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Daiichi Sankyo's generic (mis) adventure: the Ranbaxy takeover

Alka Chadha (Institute of Management Trichy, NIT Campus, Tiruchirappalli, India.)

Publication date: 17 October 2012


Subject area

The case offers a study of change management in the pharmaceutical industry in India.

Study level/applicability

The case is designed for undergraduate and postgraduate students to examine strategic decisionmaking in the context of mergers and acquisitions (M&As), firm capabilities and management practices. In particular, it has important pedagogical lessons for businesses eager to start operations in emerging countries. Students learn to recognize the unique nature of the pharmaceutical market and the factors affecting the demand and supply of drugs, including the economics of generics. The case can be discussed in one class session of approximately one-and-a-half to two hours duration.

Case overview

In 2012, the pharmaceutical industry in India was undergoing dynamic changes. There was keen interest among MNC pharmaceutical giants to buy up Indian generic manufacturing companies since their revenues were drying up with the impending patent expirations of many blockbuster brand name drugs. Japan's Daiichi Sankyo's had taken over the largest Indian pharmaceutical company, Ranbaxy Laboratories, known for its heritage of process innovations and market leadership. However, after the acquisition, Ranbaxy slipped to third position in the domestic market and was facing multiple problems including net losses and falling share prices, cultural differences in management practices, recall of drugs from foreign markets and a US FDA ban on its manufacturing plants. Further, Ranbaxy had always been viewed as a national champion and a customer-friendly company but drug prices had increased after the merger causing problems of affordability. The new CEO of Ranbaxy was facing a dilemma: how to regain the company's position as the market leader. Students are asked to advise the CEO of Ranbaxy how to tackle the challenges arising from the integration of an Indian company with a Japanese company. More specifically, the case focuses on M&A as a strategy for growth and also touches on issues related to competition, regulation, innovation and corporate governance.

Expected learning outcomes

The case discusses the different motives behind the deal for Daiichi Sankyo and Ranbaxy and why it was a strategic move by both the alliance partners. The case also raises issues of corporate governance for the management of Ranbaxy and the need for a proactive corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy. The case provides students with the opportunity to develop their analytical skills in a real-life setting and apply theoretical concepts to the consideration of the various issues raised by the acquisition deal.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available; please consult your librarian for access.



Chadha, A. (2012), "Daiichi Sankyo's generic (mis) adventure: the Ranbaxy takeover", , Vol. 2 No. 8.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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