Big pharma needs startups for leveraging pharmacies business – case study.

In this post I want to share with you what I learned regarding the project where a big global company (its branch in the Central Eastern Europe region) needed to properly set up collaboration with startups that the company’s headquarters has recommended.

Goal: select startups that will help global corporation reach customers of pharmacies in the CEE region and make sure specific KPIs will be achieved.

  1. What does it mean to arrange cooperation properly?
  2. What does it mean that company’s HQ has recommended specific startups?
  3. How to match cooperation of both parties?

I try to answer those questions in the post below.

I had the pleasure of meeting wonderful people from a large international corporation. The company is on the list of Top 50 largest chemical companies in the world. These people, in search of the innovative path of their company’s development, decided to look into the world of startups. It might as well have been a bit different – company’s HQ recommended five promising startups and suggested to choose some for further collaboration.

Our client had the following challenge:

  1. People received five recommendations of startups from the headquarters. How should they evaluate them?
  2. CEE office felt that their people had no experience and knowledge to properly assess those startups. Not to mention that in case of rejection of all five, it was necessary to have solid arguments for the company’s headquarters managers.
  3. How to properly prepare synergies between the startup and the corporation, so that the corporation can achieve specific business benefits.

First of all, it was necessary to figure out the criteria based on which startups can be compared with each other. Like bottles, cookies or fruits – we need to create context in which we can look at those startups and tell how they are different. So we applied several specific tools such as Business Model Canvas, KPIs kit, conversion funnel analysis, IP property analysis and validation board. We have conducted a number of workshops with the management of the corporation and senior managers  responsible for the company in the CEE region. We arranged the meeting agenda with business units, so that the meetings could be compared to each other and a common denominator could be drawn in the final conclusions.

As a result, we selected two startups that indicated the best synergy with the corporation. Afterwards we led approximately thirty meetings with individual business units of the company. We compared startups’ value offers (business model canvas), we verified startups’ traction, efficiency in customer conversion and churn control, flexibility and patentability, and how KPI of corporations and KPI startups could match together. As a result, we chose one startup.

Deliverables and results:

  1. A joint business offer of a startup and corporation towards pharmacies and consumers. The innovative offer helped to build innovative image of the corporation in the distribution channel (pharmacies).
  2. Improving the process of obtaining data from pharmacies and prepare comprehensive reporting (reducing the costs of obtaining data from pharmacies through the use of digital sources and the elimination of telemarketing activities).
  3. Smart combination of particular pharmacy offers and more effective search of drug substitutes. Automation of this process thanks to a startup technology, allows pharmacists to better serve consumers and increase satisfaction index.
  4. Including in the process of cooperation between startups, pharmacies and corporations, the principles of data protection that the corporation has written in its corporate governance.
  5. Business model of collaboration between large company and startup so both parties can build relationship of profitability and flexibility.

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