Product strategy vis-a
are strategies of pesticide manufacturers
in India sustainable?
Sapna A. Narula and K.M. Upadhyay
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
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.
Keywords Pesticides, India, Corporate strategy, Environmental management, Product management,
Paper type Research paper
Businesses all over the world are responding towards the voice to save environment. Some
are doing it proactively; others are forced to do it as a result of stakeholders’ pressures
(Bowen, 2000, 2002) The response has come in terms of launching green products,
transforming processes and changing systems to satisfy the stakeholders inﬂuencing the
ﬁrms’ strategies. Several studies oriented to strategic management and corporate
environmental responses as a result of stakeholders’ pressures are available
(Aragon-Correa, 1998; Bowen, 2002; Klassen, 2001). Studies suggest that stakeholder
pressures are critical drivers of corporate environmental response (Berry and Rondinelli,
1998; Hoffman and Ventresca, 2002). Stakeholders also play a signiﬁcant role in inﬂuencing
SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY JOURNAL
VOL. 7 NO. 2 2011, pp. 282-294, Q Emerald Group Publishing Limited, ISSN 1747-1117 DOI 10.1108/17471111111141530
Sapna A. Narula is
Assistant Professor at the
College of Agribusiness
Management, G.B. Pant
University of Agriculture
and Technology, Pantnagar,
India and TERI University,
New Delhi, India.
K.M. Upadhyay is Senior
Professor at Jaipuria
Institute of Management,
New Delhi, India.