Sunday, August 02, 2009

Business opportunity in rural market

The word recession brings up huge emotions – fear, anger, sorrow. However, many top business people are still very positive towards the future and see the economical recession as a turning point for their business in the rural market.

Recently, The Economist Intelligence Unit and Dubai Holding published a white paper based on the views of the people who own and manage the world’s businesses; 418 senior business people around the globe. They found that 53% think the economical meltdown would positively impact their business in the next 5 to 10 years.

It is also interesting to see that more than 50% of these executives would give priority to product and geographical diversification in the near future. They do not specify what would be the new geographical market place but we can reasonably presume that it would be the BRIC markets.

Economy is a state of mind. It is like mass psychology and the time people take to recover from an economical recession actually depends of their exposure to the global economy. If you look at where the economic crisis has affected the industry, it is only the export oriented sectors and particularly the IT industry. The export sector is mostly served by the middle class in metro-cities. They are well known for having a lavish lifestyle and craze for quality brand experience. Today many shopping malls are deserted and the urban middle class has come back to the old fashioned saving lifestyle. Many shops have closed down and others are proposing huge discounts to attract customers.

Atria is one of those happening shopping malls you can find in Mumbai. Hundreds of international brands like Reebok, Swarovski, Guess all under one roof. Today, many shops have closed down and others are proposing huge discounts to attract customers.

Sunday market in Pondicherry has regained lots of popularity for the past one year. In towns and villages, the economy is still very positive. Would you get any feeling of recession in such place?

In the same paper from The Economist Intelligence Unit, Martin Fitzpatrick, Microsoft’s regional controller for South-East Asia, explains the benefits of reaching consumers who depend from the local economy rather than global. Rural consumers are used to economical ups and downs and can recover faster than developed economies. He says “The boom-bust cycle seems to be more readily accepted as a regular part of the economic landscape. I have grown used to the concept, this being my fourth cycle of boom and bust in less than ten years. Most companies and individuals seem to have effectively written off 2009 and are instead gearing up for a better 2010.”

Going beyond globalisation

The concept of economical globalisation has probably reached its end with the economical meltdown. It would have an impact on the way companies invest their money and people consume. There is a regain of interest for local and national products. People’s lifestyle and consumption pattern has drastically changed over recent years hence companies need to keep their design strategy in tune with the evolutions of the society. Create products and services that serve the Indian economy and identity.

Our company, Kovent helps businesses to understand Indian rural consumer’s mindset and consumption pattern. Our approach is different from other market research companies who rely on data and statistics. Our researches are based on qualitative design research and ethnographic insights. They reveal rural consumers needs, behaviours and desires through lifestyle scenarios. These scenarios will help you to understand which product speaks to their social aspirations. How you can capitalise on social trends to enhance your consumer’s experience and brand perception.

Kovent is dedicated to anthropologic design research that serves companies business objectives. As social issues enter the minds of today’s Indian citizens, we are integrating ideas such as sustainability and social responsibility into our researches.

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