GE Healthcare in India: An (Ultra)Sound Strategy?
This case outlines the dilemma of V. Raja, president and CEO of GE Healthcare India, when the company's ultrasound machines were implicated in many cases of prenatal sex determination. Even in the 21st century, Indian society favored males and many in India saw females as a burden on their families. Studies had shown that fewer and fewer girls were being born, with potentially catastrophic results for future Indian society. The reason: Many women were relying on ultrasound machines to determine the gender of their fetus and, if it were a girl, having abortions. Raja knew that GE Healthcare and ultrasound machines were providing much better medical care for Indians, particularly those in rural communities, and that the company was following all the rules and regulations to prevent this type of abuse. But he also understood the social issues that were involved. Ultrasound machine sales had enormous potential to help maintain GE's market-leading position in India. But should the company step back from its aggressive sales strategy? How could Raja and the company alleviate the growing discontent among critics and the media against the practice of prenatal sex determination testing using GE's ultrasound machines? What additional efforts did GE need to make to prove its intentions of promoting prenatal care? What other efforts should the company make to stop the illicit prenatal gender determination and resulting abortions? How could he protect the as yet untarnished image of GE as a responsible corporation going forward?