Gilead Sciences, Inc. SWOT Analysis / Matrix

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SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that can be used by Gilead Sciences, Inc. managers to do a situational analysis of the organization . It is a useful technique to evalauate the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Gilead Sciences, Inc. is facing in its current business environment.

The Gilead Sciences, Inc. is one of the leading organizatations in its industry. Gilead Sciences, Inc. maintains its prominent position in market by carefully analyzing and reviewing the SWOT analysis.  SWOT analysis a highly interactive process and requires effective coordination among various departments within the company such as – marketing, finance, operations, management information systems and strategic planning.


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The SWOT Analysis framework enables an organization to identify the internal strategic factors such as -strengths and weaknesses, & external strategic factors such as - opportunities and threats. It leads to a 2X2 matrix – also known as SWOT Matrix.

The Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis / Matrix enables the managers of the Gilead Sciences, Inc. to develop four types of strategies:

  • SO (strengths-opportunities) Strategies
  • WO (weaknesses-opportunities) Strategies
  • ST (strengths-threats) Strategies
  •  WT (weaknesses-threats) Strategies
Gilead Sciences, Inc. swot analysis / matrix

SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective

The core purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that an organization can utilize to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Gilead Sciences, Inc. strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.

Step by Step Guide to Gilead Sciences, Inc. SWOT Analysis

Strengths of Gilead Sciences, Inc. – Internal Strategic Factors


As one of the leading firms in its industry, Gilead Sciences, Inc. has numerous strengths that help it to thrive in the market place. These strengths not only help it to protect the market share in existing markets but also help in penetrating new markets. Based on Fern Fort University extensive research – some of the strengths of Gilead Sciences, Inc. are –


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  • Successful track record of developing new products – product innovation.
  • High level of customer satisfaction – the company with its dedicated customer relationship management department has able to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction among present customers and good brand equity among the potential customers.
  • Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. Gilead Sciences, Inc. is investing huge resources in training and development of its employees resulting in a workforce that is not only highly skilled but also motivated to achieve more.
  • Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years Gilead Sciences, Inc. has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Gilead Sciences, Inc. just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
  • Reliable suppliers – It has a strong base of reliable supplier of raw material thus enabling the company to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.
  • Superb Performance in New Markets – Gilead Sciences, Inc. has built expertise at entering new markets and making success of them. The expansion has helped the organization to build new revenue stream and diversify the economic cycle risk in the markets it operates in.
  • Strong distribution network – Over the years Gilead Sciences, Inc. has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
  • Strong dealer community – It has built a culture among distributor & dealers where the dealers not only promote company’s products but also invest in training the sales team to explain to the customer how he/she can extract the maximum benefits out of the products.


Weakness of Gilead Sciences, Inc. – Internal Strategic Factors


Weakness are the areas where Gilead Sciences, Inc. can improve upon. Strategy is about making choices and weakness are the areas where a firm can improve using SWOT analysis and build on its competitive advantage and strategic positioning.


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  • High attrition rate in work force – compare to other organizations in the industry Gilead Sciences, Inc. has a higher attrition rate and have to spend a lot more compare to its competitors on training and development of its employees.
  • There are gaps in the product range sold by the company. This lack of choice can give a new competitor a foothold in the market.
  • The company has not being able to tackle the challenges present by the new entrants in the segment and has lost small market share in the niche categories. Gilead Sciences, Inc. has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.
  • Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, Gilead Sciences, Inc. needs to put more money in technology to integrate the processes across the board. Right now the investment in technologies is not at par with the vision of the company.
  • Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
  • Financial planning is not done properly and efficiently. The current asset ratio and liquid asset ratios suggest that the company can use the cash more efficiently than what it is doing at present.
  • Not highly successful at integrating firms with different work culture. As mentioned earlier even though Gilead Sciences, Inc. is successful at integrating small companies it has its share of failure to merge firms that have different work culture.

