They say of the cut-throat world of entrepreneurship that if there’s one thing that helps an entrepreneur sail through, it’s the presence of mind, and the right bit of horse-sense.
Cyrus Poonawala has both, and for obvious reasons. Born in a family of horse breeders, he founded the famed Serum Institute of India in 1966 which is today by all accounts the world’s largest vaccine makers in terms of dosage.
They produce over 1.5 billion doses of vaccines annually for medical conditions ranging from measles, polio and flu. These days they are at the forefront of producing the Covid-19 vaccines which incidentally has almost doubled Cyrus Poonawalla’s income from to USD 13.8 billion in the matter of a few months!
If that didn’t seem enough, he owns prime realty worth in excess of USD 522.00 that includes stud-farms and about 250 acres of land and built-up properties in Pune and Mumbai.
The shocking part today is that before vaccines appealed to him Cyrus Poonawalla almost got down to making race cars given his passion for the same. But he dropped the idea upon realizing the huge upfront investment it would take.
For all of that, Cyrus Poonawalla does seem a modest man of few words! His sayings include the following:
- Along with my passion for horse breeding, I was a horse racing enthusiast… In 1974 I was elected as a committee member and subsequently as a steward of the Turf Club. I had a burning desire to clean up the sport, which had always carried the stigma of gambling and manipulation.