IT Key to Creating New Opportunities: Kiran Shaw

by Manu Sharma    Jan 15, 2009

Dr. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is a pioneer in the true sense of the word. Shaw is recognized as the lady who laid the foundation of the biotech industry in India. Kiran may be the richest woman in India today, but she has more to her credit than just riches. Unlike many other celebrated industry leaders today, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is a first generation entrepreneur who has not inherited wealth or a sprawling business empire. She has created a globally recognized biotech industry right from scratch. Perhaps, the secret of her success has been her ability to take the beaten path. She studied brewery and became the first woman master brewer of the country at a time when women in such professions were frowned upon. She collaborated with Biocon Biochemicals Limited, Ireland, to found Biocon India in 1978.

Biocon has grown to be the biggest biopharmaceutical firm in India today. Dr. Shaw has also written a book on brewing titled Ale and Arty and has been the recipient of the prestigious national Padma Shri award in 1989. Ever the visionary, Dr. Shaw spoke about how technology impacts her industry in an exclusive interview with CXOtoday’s Manu Sharma. Excerpts from the interview.

What are the key factors that impact growth in your industry? How are you as a company responding to these challenges?
Growth in our organization is currently impacted by the large pharmaceutical companies’  intention to cut their IT spends and look at delivering cost effective drugs in the market.
Secondly, growth is also impacted by the shortage of large talent pool. Even though we have a number of scientists, we still need talented people who have specific skills to go to the next level.
Thirdly, the legislations and regulatory guidelines for bio similars or follow-on biologics are a challenge. If this happens in a positive way, then I am sure it will impact growth also in a positive way.  US President Barrack Obama’s plan to cut down costs in the healthcare sector will also impact the industry.

What has been impact of the US meltdown on your business? How are you coping with the current recessionary business climate?
In fact, the recession has impacted us in a positive way. We are experiencing a lot of growth especially in the R&D and bio similars space.

Over the last ten years large enterprises have automated their business processes and increased their efficiencies by deploying information technology, what has been your own experience in this regard?
Information Technology has a very important role to play. It is the backbone for any industry sector especially in the knowledge segment. In our industry, IT is already important in the areas of e-records. All regulators are demanding e-documentation of records. Also in the R&D sector, sharing of knowledge needs multi-sharing platforms and so a very sophisticated IT delivery platform is essential.

Moving forward do you see technology becoming increasingly critical to business success?
Going forward, I think technology has a significant role to play in developing new opportunities, new products and also new platforms. Technology is very important.

Do you pursue IT as a strategy or is it merely a tactical tool?
IT is a very important tool but can also be used as a strategy. If you want to look at predictions like development of new molecules i.e. what is likely to fail and succeed, I think IT is extensively being used as a mathematical model and also a prediction model. 

What are your expectations from your CIO/IT organization?
We work in a very integrated way. I think what is important is that the R&D team is extremely IT savvy like our marketing and sales team as also the rest of the staff.

Personally also, are you gadget-savvy? What are the gadgets you use?
I use my Blackberry a lot and so also my mobile phone besides my computer, but I am not a gizmo freak.


