Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw named world's top entrepreneur by EY

08 June 2020 3 min. read
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Kiran Mazumdar Shaw of Biocon has been named EY’s 'World Entrepreneur of the Year' for 2020, becoming only the second woman and the third Indian to hold the title.

The Big Four accounting and advisory firm has been recognising entrepreneurial excellence across the globe for two decades now, making assessments based on vision, leadership and success. According to EY, the awards recognise entrepreneurs who “work to improve the quality of life in their communities, countries and around the world.”

Executive Chairperson of Biocon Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw established the company back in 1978, steering it to the forefront of pharmaceutical innovation in India and across the globe. The firm manufactures bio-enzymes that have a wide array of applications.

Not only has Biocon played a large part in developing affordable insulin dozes for diabetes – benefiting millions of patients across the globe – but it has also produced affordable remedies to fight cancer, arthritis and a range of other diseases. Today, Biocon is active in more than 120 countries across the globe, employing more than 10,000 people and generating revenues of more than $800 million.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Executive Chair at Biocon

Mazumdar-Shaw was named EY’s India Entrepreneur of The Year in February, making her eligible to compete against 46 other country award winners in the World Entrepreneur of the Year contest. The awards were due to be held in Monaco, but were instead held virtually in a first for the contest’s 20-year history.

Having won the global award, Mazumdar-Shaw becomes only the second woman to have won the title over two decades, the first being Olivia Lum of Hyflux who won the award in 2011. Mazumdar-Shaw also becomes only the third Indian to have received the accolade, the other two being Narayana Murthy of Infosys and Uday Kotak of Kotak Mahindra Bank, who won the prestigious prize in 2005 and 2014.

Mazumdar-Shaw commented on her own experience, saying: “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.”

“It's important that we use the platform of EY World Entrepreneur of the Year to encourage more women to participate in entrepreneurial pursuits. I'm truly honoured to receive this prestigious award,” she added.

“Entrepreneurs are the unstoppable visionaries who inspire innovation and fuel 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,” said Carmine Di Sibio, EY Global Chairman & CEO.

At the EY India Entrepreneur of the Year Awards earlier this year, fellow Indian entrepreneur Adi Godrej was given the Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication and performance in building one of India’s largest fast moving consumer goods brands.