Opportunities for Gilead Sciences, Inc. – External Strategic Factors


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  • Stable free cash flow provides opportunities to invest in adjacent product segments. With more cash in bank the company can invest in new technologies as well as in new products segments. This should open a window of opportunity for Gilead Sciences, Inc. in other product categories.
  • Organization’s core competencies can be a success in similar other products field. A comparative example could be - GE healthcare research helped it in developing better Oil drilling machines.
  • The new technology provides an opportunity to Gilead Sciences, Inc. to practices differentiated pricing strategy in the new market. It will enable the firm to maintain its loyal customers with great service and lure new customers through other value oriented propositions.
  • Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of Gilead Sciences, Inc..
  • Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided Gilead Sciences, Inc. an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
  • The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable Gilead Sciences, Inc. to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
  • Economic uptick and increase in customer spending, after years of recession and slow growth rate in the industry, is an opportunity for Gilead Sciences, Inc. to capture new customers and increase its market share.
  • The new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as Gilead Sciences, Inc. to increase its profitability.

Threats Gilead Sciences, Inc. Facing - External Strategic Factors

  • Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to Gilead Sciences, Inc.’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income markets.
  • Intense competition – Stable profitability has increased the number of players in the industry over last two years which has put downward pressure on not only profitability but also on overall sales.
  • Changing consumer buying behavior from online channel could be a threat to the existing physical infrastructure driven supply chain model.
  • Liability laws in different countries are different and Gilead Sciences, Inc. may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
  • Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of Gilead Sciences, Inc.
  • Shortage of skilled workforce in certain global market represents a threat to steady growth of profits for Gilead Sciences, Inc.   in those markets.
  • New technologies developed by the competitor or market disruptor could be a serious threat to the industry in medium to long term future.
  • As the company is operating in numerous countries it is exposed to currency fluctuations especially given the volatile political climate in number of markets across the world.

Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Gilead Sciences, Inc.

Although the SWOT analysis is widely used as a strategic planning tool, the analysis does have its share of limitations.

  • Certain capabilities or factors of an organization can be both a strength and weakness at the same time. This is one of the major limitations of SWOT analysis . For example changing environmental regulations can be both a threat to company it can also be an opportunity in a sense that it will enable the company to be on a level playing field or at advantage to competitors if it able to develop the products faster than the competitors.
  • SWOT does not show how to achieve a competitive advantage, so it must not be an end in itself.
  • The matrix is only a starting point for a discussion on how proposed strategies could be implemented. It provided an evaluation window but not an implementation plan based on strategic competitiveness of Gilead Sciences, Inc.
  • SWOT is a static assessment - analysis of status quo with few prospective changes. As circumstances, capabilities, threats, and strategies change, the dynamics of a competitive environment may not be revealed in a single matrix.
  • SWOT analysis may lead the firm to overemphasize a single internal or external factor in formulating strategies. There are interrelationships among the key internal and external factors that SWOT does not reveal that may be important in devising strategies.

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Weighted SWOT Analysis of Gilead Sciences, Inc.

In light of the above mentioned limitations of the SWOT analysis / matrix, corporate managers decided to provide weightage to each internal strength and weakness of the firm. Organizations also assess the likelihood of events taking place in the coming future and how strong their impact could be on company's performance.

This method is called Weighted SWOT analysis. It is better than doing simplistic SWOT analysis because with Weighted SWOT Analysis Gilead Sciences, Inc. managers can focus on the most critical factors and discount the non-important one. It also solves the long list problem where organizations ends up making a long list but none of the factors deemed too critical.

Limitation of Weighted SWOT analysis of Gilead Sciences, Inc.

This approach also suffers from one major drawback - it focus on individual importance of factor rather than how they are collectively important and impact the business holistically.

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Example of Weighted SWOT Analysis

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SWOT Worksheet & Template

If you like to do your own SWOT analysis or want to make your own Weighted SWOT SWOT matrix then feel free to download Fern Fort University SWOT Analysis Template.


References / Citations & Bibliography

  • M. E. Porter, Competitive Strategy(New York: Free Press, 1980)
  • A. D. Chandler, Strategy and Structure (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1962)
  • O. E. Williamson, Markets and Hierarchies(New York: Free Press, 1975);
  • L. Wrigley, Divisional Autonomy and Diversification (PhD, Harvard Business School, 1970)
  • R. E. White, Generic Business Strategies, Organizational Context and Performance: An Empirical Investigation, Strategic Management Journal7 (1986)