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ArthPrabhand:AJournalofEconomicsandManagement Vol.1Issue7,October2012,ISSN22780629

THE CHANGING FACE OF RURAL MARKETING IN INDIAN ECONOMY


DR. PARTAP SINGH*; DR. ANSHUL SHARMA**
*Head & Assistant Professor, Department of Management studies, S. D. Institute of Technology and Mgt. (SDITM), Israna, Panipat, Haryana. **Assistant Professor, S.D. College of Management, Israna, Panipat, Haryana.

ABSTRACT The Indian rural market with its vast size and demand base offers a huge opportunity that companies cannot afford to ignore. We are a country with 1.12 billion people of which 70% live in rural areas which means more than 700 million people spread around 6,27,000 villages. India's rural population comprises of 12% of the world's population presenting a huge, untapped market. This paper critically examined the current status of Indian rural marketing in present economic scenario. It analyzed the problems prevail in the rural marketing. It does quest the opportunities, rural marketing strategies, problems along with challenges exists in rural marketing. KEYWORDS: Rural markets, Disposable Income & Rural Consumers. ______________________________________________________________________________ INTRODUCTION PinnacleResearchJournals47 http://www.pinnaclejournals.com India is an agro-based economy and the growth of most of the other sectors of economy is driven by rural demand. Urban market is reaching towards the saturation point, thus bringing in and urgent need to focus on rural development. Moreover, more than 70% of India's population lives in villages and constitutions a big market for industry because of increasing disposal incomes and awareness level. In comparison to just 5,161 towns in India there are 6, 38,365 villages in India. This in itself is an indicator where the real India resides. Companies are realizing slowly but surely that the key to gain true market leadership lies in tapping the rural potential.

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ArthPrabhand:AJournalofEconomicsandManagement Vol.1Issue7,October2012,ISSN22780629

Typical shop in rural India stocked with sachets, etc Rural Markets are defined as those segments of overall market of any economy, which are distinct from the other types of markets like stock market, commodity markets or Labor economics. Rural Markets constitute an important segment of overall economy, for example, in the USA, out of about 3000 countries, around 2000 counties are rural, that is, non-urbanized, with population of 55 million. Typically, a rural market will represent a community in a rural area with a population of 2500 to 30000 In recent years, rural markets have acquired significance in countries like China and India, as the overall growth of the economy has resulted into substantial increase in the purchasing power of the rural communities. On account of the green revolution in India, 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 taken shape. Broadly rural marketing incorporates the marketing of agricultural products, rural industries products and services of many kinds. The trade channels for different types of commodities available in rural areas private, cooperatives, processors, regulated markets and state agencies. In no sense, a social cluster or village economy as at whole can be developed without effective and efficient rural marketing. Very little attention has been paid in the planning era towards the development of rural marketing. In fact marketing is a dynamic state of affairs and is part and parcel of the whole economy. Thus production and marketing are the two facets of a coin. Rural marketing constitutes the nerve centre of rural development activities. Some Vital Features of Indian Rural Markets: LARGE AND SCATTERED MARKET The rural market of India is large and scattered in the sense that it consists of over 63 crore consumers from 6, 20,000 villages spread throughout the country.

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MAJOR INCOME FROM AGRICULTURE Nearly 60 % of the rural income is from agriculture. Hence rural prosperity is tied with agricultural prosperity.

LOW STANDARD OF LIVING The consumer in the village area do have a low standard of living because of low literacy, low per capita income, social backwardness, low savings, etc.

TRADITIONAL OUTLOOK The rural consumer values old customs and tradition. They do not prefer changes.

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ArthPrabhand:AJournalofEconomicsandManagement Vol.1Issue7,October2012,ISSN22780629

DIVERSE SOCIO-ECONOMIC BACKWARDNESS Rural consumers have diverse socio-economic backwardness. This is different in different parts of the country.

