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Company > Novartis: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Novartis: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Published: Jan 10, 2023

Inside This Article


    Novartis, a leading multinational pharmaceutical company, has emerged as a key player in the healthcare industry. This blog article delves into Novartis' business model, providing insights into the company's strategies, revenue streams, and core competencies. A SWOT analysis highlights Novartis' strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, shedding light on its current position in the market. Additionally, this article examines Novartis' competitors, exploring the competitive landscape and potential challenges the company may face in 2023.

    What You Will Learn:

    • Who owns Novartis and the significance of its ownership structure in the pharmaceutical industry.
    • The mission statement of Novartis and how it guides the company's goals and actions.
    • How Novartis generates revenue and the key factors that contribute to its financial success.
    • An explanation of Novartis' Business Model Canvas, showcasing the various elements that drive its business operations.
    • An overview of the major competitors in the pharmaceutical industry and how Novartis positions itself in the market.
    • A comprehensive SWOT analysis of Novartis, evaluating its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the industry.

    Who owns Novartis?

    Novartis Ownership Structure

    Novartis, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, has a complex ownership structure. The company is publicly traded on various stock exchanges, which means that its ownership is distributed among numerous shareholders.

    Shareholder Breakdown

    As of the latest available information, Novartis has a diverse set of shareholders, including institutional investors, mutual funds, and individual investors.

    One of the largest shareholders is BlackRock, a leading investment management corporation headquartered in the United States. BlackRock holds a significant stake in Novartis, making it one of the major institutional investors in the company.

    Another notable shareholder is The Vanguard Group, an American investment company that manages assets for various clients, including individual and institutional investors. The Vanguard Group also owns a substantial portion of Novartis shares.

    Additionally, Novartis has a significant number of individual shareholders. These individual investors can range from private individuals to employees who participate in the company's employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). Such ownership plans allow employees to own shares in the company, aligning their interests with the company's success.

    Government Ownership

    It is important to note that Novartis does not have any direct government ownership. However, governments or government-related entities may indirectly own Novartis shares through various investment funds or sovereign wealth funds. These investments are typically managed by financial institutions on behalf of the government.


    Novartis has a diverse ownership structure, with a range of institutional investors, mutual funds, individual investors, and possibly indirect government ownership through investment funds. This diverse ownership ensures that the company is accountable to a broad base of stakeholders, contributing to its stability and long-term growth.

    What is the mission statement of Novartis?

    Novartis' Mission Statement: Empowering people to live healthier lives

    When it comes to understanding a company's core purpose and direction, the mission statement serves as a guiding light. Novartis, a global healthcare company, has a clear and concise mission statement that encapsulates its ambition and commitment to improving people's lives.

    Novartis' mission statement is, "To discover new ways to improve and extend people's lives." This mission statement reflects the company's dedication to innovation, research, and development in the field of healthcare. Novartis aims to go beyond traditional medical solutions, pushing boundaries to find novel therapies and treatments that can make a meaningful impact on patients' well-being.

    The company's mission statement emphasizes the importance of improving and extending lives, showcasing its focus on both quantity and quality of life. Novartis understands that advancements in medical science can not only help individuals live longer but also enhance their overall health and well-being. This commitment is evident in the company's diverse portfolio of products and services that cater to various medical needs, ranging from pharmaceuticals and generics to eye care and digital health solutions.

    Novartis' mission statement also reflects its dedication to empowering people. The company recognizes that healthcare is a collaborative effort, involving patients, healthcare professionals, and communities. Novartis strives to empower individuals with the knowledge, tools, and treatments necessary to manage their health effectively and proactively. Through education, advocacy, and accessible healthcare solutions, Novartis aims to ensure that people can lead healthier and more fulfilling lives.

    In summary, Novartis' mission statement of "To discover new ways to improve and extend people's lives" encapsulates its commitment to innovation, research, and development in healthcare. The company's focus on empowering individuals and enhancing both the quantity and quality of life reflects its dedication to making a positive impact on society. Novartis continues to strive towards its mission, driven by a passion for improving global health outcomes.

