The Rise of India’s First Female Biotech Entrepreneur - Executive Women in India

Celebrating Executive Women in Business and Women in the Board Room

In honor of the official American Business Women's Day on September 22nd, BlueSteps has launched an Executive Women in Business Initiative throughout the month of September. We will be featuring podcasts, interviews and more with female executives and executive search consultants throughout the month. In addition, we are offering 25% off BlueSteps Membership to all female executives throughout the month.
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is currently one of India’s most powerful and innovative female leaders. She is number 80 on Forbes 2012 List of the most powerful women in the world. Mazumdar-Shaw is India’s first female biotech entrepreneur, and has suggested that she chose the path of entrepreneur when she found that executive positions were closed to her in India because of her gender.

Kiran has been quoted as saying: "I was all set to pursue a brewing career in the late 70s having qualified as India's first Brew Master only to get a rude shock when I tried to get a job in India. I suddenly found that my gender came against me. People kept acknowledging the fact that I had very good technological capabilities but they weren't willing to risk having a woman in their management cadre."

Mazumdar-Shaw, experienced in the 1970’s what many women across the world still feel today, that managerial and executive’s positions are inaccessible to them because of their gender. Mazumdar-Shaw is an inspirational figure for women from all nations because of her innovation and determination to succeed. Moreover, Kiran Muzumdar-Shaw started her own company from the ground up, and moved into the pharmaceutical sector, an industry that was relatively off limits to women in India in the 1970s.

Additionally, Kiran is seen as one of the most entrepreneurial people in India, because she is considered to be one of the first people to produce high quality products, through technologically advanced means in India. Equally, her company started out as a home-grown business, in the last few years her company, Biocon has gone from a $25 million company, to a $625 million. Also Biocon has partnered with Pfizer, has gone public, and moreover, it has become a world-renowned and world-respected organization.

Overall, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is now a recognized and well-respected leader. She is one of the principal inspiration female figures in India, for young women seeking to rise in the corporate ranks, to look up to. Like many female CEOs globally, her method of rising to the top seems unconventional. However, let’s hope that her success will be marked and followed by many more female success stories, of capable women being recognized, gaining seats at the table, and leading organizations.

This article was written by by Helen Langley of the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC).
The AESC has over 150 member executive search professionals located throughout India, all with access to your BlueSteps career profile and CV.

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