INFRASTRUCTURE FACILITIES The Infrastructure Facilities like roads, warehouses, communication system, and financial facilities are inadequate in rural areas. Hence physical distribution becomes costly due to inadequate Infrastructure facilities.

The rural bazaar is booming beyond everyone's expectation. The Indian rural market with its vast size and demand base offers a huge opportunity that companies cannot afford to ignore. We are a country with 1.12 billion people of which 70% live in rural areas which means more than 700 million people spread around 6,27,000 villages. India's rural population comprises of 12% of the world's population presenting a huge, untapped market. SOME MEANINGFUL MYTH IN RURAL MARKETING MYTH 1: RURAL INDIA IS ALL ABOUT AGRICULTURE REALITY: Rural India is way beyond agriculture First, agricultures contribution to Indias GDP has steadily come down to just 17.5 per cent. Further, almost half of the rural Indian economy is non-agriculture-based and a third of the households around 50 million are engaged in non-agricultural activities people working in manufacturing, or as traders, shopkeepers, providing services such as electricity generation, construction, mining and quarrying, transportation and haulage. About 40 per cent of rural households are landless. Half of the remaining 60 per cent are marginal farmers (owning less than 2 hectares of land). Large farmers, owning more than 10 acres of land, form a tiny 4 per cent of the rural population. In 2007, by NCAER estimates, the split was about 40:60 41 per cent being farm income! MYTH 2: DISPOSABLE INCOME IS LOW REALITY: Number of middle class HHs (annual income Rs. 45,000 - 2, 15,000) for rural sector is 27.4 million as compared to the figure of 29.5 million for urban sector. Rural incomes CAGR was 10.95% compared to 10.74% in urban between 1970-71 and 1993-94. MYTH 3: THAT RURAL MARKETS ARE HIGHLY PRICE-INELASTIC AND ONLY SUITED FOR 'VALUE-FOR MONEY' PRODUCTS AS AGAINST PREMIUM QUALITY PRODUCTS THE REALITY: Despite lower incidence of premium product purchases, the rural consumers across all income segments exhibit marked propensity to spend on premium high quality

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ArthPrabhand:AJournalofEconomicsandManagement Vol.1Issue7,October2012,ISSN22780629

products which are backed by strong brand values, where they correspond to their own aspirations and quality needs. The problem really lies in market not being able to offer a premium product in the specific context of rural demand. MYTH 4: RURAL CONSUMERS LACK PURCHASING POWER REALITY According to NSSO report no. 527, there was little difference between rural and urban households in the share of the budget allocated to fuel and light (10 per cent for rural, 9 per cent for urban) and clothing, including bedding and footwear (7 per cent for rural, 6 per cent for urban). While in 1998-99 over 83 per cent of rural households fell in the lower and lower-middle classes, the number has fallen to 70 per cent in 2006-07; the comparative fall for urban India is from 53 per cent to 27 per cent (NCAER data). And if experts are to be believed, the number is set to fall at a rapid rate over the next 20 years... MYTH5: GROWTH IN RURAL IS SLOW. INVESTMENTS GIVE LATE RESULTS REALITY: It is much faster than we think. First, which market does not need a certain gestation period for growth and development? A FICCI survey indicated that consumer durables would see 12 per cent growth in 2008. The rural market is growing faster than the urban market. The rural market, which accounts for nearly 70 per cent of the total number of households, saw 25 per cent annual growth while the urban consumer durables market grew at 7 to 10 per cent... Seventy per cent of Indias population, 56 per cent of its income, 64 per cent of its expenditure and 33 per cent of its savings come from rural India. It is time we did better than just assume what these people desire, detest, appreciate and expect. MAJOR INITIATIVES OF SOME MARKET PLAYERS PinnacleResearchJournals50 http://www.pinnaclejournals.com * Hariyali Kisaan Bazaar , was set up by DCM Shriram Consolidated Ltd. to facilitate sale of agri-inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides, farming equipment, seeds, animal feed, etc. * ITC 's internet-enabled rural interface to help sale of agri outputs, e-Choupal, is presently operational in 6 states and there are 5200 kiosks. * TRIVENI KUSHALI Bazaar, a rural agri-inputs store run by Thriven Engineering Industries Ltd. in the sugarcane belt of U.P., is also used to sell cement and FMCG products. * HUL's Project SHAKTHI - Through the state governments and NGOs involved in microfinance, women entrepreneurs in villages are identified to act as local distribution and sales point for HUL products. WHAT MAKES RURAL MARKETS ATTRACTIVE? Rural market has following attributes and the following facts substantiate this: -

