Indian pharma industry has gone through interesting phases: there was a time when production made the difference, one had to have a production unit, this provided the best means to be in pharma business! Pharma India was characterized by a me-too approach - if someone launches diclofenac, so will I, if entering into neuro is the trend, then I will go along with this trend. However, today it is the era of competitive advantage, which comes through different techniques, use of marketing-CRM technique is a competitive edge (Mankind, Eris etc), providing low cost pharma products by companies such as Unison and the multitude of PCD (propaganda come distribution) ... this too is another competitive edge.
The best competitive edge comes from PRODUCT INNOVATION - doing something new or novel, which adds new value and endears to customers. This approach provides an enduring competitive edge. Sitagliptin a new molecule is scorching the pharma anti-diabetic market. New packaging innovation based products such as TETRA PAK RANGE BASED ELECTROLYTE ENERGY DRINKS for management of debility due to fevers, sweating, heat stress, dehydration and exertion are also creating a new high in the prescription based market.
Today, in the fast growing pharma market with challenging marketing clutter, the advantage lies with offering differentiated products or services with a competitive edge. Michael Porter, the management guru, has always emphasized offering the competitive edge.
In the current context of intense competition, the very purpose of a business enterprise is to have a relevant perceived competitive edge. Those firms on the path of fine tuning and constantly developing a competitive edge rather than working on a me-too path is the new paradigm.
The media too has played a role in addressing issues and pollinating information across society. Pharma marketing practices of customer relationship management (gifting, wining, dining and sponsoring freebies, including vacations) are all over the media. The distinction between branded generics and generic-generics is news and media trend, today's (27.5.2012) Satya Meva Jayate was a fantastic episode mirroring the goings-on in the medical sector. The overall wave of encouraging tranparency will inevitably lead to increased emphasis of ethics in medical practice and pharmaceutical marketing. It will not happen overnight, it will slowly get traction.
With pharma marketing competition getting more and more fierce, ethical - well then, working on a platform of creating an authentic and smart competitive edge is inevitable. Michael Porter is becoming relevant.
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