Who is Cyrus Poonawalla? A Comprehensive Biography

Summary of Cyrus Poonawalla

  • 1945: Cyrus Poonawalla is born in Pune, India, into a wealthy family that owns the Poonawalla Stud Farms, a leading horse-breeding operation.
  • 1966: Cyrus Poonawalla graduates from Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce in Pune with a bachelor’s degree in commerce.
  • 1967: Cyrus Poonawalla starts working in his family’s horse-breeding business and quickly becomes involved in the management of the operation.
  • 1971: Cyrus Poonawalla establishes the Serum Institute of India (SII), a pharmaceutical company that specializes in producing low-cost vaccines for infectious diseases.
  • 1980s: SII becomes one of the leading vaccine manufacturers in India, with a focus on producing affordable vaccines for diseases such as tetanus, diphtheria, and measles.
  • 1990s: SII expands its operations to include the production of vaccines for hepatitis B and other diseases. The company also starts exporting vaccines to other countries, including Africa and Latin America.
  • 2000s: SII continues to grow and expand, with a focus on developing new vaccines for diseases such as human papillomavirus (HPV) and influenza. The company also starts manufacturing other pharmaceutical products, including oncology drugs and biologics.
  • 2012: Cyrus Poonawalla is awarded the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest civilian honors, in recognition of his contributions to the field of healthcare.
  • 2015: SII signs an agreement with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to produce vaccines for rotavirus and pneumococcal disease at an affordable price for developing countries.
  • 2018: Cyrus Poonawalla is ranked as the 10th richest person in India, with a net worth of $9.1 billion USD, according to Forbes.
  • 2020: SII becomes one of the leading manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccines in the world, with the company’s Covishield vaccine being approved for emergency use by the Indian government and other countries.
  • 2021: Cyrus Poonawalla’s net worth increases to $12.7 billion USD, making him the 6th richest person in India, according to Forbes. He is also awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth II for his contributions to the field of healthcare.

In addition to his work with SII, Cyrus Poonawalla is also involved in various philanthropic activities through the Cyrus Poonawalla Group, including supporting education, healthcare, and sports initiatives in India. He is known for his passion for horse racing and breeding, and his family’s stud farm has produced many champion racehorses over the years. He is also known for his commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices, with the Poonawalla Group being one of the largest solar power generators in Maharashtra.