The Great Indian Rural Mall – Part 1. How to win big in Rural Haats

Dear friends, in my last video and blog I discussed about the significance of India Panchayati Raj System for your planning and execution of rural marketing strategies. While simplifying rural marketing, today I am introducing the first blog on the series of The Great Indian Rural Mall. With this, I’ll discuss the effectiveness of rural haats in reaching the maximum number of rural consumers.

It is imperative for the rural marketers to understand the a ready-made distribution network of over 43,000 rural haats which outnumbers the total number of outlets of world’s leading retailer Walmart. It is fascinating to know that rural haats generate around Rs 50,000 crore business for marketers.Generally marketers are worried about When, Where, Why and How to enter the rural markets. The challenge of spurious products along with scattered markets discourage them to step into rural markets. There are two reasons marketers need to be in rural India 1) large consumer base and 2) huge untapped markets. Here rural haats are providing you a big platform to anchor your ship into the untapped glodmine, called rural markets.

Haats are the periodic rural bazaars that are set-up either daily, weekly or bi-weekly, depending on the area. Each haat covers 20 to 60 villages with an average footfall of 5000-10,000 people. These haats are just not the place to buy and sell commodities but are also a great socialising area. Here, villagers like to touch and feel the products, there are almost 300 to 500 stalls with average sale of 2.5 lakh a day per haat. Imagine the sale in 43,000 haats, you really need a calculator to calculate these figures…

If we discuss about the commodity-wise business in the rural haats, according to Rural Marketing Association of India, 53 percent stalls trade for agricultural produce, followed by manufactured goods, mainly fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) with 19 percent, processed food 6 percent, handicrafts and forest products 5 percent each, services 4 percent, meat and poultry 3 percent and others 5 percent.In order to leverage rural haats, FMCG, auto and agri companies have already entered these markets by doing regular activities. They have built their brands over the years and are getting good returns. These brands have been extensively using all forms of marketing activities like experiential marketing, van activations, nukkad naataks, wall paintings and CSR activities to engage and attract the eyeballs.

Today marketers are innovating by using technologies like Augmented Reality, Internet-of-Things, social media and even keeping an eye on Big Data. With such huge engagement there is still a large market for new entrants. The market has lot of opportunities for companies who are into solar, banking, technology, insurance, healthcare, education among many others. The market is now open for all categories.

FMCG companies like Hindustan Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Dabur, Colgate-Palmolive, Emami, Godrej; auto companies like Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Motorcycles, Mahindra, TAFE, Escorts and agri companies like Syngenta are amongst many that have successfully established their sales and distribution networks.

So, in order to take over the haats, marketers need to first identify the 4As and the 4Ps, which I discussed in my previous blog and video . For detailed information, you can click on the link Entering the Rural with a Punch of Gram Panchayats. The most important factor that needs to be taken into serious consideration is product innovation, product design along with crazy marketing strategies. For example, the introduction of sachet in shampoos, revolutionised and spiked up its sales in rural areas.

The marketers need not worry about the desire of the product among the rural as with the digital boom through mobile and extensive media penetration, the desire and aspirations have already been created. If you would like to get a detailed plan or any assistance, write it in the comment section, we will be happy to assist you in planning your rural outreach programme.

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To watch the video on How to win big in Rural Haats.

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