Indian Neem Oil Products and Grassroots Diplomacy

Part 1: 


The Facts 

  • Neem is indigenous to India and is considered sacred
  • neem used extensively over the past 2,000 years for medicinal purposes, food production, toiletries, fuel, and pesticides. 
  • Neem products used widely across India and the industry as a whole employs many poor people
  • Chetan operates a small business of neem tree products
  • Chetan’s family has owned this business for the last seven generations
  • The business employs 60 people in different functions
  • Despite being familiar with over 200 applications of the tree and its derivatives, Chetan does not know the exact name of the neem seed extract, Azadirachtin. 
  • Ten years ago, Tom Johnson (OOPS) discovered the neem seeds’ use as a potent pesticide. 
  • Tom received a patent for the pesticide formula and brought the product to market
  • They have the worldwide patent and financial capital to manufacture and sell the product on a large scale.
  • People are likely to prefer buying products from US companies over small Indian cottage, affecting chetans business


The stakeholders and Their Motivations

  • OOPS
    • Prof: Make a profit to benefit shareholders and employees
    • Personal: Make as much profit as possible
  • Chentan
    • Prof: Keep his employees employed and his family business running
    • Personal: Honor his family by running this business
  • Chentan’s employees 
    • Prof: Want to make a living
    • Pers: Want to support their families and have a job
  • Other indian growers of neem trees
    • Prof: money/job security (same as Chetan’s employees)
    • Personal: feeding families, social worth (same as Chetan’s employees)
  • Competing companies
    • Prof: Same as OOPS
    • Personal: Same as OOPS
  • Consumers in india
    • Prof: n/a
    • Personal: want an affordable neem product



  • Try and employ the people affected.
    • Pro: this will keep the employees and local economy sustained
    • Con: This solution will most likely destroy the family owned business and take away any cultural significance that the company had
  • Work with locals to create a new formula and have a shared patent
    • Pro: this would allow both companies to work together and thus preserve both businesses
    • Con: The likelihood of this solution working out as intented is low, as the larger company will most likely just absorb the smaller one as in solution 1. Also, the legal enforcement and logistics behind this solution make it much more difficult and ineffective.
    • Con: they may not be able to think of a new patent that works better
  • Try and persuade the government to not accept the subsidized goods
    • Pro: the Family owned business is protected
    • Con: this action by the Indian govt. Can cause economic tensions between the US and India, causing a trade war and the loss of even more jobs and livelihoods


Choose Best Solution:

The best and most efficient solution is solution 1, in which the US company tries to absorb and retain all of the employees in the existing company. For a corporation as large as OOPS, absorbing 60 employees with experience in that exact field should not be an issue, additionally, the other solutions have the possibility of having much more serious effects on both businesses and the livelihoods of their employees.

Exact Steps to Implement:

  1. Send an email to the company that the larger company wishes to merger with the family owned one.
  2. Begin the legal and financial processes of merging/absorbing the two companies together.
  3. Bring the employees over from the family owned business
  4. Make Chetan an executive of the manufacturing and processing processes in India.


Part 2:


  1. OOPS is crushing the indian market
  2. CHetans wrapper features his grandfather, a local legend
  3. OOPS wrapper features Tom
  4. Chetan will have to lay off many employees at current state
  5. Tom open to merging if it means more profit
  6. CHetan seen having meetings with Tom, employees beleive Chetan is a sell out


Stakeholders and Motivations

See part one


Alternative Solutions

  1. OOPS absorbs Chetan’s Business
    1. Pro: the employees and livelihoods of the employees may be preserved
    2. Con: the employees may not be treated as well as they were under Chetan
  2. Chetan Lays off employees and tries to remain in the market
    1. Pro: the remaining employees can enjoy their current way of life
    2. Con: the other half of employees now must find new work to support families
  3. Chetan sues OOPS in an attempt to regain footing in the market
    1. Pro: This solution may be able to separate the two businesses enough so that Chetan can remain in market and not have to lay off employees
    2. Con: there may not be grounds for Chetan to sue, as well as the cost of the lawsuit will be extremely expensive and may accelerate Chetan’s business’ demise


Choose Best Solution:

Option 1 is the best solution for both Chetan and his employees, because it will most likely ensure the preservation of the livelihoods of his employees, whereas the other solutions do not have newarly as bright of a future. Yes, there may be regrets and tensions for Chetan as his employees may consider him a sellout or quitter, however, there are not a host of positive options for him, and this solution will most likely benefit his employees the most.


Steps to Implement:

The exact steps of implementing this plan are parallel to that in part 1, but from the perspective of Chetan and his business rather than Tom and OOPS.


Leave a Reply