India wasn’t ready for a woman brewer, so Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw built India’s leading biotech company


Sometimes failure can be a good thing. In the case of Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, it lead her to pioneer a new industry, build a world class company and set her on path of great success. Wanting to start her own business as a 25-year old woman came with its own set of challenges, but she was well-prepared to face them. Biocon was incorporated on November 29th, 1978 with an investment of  Rs.10,000. Raising a credit line from a bank was almost impossible. Nobody wanted to work for a woman and the fact that she was operating out of a garage didn’t impress prospective recruits either. Mazumdar-Shaw says resisting the temptation to exit early is equally important as well. Among all the support she got from the men in her life, Mazumdar-Shaw gets her fiery independent streak from her mother who even now at the age of 85 runs her own profitable laundry business. “These are exciting times because the gender barriers are collapsing and my message to all the aspiring entrepreneurs is to go ahead and just do it because you are not going to have it any better,” she says. From someone who has been there and done that, there can be no better advice.

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