More companies are expanding their base in India's rural markets than at any other time in history - and for good reason. For one thing, the business environment is improving, thanks to better infrastructure and the growing number of consumers who are earning more and snapping up products and services that support their aspirations. The confluence of these forces is changing the rules of the game and clearly, just "being there" is no longer enough to succeed with India's rural consumers.
As the rural market opportunity becomes more attractive, companies are experimenting with different go-to-market models with varied degrees of success. Despite improvements in India's rural business environment, many companies are still struggling to generate sustained, profitable growth in these markets. A key challenge is how to establish effective business in rural areas. Companies that master this challenge will likely set the growth benchmarks for their industries for years to come.
More than ever, companies now need transformational strategies to master these markets. As always, such strategies will hinge on deep customer and market insight. But the unprecedented speed of change in rural markets also demands unprecedented agility. As competition intensifies, companies will have to devise compelling value propositions that not only meet rural consumers' needs but also drive robust revenue growth and profits.
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