India’s Largest Diagnostic Centres

Diagnosis and a Cure

Creating a new brand identity for a chain of Diagnostic Centres

Client Profile: Piramal Diagnostics, part of the conglomerate, the Piramal group, was a chain of a 100 plus diagnostic centres spread across the country. The Piramal Group, led by Ajay Piramal is a family owned corporate giant with interests in healthcare, finance, real estate and glass packaging.

The business challenge

It was a highly fragmented landscape and in this, the client saw a clear opportunity to grow their business. They felt that while they had a good market share, the level of mindshare wasn’t the same. In order to garner this share and to ensure that they had a high brand recall in the mind of the customer, they needed to revamp their brand positioning and market communication strategy.

What We Did

Phase 1: Created the Brand Identity: 

The first step was an internal scan to understand the vision and values of the brand as envisioned by the team. The next steps involved understanding the market, the opportunities, the customer and their requirements. 

Armed with all this information, we used our proprietary tool, Vintellity, which looks at the three dimensions of heritage, intelligence and personality of the brand, to then arrive at the Vertebrand Arrow. This in turn pointed us towards the new positioning and identity of the brand. 

Phase 2: Implementation and monitoring:

The next phase was a critical one, where all the strategies outlined needed to be put into place and monitored for any required course corrections.

What We Found Out

We found, that as an organisation, Piramal Diagnostics (PDSL) was run in a decentralised fashion with each centre having its own head. These leaders came not only with a wealth of expertise and experience but also had the passion to grow their own centres. Hence, this could be harnessed to become a key value of the brand.

In the healthcare industry, an accurate and timely diagnosis is often the key differentiator between good and bad health care. Hence diagnostic centres play a key role. Most of these centres treated the business in a very transactional manner and lacked any softer service skills. They lacked warmth and understanding, as perceived by the customer. 

We also found that going forward, the patient would have a strong voice when it came to choosing where they got their tests done and this would not be solely at the discretion of the referring doctor.

In this market, technical innovation and expertise was a given, however, in order to create a differentiated platform for PDSL, they would need to go the extra mile to create that brand salience in the mind of the customer.

Our Solution

Brand Identity: 

The organisation should be seen to be process driven with a passionate commitment to technology, accuracy and timeliness. They should be customer oriented, warm and understanding.

The core brand valences that were chosen as being most significant for the brand were scientific accuracy, passionate and caring.  From these we distilled down the brand essence of 

“Expertise with Passion”

This brand essence would permeate all their future marketing communication as well as all the different ways in which the customer would interact with the brand, including the appearance of the staff and the overall ambience of their centres. 

From a retail structure point of view, Piramal Diagnostics would need to look at their business as a “college” of expert and experienced doctors, heading their different centres. Each centre would be empowered enough to build their business, while keeping in mind the brand positioning, and a focus on outstanding levels of accuracy and customer service.

We recommended that they should open Platinum Flagship centres where the level of service provided to the customer would be par excellence.

For their product offering, PDSL should provide the largest range of pathological and radiological tests in the country, with the select flagship centres offering super speciality tests as well.

The staff of each centre should be trained and well versed on how to interact with the customer in a helpful, informative and efficient manner.

Marketing communication for PDSL would focus on key locations at Tier 1 and Tier 2 towns. Relevant and effective promotions were discussed and outlined as well, which would target both the core customer as well as the referral doctors. A programme to build employee satisfaction and loyalty was also put into place. 

The Results :

The company implemented the strategies outlined and grew to become India’s largest and most recognisable chain of diagnostic centres. They offered the best and widest range of radiological and pathological tests.

In the year 2010, the Piramal Group sold Piramal Diagnostic Services Pvt Ltd to Super Religare Laboratories for a sum of Rs 600 crores. However, they continue to be involved in the business by way of representation on the board of directors and the executive committee. 

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