Our heritage—beginning with the vision and values of the Lilly family—is our foundation. It teaches us the lessons of the past, providing inspiration from our successes and rooting us in a way of doing business that has stood the test of time.
“Take what you find here and make it better and better. No business worthwhile can be built on anything but the best in everything.”
-Colonel Eli Lilly, 1882
Eli Lilly, a global research-based company, opened its Philippine office in 1961.Originally founded by Colonel Eli Lilly in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA in 1876. A 38-year old chemist and a veteran of the US civil war, Colonel Lilly was frustrated by the poorly prepared, often ineffective medicines of his day. Consequently, he made these commitments to himself and to society:
- He would found a company that manufactured pharmaceutical products of the highest possible quality
- His company would develop only medicines that would be dispensed at the suggestions of physicians rather than eloquent sideshow hucksters
- Lilly pharmaceuticals would be based on the best science of the day
Although his business flourished, Colonel Lilly was not satisfied with the traditional methods of testing the quality of his products. He was one of the first in the business to rely on pharmaceutical chemistry.
In 1886, he hired a young chemist to function as full-time scientist, using and improving upon the newest techniques for quality evaluation. Together, they laid the foundation for the Lilly tradition: a dedication that first concentrated on the quality of existing products and later expanded to include the discovery and development of new and better pharmaceuticals.
Since our founding in 1876, Lilly have pioneered medical breakthroughs like human insulin, the polio vaccine and many other therapies in the field of cancer, diabetes, mental health and osteoporosis.
Eventually, Colonel Lilly’s son, Josiah K. Lilly Sr., and two grandsons, Eli Lilly and Josiah K. Lilly, Jr., each served as president of the company. And each contributed a distinctive approach to management. Together, these management styles established a corporate culture in which Lilly employees were viewed as the company’s most valuable assets, a belief that is still the cornerstone of our corporate philosophy.