All roads lead to rural India


From cars to watches to mobile phones to computers all the manufacturers and service providers are vying for one big pie – The rural India. At least 70% of the Indian population is living in rural areas.

rural India

That is some handsome number for everyone to look at. India has just crossed 400 million mobile connections. Of which less than 25% are from rural India. Not a very good going from a business perspective but presents a huge growth potential.

Airtel which is the first and only Indian telecom provider to cross 100 million mark is targeting youth and rural population for its next 100 million and 3/4th’s of new users will be from rural areas. Tata Nano which is a people’s car is supposed to be a big hit in rural areas. Since it is a lottery system to allot the car so far the initial statistics might not tell the true story.

My guess is 5 years down the line rural Nano will surpass urban nano.

Titan is going rural with its watches and expects majority of its sales to come from rural areas. Next in line are the rural BPO centers. Even the biggies are thinking of setting up rural BPO set-ups. The first rural BPO center I heard of is by the byrraju foundation which is linked to the erstwhile Satyam Computers.

What these rural BPO’s have done is they have stopped or at least trying to stop the mass migration to the cities. Our cities are already over-crowded and the roads already clogged. The last thing we want is a mass migration in search of a job to the closest city. Rural BPO’s is a good way to provide employment without moving to a city. More and more companies should start doing it.

Outsourcing itself is a new phenomena and only recently have companies started outsourcing their work. It will take a while to get rural BPO’s up and going, but good news is it is happening.

It is not the left or the right which insulated India from the global contagion. It might as well be rural India as most of India lives there and it is not affected by. Since 70% of India is insulated it is safe to assume that India is insulated.

I am happy with everything going to rural areas. Airplanes, luxury watches, cars, telephones, BPO’s and banks everything can go rural. The only thing I don’t want to go rural is the credit cards. From whatever happened so far they would be the last one to go.

  1. Jaiprakash says

    Rural India is THE India, all this hype about India growing as a super power is bullshit. The real India is in its villages and the rural folk.

    The rural people need financial support for the farming and agriculture sector to grow. Ask any farmer or any person from the rural areas of India, they will tell you that the banks are not ready to give them loans. The banks give loan only to the people who have the means to pay back. The farmers and landless workers never get loan from the banks which are meant for sanctioning loans.

    The penetration of technology such as mobile phones into rural areas may prove highly profitable for the telecom company. What does it mean to the farmer? Does it bring him anything more than the simple pleasure of talking with his son or daughter who is himself struggling somewhere far away in the city?

    Availability and access to financial support, infrastructure (roads, bridges, irrigational canal, power supply) and technologically advanced equipment such as tractors, harvestors and the like are needed for agriculture and similarly for farm products.

    The picture of rural India using mobile phones or wearing luxury watch or travelling by an airplane can only help to distort the reality. Let us wake up and take note of the reality instead of imagining fancy things!

  2. Philip says

    Its rural India that bought the UPA govt back to power and its the same rural India that insulated India from this global financial crisis.

  3. Squamble says

    Excellent Article at a right time.
    Actually helped me in selecting my Topic for Rural Marketing for a College Project.
    Thanks :)

    1. Sriram Vadlamani says

      Glad you liked it and happy to help.

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