Swiss pharmaceutical

Case Study 1:

Example focuses on how a Swiss Pharmaceutical firm, ACTELION worked an innovation to reduce time required in gathering activity data.

Actelion mainly deals in discovering, developing and commercializing synthetic drugs. Actelion investigates patients during its clinical drug trials. For this the investigators were asked to manually take down activity data using electronic data capture which after coming back to the base station had to be entered in to computer . In this process one major factor that hindered data collection process was the way data was collected. Problems such as less time for patient care were noticeable.

In a health care Industry gathering data is vital. One key concern for Actelion was to cut down time required during data collection, filtering and coding. This led to a technology-driven process innovation at Actelion. In 2003 Actelion became the first pharmaceutical firm to use Anoto's Digital pen and paper technology for its Phase1 trials.

The process using digital pen and paper:

Here the digital pen with the help of infrared camera, reads invisibly embedded grey dots and captures data along with the identity of the investigator taking the data. Time during which data was captured is also recorded. Also Case form had large space for the investigator to make notes. Once the data was collected, digital pen simply had to keep in the frame (a docking station) which sent all the data back to Actilion. The benefit with collecting data now is that Analyst got first look of the data even before it was entered .This greatly helped to reduce the time to reach conclusions.


  • Ability to output data in a back-end system from manual data entry.
  • Timely and more accurate results.


  • 2007 process innovation award.
  • Following the initial success for Phase1 trial, it now implements use of technology for Phase2, Phase3 as well as Phase4 trials.

Case Study 2:

Example focuses on how Tata Motors came up with world's cheapest car. This case study explains the lifecycle of Tata Nano.


  • To build a safe, affordable, all weather form of transport for families of India.
  • Affordable and Low cost - "A people's car"
  • Designed to meet all safety standards, exceed emission norms, lowing pollution and increasing fuel efficiency.

Focus Areas :

  • Idea Screening: The project demanded a design, marketing and operational strategy that talk in terms of price, scalability, consumer desire and resource efficiency.
  • Strategic Planning: Keeping in mind the promise to build world's cheapest car, it demanded out of box approach right from team building to product delivery activity. The design had to be such that it fulfilled minimum functional requirements as well as met all quality standards. Building a car worth 1 lack with current technology was not possible. Situation demanded need for an alternate approach.
  • Manufacturing Location: To have supportive tax structure for materials and manufacturing following steps were taken
  1. Setting plant in tax free zone
  2. Suppliers close to base station to reduce transportation costs
  3. Look for Government subsidies
  • Production: to what degree?

A Dream in making:

To meet with the monetary constraints and in need for an alternate approach, design was outsourced to Italy's Institute of Development of Automotive Engineering with necessary inputs by from Tata. Design patterns of Tata's own ace truck were considered to formulate best design for Nano.

Cost cutting Strategy :

  1. No Power steering, simplified door opening lever, glued exterior parts and single widescreen wiper.
  2. Keeping cost constraint in mind Tata worked out strategies at early stages of process with its partners to meet with functional requirements.
  3. Tata took help of local manufacturers to assemble various parts.
  • To ease down implementation quality codes were considered well in advance and documented.
  • Initial project: Producing 5, 00,000 cars per year. It was estimated that with such affordable price tag a large fold of individual could transit to 4-wheeler fold.

Birth of Nano :

  • Tata's much anticipated car was launched on 15th January 2008.
  • Striking Features
  1. 20% more spacious compared to cars manufactured by its competitor Maruti Udyog, India.


  • length of 3.1 meters
  • width of 1.5 meters
  • height of 1.6 meters
  • length of 3.335 meters
  • width of 1.440 meters
  • height of 1.405 meters
  1. Concept of Modular design : Been build out of components, which could easily be shipped and assembled at various locations
  1. Mono-volume design enables to mix space with maneuverability.

Impact on Automobile industry and criticisms on Nano :

Manufacturing small car is a low margin business which creates a pressure cooker situation throughout the supply chain. Tata takes the definition of challenge to new heights by managing to build a car with such a low budget. Innovation of Nano saw a joint venture of Bajaj and Renault getting engaged with their effort of creating ultra low budget car. Innovation saw better prospects for third-party logistics and warehouse services. With lot of positive been said about Nano, some critics had their own viewpoint.


In both the case studies, we observe Innovation taking the centre stage. Stage-wise evaluation helps us understand some common attributes that lead to innovation within the organization:

  • Strategic Focus - Innovation is considered very important within an organization and within a market place due to the strong impact it can have on them.
  • Insight -Excellent market knowledge, clientele and skill to adapt and come with new products and services based on growing wants.
  • Collaboration -Importance of understanding core capabilities of own organization and allies to have innovative outcomes.
  • Process -It requires clear understanding of product lifecycle in terms of conceive, select, implement and launch.
  • Organization - People, Commitment and culture forms the flavor for innovation. Innovations that taste success are assessed and rewarded based on metrics.

None of them can work out in a remote environment. It was observed that for success to occur, these factors should be well defined and fully integrated.


Today innovators are largely in demand. Globalization, technological Revolution and movement have affected all organizations. Concept of Disruptive technology helped TATA to come up with a product that was cheaper and convenient than existing ones. Nano is an innovation in a true sense and in near future lead to many innovations in automobile industry locally as well as internationally. Innovation adds value and helps generate Employment opportunities. Research suggests that:

  • Innovative organizations are twice as profitable as other firms.
  • The top 20% innovative firms deliver up to four times the shareholder return of the bottom 20%.
  • Companies generating 80% of their revenue from new products typically double their market capitalization over the five year period.
  • Innovative firms have repeatedly shown above average growth.

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