Strategic Marketing Prospects for Developing Sustainable Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Businesses in the Indian Himalayan Region

Research Paper


Among the non-timber forest products, the medicinal and aromatic plants (MAP) are key forest resources for the world’s herbal medicine, cosmetics, health food and other natural products industries. MAP businesses are continuing to increase in many biodiversity-rich areas of the world. The overharvesting and depletion of forest based MAP and their unregulated trade are creating ecosystem and business sustainability issues for the MAP industry. This paper assesses the current state of the MAP industry in Uttarakhand State in the northwestern Himalayan region of India and offers marketing strategies for the conservation and sustainable commercialization of MAP in this region. A qualitative research method was first used involving interviews with policymakers and other industry stakeholders including local MAP traders and growers. A strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis and a quantitative strategic planning matrix analysis were then conducted to identify appropriate marketing strategies. The study reveals that the existing practices of MAP businesses in Uttarakhand are inconsistent with the plants’ conservation requirements and the livelihoods of the primary producers. In its current form, the region’s MAP industry is therefore in a precarious position. However, if policymakers consider and act on the industry’s strengths and opportunities they could positively influence its sustainable development and help to minimize the negative impacts of the trade on the region’s forest MAP resources.


Medicinal and aromatic plants Natural resource businesses Sustainable commercialization Strategic marketing SWOT analysis QSPM analysis 



We thank Dr. Chandra P. Kuniyal, Scientist, Herbal Research and Development Institute, Gopeshwar Chamoli for providing key references on the MAPs of Uttarakhand. The authors are also thankful to the anonymous reviewers, and the journal editors for their developmental comments and suggestions throughout the revise and resubmit process.

Supplementary material

11842_2018_9396_MOESM1_ESM.docx (18 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 18 kb)


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Copyright information

© Steve Harrison, John Herbohn 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management StudiesIndian Institute of Technology RoorkeeRoorkeeIndia

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