Monsanto Corporation Essay

1155 words - 5 pages

Monsanto Corporation was originally a part-time venture manufacturing saccharin. From early 1900s to the end of the 20th century it went through a series of changes and in 1997 it is a $US billion multinational life sciences company. Although, Monsanto has operated historically in the chemicals industry, it has undertaken initiatives to be a major player in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and food ingredients.The new management team had identified two major strategies. First, the company was attempting to reposition itself as a major player in the life sciences field. Second, the company was making efforts to establish a global strategy, instead of one dominated by the US market.The new Monsanto had operated in three core areas: agricultural chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and food ingredients. It was implementing a process called transformational management, which calls for remaking the firm into a set of activities that are manageable in the sense of fitting a coherent whole, but which predict future market and technological changes in the core businesses. Monsanto was transforming both the firm and its businesses. First, they defined a new competitive environment in which a company wanted to operate. Second, the company defined its future as a time of opportunity for products that are environmentally friendly and that contributes to human and animal wellness. To do this, it had to exclude those commodity chemicals that had been the mainstay of the company for about a century. Next step, was to implement a process of placing the company into a position to take maximum advantage of that future. The life sciences model asked for a reformulation of the strategies for the remaining. The final part of transformational management was to bring customers and potential customers to believe in the same view of the world, and thus bringing them to products and services that meet the future needs. In the life sciences field, Monsanto would need to compete with companies such as Novartis, Pfizer, American Home Products, Pharmacia &Upjohn, Genetech, and International Flavors & Fragrances.In May 1995, Monsanto was described as "heart-breaker" due to two major problems. In the previous 15-20 years, the company had disappointed investors by no consistent earnings growth. The second problem was its poor record of investment activities. Again and again, the company invested in apparently promising new business opportunities, only to report poor return on investment. By the end of 1996, it announced of a spin off in the chemicals business. As the chemical businesses reported poor growth, the focus would be to cut costs, improving the bottom line, and making the chemicals unit a later target as a sell-off candidate.Recently, Monsanto was successful in transforming its major subsidiary G.D Searle. Searle had not taken a product from clinical trials to commercialization, since it was acquired in 1985. A company-wide "redesign initiative" was implemented to...

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