“Success Mantras for Rural Marketing in India”

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Submitted to : Submitted By: Prof. Shipra Chaddha Name- Vakul Singh Gupta FPG0810/184 Indian Business Academy

What makes Indian Rural Market so attractive to companies
The Indian rural market has a huge demand base and offers great opportunities to marketers. Two-thirds of Indian consumers live in rural areas and almost half of the national income is generated here. The reasons for heading into the rural areas are fairly clear. The urban consumer durable market for products like colour TVs, washing machines, refrigerators and air conditioners is growing annually at between 7 per cent and 10 per cent. The rural market is zooming ahead at around 25 per cent annually. "The rural market is growing faster than urban India now," says Venugopal Dhoot, chairman of the Rs 989 -crore(Rs billion) Videocon Appliances. "The urban market is a replacement and up gradation market today," adds Samsung's director, marketing, Ravinder Zutshi. Reasons for improvement of business in rural area

* Socio-economic changes (lifestyle, habits and tastes, economic status) * Literacy level (25% before independence – more than 65% in 2001) * Infrastructure facilities (roads, electricity, media)

* Increase in income 
* Increase in expectations
MART, the specialist rural marketing and rural development consultancy has found that 53 per cent of FMCG sales lie in the rural areas, as do 59 per cent of consumer durable sales, said its head Pradeep Kashyap at the seminar. Of two million BSNL mobile connections, 50 per cent went to small towns and villages, of 20 million Rediffmail subscriptions, 60 per cent came from small towns, so did half the transactions on Rediff's shopping site.

Why was this market left untapped for so long? What has changed now that is invoking interest of companies A) There are several roadblocks that make it difficult to progress in the rural market. Marketers encounter a number of problems like dealing with physical distribution, logistics, proper and effective deployment of sales force and effective marketing communication when they enter rural markets. The major problems are listed below.

1. Standard of living: The number of people below the poverty line is more in rural markets. Thus the market is also underdeveloped and marketing strategies have to be different from those used in urban marketing. 2. Low literacy levels: The low literacy levels in rural areas leads to a problem of communication. Print media has less utility compared to the other media of communication. 3. Low per capita income: Agriculture is the main source of income and hence spending capacity depends upon the agriculture produce. Demand may not be stable or regular. 4. Transportation and warehousing: Transportation is one of the biggest challenges in rural markets. As far as road transportation is concerned, about 50% of Indian villages are connected by roads. However, the rest of the rural markets do not even have a proper road linkage which makes physical distribution a tough task. Many villages are located in hilly terrains that make it difficult to connect them through roads. Most marketers use tractors or bullock carts in rural areas to distribute their products. Warehousing is another major problem in rural areas, as there is hardly any organized agency to look after the storage issue. The services rendered by central warehousing corporation and state warehousing corporations are limited only to urban and suburban areas. 5. Ineffective distribution channels: The distribution chain is not very well organized and requires a large...
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