On June 5, 2020, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw was named the EY World Entrepreneur of the year 2020.
She was selected among 46 other entrepreneurs from 41 countries.
Kiran is the second woman to win the award after Olivia Lum of Hyflux, Singapore. She is also the third Indian to win the award after Uday Kotak of Kotak Mahindra in 2014 and Narayana Murthy of Infosys in 2005.
Kiran founded Biocon in 1978. It is a bio-enzymes company. The company began its journey with just two employees and an investment of 500 USD. Today, the company has grown with more than 11,000 people and also has become one of the strongest innovation driven biotech companies in Asia.
Why is she being honoured with the award?
She is being presented with the award for her contribution in improving universal access to affordable life saving medicines.
It is to be noted that in September 2019, Biocon announced that the company will supply rh-insulin at less than 10 USD per day to patients taking 40 units per day. The company has in the last 15 years supplied more than 2 billion affordable doses of insulins (biosimilar insulins).
The Biosimilar medicine is an identical copy of an original product that was manufactured by another company. They are allowed to be manufactured when the patent of the original product expires. Biosimilars help to bring down the prices of medicines greatly.