'Kiran takes chances. Most people in larger companies don't like making deals because if they go wrong they lose their career; if they go right their superior takes the credit. You have to live in an environment where to make a deal successful you have to make everyone successful or [make] everyone own the failure; you have to know what the risks are and what the [chances of] success will be. In Kiran's case she likes to make everyone around her feel successful.'
Jeremy Levin former CEO of Teva and current chairman and CEO of Ovid Therapeutics
At the age of twenty-five Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw partnered with an Irish entrepreneur Leslie Auchincloss to start Biocon India in a garage in Bengaluru. Armed with just a degree in beer making this move to industrial enzymes and commodity small molecules was as audacious as it was far-sighted.
Thirty-seven years on Biocon is India's largest research-driven biotech enterprise. And the accidental entrepreneur Mazumdar-Shaw is today a tough negotiator and a habitual dealmaker casually breaking several myths about Indian women in business. Without a supportive academic ecosystem for biotechnology and in the absence of sound policymaking Mazumdar-Shaw has tirelessly sought out global alliances and resources in her quest for ideas and molecules. To some extent she has also plugged the brain drain of Indian scientists making them collaborators in the fight against diabetes and cancer and creating a space for research in India.
In Mythbreaker author Seema Singh brings alive Mazumdar-Shaw's three-decade journey through a motley cast of characters -- scientists ministries pharma rivals FMCG giants -- who came together to produce a narrative that is remarkable for its randomness luck and relentless pursuit of the next scientific breakthrough.