|Cyrus S. Poonawalla Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 5 in|
|Year of Birth||1941|
|Eye Color||Dark Brown|
Cyrus S. Poonawalla is an Indian businessman and philanthropist, best known as the chairman of Cyrus Poonawalla Group. He founded the Serum Institute of India in 1966, which is one of the world’s biggest vaccine manufacturers that has produced more than 1.5 billion doses annually. His vaccines were present in 167 out of 195 countries in July 2019.
Cyrus S. Poonawalla
Cyrus S. Poonawalla was born in 1941.
Pune, Maharashtra, India
Koregaon Park, Pune, Maharashtra, India
He attended The Bishop’s School in Pune, Maharashtra, India. In 1966, Cyrus graduated from the Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce, University of Pune in Pune, Maharashtra, India.
He earned his Ph. D from the Pune University in Pune, Maharashtra, India in 1988. His thesis was named Improved Technology in the Manufacture of Specific Anti-Toxins and its Socio-Economic Impact on the Society.
The University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Massachusetts, United States awarded him an Honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters on June 3, 2018.
On June 26, 2019, the University of Oxford awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Science degree.
- Father – Soli A. Poonawalla (Racehorse Breeder, Founder of Poonawalla Stud Farm)
- Mother – Gool Poonawalla
- Siblings – Zavaray Poonawalla (Younger Brother)
Cyrus S. Poonawalla is represented by Cyrus Poonawalla Group (Company) in Pune, Maharashtra, India.
5 ft 5 in or 165 cm
80 kg or 176.5 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Cyrus S. Poonawalla has dated –
- Villoo Poonawalla – Cyrus was married to Villoo Poonawalla, a sportswoman and a social worker, until her untimely death due to a cardiac arrest on June 8, 2010. Their son, Adar Cyrus Poonawalla, born on January 14, 1981, took over the CEO role at Serum Institute of India in 2011. Through Adar’s marriage to Natasha Poonawalla in 2006, who became an Executive Director of Serum Institute of India, and chairperson of the Villoo Poonawalla Foundation, Cyrus has 2 grandsons named Cyrus (b. 2009) and Darius (b. 2015).
Race / Ethnicity
Salt and Pepper
Cyrus S. Poonawalla has donated to Leprosy Hospitals in India and has constructed Gool Poonawalla, a building to house leprosy cured handicapped people.
Cyrus S. Poonawalla Facts
- At the age of 20, he realized his family’s profession of breeding racehorses had “no future in the socialist India of the time.”
- One of his 1st businesses was building $120 car prototypes modeled on a D-type Jaguar. After he realized that commercial production required a lot more funding, he abandoned the idea.
- His family farm sparked an idea about vaccine production. Up to that point, the retired horses were donated to the government-operated Haffkine Institute in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Instead of donating, he thought he could extract the horse serum himself and mass-produce cheaper vaccines.
- Cyrus founded the Serum Institute of India in 1966 with a capital of $12k he raised by selling racehorses.
- His company’s biggest break happened in 1989. Serum Institute of India produced their Measles Vaccine M-Vac, and within a year, became India’s largest vaccine manufacturer.
- By 2000, every one out of 2 children received a vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India.
- In 2005, the Government of India awarded him the Padma Shri, 4th highest award civilian award, for his contribution to the field of medicine.
- His company was named “No.1 Biotech Company of the Year” by BioSpectrum for 4 consecutive years between 2006 and 2009.
- On the Hurun Global Rich List published in 2019, Cyrus was the 4th richest person in India and the 100th richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $13 billion. His net worth dropped to $8.5 billion as of March 2020.
- He has a passion for collecting sports cars and custom-built-limousines and owns 3 private jets.
- As founding promoters, his younger brother and his family hold 5% stakes in Serum Institute of India.
Featured Image by PAHO TV / YouTube