The only thing you can say with certainty about the Indian rural market right now is that it is the best trading ground for both Indian and multinational corporations. A burgeoning, untapped market estimated at nearly 150 million stretching across the length and breadth of the Indian subcontinent.
The vision has long fascinated Indian organizations as well as MNCs. And now, the dream is blazing brighter than ever as the Indian rural bazaar is displaying a market trend towards consumerism, outpacing the urban market in its ever-increasing demand for durable products like wrist-watches, fans, televisions, video cassette recorders as also non-durables like nail polish, lipstick, ice-cream, shampoo and mosquito repellants.
“It’s astounding… the rural market is now speaking the voice of the city. Our sales have recorded a near hundred percent jump in the countryside during the last year,” remarked Maruti Udyog Limited’s marketing director Jagdish Khattar.
It has been primarily attributed to a spurt in the purchasing capacity of farmers now enjoying an increasing marketable surplus of farm produce. In addition, an estimated induction of Rs 140 billion in the rural sector through the government’s rural development schemes in the Seventh Plan and about Rs 300 billion in the Eighth Plan is also believed to have significantly contributed to the rapid growth in demand.
Statistics presented at the meet assessed the market size for nail polish at around Rs 270 million in rural areas as against only Rs 81 million in the cities. Similarly, the market for lipsticks is worth around Rs 250 million in rural areas, compared to only Rs 131 million in the urban segment. Face cream demand in villages estimated at about 1,099 tonnes far outstrips that in the cities at about 426 tonnes, shampoo too has more potential in rural bazaar (about 2,257 tonnes) than urban markets (about 718 tonnes). The rural market for mosquito repellents is reckoned at around Rs 173 million against a mere Rs 79 million in urban centers.