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Improving firm performance using market orientation and capabilities: a case study approach

Sandeep Narula (Pharmaceutical Technology Management, SPP School of Pharmacy and Technology Management, NMIMS University, Mumbai, India)
Sudhir Rana (College of Healthcare Management and Economics, Gulf Medical University, Ajman, United Arab Emirates)
Shakul Srivastava (Human Health Business, Indian Immunologicals Limited, Hyderabad, India)
Manjeet Kharub (CVR College of Engineering, Hyderabad, India)

South Asian Journal of Business Studies

ISSN: 2398-628X

Article publication date: 14 December 2021




This study explores the relationship between market orientation (MO), marketing capabilities, competitive advantage and firm performance with a focus on productivity and growth. This study answers on how MO and capabilities can enhance the performance of a firm. The following research points have been looked into: (1) business development in uncertain times, (2) strategies that complement both business development and competitive advantage at the same time and (3) how proactive MO helps the business organization to improve performance and attain category leadership in the desired therapeutic segment.


This article is based on an intensive case study that provides a thorough description, interpretation and understanding of the case. To accomplish the given goals, a public sector firm was carefully chosen and data were gathered through interviews with managers from different levels of the case company.


Results of this study explain that the MO concept is highly effective in building the marketing capabilities and sustaining the performance. The study offers business development strategies for the businesses where product differentiation is low and price ceiling is practiced on a certain category of products. MO when combined with marketing capabilities gives the organization a competitive advantage which ultimately enhances the firm performance.


The manuscript is based on a case study representing niche and mid-sized Indian pharmaceutical company, “Indian Immunologicals Limited” (IIL, a public sector firm), that adopted MO along with competitive business strategies in highly competitive, regulated and price control therapeutic category, anti-rabies vaccine. The company with a judicious mix of business strategies, operational excellence and MO not only enhanced productivity but also market share and created new business units for future.



Narula, S., Rana, S., Srivastava, S. and Kharub, M. (2021), "Improving firm performance using market orientation and capabilities: a case study approach", South Asian Journal of Business Studies, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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