Cut Flowers in Kathmandu: From Local Gardens to International Markets?

This is the abstract of the case study I am planning to present at ICMC 2015 ( – of course, I submitted the abstract before the dreadful earthquakes.

Cut Flowers in Kathmandu: From Local Gardens to International Markets?

Case Summary

Nepal is a landlocked country that shares a long, open border with India to the south, with which it shares numerous cultural, social, religious and economic similarities. The open border means that Indian citizens can freely pursue business opportunities in Nepal and vice versa. However, the poor infrastructure in the country means that export opportunities are limited. This is the case with cut flowers, which are grown for local consumption and primarily for festivals and by hotels and restaurants. If transportation infrastructure were better, it might be more feasible to diversify production for international markets. Additionally, if the local market were to be developed further, it would become feasible to add some value to existing varieties produced for the market. This case investigates the example of a small cut flower business close to Kathmandu as a means of analyzing commercial opportunities in the capital and its environs and the prospects for linking local enterprises more closely with international markets. Constraints to growth are identified in the forms of intensive price competition, limited market development and technical capacity. Options for improving the situation are discussed.

Keywords: cut flowers, market development, Nepal, price competition, technical capacity

Author: John Walsh is Director, SIU Research Centre at the School of Management, Shinawatra University, Thailand. He is the editor of the SIU Journal of Management, the Journal of Shinawatra University and the Nepalese Journal of Management Science and Research. He is also Regional Editor (Southeast Asia) of Emerald’s Emerging Market Case Studies series. He received his doctorate from the University of Oxford in 1997 for a thesis on international management in East Asia. His research these days mostly focuses on the social and economic development of the Greater Mekong Subregion.


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