This case captures the roller-coaster ride of India’s first multinational pharmaceutical company that after winning several accolades lost its way only to eventually plead guilty for the unethical practices it had resorted to in fulfilling its growth aspirations. Tracing the strategic choices of the company since its inception until it ceased to exist, the case covers the reign of several different CEOs. It enables examination of the drivers of a firm’s strategic choices at the point of decision making, and serves to illustrate the dynamic aspects of leadership. Among others, it highlights the role of aspirations as a driver of firm’s choices and the difficult tradeoffs that are inherent to aspiration-driven strategies. Demonstrating the negative repercussions of an aspiration-led strategy as well as the challenges a firm’s leadership faces as they seek to re-define the aspirations, it serves as an intriguing story of the dark side of aspirations. The teaching note provides a set of discussion questions and pre-reads that can be assigned to the class, and suggests a detailed teaching plan that is divided into five pastures.
The case seeks to serve two major learning objectives: