Sterlite Copper: Profit Versus Public Health

Case Solution

Veena Keshav Pailwar
Ivey Publishing ()

Sterlite Copper (Sterlite), owned by Vedanta Resources Limited (Vedanta), was one of the Big Three copper factories in India. However, the facility has been the subject of controversy and public outcry. Residents of Tuticorin, where the plant was located, considered sterlite to be one of the main contributors to air and water pollution in the neighboring area. In view of the recent public protest on May 23, 2018, which was supported by several national and international non-governmental organizations, human rights activists and Tamil solidarity groups, the government of Tamil Nadu ordered the permanent closure of the plant. . With the plant contributing around 5 percent to Vedanta’s operating profit, the plant closure not only threatened the parent company’s profits and profitability, but also damaged its brand image. The plant was an important source of copper for more than 400 small and medium industries in its downstream value chain. The plant closure jeopardized the jobs of a large number of employees that Sterlite supported directly and indirectly through its value chain. What should Vedanta do in such a hostile environment?

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