    How does Novartis make money?


    Novartis primarily generates revenue through its pharmaceutical division. The company develops and manufactures a wide range of prescription drugs to treat various medical conditions. Novartis focuses on therapeutic areas such as oncology, cardiology, neuroscience, immunology, and respiratory diseases. With a strong research and development pipeline, the company constantly brings new drugs to market, driving sales growth.

    Generic Medicines

    In addition to its branded pharmaceuticals, Novartis also generates revenue from the sale of generic medicines. These are non-branded, lower-cost versions of patented drugs that become available once the original patent expires. Novartis has a separate division called Sandoz, which specializes in the development and production of generic pharmaceuticals. This allows the company to cater to a broader market by providing affordable alternatives to branded drugs.

    Eye Care

    Novartis is a major player in the global eye care market. Through its subsidiary Alcon, the company offers a wide range of products for eye health, including surgical equipment, contact lenses, and pharmaceuticals for eye diseases. Alcon's portfolio includes popular brands such as Opti-Free, Systane, and Travatan. Novartis leverages its extensive distribution network to reach healthcare professionals and consumers worldwide, contributing to significant revenue in the eye care segment.


    Another revenue stream for Novartis is the production and sale of biosimilar products. Biosimilars are highly similar versions of biologic medicines that have already been approved by regulatory authorities. Novartis has invested in biosimilar development, particularly in the areas of oncology and immunology. By offering more affordable alternatives to expensive biologic drugs, Novartis aims to expand patient access to critical treatments while capturing additional market share.

    Other Revenue Streams

    Novartis also generates revenue through various other channels. This includes the sale of over-the-counter (OTC) products, such as cough syrups and pain relievers, through its subsidiary Novartis Consumer Health. Additionally, the company earns income through licensing agreements, collaborations, and partnerships with other pharmaceutical companies. These arrangements often involve the development, manufacturing, or commercialization of specific drugs or technologies.

    Overall, Novartis employs a diversified business model to generate revenue across multiple segments of the healthcare industry. By combining its expertise in pharmaceuticals, generics, eye care, biosimilars, and other product offerings, Novartis maintains a strong position in the global market and continues to drive financial growth.

    Novartis Business Model Canvas Explained

    What is the Business Model Canvas?

    The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management tool that helps organizations visualize, analyze, and describe their business models. It provides a comprehensive framework that incorporates key aspects of a company's operations, including its value proposition, customer segments, revenue streams, key activities, resources, and partnerships.

    Novartis and its Business Model Canvas

    Novartis, one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies, utilizes the Business Model Canvas to outline and understand its operations. By using this tool, Novartis can gain a holistic view of its business model and identify areas for improvement and innovation.

    Key Components of Novartis' Business Model Canvas

    1. Value Proposition

    Novartis focuses on providing innovative healthcare solutions that address unmet medical needs. The company invests heavily in research and development to discover and develop breakthrough drugs and therapies. Novartis' value proposition lies in its ability to offer effective and safe treatments that improve patients' lives.

    2. Customer Segments

    Novartis serves a diverse range of customer segments, including patients, healthcare professionals, hospitals, pharmacies, and insurance companies. By understanding the specific needs and preferences of each segment, Novartis tailors its products and services to meet their requirements effectively.

    3. Revenue Streams

    The primary revenue stream for Novartis comes from the sale of its pharmaceutical products and treatments. The company also generates revenue through licensing agreements, collaborations, and strategic partnerships. Novartis constantly seeks opportunities to expand its revenue streams by exploring new markets and investing in innovative therapies.

    4. Key Activities

    Novartis engages in various key activities to deliver its value proposition. These activities include research and development, clinical trials, manufacturing, marketing and sales, regulatory compliance, and post-market surveillance. By excelling in these key activities, Novartis ensures the quality and safety of its products while maintaining regulatory compliance.