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ArthPrabha and:AJournalof o EconomicsandManagement Vol.1Issue7,October2012 2,ISSN2278062 29

*CURRE ENT SCEN NARIO

KHA AITAN FANS' AD ON N A HORSE E The India an growth st tory is now spreading s its self to India's hinterlands s. Rural Indi ia, home to about a two-third ds of the cou untrys 1 bil llion populat tion, is not just j witnessi ing an increa ase in its inc come but also in i consumpt tion and prod duction. The e rural econo omy has not been impac cted by the global g economic c slowdown n, according to a recent study by th he Rural Ma arketing Association of India (RMAI). The study found f that th he rural and small town economy wh hich account ts for 60 per r cent of India's s income has s remained in nsulated from m the econo omic slowdow wn. Moreov ver, rural incomes are on th he rise driven n largely due e to continuo ous growth in i agricultur re for four co onsecutive years. y This is in i addition to t the farme er loan waiv ver of US$ 13.86 billio on and the ambitious a B Bharat Nirman Programme P with an outl lay of US$ 34.84 billion n for improv ving rural in nfrastructure. The rural con nsumer mark ket, which gr rew 25 per cent c in 2008, is expected d to reach US$ U 425 billi ion in 2010-11 with 720-79 90 million cu ustomers, ac ccording to a white pape er prepared by b Confeder ration n Industries (CII)-Techn nopak. That will be doub ble the 2004 4-05 market size of US$ $ 220 of Indian billion. According A to t the Tech hnopak study y, rural dem mand for fa ast moving consumer goods g (FMCG), pharma, au uto and consu umer durabl les industries s is estimated to match sales s generat ted in urban are eas soon. While W durable es market sh hrunk in urba an India, rur ral market is s seeing a 15 per cent grow wth rate. Accordin ng to a stu udy by the Chennai-ba ased Francis s Kanoi Marketing Pla anning Serv vices, estimated d annual size e of market is i FMCG G Consum mer Durable es Agri In nputs (e.g., Tractors) T 2/4 Wh heelers Total Rs. 65,000 Crore C Rs. 5000 Cr rore Rs. 45,000 Crore C Rs. 8,000 cr rore Rs. 1,23,000 0 Crore

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ArthPrabhand:AJournalofEconomicsandManagement Vol.1Issue7,October2012,ISSN22780629

Urban market is flooded with low demand. With urban markets getting saturated for several categories of consumer goods and with rising rural incomes, marketing executives are fanning out and discovering the strengths of the large rural markets as they try to enlarge their markets. A survey by the National Council for Applied Economic Research(NCAER), India's premier economic research entity, recently corned that rise in rural incomes is keeping pace with urban incomes. From 55 to 58 per cent of the average urban income in 199495, the average rural income has gone up to 63 to 64 per cent by 2001-02 and touched almost 66 per cent in 2004-05. The rural middle class is growing at 12 per cent against the 13 per cent growth of its urban counterpart. Even better, the upper income class those with household incomes of over Rs one million [$22,700] per annum is projected to go up to 21 million by 2009-10 from four million in 2001-02. It will have a 22 to 23 per cent rural component. Higher rural incomes have meant larger markets. Already, the rural tilt is beginning to show. Rural market witnesses a high demand It's the rural segment of market that contributes more profit than its urban counterpart. Rural marketing broadly involves reaching customers, understanding their wants, supply of goods and services, and ultimately satisfying consumers, leading to more sales. The general impression is that only agricultural inputs like seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, cattle feed and agricultural machinery have a potential for growth in the rural market. However, there is a growing market for consumer goods now. It has been estimated the rural market is growing at the rate of five times its urban counterpart.

