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Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw from India named EY World Entrepreneur of the Year

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, executive chairperson of India-based Biocon Limited, was last Thursday named EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2020 at a virtual award ceremony. Kiran was picked from among 46 award winners from 41 countries and territories vying for the world title. In the award’s 20-year history, Kiran becomes the third EY World Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner from India. She follows former Indian world title winners Uday Kotak of Kotak Mahindra Bank (2014) and Narayana Murthy of Infosys Technologies Limited (2005). She also becomes the second woman to hold the title, following Olivia Lum of Hyflux Limited from Singapore in 2011.

Cosmas Maduka, founder of Coascharis, flew the flag of West Africa at the event.

Kiran, 67, founded Biocon, a bio-enzymes company, in 1978, with just two employees and $500. Since its inception, Biocon has grown to employ more than 11,000 people and become one of the strongest innovation-driven biotechnology companies in Asia with revenues of $800m in 2019. Biocon and its subsidiaries are making a lasting impact on global health care. Millions of people living with diabetes now have access to affordable insulin, while millions more who are battling cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and other debilitating diseases now have access to affordable biosimilars.

Manny Stul, chairman and co-CEO of Moose Toys and Chair of the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year judging panel, said,

“Kiran is an inspirational entrepreneur who demonstrates that determination, perseverance and a willingness to innovate can create long-term value. The judging panel were impressed by her ability to build and sustain growth over the past 30 years and by her integrity and passion for philanthropy that has delivered huge global impact. She has built India’s largest biopharmaceutical company on a foundation of compassionate capitalism and putting patient needs before profits.”

On her part, Mazumdar-Shaw said, “At its core, entrepreneurship is about solving problems. The greatest opportunities often arise at the toughest times, and that’s been my experience throughout my entrepreneurial journey. My business focus is global health care and the provision of universal access to life saving medicine; however, my responsibility as an entrepreneur is greater than simply delivering value to shareholders.”

She said it was important to use the platform of EY World Entrepreneur of the Year to encourage more women to participate in entrepreneurial pursuits.

Carmine Di Sibio, EY Global Chairman and CEO, said entrepreneurs were the unstoppable visionaries inspiring innovation and fuelling growth and prosperity by building remarkable companies and services.

“Kiran’s passion to develop low-cost, cutting-edge pharmaceutical alternatives has brought affordable health care to patient communities all around the world. Her drive to innovate has created huge growth for Biocon Limited and helped diversify the company’s portfolio of therapies for chronic diseases. Kiran is a truly inspiring EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year winner,”Di Sibio said.

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