Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairman & Managing Director, Biocon Limited
A successful technocrat of global standing, Ms. Shaw heads India’s leading biotechnology enterprise, Biocon. She is highly respected in the corporate world and has been named among ‘TIME’ magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. Her pioneering efforts in biotechnology have drawn global recognition both for Indian Industry and Biocon.
She is a founder member of the Society for the formation of “Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine”. Ms. Shaw has been nominated as Member of the Board of Trade, Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce & Industry. Moreover, she is serving on the Global Advisory Committee for its “Women and the Green Economy Campaign” (WAGE)™ initiative that engages woman business, government, and NGO leaders to help create and develop a global green economy.
Ms. Shaw is the recipient of several prestigious awards including the Nikkei Asia Prize, 2009 for Regional Growth, Express Pharmaceutical Leadership Summit Award 2009 for Dynamic Entrepreneur, the Economic Times ‘Businesswoman of the Year’, the ‘Veuve Clicquot Initiative For Economic Development For Asia, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Life Sciences & Healthcare, ‘Technology Pioneer’ recognition by World Economic Forum and The Indian Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award. Her most cherished awards are the national awards, PADMASHRI (1989) and PADMA BHUSHAN (2005) presented to her by the President of India, for her pioneering efforts in Industrial Biotechnology.
Under her stewardship, Biocon has evolved from its inception in 1978 as an industrial enzymes company to a fully integrated Biopharmaceutical enterprise encompassing a well-balanced business portfolio of products and services with a research focus on Diabetes, Oncology and Auto-immune disease. During this transition, Biocon has established two subsidiaries: Syngene (1994) to provide development support services for discovery research and Clinigene (2000) to cater to services in clinical development.
Dr. Preetha Reddy, Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited
Inspired and guided by her father, Dr. Prathap C. Reddy, the pioneer of corporatized healthcare in India, Preetha had formally joined Apollo Hospitals as Joint Managing Director in 1989 and five years later, she became the Managing Director of the Group. A forerunner of integrated healthcare in Asia and globally, Apollo Hospitals’ has been in a position of strength at every touchpoint of the healthcare delivery chain. The group’s presence includes quaternary and tertiary care hospitals in urban and semi-urban India, primary care & diagnostic family clinics, pharmacies, health education and research endeavours, global clinical trials, wellness, healthcare consulting, business process operations and healthcare technology services. Since inception in 1983, Apollo Hospitals has been honoured with the trust of over 30 million patients.
Dr Preetha Reddy steers the operations of the Apollo Hospitals group and works closely with the clinicians to help introduce contemporary protocols and continually raise the bar for clinical outcomes. She also oversees the planning, designing and funding of new projects, with a view to directing the Group towards optimum utilization of resources and funds. Keenly focused on quality, she institutionalized strict adherence to pre-determined standards in every area of operations of the Group’s hospitals.
Dr Preetha Reddy was ranked in the International list of “50 Most Powerful Women in Business”, by Fortune in 2010 and 2011, and also in ‘The Most Powerful Women in Business’ List compiled by Fortune India – 2011. She has been a regular in the ‘Business Today’s’ list of powerful business women since 2006.
Dr. Preetha Reddy has been at the forefront of working for the less fortunate and an inspiring example is SACHi (Save a Child’s Heart Initiative) – an endeavour to treat underprivileged children with congenital heart diseases. Under the auspices of SACHi, over 5000 cardiac surgeries have been performed and over 50,000 underprivileged children have been screened for cardiac ailments. She has also played a vital catalyst in facilitating prompt medical emergency response to numerous calamities. Dr Preetha Reddy is the pioneer and chief architect of the TLC mantra, a pillar of the Apollo way.
Dr. Swati A Piramal, Vice Chairperson, PIRAMAL ENTERPRISES
Dr. Swati Piramal is one of India’s leading scientists and industrialists, and is involved in healthcare. Her contributions in innovations in new medicines and public health services have touched thousands of lives. Born on March 28th 1956, Dr.Piramal earned her medical degree, an M.B.B.S from Mumbai University in 1980. Dr. Swati Piramal is an alumnus of the Harvard School of Public Health. Since 1992 when she received her Masters Degree in Public Health, she has contributed to the public health of people around the world.
As Director of the Piramal Foundation which is engaged in inter-disciplinary and field based education, she helps promote health in rural India with HMRI – a mobile health service, women’s empowerment projects, and supporting community education that creates young leaders. She is a Director of Sarvajal foundation for clean water. Through this, she has made an immense contribution for supporting women in leadership roles. The first woman President of India’s Apex Chamber of Commerce, ASSOCHAM, in 90 years, she helped influence important public policies and governance. Her impact on public policy related to healthcare has led to major policy changes that help reduce the burden of disease.
On April 2012, Dr. Piramal received the Padma Shri, at the hands of the President of India. In May 2012, Dr. Swati Piramal was elected a Member of the Harvard Board of Overseers. Dr. Swati has also received the Alumni Merit Award, the highest award bestowed on Alumni from Harvard in September 2012 and the Lotus Award at New York, from Children’s Hope India, for Leadership and Philanthropy in October 2012. Dr Piramal has been the recipient of one of France’s highest honours -“Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Merite” (Knight of the Order of Merit) in 2006, for medicine and trade. She received the Rajiv Gandhi Award for Outstanding Woman Achiever, from the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, in 2007.
