The Indian business ecosystem is dominated by business clans where patriarchs are mostly incharge of business, while other members engage in charity or are groomed for succession. The Piramals may seem like just another business dynasty in India, but Dr Swati Ajay Piramal isn't just an entrepreneur or philathropy, but is also driven by a passion for innovation.
More than just an entrepreneur
The Vice Chairperson of Piramal Enterprises, Swati Piramal is also one of India's leading scientists and focuses on healthcare as well as public policy changes in India.
At Piramal, she has guided the firm towards acquisition of 200 patents and a presence in 100 countries, where it supplies medicines at affordable prices.
Apart from mobile healthcare in rural India, she also focuses on women's empowerment and community education programmes.
An early foray into public health
Born on March 28,1956 in Mumbai, Swati Piramal went on to pursue a degree in medicine, and started helping people as a student in the 1970s.
When she saw a girl with polio, Swati Piramal set up a polio centre with her friends for immunisation of thousands of children within a year.
Children were mostly treated for free and everyone in the region who needed vaccination received it in the next decade.
After getting married and having two children, Swati Piramal started studying once again and secured a post-graduate degree in public healthcare from Harvard University.
Pushing for healthcare as an entrepreneur
With the resources of Piramal Enterprises, she went on to launch nationwide campaigns against epilepsy, malaria, polio and TB.
Dr Piramal also wrote books on nutrition and health, as well as papers on intellectual property, patent and data protection.
Apart from these, Swati Piramal has also moved towards influencing public policy in India, as the first woman to become the president of thinktank ASSOCHAM in 90 years.