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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to study the relationship, if any, between the intellectual capital (IC) components, namely human, structural, and physical capitals with the traditional measures of performance of the company, namely profitability, productivity and market valuation. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Value added by IC (VAIC™) for top 25 firms in the drug and pharmaceutical industry in India, for a ten-year period from 1996 to 2006 is estimated. The evaluation is done on the basis of the ranking obtained by each firm in the VAIC index estimated. The analysis of correlation and simple linear multiple regression is done for the set of variables representing the performance of the firm and IC. Findings ‐ The domestic firms seem to be performing well and efficiently utilizing their IC as seen by the VAIC rankings. The empirical analysis found that the human capital was the one which was seen to have the major impact on the profitability and productivity of the firms over the period of study. Though there is a growing importance and efficiency in the utilization of the intellectual resources in the Indian pharmaceutical industry, the reflection of the same in creating an impact on the financial performance of the industry is seen to be missing in the empirical analysis. Research limitations/implications ‐ The results suggest that in Indian scenario, the market is under developed and yet to reflect the performance of the firms especially in terms of the efficiency parameters and more so in terms of IC efficiency. The stakeholders still perceive the performance of the firm in terms of tangible assets and less in terms of intangible assets. This opens up vistas for further exploration of the findings to prove/disprove the same in other industries. Practical implications ‐ The paper has strong theoretical foundations, which have a proven record and applications. The methodology adopted has been research tested. There is an urgent and immediate need that the policy makers and corporate decision makers wake up to the need and start taking up the voluntary disclosures of IC, so that the perception among the stakeholders regarding value creation in the firm may get even more transparent. Originality/value ‐ This is one of the pioneering and seminal attempts to evaluate the IC and its relationship with the traditional measures of corporate performance in Indian pharmaceutical industry. This paper adds to the existing literature, provides a new dimension of performance measurement for knowledge industries in emerging economies and would evoke further research interests to explore different aspects of IC management and measurement in these economies.