One of the OG ‘boss women’ of India, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is a trailblazer in the pharmaceutical space and among the richest, most successful women in India. The founder of Biocon had very humbling beginnings. She was rejected by many when it came to job opportunities and turned away by banks that didn’t want to back a woman entrepreneur in the traditionally male-dominated space. But, she continued to hustle and never gave up. Finally, after she secured funding for her biotech venture, she set her laser focus on recruiting the right team who would help realise her vision and bring it to fruition. Today, Biocon is India’s largest biopharmaceutical company and the 4th largest producer of insulin in the world! Kiran Mazumdar is in it for the long haul, and her journey is nothing short of inspiring for not just women in business, but for entrepreneurs all over the world.

Did You Know?

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is on the Financial Times’ Top 50 women in business list. And in 2019, she was listed as the World’s 65th most powerful woman by Forbes. She was also selected for EY Entrepreneur of the year in 2020.

With a net worth of $3.2 billion, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is among the most influential figures in the world of science and technology. Kiran Mazumdar is India’s first self-made woman billionaire and the second Indian to be a part of the Giving Pledge initiative. Her journey to entrepreneurship and building a company from the ground up was not easy, which is why there are many lessons to learn from this boss woman. 

15 Inspiring Quotes About Entrepreneurship By Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

1. “I really believe that entrepreneurship is about being able to face failure, manage failure, and succeed after failing”

2. “An entrepreneur’s life is always a continuous journey.”

3. “Entrepreneurs need to script their own journey, figure out their own things, and solve problems. If you keep running back to your mentor at the drop of your hat, you’re not an entrepreneur. A true entrepreneur is a risk-taker, problem-solver, a person who’s willing to face challenges and failure.”

4. “Mentors in an entrepreneur’s journey should only help stay focused. I don’t think any entrepreneur should keep going back to a mentor asking ‘what should I do next? That is not entrepreneurship.”

5. “I believe in never giving up, no matter what the odds. My mantra is, ‘Failure is temporary. Giving up is permanent.’”

6. “Once you start succeeding, you start dreaming big. For me, it was that way.” 

7. “My philanthropic efforts are largely directed towards making a difference to global healthcare, especially in the developing world.”

8. “You have to build a culture of philanthropy. In a country like India, we need to be sensitive and caring about the poorer, more disadvantaged section of our country”

9. “Today anything can be done – we have the techniques” 

10. “As you become more successful, the gender barrier disappears. The credibility challenges you have during your growing up years start disappearing when you start demonstrating success.”

11. “I learnt that business was about being emotionally driven about investing, but being emotionally detached when it came to divesting and that’s a very strong learning.”

12. “I have never let gender get in my way.”

13. “When I started Biocon in 1978, the obstacles I needed to navigate were manifold – ranging from infrastructural hurdles to issues related to my credibility as a businesswoman. With no access to venture capital, money was scarce and high-cost, debt-based capital was all I had.”

13. “I’ve always believed that you’ve got to treat people in a very very egalitarian manner in the sense I like to treat people on a one-to-one basis”

14. “Innovation and commerce are as powerful tools for creating social progress as they are for driving technological advancement”

15. “Keep trying to find a differentiated model, don’t just try to do what others are doing…. that’s where innovation comes”

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