Case 6-3 Eli Lilly in India: Rethinking the Joint Venture Strategy

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The case consists of two major pharmaceutical companies that joint to collaborate their research and pharmaceutical technologies to start a joint venture in India. Both have valuable resources that have benefited both companies during the joint venture. Now both are questioning if there is still any value in maintaining the joint venture in India and will be deciding what will be the best route to take. Ranbaxy Laboratories wants to be bought out, but Eli Lilly is worried of the financial implications of such move. There were two pharmaceutical companies that were looking for ways to expand globally to position themselves in a competitive advantage from their competitors. One was located in the United States, which was Eli Lilly and Company and the other one was located in India, which was Ranbaxy Laboratories. Research and development was crucial to Lilly’s long-term success. Ranbaxy Laboratories was a firm that was evolved into a serious research-oriented firm. With the change, in the government, India was attracting foreign investors in the pharmaceutical industry. Lilly decided to form the joint venture in India to focus on marketing Lilly’s drugs there, and a formal JV agreement was signed in November 1992. The main key issues of this case are as follow. The pharmaceutical industry had come about through both forward integration from the manufacture of organic chemicals and a backward integration from druggist-supply houses. The industry’s rapid growth was aided by increasing worldwide incomes and a universal demand for better health care; however, most of the world markets for pharmaceuticals were concentrated in North America, Europe and Japan. Drug discovery was an expensive process, with leading firms spending more than 20 per cent of their sales on research and development (R&D). Developing a drug, from discovery to launch in a major market, took 10 to 12 years and typically cost US$500 million to US$800 million (in 1992). Bulk production of active

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