Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, the founder, managing director and executive chairperson of Biocon Limited, has been named EY World Entrepreneur of the Year for 2020. The announcement was made on June 5.
With this, she becomes only the third Indian to receive this honour after Uday Kotak of Kotak Mahindra Bank and Narayana Murthy of Infosys, who were earlier recognised in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
Kiran also becomes only the second woman to bag this distinction after Olivia Lum of Hyflux Limited from Singapore, who won the title in 2011.
She was chosen from over 46 entrepreneurs across 41 countries.
On receiving the award, Kiran said, â€śWealth creation can be a catalyst for change, and all entrepreneurs have a responsibility to the world around them and the communities in which they operate. Women also play a hugely important role in economic development, and for too long their contribution has been ignored. Itâ€™s important that we use the platform of EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year to encourage more women to participate in entrepreneurial pursuits. Iâ€™m truly honoured to receive this prestigious award.â€ť
"Kiran has been a trailblazer for businesswomen in India and around the world. Biocon, the company she founded in 1978 with just US$500, is now one of Asiaâ€™s leading biotech companies. It has become one of the largest employers in the region, with an 11,000-plus workforce, and a pioneer of Bangaloreâ€™s technology hub," EY said in a statement.
In 2014, Biocon became the first biopharma company to be a publicly-listed entity.
As a recognised global thought leader, Kiran has appeared on the Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women list and Time magazineâ€™s 100 Most Influential People in the World list.
â€śThe company has evolved from manufacturing pharmaceuticals such as statins and immunosuppressants to discovering, developing and producing biologics to treat chronic diseases such as diabetes,â€ť said EY, adding that Kiran's goal is â€śto develop affordable blockbuster drugs with the potential to benefit a billion patients.â€ť