“Through research-led innovation, I believe we can power economic development by transforming healthcare, agriculture, livestock management, industrial processing, and environmental sustainability,” she said at Bennett University’s annual convocation, where she was conferred an honorary doctor of philosophy degree in biotechnology.
Conferring the degree on Mazumdar-Shaw, Bennett University vice-chancellor, Dr Prabhu Aggarwal, said the name Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and biotechnology are synonymous in India. Mazumdar-Shaw, he noted “has leveraged advanced science, innovative tech platforms and international research collaborations to develop therapies that can lower treatment costs, increase access and improve healthcare outcomes for diseases like diabetes and cancer”.
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Suresh Narayanan, chairman & MD at Nestle India, was also conferred an honorary doctor of philosophy in management. Aggarwal said Narayanan’s rise up the ranks in the corporate world “reflects his extensively rich and incredibly wide-ranging experience of over 35 years in the FMCG Industry, spanning multiple countries and cultures”.
Narayanan dedicated the degree to his parents, wife and daughter. “I happened to join this call from my parents’ home in Chennai and while both of them are not around to see me receive this honour, I know for them there was a very high value for education. My father with his middle-class income afforded the best education that he could at that point in time to make me worthy of being a good citizen of India,” he said.
Nasscom president Debjani Ghosh, who was a special guest at the convocation, told graduating students to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. “Uncertainty, volatility, ambiguity – this is the only certainty that you will have. The skills that you need will constantly change. Your ability to deal with ambiguity and uncertainty is going to become your biggest competitive advantage and therefore one of the skills I have learnt is to step out of my comfort zone and become comfortable with the uncomfortable,” she said.
Ghosh added that India’s tech industry has become more agile for not just resilience, but resilience with empathy. That, she said, has been key to the kind of success the industry is seeing even in the Covid crisis.