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Product strategy vis-à-vis environment: are strategies of pesticide manufacturers in India sustainable?

  • Sapna A. Narula
  • K.M. Upadhyay
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    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present strategic responses of leading Indian pesticide manufacturers to the voice of stakeholders and regulatory authorities regarding environment friendly products and processes. The study has made a unique attempt to analyze the product portfolio of selected Indian vs multinational companies with respect to market attractiveness as well as environmental attractiveness. Design/methodology/approach – A comparison of corporate, business and operational level strategies of domestic vs multinational companies impacting environment has been made by selecting two companies of each type from the industry on the basis of their turnover. The product portfolios of selected companies have been analyzed on the basis of a matrix constructed for market attractiveness and environmental attractiveness. Findings – The study finds that both domestic and multinational companies have been making efforts to reorient their product strategy towards a relatively greener portfolio. Also, multinationals are having more environmentally safer products than their domestic counterparts. Indian firms have been catching up by acquiring brands/companies to expand/reorient their product portfolios, whereas multinationals have been adopting merger and acquisition strategies as well as launching new products using indigenous research and development of their parent companies. Related diversification is the preferred strategic move by both the groups, though in different areas. Practical implications – The study classifies the products of various companies on the basis of market as well as environmental attractiveness and also recommends the strategies to manage a product portfolio. Similar kind of portfolios could be constructed and used for analyzing the product mix of firms in other sectors. Originality/value – The originality of the study lies in the fact that, although the pesticide industry is very important to study from both an environmental and a strategic perspective, no effort has ever been made to study the environmental strategies of firms and also the comparison of domestic as well as multinational firms. The product portfolio based on market as well as environmental attractiveness devised in the study is novel in nature.

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    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Social Responsibility Journal.

    Volume (Year): 7 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2 (July)
    Pages: 282-294

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:srjpps:v:6:y:2010:i:2:p:282-294
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    1. Henriques, Irene & Sadorsky, Perry, 1996. "The Determinants of an Environmentally Responsive Firm: An Empirical Approach," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 381-395, May.
    2. Gordon E. Greenley, 1997. "Multiple Stakeholder Orientation in UK Companies and the Implications for Company Performance," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(2), pages 259-284, 03.
    3. Bonifant, Benjamin C. & Arnold, Matthew B. & Long, Frederick J., 1995. "Gaining competitive advantage through environmental investments," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 37-47.
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