Tuesday, January 02, 2007
The Indian Retail Revolution and Rural Marketing
aviation sector, which got clouded with the emergence of hi-decibel
international airlines and the domestic airlines getting green signals for
few international routes. What, according to you, could be the competitive
strategy that can bail out Air
-Anil Gokhale, Mumbai
Anil, you sure do sound like an employee of Air
an airline ticket has well nigh nearly become today.
Aviation is one sector where in the beginning everything is a commodity and
then things morph into distinctive brands. Some of these brands become
super-brands and others have to contend with remaining just brands. And
finally, in sectors such as aviation, the brand becomes a commodity once
Telecom is another such category. In the
Parri passu'and where technology is rather parri passu as well in telecom,
you search for the cheapest cent rate for your call of destination. Does it
cost 17 cents a minute to
Telecom has become a commodity again.
therefore look for a distinctive appeal it will focus on. It cannot be a
part of the commodity game. Right now, it is time for it to attain a niche
status and grab seats with a brand appeal that will be distinctive. There is
plenty of scope in the name itself.
Alternate therapies are on a rampage. The
Indian music is hitting the world charts, just as Bollywood is making huge
inroads across the world. The Indian BPO and tech sector is equally creating
capitalize on all this
Q: What are your expectations for rural marketing for the next decade?
Dear Mr.Ramulu, a very dynamic and robust set of expectations. Nine for a start, for the next ten years ahead of us.
- I believe rural markets are going to progressively vanish with the creeping state of urbanization that is bound to get into a galloping state soon enough. If today we have only 24% of the market in urban areas, my prognosis is that all of
will be all of 47% Urban by 2017 AD. India
This is good and bad. Good for the modern day marketer salivating for markets, consumption and profits, but bad sociologically, as the very flavor of
2. Rural folk are getting habituated to brands in a big way. There will be a progressively heightened eating, drinking, wearing and franchising of more brands in the rural hinterland of this country.
3. Newer distribution systems will fall into place. Many of these will use the hitherto discarded and disused systems even. For example, the Indian Post Office has the ability to morph into a huge retail distribution point. Rural Health centers will morph into marketing centers for the health product and solution. Railway stations and railway property holds the potential of becoming booming centers that will tout the brand aspired for in rural markets.
4. The line blurring rural and urban will vanish in the decade ahead. Cultural practices will change rapidly and a more modern milieu will emerge, making the access of markets that much easier.
5. Media at large will also need to morph. More of the inclusive rural imagery will need to come into use. The visuals will pack that much more rural, if only to uproot the rural man from his moorings and fast track him onto the path of rapid, if not creeping urbanization
6. Products and services will start getting created exclusively for the tough and hardy rural market. Today, the demand for these is small, but tomorrow is another day. Nokia has already set up a facility to make mobile phones for
7. Within marketing companies, rural marketing will assume significance and importance. If at all marketing companies need to insulate themselves from urban slump and recession, they need to run to rural markets.
In the bargain, what was hitherto a politically correct thing to do will become the only correct thing to do for survival within companies. Rural marketing will become all important.
8. Advertising and communication itself will morph from the 1: Many format of today (through television and mass media) to 1:1 in a big way. Rural evangelists will emerge and fan out in to the villages to sell the product of desire. Re-invention of the 1:1 format will be seen in this decade.
9. Rural marketing in
The author is a business strategy specialist and CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc.