Adar Poonawalla

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Adar Poonawalla
Born (1981-01-14) 14 January 1981 (age 40)
EducationThe Bishop's School (Pune)
St Edmund's School Canterbury
Alma materUniversity of Westminster
TitleCEO, Serum Institute of India
Spouse(s)Natasha Poonawalla
Children2 sons

Adar Poonawalla (born 14 January 1981) is the chief executive officer (CEO) of Serum Institute of India.[1] Founded in 1966 by his father, Cyrus Poonawalla, it is the world's largest vaccine manufacturer by number of doses produced.[2]


Adar Poonawalla was educated at The Bishop's School (Pune), St Edmund's School Canterbury followed by the University of Westminster.[3]


Poonawalla joined the Serum Institute of India in 2001 after graduating from university. Then exporting its products to 35 countries, Poonawalla concentrated on the company's international market, new products license and getting pre-qualified by the World Health Organization for supply to United Nations Agencies including UNICEF and PAHO. As of 2015, he has helped the company export its products to over 140 countries; 85 percent of its revenues are from overseas.[4][5]

In 2011, he became the CEO. In 2012, he played a major role in the acquisition of Bilthoven Biologicals, a Netherlands-based government vaccine manufacturing company.[6][7] Poonawalla is a board member of the GAVI Alliance, the global vaccine alliance.[8]

He initiated and launched in 2014; Serum Institute's oral polio vaccine, which became a bestseller for the company. It was reported that he planned to expand the product portfolio to include vaccines for dengue, flu and cervical cancer during the same year.[5]


  • In 2016, he was listed by GQ Magazine and awarded Philanthropist of the year.[9]
  • In 2017, he received Humanitarian Endeavour Award In Hall of Fame Awards 2017[10] and was also awarded as Indian of the Year in CSR Business Category on CNN-News18[11]
  • In 2018, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis presented the ET Edge Maharashtra Achievers Awards of Business Leader of the Year to Poonawala,[12] he further received CNBC Asia's award for Corporate Social Responsibility in the same year[13]
  • In 2020, Adar was included in a Fortune magazine's '40 Under 40' listing in the healthcare category.[14]


  1. ^ "The World's Best Hope for Enough Covid-19 Vaccine Comes from India".
  2. ^ Narayan, Adi (15 June 2011). "Billionaire-Led Indian Drugmaker's Vaccine Beats Glaxo in Study". Bloomberg Business. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  3. ^ "Westminster alumnus-led vaccine manufacturer set to play leading role in large scale production of coronavirus vaccine | University of Westminster, London". Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  4. ^ Dangor, Kimi (6 June 2005). "The private tycoons". India Today. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  5. ^ a b "How Cyrus Poonawalla's son, Adar Poonawalla is boldly changing course of the family business". The Economic Times. 11 April 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  6. ^ "Serum acquires Dutch firm Bilthoven for over Rs. 550 crore". Business Line. 4 July 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  7. ^ "Serum Institute of India buys Dutch vaccine maker for $40.3 mn". NDTV Profit. 4 July 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  8. ^ "GAVI Alliance Board Members – Adar Poonawalla".
  9. ^ "GQ Awards Men of the Year – Philanthropist". GQ India. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  10. ^ "Got Humanitarian Endeavour Award". Biz Asia. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  11. ^ "Adar Poonawalla is Indian of the Year in CSR Business Category". CNN News 18. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  12. ^ "CM Devendra Fadnavis presents the Business Leader of the Year Award to Adar Poonawala". Femina. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  13. ^ "Adar Poonawalla received the CNBC Asia's award for Corporate Social Responsibility of the year". Livemint. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Adar Poonawalla | 2020 40 under 40 in Health". Fortune. Retrieved 13 September 2020.

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