* LARGE POPULATION: Approximately 75% of India's population resides in around 6,38,365 villages of India spread over 32 lakh square kilometer. 41% of India's middle class resides in rural areas. PinnacleResearchJournals52 http://www.pinnaclejournals.com * HIGHER PURCHASING CAPACITY: Purchasing power of rural people is on rise; * MARKET GROWTH: Market is growing at a rate of 3-4% per annum. In 2001-02, LIC sold 55% of its policies in rural India. Of two million BSNL mobile connections, 50% are in small towns / villages. Of the 6.0 lakh villages, 5.22 lakh have a Village Public Telephone (VPT). 41 million Kisan Credit Cards have been issued (against 22 million credit-plus-debit cards in urban), with cumulative credit of Rs. 977 billion resulting in tremendous liquidity Of the 20 million Rediffmail sign-ups, 60% are from small towns. 50% of transactions from these towns are on Rediff online shopping site.

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ArthPrabhand:AJournalofEconomicsandManagement Vol.1Issue7,October2012,ISSN22780629

42 million rural households (HHs) are availing banking services in comparison to 27 million urban HHs. Investment in formal savings instruments is 6.6 million HHs in rural and 6.7 million HHs in urban. OPPORTUNITY The above figures are a clear indication that the rural markets offer the great potential to help the India Inc which has reached the plateau of their business curve in urban India to bank upon the volume-driven growth. The Indian rural market with its vast size and demand base offers a huge opportunity that MNCs cannot afford to ignore. With 128 million households, the rural population is nearly three times the urban. The rural market accounts for half the total market for TV sets, fans, pressure cookers, bicycles, washing soap, blades, tea, salt and toothpowder, What is more, the rural market for FMCG products is growing mu. In 2008, the rural market has grown at an impressive rate of 25 per cent compared to the 710 per cent growth rate of the urban consumer retail market. According to a McKinsey survey conducted recently, rural India, with a population of 700 million, would become bigger than the total consumer market in countries such as South Korea or Canada and it would grow almost four times from its existing size in the next few years. Infrastructure is improving rapidly PinnacleResearchJournals53 http://www.pinnaclejournals.com In 50 years only, 40% villages have been connected by road, in next 10 years another 30% would be connected. More than 90% villages are electrified, though only 44% rural homes have electric connections. Rural telephone density has gone up by 300% in the last 10 years; every 1000+ pop is connected by STD. Social indicators have improved a lot between 1981 and 2001 -

Number of "pucca" houses doubled from 22% to 41% and "kuccha" houses halved (41% to 23%). Percentage of BPL families declined from 46% to 27%. Rural literacy level improved from 36% to 59%.

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ArthPrabhand:AJournalofEconomicsandManagement Vol.1Issue7,October2012,ISSN22780629

Durables CTV

Low penetration rates in rural areas, so there are many marketing opportunities Urban 30.4 33.5 Rural 4.8 3.5 Total (% of Rural HH) 12.1 12.0

Refrigerator

FMCGs Shampoo Toothpaste

Urban 66.3 82.2

Rural 35.2 44.9

Total (% of Rural HH) 44.2 55.6

Marketers can make effective use of the large available infrastructure Post Offices Haats (periodic markets) Melas (exhibitions) Mandis (agri markets) PinnacleResearchJournals54 http://www.pinnaclejournals.com Public Distribution Shops Bank Branches 1,38,000 42,000 25,000 7,000 3,80,000 32,000

PROBLEMS IN THE BOOMING RURAL MARKETING The major problems faced are:

UNDERDEVELOPED PEOPLE AND UNDERDEVELOPED MARKETS The number of people below poverty line has not decreased in any appreciable manner. Thus underdeveloped people and consequently underdeveloped market by and large characterize the rural markets. Vast majorities of the rural people are tradition bound, fatalistic and believe in old customs, traditions, habits, taboos and practices.

