Setting up Biocon, Asia's largest biotechnology firm, was not a straightforward task for the woman who is now India's wealthiest businesswoman.
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw chose the biotechnology sector as a fallback position after she realised at the age of 25 that India was not ready to accept a woman master brewer.
But abandoning her dream career of following in her father's footsteps did not mean she swept to success without any trouble.
"In 1978, there were very, very few women in the business world in India -- we were considered very high risk from a financial security point of view," she told Reuters during an interview in London.
"It took a very long time to build the organization and company," the chairman and managing director of Biocon explained. "I had to face very many hurdles along the way."