Adar Poonawalla calls himself ‘The Prince of Vaccines’. This Indian billionaire runs the factory that produces the most AstraZeneca doses in the world. His life changed in 2015, the day he saw a video of a Bill Gates talk. where he told his prophecy about a new global pandemic: “If something is to kill more than ten million people in the next decades it will probably be a highly infectious virus, rather than a war; not missiles, but microbes. We have invested very little in systems to stop epidemics “.
But who is Adar Poonawalla? It could be the king of vaccines, the emperor, or whatever you want, because it makes over half the world’s doses of astraZeneca. He is 40 years old and, although it is true that Bill Gates changed his life, because he invested more, it did not come from nowhere. His father, who has coincided precisely with Gates, was the one who set up the laboratory. Since 1966 they manufacture vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus and scarlet fever.
They are now the sixth richest family in India. Their fortune is around 10,000 million euros, and that allows them to talk face to face with world leaders. For proof, his latest tweets, with messages to the president of the United States, the president of India, the president of Canada, the British secretary of state. But let’s go back to its beginnings. He studied in the UK, at a Canterbury college, and then went to the University of Westminster.
He considers the UK his “second home” and in fact recently rented a ‘little house’ in London: 2,300 square meters of land for 58,000 euros a week. They are more than 230,000 euros per mes. And in purchase he also has properties: the most expensive house in India. He paid 100 million euros for a building that, although it looks like a barracks, is one of those houses that has a name: it is called ‘Lincoln House’, and it was for years the United States consulate.
It should also be noted that he has a plane that is his second office and where, if he travels with friends, he is attended by a Michelin star chef. He says “similar to air force one”. He also has a helicopter and, of course, cars, which he is fond of. It has 35 luxury vehicles: Ferrari, Bentley, Rolls Royce, a Hummer, but the star is the Batmobile. Yes, he built it, he says, for his six-year-old son by tuning a Mercedes. As the son does not drive, for now he’s pretending to be Bruce Wayne.
He is also very fond of movies, his favorite movie being Gladiator; to simulators, and he has three to fly: a Boeing, a fighter plane and a Formula 1; to works of art, with paintings by Picasso, Dalí, Rembrandt and Rubens. And his vacations are spent between the south of France and Italy. Does it all sound frivolous? Well let’s get serious: your factory produces 80 million doses per month, expects to reach 2 billion by the end of 2021 and is building another factory by 2024. It has many benefits? Yes, but according to him not so many.
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This is Adar Poonawalla, the ‘Prince of vaccines’: he has the most expensive house in India, an airplane and even a Batmobile