    5. Resources

    Novartis relies on a wide range of resources to support its operations. These resources include highly skilled scientists and researchers, state-of-the-art laboratories and manufacturing facilities, intellectual property, financial capital, and a strong global network of partners and suppliers. By leveraging these resources effectively, Novartis can drive innovation and maintain a competitive edge in the pharmaceutical industry.

    6. Partnerships

    Novartis recognizes the importance of strategic partnerships to enhance its business model. The company collaborates with academic institutions, research organizations, and other pharmaceutical companies to share knowledge, expertise, and resources. Novartis also forms partnerships with healthcare providers and patient advocacy groups to improve patient access to its treatments and services.


    By utilizing the Business Model Canvas, Novartis gains a comprehensive understanding of its business model and can identify opportunities for growth and innovation. The company's focus on delivering innovative healthcare solutions, serving diverse customer segments, and leveraging strategic partnerships has enabled it to establish itself as a global leader in the pharmaceutical industry.

    Which companies are the competitors of Novartis?


    Novartis, a multinational pharmaceutical company, operates in a highly competitive industry where several other companies strive to gain market share and develop innovative healthcare solutions. In this section, we will explore some of the main competitors of Novartis and highlight their key areas of focus.


    Pfizer is a leading global pharmaceutical company known for its diverse portfolio of products across various therapeutic areas. With a strong emphasis on research and development, Pfizer invests heavily in discovering breakthrough treatments and improving patient outcomes. The company's wide range of offerings includes prescription medicines, vaccines, and consumer healthcare products. Pfizer's notable competitors include Novartis in areas such as oncology, immunology, and cardiology.


    Roche, a Swiss multinational healthcare company, is another significant player in the pharmaceutical industry and a direct competitor to Novartis. Roche focuses on developing innovative medicines and diagnostics to address unmet medical needs. With a strong presence in oncology, immunology, and infectious diseases, Roche aims to provide personalized healthcare solutions. The competition between Novartis and Roche is particularly intense in the field of cancer therapeutics.

    Johnson & Johnson

    Johnson & Johnson, a renowned global healthcare company, operates in multiple sectors, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and consumer health products. In the pharmaceutical segment, Johnson & Johnson competes with Novartis in various therapeutic areas such as immunology, cardiovascular diseases, and neurology. Both companies have a strong research and development pipeline, striving to bring innovative treatments to patients worldwide.

    Merck & Co.

    Merck & Co., known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, is a leading pharmaceutical company with a broad range of prescription medicines, vaccines, and animal health products. Merck & Co. competes with Novartis in several therapeutic areas, including oncology, infectious diseases, and cardiovascular diseases. The company's commitment to scientific excellence and patient-focused innovation drives its competitive position in the industry.


    Novartis operates in a competitive landscape where several prominent pharmaceutical companies strive to excel in research, development, and commercialization of innovative healthcare solutions. Pfizer, Roche, Johnson & Johnson, and Merck & Co. are some of the key competitors challenging Novartis in multiple therapeutic areas. As the industry continues to evolve, competition between these companies will likely drive further advancements in medical treatments and ultimately benefit patients around the world.

    Novartis SWOT Analysis


    • Novartis has a strong global presence with operations in more than 140 countries. This allows the company to tap into diverse markets and benefit from economies of scale.
    • The company has a robust research and development (R&D) pipeline, which enables the development of innovative and effective drugs. This gives Novartis a competitive edge in the pharmaceutical industry.
    • Novartis has a strong brand reputation and is recognized as a leading player in the healthcare sector. This helps in attracting and retaining talented professionals and also instills trust among customers.
    • The company has a diversified portfolio of products, ranging from pharmaceuticals to generics, over-the-counter drugs, and eye care products. This diversification reduces the risk associated with dependence on a single product category.