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ArthPrabhand:AJournalofEconomicsandManagement Vol.1Issue7,October2012,ISSN22780629

LACK OF PROPER PHYSICAL COMMUNICATION FACILITIES Nearly fifty percent of the villages in the country do not have all weather roads. Physical communication of these villages is highly expensive. Even today most villages in the eastern parts of the country are inaccessible during the monsoon.

MANY LANGUAGES AND DIALECTS The number of languages and dialects vary widely from state to state, region to region and probably from district to district. The messages have to be delivered in the local languages and dialects. Even though the number of recognized languages are only 16, the dialects are estimated to be around 850.

DISPERSED MARKET Rural areas are scattered and it is next to impossible to ensure the availability of a brand all over the country. Seven Indian states account for 76% of the country's rural retail outlets, the total number of which is placed at around 3.7 million. Advertising in such a highly heterogeneous market, which is widely spread, is very expensive.

LOW PER CAPITA INCOME Even though about 33-35% of gross domestic product is generated in the rural areas it is shared by 74% of the population. Hence the per capita incomes are low compared to the urban areas.

LOW LEVELS OF LITERACY The literacy rate is low in rural areas as compared to urban areas. This again leads to problem of communication for promotion purposes. Print medium becomes ineffective and to an extent irrelevant in rural areas since its reach is poor and so is the level of literacy.

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PREVALENCE OF SPURIOUS BRANDS AND SEASONAL DEMAND For any branded product there are a multitude of 'local variants', which are cheaper, and, therefore, more desirable to villagers.

DIFFERENT WAY OF THINKING There is a vast difference in the lifestyles of the people. The kind of choices of brands that an urban customer enjoys is different from the choices available to the rural customer. The rural customer usually has 2 or 3 brands to choose from whereas the urban one has multiple choices. The difference is also in the way of thinking. The rural customer has a fairly simple thinking as compared to the urban counterpart.

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ArthPrabhand:AJournalofEconomicsandManagement Vol.1Issue7,October2012,ISSN22780629

CHALLENGES FACED BY MARKETERS IN RURAL MARKET * Traditional outlook of rural consumers due to which they are resistant to change. Their buying decision is low and delayed. * Lack of infrastructure facilities. Many rural areas are not connected by rail transport. Kacha roads become unserviceable during the monsoon and interior villages get isolated. * Problems related to distribution and channel management The journey of markets to the rural markets has indeed been one of surmounting one hurdle after another; these include the 4 As - Availability, Affordability, and Acceptance & Awareness adopting themselves to the rural atmosphere marketers. So, in the context of growth aspects of the Rural markets and their adoption and application by major MNCs and Indian companies, I want to take this Project as my Research Project so that I could go in to the in-depth study of the rural markets- their future scope, challenges etc. in the context of India 'RURAL MARKETS ARE FUTURE BATTLEGROUNDS' LOW LITERACY There are not enough opportunities for education in rural areas. The literacy level is as low (36%) when compared to all- India average of 52%. SEASONAL DEMAND Agriculture to a large extent depends upon monsoon and, therefore, the demand or buying capacity is not stable or regular. PinnacleResearchJournals56 http://www.pinnaclejournals.com Many rural areas are not connected by rail transport. Kacha roads become unserviceable during the monsoon and interior villages get isolated. COMMUNICATION PROBLEMS Facilities such as telephone, fax and telegram are rather poor in rural areas. TRADITIONAL LIFE Life in rural areas is still governed by customs and traditions and people do not easily adapt new practices. For example, even rich and educated class of farmers does not wear jeans or branded shoes.

