Is Lilly under-appreciated?

Indianapolis has always had Eli Lilly and Co., it seems, and Lilly always seems to care for Indianapolis like a rich uncle.

People employed directly by Lilly and by companies doing business with Lilly account for about one of every 30 jobs in the
metro area, a new IU study shows.
(The figures, from 2007, donâ??t count later layoffs.)

Lilly also accounts for about one of every 30 dollars generated by the stateâ??s economy.

Those figures understate the companyâ??s significance. Lilly people donate countless hours to not-for-profit groups and are
responsible for untold influence on economic development, particularly life sciences, one of the stateâ??s few bright spots.

Consider Gus Watanabe, the former Lilly research director who died recently after cutting a wide swath through the budding
life sciences sector. Another is Chuck Schalliol, who left Lilly and quietly pushed several life sciences seed funds into
existence, and then helped straighten out the stateâ??s tangled finances as the stateâ??s first budget director under Gov. Mitch
Daniels.

Asked once what would happen to Indianapolis if Lilly were ever to be acquired, former Mayor Steve Goldsmith quipped, â??God
would not let that happen.â??

How do you feel about Lilly? Is the company taken for granted?

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: IBJ is now using a new comment system. Your Disqus account will no longer work on the IBJ site. Instead, you can leave a comment on stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Past comments are not currently showing up on stories, but they will be added in the coming weeks. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.