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The Challenge

Help a global pharmaceutical company home in on a core purpose that unifies employees and aligns their passion with a corporate strategy.


For employees, a rallying cry centered on helping patients that instills a sense of urgency and nimbleness; for business leaders, a motivation to align toward a common mission.

The Outcome

A unifying purpose that helped the company focus on its customers and unlocked a series of initiatives beyond product sales, including new services and human-centered packaging, a digital platform for better customer relationships, and access to knowledge services for physicians.

Dr. Reddy’s, a 32-year-old global pharmaceutical company headquartered in India, was growing at a rapid pace. Over the years, the company’s main focus had been on producing affordable generic medication. But with more than seven distinct business units operating in 100 countries and more than 20,000 employees, there was an urgent need to identify a core, unifying purpose, one that would articulate a set of shared values and align leaders on key business decisions and goals.

G.V. Prasad, the company’s CEO, knew that the vision had to be simple and elegant—an emotional drive that every employee across the company could relate to and act upon.

G.V. Prasad partnered with IDEO to home in on the focus that would bring about alignment. Over the course of several months, Dr. Reddy’s team worked with IDEO to learn about the needs of everyone, from shop floor workers to scientists, external partners and investors. Together, they defined and distilled the essence of the company, paring it down to four simple words that center on the patient: "Good health can’t wait."

The simplicity of these words belie their power. According to G.V. Prasad, the newly articulated purpose has resonated across the company, changing the whole culture of the organization. The idea of infusing a sense of urgency and nimbleness to their systems as a means of serving their customers has had a direct application to almost every corner of the business. Employees connect the message to their own experience, and each of the different business units are now moving toward a common goal.

Every employee is driven by the mission to accelerate the delivery of good health.

A Shift Inside

“Good health can’t wait” has become a powerful rallying cry for every employee. It has made clear that the company is in the business of serving patients, not just creating products, no matter how innovative or affordable. This has given new meaning to employees, from front-line sales representatives to shop-floor personnel to scientists.

Articulating the purpose has empowered employees to take risks and try new things. The marketing department has refocused its efforts on finding solutions that improve patients’ consistent use of their medications. And motivated by the idea that patients could no longer wait for a cure, employees from different parts of the company are finding inventive ways of bringing new products to market in record time.

The moment we anchored our purpose in outcomes—good health—and not on activity or products, the purpose became real.

Raju Komaravolu, Senior Director & Head of Strategic Marketing, Dr. Reddy's

A Business Boost

The articulated purpose has not only motivated and unified employees, it’s also been a boon for business. The patient-centric packaging has helped boost sales, and has inspired new strategic directions, including new patient counseling and financing services. As part of the new mandate, Dr. Reddy’s is measuring the impact of its various adherence programs on patients’ health, on the premise that what makes sense for patients also makes sense for the bottom line.

Looking ahead, G.V. Prasad hopes to continue building a unique culture that inspires every employee to be empathetic and responsive in their mission to deliver good health to all. As part of this mission, two new innovation studios have been set up in Hyderabad and Mumbai, India, to explore the future of healthcare and scale a culture of innovation within the organization that helps make it real.

Click here to hear from G.V. Prasad about the impact this work has had across the organization.

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