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ArthPrabhand:AJournalofEconomicsandManagement Vol.1Issue7,October2012,ISSN22780629

BUYING DECISIONS Rural consumers are cautious in buying and decisions are slow and delayed. They like to give a trial and only after being personally satisfied, do they buy the product. MEDIA FOR PROMOTIONS Television has made a great impact and large audience has been exposed to this medium. Radio reaches large population in rural areas at a relatively low cost. However, reach of formal media is low in rural households; therefore, the market has to undertake specific sales promotion activities in rural areas like participating in melas or fairs. CULTURAL FACTORS Culture is a system of shared values, beliefs and perceptions that influence the behavior of consumers. There are different groups based on religion, caste, occupation, income, age, education and politics and each group exerts influence on the behavior of people in villages. STRATEGIES FOR RURAL MARKET A. PRODUCT STRATEGIES FOR RURAL MARKET AND RURAL CONSUMERS 1. SMALL UNIT AND LOW PRICED PACKING Larger pack sizes are out of reach for rural consumers because of their price and usage habits. This method has been tested by other products like shampoos, biscuits, pickles, vicks five gram tins, etc. PinnacleResearchJournals57 http://www.pinnaclejournals.com In the strategy of keeping the low priced packed the objective is to keep the price low so that the entire rural community can try. This may not be possible in all types of products, but wherever this can be resorted to, the market is bound to expand. 2. NEW PRODUCT DESIGNS A close observation of rural household items indicates the importance of redesigning or modifying the products. The manufacturing and marketing men can think in terms of new product designs specially meant for rural areas keeping their lifestyles in view. 3. STURDY PRODUCTS Sturdiness of a product either in terms of weight or appearance is an important fact for rural consumers. The product meant for rural areas should be sturdy enough to stand rough handling and storage. People in rural areas like bright flashy colours such as red, blue, green etc., and feel that products with such colours are sturdy but they are more concerned with the utility of the item also.

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ArthPrabhand:AJournalofEconomicsandManagement Vol.1Issue7,October2012,ISSN22780629

4. BRAND NAME The rural consumers are more concerned with the utility of the products. The brand name awareness in the rural areas is fairly high. A brand name and/or logo is very essential for rural consumers for it can be easily remembered. B. PRICING STRATEGIES Pricing strategies are very much linked to product strategies. Some of these strategies are mentioned here. 1. LOW COST/CHEAP PRODUCTS This is a common strategy being adopted widely by many manufacturing and marketing men. Price can be kept low by small unit packings. 2. AVOID SOPHISTICATED PACKING Simple package can be adopted which can bring down the cost as it is presently being done in the case of biscuits. Some innovation in packing technology is very necessary for rural markets. 3. REFILL PACKS/REUSABLE PACKAGING Such measures have a significant impact on the rural market. By such technology also the price can be reduced. In addition the packaging material used should preferably lend itself for reuse in rural areas. An ideal example in this direction can be the packing of fertilizers. Now companies have started packing fertilizers in LDPE or HDPE sacks, which are not only tamper proof but also reusable. PinnacleResearchJournals58 http://www.pinnaclejournals.com 4. APPLICATION OF VALUE ENGINEERING This is a technique which can be tried to evolve cheaper products by substituting the costly raw material with the cheaper one, without sacrificing the quality or functional efficiency of the product, for example in food industry, 'soya protein is being used instead of milk protein. Milk protein is expensive while soya protein is cheaper but the nutrition value is same. This technique yields itself for application in many engineering or product designed areas so that the price can be kept at an affordable level. These areas have to be explored by manufacturing and marketing men in the context of rural markets. The pricing strategy for rural market will depend upon the scope for reducing the price of the product to suit the rural incomes and at the same time not compromising with the utility and sturdiness of the product. C. DISTRIBUTION STRATEGIES Most manufacturers and marketing men do have a distribution arrangement for village with a population of at least 5000 people. While it is -essential to formulate specific strategies for

