A garage, a beaker and a Bunsen burner

November 23, 2011

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, one of India’s most influential businesswomen and among the world’s most powerful women, says she’s an accidental entrepreneur.

Mazumdar-Shaw has shown that modest garage start-ups can extend beyond software and hardware companies. She set up what is now India’s largest listed biotechnology company in 1978 and she encourages others to follow suit.

“Today a lot of early stage research work can be done in a garage,” she said at the Reuters India Investment Summit.

Mazumdar-Shaw reckons opportunities for bio-tech startups are huge, considering the demand for sophisticated technology like genomic based systems, diagnostics for cancer stem cells, and high-end synthetic biology. All these are usually developed in small labs across the country.

“What I find today is that there are a large number of very innovative young biotech entrepreneurs who are doing things in a very small way. CellWorks is doing very interesting work on drug design.”

Her advice to budding entrepreneurs – If you have a novel idea and are looking to set up a business, don’t think twice, just go for it.

“I think in the life of any entrepreneur, you start somewhere. You start small. I don’t think most entrepreneurs have the luxury of thinking big because you have very limited resources. “

“If you’re an entrepreneur with a concept, with some kind of idea which you can at least start something with, go for it. It might be something small, but you know it’s just building it up. I mean that’s what I did.”

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
  • About Abhiram

    "Abhiram is a journalist for the Bangalore bureau -- sending out headline alerts for Indian, U.S., Canadian and Australian companies. He is also the only metal-head in the bureau."
  • Follow Abhiram