Saturday, June 28, 2008

Strategies for rural market focused companies

The following are very generic suggestions for companies focused on rural market.

Focus: The company/organization must focus on a single service unlike Drishtee or n-logue or Akshaya.
Training: Training is necessary for all stakeholders with the company (including employees, customers, vendors, etc). Why it is important? Because, in rural India you get raw talent. So they must be aligned to your requirements. Sometimes you may have to start from creating the whole ecosystem before actually scaling up your operations.
Adjusting to local needs: Rural India consists of varied cultures, variety of traditions, etc. Your model should have flexibility of adapting to the local needs.
Technology for masses: Use technology wherever is possible.
Word of mouth advertising: In rural India, people love to be your brand ambassadors and talk about all good things about your product/service if they like it.
End-to-end service delivery: You need to make sure that the consumer gets service-as-a-whole delivered. For example, if you just collect a resume and charge the customer Rs. 20, and this may not be scalable. However, you collect a resume, provide him a job having salary of Rs 5000 and collect Rs. 20000. This would definitely work with rural people. Take the case of SKS, they just not only provide capital to people but also help them in their businesses similar to venture capital companies engaging with their portfolio companies.
Emotional Attachment: Rural people keep the trust with your product/service and so you must live up to it. And to create such trust, you need to align with local communities in order to follow the trick, "trust is transferable".
Efficient distribution: Rural India is sparsely populated and so it is obvious that the distribution costs are high. Here, one needs to deploy innovative approaches in order to bring down the costs.

4 comments:

Hemu said...

Dear Sir,

It was interesting to read this post, its really usefull in providing some insights on rural markets.

*Hemu*

SANKAR SALVADY said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
krishna said...

I am prsenting my comments with 5 years rural enterprise business experience, Regarding
1)Focus: I feel organisation should focus on multiple services rather than single becouse rural areas are small pockets which hinder to provide services cost effectively and also its difficult to provide skilled person at every place. Its better to promote services through semi skilled person at village level with the help of skilled person sitting at the centeral location by taking advantage of telecomunication developments.
2)Training:Its essential as the case with rest of the business requirements.
3)Adjusting to local needs:Present Globalisation era all human beings needs have become similar like education, health,safety, entertainment,food,financial security etc irrespective of cultures and traditions. The organisations can directly focus on the basic human needs.
4)Technology: With out advanced technological help the objective of providing cost effective service is not at proximity of common man.
5)Advertising: Organisations can enjoy word of mouth publicity at village level.
6)End to end service delivery: Present competative business world end to end service delivery is the only winning Manthra.
7)Efficient distribution: As rural areas are small pockets dealing with multiple services and / or products will heal the wound

I am glad I got the oppertunity to share my views at this platform. I welcome comments in this regard.Thank you all.

Pacork said...

This was really interesting comment!