Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Rural Marketing: Challenges, Opportunities & Strategies

"The future lies with those companies who see the poor as their customers." -C. K. Prahalad, Addressing Indian CEOs, Jan 2000.
In recent years, rural markets have acquired significance, as the overall growth of the economy has resulted into substantial increase in the purchasing power of the rural communities.
On account of green revolution, the rural areas are consuming a large quantity of industrial and urban manufactured products. In this context, a special marketing strategy, namely, rural marketing, has emerged. But often, rural marketing is confused with agricultural marketing - the latter denotes marketing of produce of the rural areas to the urban consumers or industrial consumers, whereas rural marketing involves delivering manufactured or processed inputs or services to rural producers or consumers.
1. Infrastructure is improving rapidly -
In 50 years only, 40% villages have been connected by road, in next 10 years another 30% would be connected.
More than 90% villages are electrified, though only 44% rural homes have electric connections.
Rural telephone density has gone up by 300% in the last 10 years; every 1000+ pop is connected by STD.
Social indicators have improved a lot between 1981 and 2001 -
Number of "pucca" houses doubled from 22% to 41% and "kuccha" houses halved (41% to 23%).
Percentage of BPL families declined from 46% to 27%.
Rural literacy level improved from 36% to 59%.

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