After failing the exam for medical school, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw trained as a professional brewmaster. When no company in India’s male-dominated beer industry would hire her, despite her education and certification, she decided to start her own business developing industrial enzymes.

Thirty years later, Mazumdar-Shaw is chairman and CEO of Biocon, India’s largest biotech company and Asia’s biggest producer of insulin. The multinational company has more than 7,000 employees, a goal of $1 billion in revenue for 2018, and has expanded to develop novel biopharmaceuticals in addition to generic biotech drugs (or, more specifically, biosimilars).

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