Vinita Gupta, CEO, Lupin Pharmaceuticals
A graduate in pharmacy from the University of Mumbai and MBA from J L Kellog Graduate School of Management, Mrs. Vinita Gupta has been instrumental in Lupin’s forays into the Advanced Markets and heads the Advanced Market business of the company in the markets of USA and Europe. Under her leadership, Lupin has emerged as a global generic player, especially in the US market in addition to becoming a strong player in the pediatric branded market. She is also a Chief Executive Officer Lupin Limitedon the Board of Lupin Ltd.
The Next Generation
Namita Thapar CFO, Emcure Pharmaceuticals
In 2006, five years after she completed her MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, Namita Thapar got a call from her father Satish Mehta, promoter and CEO of Emcure Pharmaceuticals, to join the family business in Pune. Thapar, a CA by qualification was then working in the healthcare sector in the US — for Glaxo and Guidant (now Abbott) in various finance roles. Emcure had by then received funding from private equity fund Blackstone and had aggressive plans to enter the US market. Mehta felt that with his daughter’s US education and experience in the healthcare sector would add value to the business. He persuaded her and her husband to move back to India.
The move paid off. Emcure is one of the fastest growing pharmaceutical companies in India on account of launch of innovative formulations developed by its R&D and marketing strategies designed to build brands. In the last 10 years, it has grown from a Rs 500 crore company to a Rs 4,500 crore entity
Thapar says there are plenty of reasons for more women to join the pharma sector. Functions like quality, finance, marketing, IT, regulatory are great areas for women to work, according to her.
She has launched a program called “Prerna” aimed at increasing the representation of women in the company, which has doubled to 20 per cent in the past four years. Emcure has several women in leadership roles in quality, regulatory, marketing, IT, HR and finance, says Thapar.
Zahabiya Khorakiwala 33 Managing Director, Wockhardt Hospitals
The hospitals business of the Rs 1,200 crore Wockhardt underwent a roller-coaster ride in the past decade. If the business has finally stabilised, it is largely due to the efforts of Zahabiya Khorakiwala, the youngest of the three children of promoter Habil Khorakiwala. She entered the business in 2010 as a director, soon after she completed her postgraduation. Six months later, Khorakiwala was elevated as the managing director of Wockhardt Hospitals Ltd.
The start was anything but easy. The business was struggling — the group had just sold nine of its hospitals to the Fortis Group in 2009 to reduce debt. The business was also highly technical — learning the nitty-gritty of running a hospital and dealing with medical experts demanded a lot of time and enterprise.
In the first three years, Khorakiwala spent more than two weeks every month visiting the various hospitals of the group in tier I and tier II cities such as Rajkot, Nagpur, Nashik and Navi Mumbai, among others. “I soon realised that you need not be right all the time but putting 200 per cent effort does pay off in the end,” she says.
Like most women leaders, Khorakiwala too faces difficulties in managing her professional and personal life. She is the mother of an 18-month-old daughter; she drops her in daycare at 8 am and wraps up work early to pick her by 5 pm. “As a mother (working or not), you always feel guilty about something when it comes to your child. But then, you make your choices and do the best you can to strike the right balance. I wouldn’t want to not work either,” says Zahabiya.
The ability to do that has helped make Wockhardt Hospitals a Rs 250-crore company. Under Khorakiwala’s watch, the company is remoulding itself from providing tertiary healthcare to giving quaternary healthcare (highly specialised and not widely accessed healthcare). Zahabiya plans to capitalise on the opportunity that high healthcare cost in India coupled with low bed count offers and plans to open more specialty hospitals across the country.
Ameera Shah Managing Director, Metropolis Labs
Not long ago, diagnostics was a pooh-poohed part of the healthcare chain. It was not inviting for investors because neither was it deemed scalable not did it carry the commercial appeal of hospitals. Ameera Shah turned these notions on their head with Metropolis Labs. As managing director she has built the diagnostics business from scratch and made it a pan-India business in a decade and half. Unlike many other business scions, Shah wasn’t handed the reins of an already thriving business. Instead, she had the formidable task of converting her father’s dream of building a solitary clinic into a chain of pathlabs. Metropolis now has 130 labs spanning seven countries such as India, Sri Lanka and South Africa and is valued at more than $1 billion.
As a woman, she says she never faced bias or advantage. But she acknowledges there are certain nuances that only a woman can bring in while dealing with people. “There were times when I could understand from the body language of the person sitting across the table what their concerns were and how to address them,” she says. “This helped me cut deals better and forge many partnerships.” Shah now owns 63 per cent in the company along with her father, Dr Sushil Shah.
Samina Vaziralli Executive Director, Cipla
Samina Vaziralli, granddaughter of founder Dr K A Hamied, is credited with growing the consumers business of the 75-year-old pharma company. Now, Vaziralli has been tasked with taking Cipla to the next generation of growth. Last year, she was inducted into the board to dispel rumours that were swirling of an impending sellout.
As the mother of two, Vaziralli needs no telling of the struggles women undergo to maintain a work-life balance. In the quest to help women manage both their intense personal and professional demands, she brought sweeping changes in the way women are taken care of in her organisation.
Cipla cut work days for women to five a week and allows them to work from home. The maternity leave in Cipla is six months. All these measures were introduced in the very first week that Vaziralli joined Cipla in 2011.
Thanks to these measures, some of the most technical departments at Cipla such as research and development and quality control are headed by women. Women constitute around 50 per cent of Cipla’s board.
In recent years, Cipla has built capability in the consumer healthcare brand, roped in talent, carried out inorganic transactions, made the company more agile, expanded globally, and invested more in R&D.
Vaziralli says she is aware that she has carry on a powerful legacy, but insists that she won’t be held prisoner to it. “There are challenges —to get new thinking, fresh perspectives and challenge paradigms that may have served well so far; to create value and build a longterm sustainable business,” she says.