through the rapid deployment of testing at scale. Here, she talks about her work with a US partner to repurpose an existing drug that could address the dangerous immune system response to COVID-19, as well as the start of vaccine trials in the US:

Dr. Mazumdar-Shaw uses the term “compassionate capitalism” to describe her vision of how companies can better address humanitarian needs worldwide. Here she discusses her mission to make sure patients around the world have access to affordable health care, driving the democratization of health care through digital technologies:

Watch Pamela Spence’s full interview with Dr. Mazumdar-Shaw:

View the winning moment of Dr. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw on the Entrepreneur On Demand HQ on CNBC. You can also visit this site to watch the stories of other unstoppable entrepreneurs.


Dr. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw shared her journey of overcoming challenges as a businesswoman, Biocon’s approach toward COVID-19, and the meaning of “compassionate capitalism.”

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