This article is based on discussion between Mahesh Bindra and Miss. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw: - What challenges did she face as a woman entrepreneur? and - How she became a successful entrepreneur? ### Highlights from Miss. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw Professional Journey - 1978 – Established Biocon India - 2004 – Listed Biocon India in Bombay Stock Exchange and become a Billion Dollar company - Currently – More than 5 Billion Dollar - Miss. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has more than 60% holding in Biocon India. **Challenges faced by Miss. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw while Establishing the Company** - Miss. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw does not have any business experience. She was searching for a job but accidentally became an entrepreneur when an Irish businessman wanted her to be his business partner in the company that he wanted to start in India. - It was not easy to get Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India at that time. - Miss. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw does not have enough money to start the business. - Banks were not ready to give loan to Miss. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw because: - She did not have any collateral to give to banks. - She was entering into a high-risk business – Biotechnology – which was a new concept, and bankers did not have any knowledge about it. - She was the first woman who is starting a business. - During recruitment, people were not ready to join the Biocon India as they were not able to accept a woman as their boss. They felt a lack of job security. **Philosophy of Biocon India** - Biocon India should be a research-led business. - This company should be an opportunity for scientists. - Biocon India has 12,000 employees, and half of them are scientists. **The mission of Biocon India** **_To produce medicines that can be bought by 100 crores people._** ### **How Biocon India defeated MNCs?** **1. Working of MNCs:** - MNCs want to earn lots of money by selling a few medicines. - They follow the business model – **“Low Volume, High Value.”** - They give benefit to only affluent people. **2. Working of Biocon India:** - Biocon India wants to sell 100 crores medicines at small margins. - They follow the business model – **“High Volume, Low Value.”** - They give benefit to all whether they are from affluent class or the general public. #### **Reduction of Prices of Expensive Drugs** **1. Diabetes Medicine** - Cost of Diabetes Medicine – Rs. 50-100 per day - Cost of Insulin – $5 per day - Biocon India has worked a lot to reduce the cost of insulin, and it recently announced in one of the United Nations’ Forum that the Biocon India’s Insulin would cost **10** **cents per day**, i.e. **Rs. 7 per day**. **2. Cancer Medicine:** - Earlier, Breast Cancer medicine – Trastuzumab (or Herceptin) – Costs Rs. 2 Lakhs per dose (i.e. Rs. 20 -50 lakhs a year) - Biocon India decided to reduce this cost by making a Biosimilar Trastuzumab for the World. Initially, Biosimilar Trastuzumab costs Rs. 50,000 and now it costs less than Rs. 20,000. - They have also expanded the accessibility of this medicine more than 10 times. - They have also developed Biomab medicine for head and neck cancer. ### Learnings: - Identify the business opportunity - Always determine ways to overcome business challenges - Make a mission and vision statement of your company - Price your product in a manner that maximum people can buy it - Invest in research and technology to make a better quality product at low prices