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ArthPrabhand:AJournalofEconomicsandManagement Vol.1Issue7,October2012,ISSN22780629

distribution in rural areas, the characteristics of the product, its shelf life and other factors have to be kept in mind. The distribution strategies that are specifically designed for rural areas are: through co-operative societies, public distribution system, multi-purpose distribution centres, distribution up to feeder markets/mandi towns shanties/hat/jathras/melas, agricultural input dealers etc. Experience has shown that the cooperatives have played a useful role in improving the marketing services in the regulated markets. The fact, however, remains that these societies command only a small share of the total markets and do not present any challenge to the private trade at inmost places. The Gujarat Cotton Cooperative Marketing Societies set a good example of vertically integrated markets. The cooperative marketing institutions have to introduce scale economies in their marketing operation and provide efficient and comparable services to the customers in competition with the private trade. Cooperative institutions would do better if the state level marketing federations enter into multilevel activities to improve the turnover of their business. The non-govemmental organizations can anchor a key role in conscientizing the rural people to form into cooperatives highlighting the possible benefits without being exploited. D. PROMOTION STRATEGIES Mass media is a powerful medium of communication. It could be television, cinema, print media, radio and so on. The other means of mass media available are hoardings/wall paintings, shanties/hats/melas, non-price competition, special campaigns etc. Besides these, other mass media like hand bills and booklets, posters, stickers, banners of the schemes. For disseminating the information, related to agricultural and other rural industries products, the government should circulate pamphlets either to panchayati raj office or to schools where it can be documented for the reference. PinnacleResearchJournals59 http://www.pinnaclejournals.com While making efforts to improve the marketing system within rural areas and the marketing of rural produce to other areas, we should foresee the forces of globalization affecting the market forces. CONCLUSION These issues gain added complexity under globalization, where markets are characterized by extreme competition and volatility. While rural products has been perceived traditionally as catering to the local market, or at best, to a wider national market through limited formal channels, the reality of globalization since the 1990s introduced a new dimension to the market for such products. The issue of rural product generation through industrialization, therefore, needs to be viewed from a new angle and on far more scientific lines. The core of a scientific approach is to understand the market opportunities for rural products along with the country's development priorities and to chalk out a strategy where rural industries have an important role to play. While rural products are forced to increasingly become part of global supply chains, these products need to adapt themselves, not only according to the changing tastes of the national market, but also according to changes in tastes in the international market. Therefore, a process is essential to explore the market linkages and capacity building for SHGs through a bottom up

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approach and continuous dialogue with stakeholders of rural enterprise. This process should ensure the participation of rural people as consumers and producers in the globalization mechanism, with better livelihoods and global access to markets. The real challenge of building a sustainable market linkage starts here. Thus, looking at the challenges and the opportunities, which rural markets offer to the marketers, it can be said that the future is very promising for those who can understand the dynamics of rural markets and exploit them to their best advantage. A radical change in attitudes of marketers towards the vibrant and burgeoning rural markets is called for, so they can successfully impress on the 230 million rural consumers spread over approximately six hundred thousand villages in rural India REFERENCES

Sukhpal Singh- Rural Marketing Management A Developmental approach from Vikalpa(July-September 1985), a journal in English, published by IIMA K. L. K. Rao and Ramesh Tagat: Rural Marketing - a developmental approach Ch. Prasanth Reddy, dated 26/12/2001, Project Symphony:ITC team inspired by Beethoven business line , internet edition. http://agricoop.nic.in/stats.htm. Aarti Shetty & BV Mahalaxmi, dated 8/4/2002 Corporates Enter to Cash in on the Potential The Financial Express. Laxmikant Khanvilkar and Prashant Kothari, dated 28/3/2002, Generic Revolution The Financial Express. 11. Philip Evans, Thomas S Wurster, Blown to bits, Harvard Business School Press. 1999.Rural Tourism Rural Marketing, Ravindranath V. Badi and Naranyansa V. Badi, Himalaya Publishing, 2004 The Hindu - Business Line www.deccanherald.com www.indiantelevision.com

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