Ilyas Farooq


Master of Business Administration Executive

Faculty / School

Faculty of Business Administration (FBA)

Year of Award


Project Type

MBA Executive Research Project

Access Type

Restricted Access


Abbott appliances, Diabetes, Marketing Challenges, Grey Market

Executive Summary

Abbott Diabetes Care Division deals with glucometer devices and its accessories has been facing a critical business challenge in Pakistan for one of its blood glucose monitoring devices FreeStyle Optium. This product not only competing with other brands but also competing with its own blood glucose testing strips which are readily available in Pakistani market through parallel import. The strips are being brought in Pakistan from illegal channels and sold on lower price. The results of these illegal strips are not accurate and authentic on Freestyle Optium device. So this illegal import not only affecting the sales but also creating the health risks. The fundamental objective of this study is to discuss the business challenge caused by parallel import of these strips and to suggest mitigating measures. A comprehensive research study was conducted with interviews and questionnaire sessions with Abbott employees, its distributors, pharmacy shops and customers. As a result, it has been concluded that lack of awareness and price difference are essential factors in the use of these parallel imported strips and it has been determined also that the regulatory measures in Pakistan are not effective. As a result of this study, Abbott is suggested to focus on its marketing strategies to build awareness about associated risk of using illegally imported strips. Abbott should use strip packaging in Pakistan native language Urdu to distinguish parallel import strips from other countries. The advanced technology can be helpful to control these particular strips in Pakistani market by taking the help of Data Matrix 2D bar coding. This technology enables the consumers to check the originality of product by using free software available in smart phone. For business strategy, it is also recommended that Abbott should invest to have its own glucometer strip manufacturing facility in Pakistan to cater the Pakistan market need as it is forecasted that in 2040 Pakistan will be among the top ten affected countries by diabetes. KEYWORDS: Abbott, grey market, parallel imported products, strips, 2D bar coding.



Available for download on Tuesday, December 31, 2030

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