Despite limitations, Indian women have always stood for their rights to reach new heights. History shows a list of Indian women who have excelled in fields that were traditionally dominated by men.
Here's International Business Times India's list of five women who broke the gender barriers.
- Debjani Ghosh: First woman to become NASSCOM President
- Ayesha Aziz: India's first female pilot from Kashmir
- Meet PV Sindhu, India's only Olympic silver medalist
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw: The richest self-made Indian woman
A pioneer of the Indian biotechnology industry, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has become the first Indian businesswoman to reach $1 billion net worth. She is the founder, chairperson and managing director of Biocon, Asia's premier biopharmaceutical company with corporate headquarters in Bengaluru.
Entrepreneur Mazumdar-Shaw is the second richest Indian woman with a fortune of $3.6 billion, as per Forbes' 2018 World's Billionaires list.
She is also India's richest self-made woman, who founded Biocon when she was 25 in 1978. With advanced expertise, the company manufactures different generics to treat cancer, diabetes and other autoimmune diseases. It is Asia's largest human insulin producer. Biocon today is a $1.9 billion business.
Born to a Gujarati family in Bengaluru on March 23, 1953, she completed her school and college education at Bishop Cotton Girls' School and Mount Carmel College in Bengaluru.
Mazumdar-Shaw wanted to become a doctor but couldn't get through her medical school scholarship.
Hence she pursued B.Sc. in Zoology and later studied brewing at Ballarat University in Melbourne. However, she failed to get a job in that field. It was then that she decided to start her own venture to develop industrial enzymes.
Considering her contribution to biosciences and research, Mazumdar-Shaw was awarded the Chevalier de l'Ordre National de la Légion d'Honneur, France's highest civilian honor, in 2016.
Today, Mazumdar-Shaw holds key positions in various industries. She is the independent member of the board of Infosys and non-executive director on the board of Narayana Health. In 2014, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) announced the appointment of Kiran Mazumdar Shaw as the chairperson of its board of governors. She is also the first non-executive chairman the Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises.
Most importantly, the government recognized her with two prestigious civilian honors: Padma Shri in 1989 and Padma Bhushan in 2005.