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provided help indirectly….. ... 16 Jul 2009, Mamman
pioneer for enterpriser… ... 16 Jul 2009, Rajendra
Why ITIL Can Help Many executives express frustration as they attempt to reign in the chaos and expense associated with their IT investments but find little in the way of substantive guidance. The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) has emerged as the world’s most widely accepted approach to the management and delivery of IT Services. Gartner measurements show that the overall results of moving from no adoption of IT Service Management to full adoption can reduce an organization’s Total Cost of Ownership by as much as 48%. ITIL currently has over 100,000 certified (trained) professionals and consultants, primarily in Europe, Australia and Canada, with only a small fraction of those certified professionals residing or practicing in the U.S. The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) represents a drastically different approach to IT by framing all activity under two broad umbrellas named Service Support and Service Delivery respectively. By focusing on the critical business processes and disciplines needed to deliver services around IT, the ITIL provides a maturity path for IT that is not based on technology. This accessibility allows senior executives to both sponsor and shepherd IT quality improvement efforts. The ITIL has become the most widely accepted approach to IT service management. ITIL provides a comprehensive, consistent volume of best practices drawn from the collective experience and wisdom of thousands of IT practitioners around the world. By defining IT quality as the level of alignment between the actual services delivered and the actual needs of the business the library serves as a common point of engagement for IT and the other business units. By adopting IT best practices, what type of advantage can an organization expect? Beyond the quantifiable benefits, delivered from the implementation of ITIL, there are also qualitative benefits. Successful introduction of IT Service Management with ITIL should deliver type of benefits to organizations: • Improved Customer Satisfaction
• Improved ROI of IT
• Improved Morale of Service delivery and recipient staff
• Reduced staff turnover
• Lower costs of training, especially as the ITIL standard become widely adopted
• Improved systems/apps availability
• Improved IT employee productivity
• Reduced cost/incident
• Reduced hidden costs that traditionally increases substantially the TCO
• Better asset utilization The economic impact of an organization adopting ITIL will be felt in all of the areas listed above. The benefits can also be viewed in terms of direct savings and indirect, the later being derived as a result of the strategy but not directly related to the actions being taken, such as minimizing the missed opportunity costs, the cost of not been able to operate. These indirect benefits as well as the direct benefits may vary greatly from one organization to another. ITIL Success Stories Has anyone successfully adopted this framework? The answer is a resounding yes. Over the last ten years organizations ranging both in size and industry have successfully integrated the best practices guidance and taken their results to the public. It has become clear that focusing on the development of a process driven IT organization can yield significant efficiency related savings. What is also interesting is that effectiveness of services delivered has also ranked highly as one of the many positive outcomes of best practice adoption. Moving into the realm of IT Service Management requires the attention and focus of the IT organization as well as many important stakeholders from other business units. Who in the US has implemented ITIL and what was the outcome? Many high-profile U.S. organizations have adopted the best practices described in ITIL. Companies such as Procter and Gamble, IBM, Caterpillar, Shell Oil, Boeing, and the Internal Revenue Service have all reported great success and significant operational cost savings as a direct result of ITIL adoption. Procter and Gamble publicly attributes nearly $125 million in IT cost savings per year to the adoption of ITIL, constituting nearly 10% of their annual IT budget. Similarly, Shell Oil utilized ITIL best practices when they overhauled their global desktop PC consolidation project, encompassing 80,000 desktops. After this project was completed, they can now do software upgrades in less than 72 hours, potentially saving 6000 man-days working days and 5 million dollars. Ramabadran Seshadri Iyengar
Itsmf Professional Member
Business Partner, India, Middle East, Asia Pacific
Itsm solutions LLC, Lexington USA,
... 5 Jun 2009, Ramabadran seshadri iyengar
we and our youth generation will change of that……. ... 24 May 2009, Kesavan
Thanks MS.KIRAN SHAW, i really excited to be a IT Student, u r speach and some most persons speech will give the answer to whom don’t know about the IT Department deeply, i also agree with ur’s interview, We make INDIA as a 1st county in IT Department ... 24 May 2009, Kesavan
guys wanna go have nice weekend- go to wonder la ... 20 May 2009, Nitin
idiot this is Q and A session doesn mean u come up and request for a job ... 20 May 2009, Matrix
agree with the story details ... 15 May 2009, Ramnath
Hi Kiran do you have any openings for a commerce graduate in Biocon ... 14 May 2009, Venkatesh
Full marks to you Kiran ... 13 May 2009, Amandeep Singh Sehgal
Kiran any job opening at biocon then pls reply ... 13 May 2009, Kannan
Good work, where were u all this days ... 13 May 2009, Manju
good work ... 13 May 2009, Prasanth
good show kiran ... 12 May 2009, Mayur kamat
Good comprehensive story on the ‘Biotech Queen’ ... 11 May 2009, Atul
Good coverage of Ms Shaw and a lot of things we never new about her. Would appreciate if a lot of non-IT heads were featured on technology they utilize at work and home rather than the already over publicized IT heads. ... 11 May 2009, Manish
very nice process
... 10 May 2009, Rajeev bhardwaj
Thimaiyas would like to take this opportunity, to address certain issues through their RED SCREEN initiatives, Campaigning for ‘Clean Needles, Energy & Water, mooted by ” Hope for Peace International foundation-India
... 10 May 2009, P.S.Thimaiyaa
mite be ... 10 May 2009, Gopoal
I really appreciate the talented Dr.Kiran
Mazumdar Shaw who ventrued into the biotech industry and made her own empire from scratches. She is a real role model for other women folk to follow suit. My hearty congrats.
... 9 May 2009, Ramesh (M.Meenakshinathan)
nice experience to go through the interview. but need to know more on her views about the industry future with respect to the technology. but overall,good one, ... 9 May 2009, Abhishek ratan
you talk a lot about IT being the backbone of your company. but you care a fig about IT recruitment. need e.g.? goto “” why do you preach things you do not believe in! ... 8 May 2009, Suman
I agree ... 8 May 2009, Jignesh Patel
good QA Session - very interesting and positive view of situation - recession impact …. ... 8 May 2009, Bala a kumar
I saw it first time . ... 8 May 2009, Abhay
Yes it should be & will become the pioneer for further generation. ... 8 May 2009, Rakesh Tulani
very nice process ... 8 May 2009, Kalyani
No real importance is give to R&D by any industry in India including Biocon. For example,we have to-day foreign cars on roads of villages because our auto makers did not give importance to R&D during their days. If the situation continues, we may have to place order for day-to-day pharma requirements, on foriegn countries or their agents in India.Industries too should fight for incentives from govt. for R&D budget. ... 7 May 2009, Narayanan V
please apoint me as cisco service centre and get unespected result in north bihar maket. ... 7 May 2009, Sanjeev kumar
please apoint me as cisco service centre and get unespected result in north bihar maket. ... 7 May 2009, Sanjeev kumar
Very good process ... 20 Jan 2009, Laxman
Nice to know this ... 16 Jan 2009, Ravi Shankar
i agree ... 16 Jan 2009, Manoj
a very good interview. keep it up guys ... 16 Jan 2009, Suresh rangarajan