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Case Study: Neolpharma

In the pharmaceutical industry around the world, a noteworthy kind of company is stepping onto the global stage. These are energetic, innovative family businesses launched in emerging economies. They often begin as manufacturers of low-cost medications and build their capabilities until they can expand beyond their home countries. One such company, well known in Mexico, is Grupo Neolpharma. It began as a maker of low-cost, generic medications for central nervous system (CNS) ailments, such as Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, migraines, schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety. Its primary customer at first was Mexico’s public health system, which gave it a solid revenue stream. Then it branched out into different forms of manufacturing, including the manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) used by other pharmaceutical companies. Now it is competing through process and product innovation and geographic expansion.

Lessons from Neolpharma’s Story

  • Orient the family business around long-term growth
  • Support long-term growth by focusing on product quality
  • Build a practice of continuous innovation
  • Align product lines with public service
  • Embed flexibility in the company’s culture