Ivey Publishing
Cipla Limited: Taking Inhalation Therapy to the Masses
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17 pages (8 pages of text)
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Case (Field)
Cipla Limited was a pioneer in inhalation therapy in India, and was globally acclaimed for its range of inhalers for obstructive airway diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In 2014, the company wanted to take inhalation therapy to the masses, especially in the rural and semi-urban areas of the country. This required strengthening its reach at the general practitioner level (among primary care physicians) and extending optimal medical care to patients who were otherwise sub-optimally treated. The company proposed a further increase to the sales and marketing budget, but the head of Cipla Limited’s respiratory division had a different viewpoint. He proposed establishing a lateral structure of doctors as knowledge experts to urge practitioners to adopt inhalation therapy, as he had done in a successful trial in Delhi. The company was looking forward to implementing this second option across the country, but there were various issues to resolve with such an unconventional approach, and challenges were anticipated in the plan’s implementation and expansion.
Learning Objective:
This case can be used in a graduate-level course on strategy, marketing management, sales management, or business model innovation. The case discusses an unconventional approach to taking inhalation therapy to the bottom of the pyramid markets, and the various issues related to the plan’s expansion. The case is designed to present various challenges that organizations face when attempting to serve bottom of the pyramid markets. After completion of this case, students will be able to do the following:
  • Analyze the challenges and the need for business model innovation when delivering health care in rural and semi-urban areas.
  • Analyze the decision dilemmas and challenges faced by organizations that adopt unconventional approaches for market expansion.
  • Design strategies and feasible solutions to further expand such a business.
General Management/Strategy,  International
Health Care Services
India, Large, 2014
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