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Award Winner 2013: Novartis

Award Category: Application of Core Competence


Novartis provides healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies in over 140 countries. The company offers pharmaceuticals, eye care products, generic medicines, consumer health products, vaccines and diagnostic tools.


Arogya Parivar, which means “healthy family” in Hindi, is a for-profit social business developed in 2007 to improve healthcare access for those living at the bottom of the economic pyramid in rural India. The major program components are: awareness, accessibility, affordability and adaptability.

Novartis trains health educators to teach disease prevention, awareness and treatment-seeking behavior. In 2012, 2.5 million villagers across 10 states of India attended 87,000 meetings conducted by these educators. Nearly 200,000 people attended an Arogya Parivar health camp and nearly 50,000 subsequently visited a physician. Arogya Parivar works with physicians and pharmacies to ensure consistent availability of products in rural settings.

In addition to supplying medicines to over 28,000 pharmacies, the program created a network of 90 medical distributors inside villages who are supplied products directly from company warehouses. Some over-the-counter treatments are sold in smaller doses in order to be more affordable for local people, many of whom are daily-wage earners. Finally, medicines, training tools and packaging are all adapted to meet the epidemiological and cultural needs of diverse communities.



  • Through Arogya Parivar, Novartis has proven that it is possible to build a sustainable business by making affordable, high-quality medicines accessible to people at the bottom of the economic pyramid. By treating people in developing countries as healthcare consumers, Novartis has adapted a market-based approach to better meet their needs, increase their productivity and income, and facilitate their entry into the formal economy.
  • As in any for-profit business, Arogya Parivar is measured against annual business targets.


  • Arogya Parivar’s broad model is adaptable to any bottom-of-pyramid market, but there is no single template that must be followed and each intervention can be customized to the local environment. Scalability is enhanced by the company’s strategic approach to collaboration, combining the skills and resources of local healthcare providers, pharmacies, community members, the government and NGOs.
  • In 2012, new programs were rolled out in Kenya and Vietnam, with further expansion planned for Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Download the Novartis Case Study

Click below to view a short video about the program.