    • Novartis faces the challenge of patent expirations, which can result in the loss of market exclusivity for some of its key drugs. This exposes the company to competition from generic drug manufacturers, leading to potential revenue decline.
    • The company has faced criticism and legal challenges related to pricing practices. These controversies can damage Novartis' reputation and lead to regulatory scrutiny, which can impact its financial performance.
    • Novartis has a complex organizational structure, with multiple business units and divisions. This can lead to coordination and communication challenges, potentially affecting operational efficiency.


    • The aging global population presents a significant opportunity for Novartis, as it increases the demand for healthcare services and pharmaceutical products. The company can capitalize on this trend by developing drugs and treatments specifically targeted towards age-related diseases.
    • The growing prevalence of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer, provides an opportunity for Novartis to develop new therapies and treatment options. This can help the company expand its market share and revenue streams.
    • Novartis can leverage advancements in technology, such as artificial intelligence and big data analytics, to enhance its R&D capabilities. This can lead to faster and more efficient drug discovery and development processes.


    • The pharmaceutical industry is highly regulated, and changes in regulations can impact Novartis' operations and profitability. Compliance with evolving regulations can be costly and time-consuming, potentially affecting the company's financial performance.
    • Intense competition within the industry poses a threat to Novartis. Rival companies, including both multinational corporations and generic drug manufacturers, constantly strive to develop and market competitive products. This can impact Novartis' market share and revenue growth.
    • The emergence of new technologies and disruptive business models, such as telemedicine and digital health platforms, pose a threat to traditional pharmaceutical companies like Novartis. These innovations have the potential to change the dynamics of the healthcare industry and require Novartis to adapt and stay ahead of the curve.

    Key Takeaways

    • Novartis is a multinational pharmaceutical company, and it is owned by its shareholders.
    • The mission statement of Novartis is to discover, develop, and successfully market innovative products to prevent and cure diseases, improve patient well-being, and enhance the quality of life.
    • Novartis generates revenue through the sale of pharmaceutical products, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and generics, as well as through its eye care division Alcon.
    • Novartis' business model canvas is based on key activities such as research and development, manufacturing, marketing, and sales, supported by strategic partnerships and collaborations.
    • Novartis faces competition from other major pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, Roche, Johnson & Johnson, and Merck & Co. In the generics segment, it competes with companies like Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Mylan.
    • A SWOT analysis of Novartis reveals its strengths in research and development capabilities, a diverse product portfolio, and a global presence. However, it faces challenges such as patent expirations and generic competition, as well as external threats like regulatory changes and pricing pressures.


    In conclusion, Novartis, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, is owned by a diverse group of shareholders. Its mission statement focuses on discovering, developing, and marketing innovative healthcare products to improve and extend people's lives. Novartis generates its revenue through various channels, including the sales of prescription drugs, generic medicines, and consumer health products. By analyzing the Novartis Business Model Canvas, we can understand how the company creates and delivers value to its customers.

    In terms of competition, Novartis faces numerous rivals in the pharmaceutical industry. Some of its main competitors include Pfizer, Roche, Johnson & Johnson, and Merck. These companies constantly vie for market share and strive to develop breakthrough therapies and treatments to meet the ever-evolving needs of the healthcare sector.

    Lastly, a SWOT analysis of Novartis reveals its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The company's strengths lie in its strong research and development capabilities, global presence, and diverse product portfolio. However, it also faces challenges such as patent expirations and increasing regulatory requirements. Nevertheless, Novartis has identified several opportunities, such as expanding into emerging markets and investing in digital healthcare solutions, to drive future growth.

    Overall, Novartis continues to be a leading player in the pharmaceutical industry, driven by its mission, diverse revenue streams, and strategic initiatives. With a keen eye on its competitors and a focus on leveraging its strengths and opportunities, Novartis is well-positioned to navigate the challenges of the ever-changing healthcare landscape and deliver on its commitment to improving patient outcomes.

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