Describe about the GE Healthcare for Innovating for Emerging Markets?
There are mainly two trends such as expected growth of healthcare market in India and increase in customers with limited purchasing power. These were the emerging trends induced General Electronics (GE) to change its strategy and to address needs of the bottom of the pyramid (BOP) markets. Healthcare market was expected to double in the following years and this made GE for a development of a new strategy. In India, most of the healthcare device makers were developed low-value products to capture need of the mass market. In this market, there was a lack of international players (Birkin, 2012). Only a few players were developed sophisticated healthcare devices, but they mainly serve to high-class people. This encouraged GE to tap the mass market of Indian healthcare market with a new strategy.
In addition to this, the existence of highly price sensitive customers was also encouraged GE to change its focus in the Indian market. Due to increase in a number of such customers, GE changed its focus and targeted mass market. BOP market was expected to increase that made it reduce cost and improve quality for accessing market (Stonehouse and Houston, 2013). By offering low-cost healthcare equipment, GE encouraged to maintain different supply and demand within the market.
Internal barriers of this organization create issues in the development of BOP market in India. The main internal barrier was a conflict between people involved in developing products for broad and BOP markets. In GE, people worked to produce conventional and innovative products. This creates conflicts between working methods of teams of the organization. BOP team worked with implementing new ways (Hisrich and Kearney, 2013). They preferred less to follow rules and regulations for innovating products for BOP market. On the other hand, management of this company emphasized on organizational rules and regulations. It created the negative perception among BOP teams for the management (Grant et al., 2012). They perceived them slow-moving and conservative that affected their motivation and productivity at work. This reduced the ability of GE to achieve performance standards from the strategic change.
Apart from this, people of corporate R&D perceived differently to the people those work on value-added and low-cost products. It also created communication problem within the organization that delayed innovation of required product for the BOP market of India. This communication barrier also limited integration between the global and national team (Harrison, 2013). It influenced GE Healthcare’s growth in BOP market segment of India.
The main external barrier for GE in the Indian market was less knowledge of customers. Due to this, it faced difficulties in innovating as per the requirement of the Indian market. Less knowledge about needs and preferences of Indian customers, GE was producing and distributing products unmatched products for the mass market. On the other hand, the trend of focusing over the demand of high-end customers was also an external barrier that affected the ability of GE to achieve market goals in the Indian market. Due to this, it faced issues in diverting R&D initiatives towards the need of customers in this market (Peng, 2013). The highly centralized organization experienced challenges to satisfy the need of Indian market effectively.
These barriers can be solved by understanding needs and preference of customers with the help of market research. It could be effective to develop in-depth understanding about the Indian market and to guide R&D initiatives of this firm more effectively. Apart from this, the inclusion of local medical practitioners and doctors in research activities, GE could able to invent products as per the need of customers in relatively less cost (Hisrich and Kearney, 2013). The marketing goal in Indian market of this company was to develop low-cost and high-quality healthcare equipment that could be achieved with the use of local knowledge.
GE analyzed internal and external environment of the country to develop an appropriate strategy. It allowed this firm to determine opportunities, threats, strengths and weakness of BOP market. Environmental analysis is the major principle of strategic thinking and planning as it helps firms to understand customers’ needs, organization’s current position, available offering, etc. (Grant et al., 2012). On the basis of this, GE made required changes in business model and structure. It adopted a local strategy to address needs of customers of BOP market. The decentralized business structure was developed to focus on the targeted market. Through this, it established a relationship between different units and areas of business for creating synergy (Peng, 2016). The key of strategic planning and thinking is to develop market knowledge completely that facilitates the formulation of relevant strategy.
The situational analysis was used by this company to develop a specific vision, aims, and objectives for BOP market. It provides this firm an effective floor to design strategies to meet the customers’ demand. For example, it is analyzed that BOP market requires cheap healthcare service with acceptable performance (Nikos and Nassos, 2013). This knowledge helped this firm to initiate R&D activities to service this need of market in a better way.
The healthcare’s strategy of GE for BOP market provided an effective floor to allocate resources on the basis of the need of developed and emerging markets. In order to gain success in BOP market, it used local R&D that resulted in value creation and achievement. Support activities of this firm including human resource management, technology management, infrastructure, and procurement were facilitated through the use of local knowledge and calibre. It facilitated decentralization of business activities of GE in both markets (Birkin, 2012). With its strategy, the firm gains better knowledge of consumers needs and to source different components from the local market. This allowed this firm to invent a new product for new customer segment in low cost. It created additional value to the service delivery and support activities of GE (Grant et al., 2012).
The strategy of GE in BOP markets improved competitive position in the global market. Through this, it developed an image of a responsible firm for satisfying needs of customers in developed and emerging markets both. It invented a low-cost Electroencephalography (EEG) in the developing market and then distributed it in the global markets (Peng, 2016). Reverse innovation helped GE to develop a strong position.
Birkin, J. (2012) Business Advantage Advanced Teacher's Book. UK: Cambridge University Press.
Grant, R.M., Butler, B., Hung, H. & Orr, S. (2012) Contemporary Strategic Management, Google eBook: An Australasian Perspective. USA: John Wiley & Sons.
Harrison, A. (2013) Business Environment in a Global Context. UK: Oxford University Press.
Hisrich, R. D., and Kearney, C. (2013) Managing innovation and entrepreneurship. USA: Sage Publications.
Nikos, G. and Nassos, P. (2013) Practical Avlonas, Sustainability Strategies: How to Gain a Competitive Advantage. USA: John Wiley & Sons.
Peng, M. (2013) Global business. USA: Cengage learning.
Peng, M. (2016) Global business. USA: Cengage learning.
Stonehouse, G. and Houston, B. (2013) Business Strategy. UK: Routledge.
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