Rural Marketing – Trends in India

Dr. Manju


India is second most populated country in the world after china with 1.17 billion. In rural area more than 70% of the population i.e. 815 million resides this makes India as Bharat, a unique in the terms of rural market. Major characteristic changes coming in rural areas in India are income going up, occupation patterns changing i.e. shifting from agriculture to manufacturing and construction. Rural India contributes over 54% of GDP and has share of 55% of Monthly per capita expenditure (MPCE). These are the major factors which attract the companies to rural markets, in addition to this rural market share is about 34% in FMCG sector and is growing at 25% in consumer durables comparing to 10% in urban market. Rural and semi urban area contributes about 40% of the sales for auto industry. Some of the marketing practices in rural India, Hindustan Unilever initiated project shakti to create income generation capabilities for underprivileged rural women. They distribute range of mass market products earning Rs.700-1000 per month. In another practice HUL customized branded packs with low prices SKUs to create „Bharat pack‟ to penetrate rural India. It consists of toothpaste, shampoos, powder and soaps. ITC started e-choupal which provides information on produce prices, market location, weather information and other details. ITC e-choupal are benefiting 3.5 million famers and generating revenue of 950millions by selling chemical and fertilizers. Like this Tata chemical, Nokia and many other companies are following innovative marketing practices to target the customer of rural India. But the companies are encountering with the problems and challenges like mindset of consumer are different from urban, difficulty in designing and pricing products, culture, lack of infrastructure, purchasing power, lack of awareness.

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