Our country is endowed with a good degree of ethnic and regional diversity. About three-fourth of the total population resides in the rural areas and majority of them are dependent upon agriculture for their subsistence. Agriculture contributes about 24.7% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country. It also contributes about 13.1% to the total Indian exports. This sector provides employment to 58.4% of the country’s workforce and livelihood to more than 650 million people. Despite this fact, the condition of these people has not shown any significant improvement.
The development of the nation largely depends upon the development of the rural population. Mahatma Gandhi had once said: “India’s way is not Europe’s. India is not Calcutta and Bombay. India lives in her several hundreds of villages”.
Rural Market Potential
India is an agro-based economy and the growth of most of the other sectors of economy is driven by rural demand. Urban market is reaching towards the saturation point, thus bringing in and urgent need to focus on rural development. Moreover, more than 70% of India’s population lives in villages and constitutions a big market for industry because of increasing disposal incomes and awareness level.
In comparison to just 5,161 towns in India there are 6,38,365 villages in India. This in itself is an indicator where the real India resides. Companies are realizing slowly but surely that the key to gain true market leadership lies in tapping the rural potential. However, the rural sector in India suffers from different kinds of problems. Some areas are having enough money but their level of awareness and hence consumerism is very low. But there are many areas where economic empowerment, education, health etc., are major problems.
What is rural marketing
While there is a large growth in the urban market, the rural or latent market is yet to be tapped, and has an enormous potential for growth. A rural market can be defined as any market that exists in a area where the population is less than 10, 000. The rural market in India is scattered and spread over a wide geographical area. Indian market is divided into urban and rural markets.
o Urban market is flooded with low demand.
o Rural market witnesses a high demand It’s the rural segment of market that contributes more profit than its urban counterpart. Rural marketing broadly involves reaching customers, understanding their wants, supply of goods and services, and ultimately satisfying consumers, leading to more sales. The general impression is that only agricultural inputs like seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, cattle feed and agricultural machinery have a potential for growth in the rural market. However, there is a growing market for consumer goods now. It has been estimated the rural market is growing at the rate of five times its urban counterpart.
Challenges in Rural Marketing
Though rural markets are a huge attraction to marketers, it is not easy to enter the market and take a sizeable share of the market, in the short time due …