MUMBAI, Feb 22: Biocon chairperson Kiran Mazumdar
Shaw has lamented that she is struggling to find enough women
to play leadership roles, even though there is a significant
rise in their number in junior management roles.
The comments come in the backdrop of the continuing
calls for empowering and encouraging more women to take up
leadership roles in companies and many other walks of life.
This is reflected in the very low number of women on the board
“Over the next five to ten years we will hopefully see
many more women playing leadership roles. Yes, things are
happening but not at the pace that I want,” Shaw said without
offering an explanation for the same in the sense that is it
lack of adequate talent or the result of covert gender bias.
Addressing the annual Nasscom leadership summit here
Friday, she also rued that regulations are not keeping pace
with technological developments leaving companies unable to
adopt them in smarter ways.
“For many traditional businesses, the existential
question is how do we embrace and leverage technology to
secure our future. One of the reasons why traditional
manufacturing industry hasn’t really been very smart about
adopting technology is because of regulations which haven’t
kept pace with what is happening in the technology world. This
is our constant complaint and they are very very slow to
move,” she said.
“So I think it’s very important that companies are
ahead of the curve and become strongly focused on how to
leverage technology better,” she added.
Shaw admitted that setting up the Bengaluru-
headquartered biopharmaceutical company was an uncalculated
risk on her part as she was treading into an uncharted
“My life and my journey has been about taking risks,
most of them have been calculated risks. But the first risk
that I embarked on was to start a biotech firm which was a
completely uncalculated risk in many ways because I didn’t
know what I was getting into,” she said.
However, but once ventured into it there was no going
back and she learned to the nuances of risk-taking, and
understand the probability of success versus the risks.
Observing that our culture prefers success and not
risk-taking, she said, “I believe because we are culturally
attuned to lower risks, we tend to focus on services rather
than products. Products is high-risk and depending on the kind
of innovation you start assessing what that risk is.”
Stating that she has taken risks with very high
probability of success as well as with very low probability of
success, she said “and many of the ones that had very low
probabilities of success haven’t worked. Maybe that’s what I
call failure.” (PTI)