Case Study

Tiger Balm: The jewel in the crown

6 pages
December 2014
Reference: IMD-7-1616

In 2014 Mr Han Ah Kuan, executive director of Haw Par’s Healthcare Division, was pleased with what had been achieved since he took charge in March 1991. The division’s revenues had grown substantially between 1991 and 2013. Operating profit margins were healthy and the return on assets employed quite acceptable. The Tiger Balm business, which was the division’s jewel in the crown, had been revitalized and Tiger Balm products were distributed in 74 countries in 2013. New products aimed at younger consumers had contributed significantly to the growth of the business. The business might have been even larger if it had not been for the regulatory constraints that it faced. Because its products were considered to be pharmaceutical products, new ones had to be approved before they could be launched in each country, and this had led to significant lags in their introduction in many countries. There were also rules restricting where the products could be sold and what was permissible for advertising and promotion. Mr Han’s key priority going forward was to continue to grow the business without sacrificing profitability, and he knew that identifying and implementing the right growth option would be critical to the future success of Haw Par’s healthcare business.

Learning Objective

Developing a growth strategy which balances market share and financial objectives. Managing regulatory constraints.

Consumer Goods, Packaged Product, Pharmaceuticals, Growth Strategy, Branding, Advertising, Promotion
Asia, Singapore
Haw Par Corporation, Healthcare
Field Research
© 2014
Available Languages
Case clearing houses
IMD case studies are distributed through case clearing houses. In order to browse the collection and purchase copies please visit the links below.

The Case Centre

Cranfield University

Wharley End Beds MK43 0JR, UK
Tel +44 (0)1234 750903
Email [email protected]

Harvard Business School Publishing

60 Harvard Way, Boston MA 02163, USA
Tel (800) 545-7685 Tel (617)-783-7600
Fax (617) 783-7666
Email [email protected]

Asia Pacific Case Center

NUCB Business School

1-3-1 Nishiki Naka
Nagoya Aichi, Japan 460-0003
Tel +81 52 20 38 111
Email [email protected]


Research Information & Knowledge Hub for additional information on IMD publications

Discover our latest research
IMD's faculty and research teams publish articles, case studies, books and reports on a wide range of topics