The luxury market: A development opportunity for the nomads of the Tibetan Plateau? Premium

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Based on an interview with Anne Michaut-Denizeau and her article “Norlha: Restoring the glory of khullu wool for social development and environmental protection in the High Tibetan Plateau,” co-authored with Jean-Marc Guesné and Alice Sireyjol (Fact Reports 1339, October 2012).

 


Year after year, the economic situation of the nomads of the Tibetan Plateau deteriorates. In response, the Norlha project, which means “providence,” was launched in 2006. It aims to add value to yak wool by creating very high quality products for the luxury market. Anne Michaut-Denizeau reveals how the luxury market can help to provide outlets for handicraft and improve the standard of living of poor populations.

Business Digest partners with HEC Paris and the HEC Foundation in the production of research@HEC.

Since 1950, pastoralism has intensified in the Tibetan plateau. Sheep and yaks have become so abundant that they have permanently polluted rivers. Overgrazing has led to desertification, resulting in an increased risk of flooding. Nomadic pastoralists have become China’s poorest population, now unable to afford even the yak wool that they wove for centuries. Traditional knowledge has almost disappeared alongside a rural exodus. In this context, three people came together in 2005 to create Norlha: Kim Yeshi, an anthropologist specialized in Tibetan culture and Asian textile; Jean-Marc Guesné, a graduate of HEC’s Masters in Sustainable Development; and Jean-Pierre Martial, former manager and founder of “Artisans d’Angkor,” a Cambodian arts and crafts company that preserves local traditional knowhow and employs 1,000 people. They were convinced that the redevelopment of yak wool could create new social, economic, and environmental value.

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The luxury market: A development opportunity for the nomads of the Tibetan Plateau?
Published in research@HEC, no 30, December 2012- January, a journal that has been promoting the research of HEC Paris professors since 2007.
Based on an interview with Anne Michaut-Denizeau, Assistant Professor in Marketing at HEC and her article “Norlha: Restoring the glory of khullu wool for social development and environmental protection in the High Tibetan Plateau,” co-authored with Jean-Marc Guesné and Alice Sireyjol (Fact Reports 1339, October 2012).