Dr Yusuf Hamied

Non-executive Chairman, Cipla Limited

The pharmaceutical chemist, philanthropist and businessman, Dr. Y. K. Hamied, was born in Lithuania on July 25, 1936. As Non-Executive Chairman of Cipla Ltd., Dr. Hamied represents the second generation of Cipla’s founding family. Dr. Hamied obtained his Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1960 from the University of Cambridge under the tutelage of the Nobel laureate Lord Alexander Todd. He joined Cipla in the same year as an R&D Officer. Dr. Hamied was appointed Managing Director of Cipla in 1976 and became Chairman of Cipla in 1989. He retired as Managing Director on 31 March, 2013 and has continued to be the Chairman in a non-executive role since 1 April, 2013.

For close to 60 years, Dr. Hamied has been an insightful R&D leader, a courageous industry captain, and an outspoken statesman of global pharma. From affordable drugs in HIV to enabling one of the world’s largest portfolio of drugs and devices in inhalation therapy, his pioneering work and immense contribution to healthcare have been celebrated around the world. In India, he was among the earliest supporters of a close relationship between the industry and the institutes of scientific excellence such as the Regional Research Laboratories (RRLs) and the Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI). Dr. Hamied was an early champion of palliative care in India, setting up the Cipla Palliative Care and Training Centre near Mumbai in 1997. In spearheading the manufacture of bulk drugs from the early 1960s, in combining three AIDS drugs into one in 2001, in creating a generic version of the prevailing innovator drug during the worldwide bird flu pandemic in 2005, Dr. Y.K. Hamied has always led scientific innovation and research from the front, with a steadfast humanitarian concern at the heart of his work.

For his distinguished service to the pharmaceutical industry, in 2005, Dr. Hamied was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India, its third-highest civilian award. In 2013, Dr. Hamied was named by New Delhi Television (NDTV) as one of India’s 25 Greatest Global Living Legends. In 2014, the University of Cambridge awarded him an Honorary Doctorate, the highest honour that the University bestows, and in 2017, the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B), also awarded him an Honorary Doctorate. 2017 also saw Dr. Hamied receive the Public Health Hero award from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and the first-ever Scientists of Valor Award from the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM) Foundation. Dr. Hamied has been the recipient of several lifetime achievement awards, he is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and is a frequent presence on high-level international panels on healthcare.