International Journal of Multidisciplinary Approach and Studies Rural Marketing: Challenges, Opportunities and Strategies

Satish Modi
In recent years, rural markets have acquired significance, as the overall growth of the economy has resulted into substantial increase in the purchasing power of the rural communities. On account of green revolution, the rural areas are consuming a large quantity of industrial and urban manufactured products. In this context, a special marketing strategy, namely, rural marketing has emerged. Rural marketing represents the heart of India. Although the Indian rural market, with its vast size and
more » ... its vast size and demand base offers great opportunities to marketers; yet there are several difficulties confronting the effort to fully explore rural markets. The concept of rural markets in India is still in evolving shape, and the sector poses a variety of challenges. The success of a brand in the Indian rural market is as unpredictable as rain. Many brands, which should have been successful, have failed miserably. This is because, most firms try to extend marketing plans that they use in urban areas to the rural markets. Thus in this research paper an attempt has been made to identify the challenges as well as opportunities in Indian rural markets. It also includes the strategies to be followed in Indian rural market for converting challenges into opportunities. Rural India represents the Heart of India. About three-fourth of the total population of the country 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. Real India lives in her several hundreds of villages" and it is this India