When they say India lives in the villages, they are not wrong. A country where more than 80 percent of the population lives in small and middle-sized towns (a chunk of the population contributing eight to ten per cent of the total economic growth); how can one ignore it? Economists say that the key to growth lies in the rural sector, keeping in view the saturation in the urban areas.
It is the time to turn back to villages
A big chunk of the Indian population which lives in the rural areas was neglected for more than two decades after the economic policies took a U-turn from the traditional socialist ideology to so-called capitalist market. Everything from marketing strategy to product development and advertising to promotions was focused on the neo-rich and upper-middle segment of the urban population. It drifted the lifestyle and habits of Indians and world-famous pizza and burger outlets marked their presence in the Indian market, promisingly and successfully.
After a whooping success for more than two decades, the urban market faces a big challenge in maintaining the same growth rate. Hence, the time has come to look back a big chunk of the Indian population that shows tremendous growth potential and promising future.
Though it is a challenging task, not impossible
Everyone agrees that the key to growth lies in the rural market, but it is equally true that the path is full of steeps and turns, just like approach roads in the villages. In a market where round-the-clock power cut is still a reality, how can one think about marketing lifestyle products that expect uninterrupted power supply?
However, the rural India is changing and with a pretty fast pace. As the government is keen to take the necessary facilities to the remotest village, good quality approach roads are being made to every village. With more emphasis on unconventional energy sources, e.g. solar energy or wind energy; villages are being made self-sufficient for power generation.
It is quite clear that as these efforts would start yielding results, there will be a phenomenal change n the life of the rural people. With a significant growth of the middle class in these areas, the demand for lifestyle products will surge like anything.
Companies that read the pulse of it correctly get prepared for the new challenge. Early movers would have the obvious advantage. They will not only seize the biggest chunk but maintain excellent growth as well.