In a recent podcast interview with Zerodha co-founder Nikhil Kamath, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, the billionaire and founder of Bengaluru-based Biocon, shared her inspiring journey of overcoming challenges and starting her biotech company with just Rs 10,000 in her bank account. Shaw’s story highlights the power of determination and the “foolish courage” that can lead to extraordinary success, regardless of one’s gender or lack of business experience.
At the age of 25, Shaw found herself in a unique position. She was a young woman with no prior business experience, trying to establish a biotech company in an industry that was largely misunderstood at the time. This combination of factors made her appear high-risk to bankers and other potential investors. She recalls the difficulties she faced in securing a credit line or a loan, as traditional venture funding was virtually non-existent in those days.
“Bankers didn’t want to touch me,” Shaw revealed during the conversation with Kamath. This rejection could have easily discouraged her, but instead, it fueled her determination to prove everyone wrong. She understood that she needed financial support to turn her vision into reality, and without it, her dreams would remain just that – dreams.