Pharmaceutical industries have to operate in an environment that is highly competitive and subject to a wide variety of internal and external constraints. In recent times, there has been an increasing trend to reduce the cost of operation while competing with other companies that manufacture products that treat similar afflictions and ailments. The complexities in drug research and development and regulations have created an industry that is subject to intense pressure to perform. The amount of capital investment investments required to get a drug from conception, through clinical trials and into the market is enormous. The already high-strung pharmaceutical industry is increasingly investing greater amounts of resources in search of the next "blockbuster" drug that can help them gain market position and profits. Laws, regulations and patents are important to the industry while spending billions of dollars in ensuring the copyright of their products.
It is the intention of this thesis to study the ability of Sanofi-Synthelabo-Dubai, an affiliate of Sanofi-Synthelabo a French multinational pharmaceutical company, in creating an effective and productive market for the products of the company in the Persian Gulf region. The company first desires to concentrate its efforts in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) is first desired and then spread out to the rest of the Middle Eastern region. Drugs are neither manufactured not produced in this region. And as such, the company desires only to improve its market presence for the sale of the company's drugs in the region. In essence, this is a marketing project and not a research and development one. At present, the company has a vast portfolio of products in the area. The company is however, unable to differentiate and distinguish its products from those of its other competitors to truly enable the company to enjoy an overwhelming market monopoly. This thesis will identify some of the salient macro and microenvironments that the company faces in achieving this endeavor. The objective of the research is to introduce a more sophisticated marketing function to the marketing department of the company. Redefining the marketing responsibility within the company to emphasize the concept that every one in the company is required to perform to attain the company's goals.
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
OVERVIEW OF THE THESIS
The aim of this introductory chapter is to give the reader an overview of the work that was undertaken in this thesis. The concept of "how to maintain a competitive advantage in the pharmaceutical business, based upon a market driven strategy?" is analyzed using tools whose results have been well established by management, economics and financial experts for the Persian Gulf pharmaceutical market. The company considered for this project is Sanofi-Synthelabo-Dubai. Sanofi-Synthelabo is a well-established multinational pharmaceutical company that has operations and markets all over the world. The company already has a market presence in the region. The purpose of this paper is to study the marketing requirements that the needed for the company to be truly successful.
To make the study comprehensive, it is necessary to analysis the entire pharmaceutical industry at a macro level. There are many external constraints that have a tremendous influence of the marketability and success of any product in a given market. Many of these external factors may be common to all markets while a few may be very specific to a local or regional market. The ability of any company to understand these external factors and use the information distilled to attain success of a product is very important in the current market. Inter-relationships between different external factors also exist. The environment can become more complicated as these factors blend and integrate within (and without) the organization.
There are also many internal factors -- the microenvironment of the organization that also needed to be analyzed. Often, organizations can control these factors and modify them to best serve the market and the customer. In the age of globalization and multinational corporations, local cultures, beliefs and norms play an important role in establishing the image of the company. While there are many benefits to globalization, cross boundary corporations are often faced with creating polices and regulations that are in compliance with the laws and requirements of the state in which they operate.
A preliminary S.W.O.T analysis will help identify the current performance of the marketing department and the current business strategy. This analysis will serve as a benchmark for the company in implementing a process, but equally important as a business philosophy, that emphasizes the strategic choices upon which market driven management is based.
The key theories that going to be covered in this thesis are:
Environmental analysis using the PESTLE analysis for the macro environment and the 7Ss method for the internal environment affect the organization.
Competitive analysis of the industry using Porters Five-force analysis to comprehend the importance of product differentiation and threats
Marketing philosophies -- passive marketing, operational marketing and strategic marketing that the company can utilize in attaining the desired results
Understanding the need for market driven strategies in the company
Market-driven strategy development. Setting the specific tasks to be performed by strategic marketing that identify potential product segments on the basis of analysis of the customer's needs which need to be met, evaluating the attractiveness of the market, then evaluating the competitiveness level of Sanofi-Synthelabo
Change management theories that are commonly used
PROPOSED METHODOLOGY FOR THE THESIS
Two types of data will be analyzed for the purpose of this thesis: primary data and secondary data. Primary data will be gained through qualitative research that will be conducted as individual in-depth interviews (questionnaire-based interviews), with medical representatives, sales managers and the product managers working for Sanofi-Synthelabo-Dubai. Individual in-depth interviews are interviews that are conducted face-to-face with the respondent. Here the subject matter of the interview is explored in detail. There are two basic types of in-depth interviews. They are nondirective and semi-structured; and, their differences lie in the amount of guidance the interviewer provides. In nondirective interviews, the respondent is given maximum freedom to respond, within the bounds of topics of interest to the interviewer. The success of this type of an interview depends on:
Establishing a relaxed and empathetic relationship with the interviewee
Being able to probe in order to clarify and elaborate on interesting responses, without biasing the content of the responses given The skill of the interviewer in guiding the discussion back to the topic outline when digressions are unfruitful and always pursuing reasons behind the comments and answers qualitative method for interviewing was chosen since qualitative data is collected to know more about things that cannot be directly observed and measured like feelings, thoughts and intentions. Understanding the aspect of the topic from the interviewee's point-of-view is important without confusing the thoughts and opinions of the interviewer in the process. This task may sound very simple. But in reality, the process can become very complicated and views and opinions that are not directly related to the topic may get intertwined in the answers.
This method of research will address the efficacy of the marketing function within the organization.
Some of the questions that may be asked may be perceived as an invasion of privacy or extensive probing into issues best left untouched. Other questions might be embarrassing and may generate a sense of resentment therefore affecting the quality of the responses, which may not be truthful. If however, in the course of this process, the marketing department can identify the areas where improvements can result in the growth of the market, the process may be worth the effort.
Approximately, 15-20 individuals will be interviewed for this purpose. The individuals will be selected randomly and without any prejudice. The aim of the interviews will be to identify the individual perception of different staff tasks and responsibilities within the company regarding the marketing function used by the organization. Determining the effectiveness and the application of the marketing function will also be analyzed.
Secondary data was obtained through research of published literature such as books, journals, papers and the Internet. There is a normal assumption that personal opinions and viewpoints are an integral part of any printed and published opinions. Sufficient collaborative information was verified for any given point-of-view prior to introducing the concept in the thesis. The variables discussed in this thesis are not completely exhaustive. In addition to the variables that affect the marketing department, and Sanofi-Synthelabo-Dubai as a whole, there are other external and global variables that may have an indirect effect on the organization and the image of the company. The environments that organizations work in are also very dynamic and constantly changing -- making decision-making and implementation of new ideas more intricate.
LIMITATIONS OF STUDY
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