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Cyrus Poonawalla

Cyrus Poonawalla

As a young man, Poonawalla, now 74, developed cars with friends, but realised it would be smarter to make a mass-market product instead. Noticing that the retired horses on his family farm were donated to an institute that made vaccines from horse serum, he proceeded to produce a cheaper vaccine by extracting serum from the horses himself. Within two years of starting the Serum Institute of India in 1966, he launched its first therapeutic anti-tetanus serum. It is now the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines for diseases such as polio. In 2014, he received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for India.