Biocon - Kiran Mazumdar Shaw's Entrepreneurial Dream

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Case Details:

Case Code : LDEN032
Case Length : 11 Pages
Period : 1992-2005
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Biocon
Industry : Biotech
Countries : India

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"If I can build a company like Biocon, anyone can… The first step was to dream however big or small…. If you have a vision, no matter how big or small, a plan, no matter if it is imperfect, but if there is passion and conviction for it, success is inevitable."1

- Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Managing Director,
Biocon India Limited.

Businesswoman of the Year 2004

In November 2004, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (Kiran), the Chairperson and Managing Director of Biocon India Limited (Biocon) received the 'Businesswoman of the Year Award,' from 'The Economic Times of India,2' a leading Indian business daily. This award was to be given to a person who "was global in nature and would have shareholders' good uppermost in mind. The person should have followed her heart and vision relentlessly, broken all glass ceilings3 and pioneered the cause of women in business."4 It symbolized the increasing importance of the role of women in the Indian business arena. One of the most successful businesswomen in India, Kiran had received several awards during her career of over 25 years (Refer Exhibit I for the list of awards received by Kiran).

She founded Biocon as an enzyme extraction company in a rented garage in 1978. By 2004, Biocon had emerged as the #1 biotech company in Asia, and #16 in the world in terms of revenues and market capitalization. The company made its initial offer of shares to the public in March 2004. The shareholders earned handsome returns on their investments as the stock, which was offered at Rs 315, touched a high of Rs 780 in early November 2004 (Refer Exhibit II for the stock price chart of the company). Reportedly, Kiran had to break through the 'glass ceiling' effect on several occasions being a woman entrepreneur in the traditional Indian society.

She believed that Indian women can do well in business even if they don't belong to a business family or have political influence or immense wealth. Kiran believed that women in India were not meant for only certain kind of jobs like teacher, nurse or personal secretary, or for running a small or cottage industry at the most. She considered herself a representative of the modern women who could work shoulder-to-shoulder alongside men and build mega businesses. Expressing a deep desire for equality, she said in her award acceptance speech, "I do hope that in the not-too-distant future, there will be one award for men and women alike - the Businessperson of the Year Award."5

Biocon - Kiran Mazumdar Shaw's Entrepreneurial Dream - Next Page>>

1]  'Dream a Dream,' Kiran Mazumdar Shaw's Inaugural Speech at the ET Club, The Economic Times, August 13, 2004.

2]  The Economic Times of India is a publication of the Bennett, Coleman & Company Limited. Started in 1961, it is India's largest business daily, and among the top three English business dailies in the world. The Economic Times is published simultaneously from seven cities across India and has a circulation of 400,000 copies. It is read by over one million people every day.

3]  A 'glass ceiling' is the term used to refer to the invisible barrier that seems to limit opportunities for women to advance to the highest ranks of politics, business and other professions. It is a barrier that provides a view of the top, but a ceiling on how far a woman can go.

4]  "Ray of Success," Asha Rai,, December 2004.

5]  "Shaw Tilts The G Scale, Writes Her Own Song," The Economic Times, December 01, 2004.


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