Cyrus S. Poonawalla

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Cyrus S. Poonawalla
Adar Poonawalla and Cyrus Poonawalla
Adar Poonawalla and Cyrus Poonawalla (2nd from left)
Born1941 (1941) (age 81)
EducationBrihan Maharashtra College of Commerce
Years active1966 – present
Known forFounder of Serum Institute of India
Net worthUS$13.3 billion (July 2021)[1]
Villoo Poonawalla
died 2010)
ChildrenAdar Poonawalla
AwardsPadma Shri (2005)

Cyrus S. Poonawalla (born in 1941) is an Indian billionaire businessman, and the chairman & managing director of the Cyrus Poonawalla Group, which includes the Serum Institute of India, an Indian biotech company which is the largest vaccine manufacturer in the world.[2][3] In 2021, he was ranked number eight on Forbes' India rich list with a net worth of $12.7 billion.[4]


Poonwalla founded the Serum Institute of India in 1966 and built it to the largest vaccine manufacturer in the world by doses. Serum produces over 1.5 billion doses annually of a range of vaccines, including for measles, polio and flu.[5]


Cyrus Poonawalla was born in a Parsi family. His father Soli Poonawala was a horse breeder. He was married to Villoo Poonawalla, who died in 2010.[6][7][8] They have a son, Adar, who currently works as the CEO of Serum Institute of India.[5]



In May 2019, it was reported that Poonawalla, in partnership with Naum Koen, had proposed supplying Ukraine with 100 thousand doses of the measles vaccine for free vaccination.[17][18]


  1. "Forbes profile: Cyrus Poonawalla". Forbes. Retrieved 28 June 2021.
  2. "Biography". Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  3. "Index". Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  4. Karmali, Naazneen. "India's 10 Richest Billionaires 2021". Forbes. Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Cyrus Poonawalla". Forbes. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  6. "Villoo Poonawalla passes away at 67". Pune Mirror.
  7. "Villoo Poonawalla's death leaves a void in racing". Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  8. "Villoo Cyrus Poonawalla no more". mid-day. 9 June 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  9. "Padma Awards Directory (1954–2009)" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 May 2013.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla - Honours and Awards". Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  11. "Padma-Winning Pune Man Becomes 1st Indian to Get 'Doctor of Humane Letters' Degree!". The Better India. 7 August 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  12. "Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla conferred honorary degree by The University of Massachusetts Medical School - YouTube". Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  13. "Honorary degrees awarded at Encaenia 2019 | University of Oxford". Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  14. "Honorary degree recipients for 2019 announced". The University of Oxford. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  15. "Oxford degree for Cyrus Poonawalla - YouTube". Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  16. "SII chairman Cyrus Poonawalla named recipient of Lokmanya Tilak National Award". The Indian Express. 31 July 2021.
  17. Вергун, Костянтин. "Patrons ready to support fight measles outbreak in Ukraine |". Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  18. "Обеспечить украинцев вакцинной от кори помогут меценаты". Retrieved 30 May 2019.