Generic Strategies and Performance of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Companies in Nairobi County, Kenya

  • Grace Wanjiru Ngugi
  • Esther Gitonga
Keywords: Generic Strategies, Manufacturing Companies, Cost Leadership Strategy, Differentiation Strategy, Focus Strategy


Pharmaceutical industry has been facing a lot of competition both from the inside and outside the country (importers of raw materials who also manufacture finished product). A report by the Kenya Pharmaceutical Sector Profile in 2018 indicated that imports have been rising sharply and grew by more than 30% between 2017 and 2018 in other sectors but a decline from the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector which could be attributed to the low-quality pharmaceutical products. The aim of this study was to analyze the generic strategies and performance of pharmaceutical manufacturing companies in Nairobi County, Kenya. The specific objectives were to: assess the effect of cost leadership strategy, differentiation strategy and focus strategy on performance of pharmaceutical companies in Nairobi County, Kenya. The study was informed by Porter’s Five Forces Model and Resource Based View theory. The study used descriptive research design. The population of this study was all the 22 pharmaceutical manufacturing companies in Nairobi County. The target population was the managers in the pharmaceutical manufacturing companies. The study was a census of all pharmaceutical manufacturing companies in Nairobi. A structured questionnaire was used for data collection. The questionnaire was pilot tested to determine its validity and reliability. The study used primary data which was gathered from the managers. Data collected was organized in spreadsheets for the purpose of analysis. It was coded and entered in Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS, Version 22.0) for analysis. Correlation and regression analysis were conducted to find the relationship between the independent and dependent variables. The study found that cost leadership strategy, product differentiation strategy and focus strategy positively and significantly influenced performance of pharmaceutical companies in Nairobi County, Kenya. The study concluded that managing the production expenses enhances business performance because of increased profit value. Also, the study concluded that using technology to automate business operations lowers the cost thus increasing profitability. In addition to that, the study concluded that providing high quality products to customers builds customer loyalty which translates to improved performance. Similarly, the research concluded that lowering prices relative to that of competitors attracts more customers leading to increased sales volume. It was recommended that pharmaceutical firms should always aim at lowering the cost of production to reap optimal profits. However, these products should meet the quality demands in the market. It was also recommended that businesses should conduct customer satisfaction surveys to bridge the niche that may be identified. This way, businesses will be able to offer the relevant products and services and gain customer loyalty which eventually leads to increased profitability. In addition, it was recommended that non price competition strategies such as product packaging should be adopted by pharmaceutical firms to increase profitability. Customers would prefer to buy uniquely packaged products as they appear appealing. Future areas of study should focus on other competitive strategies since the three generic strategies that were identified did not account for 100% of the variation in performance of pharmaceutical firms.

Author Biographies

Grace Wanjiru Ngugi

Student, Master of Business Administration (Strategic Management) Kenyatta University, Kenya

Esther Gitonga

Lecturer, Department of Business Administration, Kenyatta University, Kenya

How to Cite
Ngugi, G., & Gitonga, E. (2021). Generic Strategies and Performance of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Companies in Nairobi County, Kenya. International Journal of Business Management, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 3(1), 17-35.