Internationalisation of Indian pharmaceutical industry

By: Dinar Kale
Funding Body - IKD Seed Corn fund
Funding period - Friday 04 October 2013

In last decade leading Indian pharmaceutical firms has invested in acquisition of firms from overseas advance countries such as USA and Europe.These new Indian MNEs are dominating global pharmaceutical markets and challenging existing paradigms of international business literature. In this context this project tries to explore whether internationalisation of firms from developing countries can be explained in terms of mainstream theories derived mainly from studies of Western multinational corporations or do these cases present new insights in the explanations that have been offered for latecomer multinationals. It investigates the patterns and motives of internationalisation by Indian pharmaceutical firms. It focuses on internalisation that is directed towards expansion into foreign markets and accessing new technologies through acquisitions.This project moves beyond study of export from domestic units and investigates different strategies adopted by Indian firms to internationalise their operations.  The 5 leading Indian firms are used as case studies and primary data was collected through interview with senior managers, scientists working in those organisations.

Aims and objectives

  • Explore the nature and motives of recent FDI from Indian pharmaceutical firms in Europe and USA
  • Contribute to theoretical debates in international business literaure regarding understanding of new phase of FDI from developing countries
  • Develop new set of indictors to investigate the motive and nature of developing country FDI

Research methods

Research will employ qualitative research methodology such as case study research. Five leading Indian pharmaceutical firms which are at forefront in overseas acquisition will be used as case studies. Primary data will be collected through interviews and content analysis will be used method for data analysis.


Kale, D (2010) ‘Internationalisation strategies of Indian pharmaceutical firms’ as a special feature in Pharmabuzz (Vol. 5, Issue 10)

Kale, D, Athreye, S and Ramani, S (2009) ‘Experimentation with strategy and the evolution of dynamic capability in the Indian pharmaceutical sector’, Industrial and Corporate Change


Presentations & Events

Kale, D (2008) ‘Development of dynamic competencies through internationalisation as a response to regulatory discontinuity: The case of Indian pharmaceutical firms’, 12th Schumpeter Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2008

Kale, D and Athreye, S (2006) ‘Experimenting with strategy: Entrepreneurship in the Indian Pharmaceutical Sector’, International Schumpeter Society conference, Nice

Kale, D and Athreye, S (2006) ‘Experimenting with strategy:  Entrepreneurship in the Indian Pharmaceutical Sector’, SPRU 40th Anniversary Conference – The Future of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, Brighton 

Kale, D (2007) Internationalisation strategies of Indian pharmaceutical firms’, in a conference ‘Internationalisation of Chinese and Indian firms’ organised by University of Brunel   


Dinar Kale

Email: Dinar Kale

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