General Management and Strategy | Entrepreneurship

Thyrocare: Disrupting the Indian Diagnostic Industry

Suresh Srinivasan, Swati Agarwal, Sameera Sepuri

In the mid-1990s, Thyrocare disrupted the Indian medical diagnostic industry and steadily gained market share over the next two decades to become one of the top five competitors in India. Thyrocare built and sustained a competitive advantage and entered closely-related businesses. By 2017, the diagnostic industry had become extremely dynamic and competitors were attempting to replicate the unique operating model of Thyrocare. Stand-alone companies were scaling, online and digital aggregators were growing, substitutes such as self-test kits were emerging, and regulations were being tightened, resulting in severe margin pressures. How could Thyrocare preserve its unique model and competitive advantage in such a dynamic industry setting?

Objective: The case is designed for graduate-level courses on corporate strategy and business strategy. The case is also suitable for teaching how competitive advantage can be created and, more importantly, sustained over periods of time. The case emphasizes and integrates the financial implications of corporate and business strategy decisions in gaining a competitive advantage. The case highlights the importance of taking a position to gain a competitive advantage and, more importantly, sustaining that advantage. The case also helps students understand cost structures and their relationship with volume and profits. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to do the following:

Assess the competitive landscape of an emerging market diagnostic industry structure, its evolution over different timelines, and the positioning of the major players.

Understand the corporate strategy and business strategy deployed by Thyrocare over the two decades before 2017.

Explain what capabilities Thyrocare built and how such capabilities translated into competitive advantage. What are the financial implications of the company’s strategic decisions?

Discuss how to compete on cost in a mature industry, using cost leadership.

Analyze potential threats to Thyrocare’s competitive advantage for the future.

05 May 2020

Issues: industry structure, corporate strategy, business strategy, competitive advantage

Published on May 06, 2020