Rebel With a Cause
Sitting Down With... Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairperson and Managing Director of Biocon, India.
Charlotte Barker |
From Master Brewer to The Medicine Maker Power List Top Three. How?
In India in the 1970s, it was really tough to get acceptance as a female brewmaster, and I quickly realized that although I was very keen to pursue this profession, it was going to be tough to earn credibility within the brewing fraternity. People believed that a woman would find it difficult to deal with male employees and trade unions – a lame excuse, especially as even then I was being consulted for advice on operational issues by leading breweries! Disappointed with the system, I took up a job offer with a leading brewery in Scotland and was preparing to fly out of India when I had a chance meeting with an Irish entrepreneur who offered me an opportunity to set up a biotechnology company in India. I thought, why not start my own business and show them what a woman can do? It was rebellion and the desire to prove myself that made me take up the challenge. In those days, biotechnology was an unknown area in India and enzyme technology, which I started with, was unheard of.
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