ITC's e-Choupal and Intellect, the research and technologies wing of Lintas Media Group, have joined hands to launch Bharat Barometer – the primary information source of all aspects of rural consumer behaviour. The Bharat Barometer is a highly potent research channel for exploring various rural consumer and market matters.
Elaborating on the initiative, Lynn de Souza, Director, Lintas Media Group, said, "Today in the competitive rush for new customers, brands are exploiting new segments, attempting new strategies, pushing to increase the product usage, bringing out new variants, etc. The largest, untapped by many, difficult to reach rural masses are gaining importance each day. Brands heading in the direction are confronted with limited knowledge that places obstacles in their path to success in the rural market place. With this initiative, it will become very simple to track and obtain crucial inputs from this rural segment and I'm sure this will become a very important fact finding tool for marketers across."
Shailendra Tyagi, VP, Marketing, ITC Ltd-IBD, said, "ITC's e-Choupal carries with it a rich legacy of trust and transparency with rural India. It is this unique relationship and e-Choupal's credibility with Indian farmers that enables us to gather critical information, which otherwise isn't readily shared through traditional research."
ITC's e-Choupal is an Internet based information sharing network inspired from the traditional 'Choupal' concept, where villagers would meet for knowledge sharing. Today the e-Choupals serve as both a social gathering place for exchange of information and an e-commerce hub for over 3.5 million farmers.
Each choupal network is looked after by a host farmer called the 'Sanchalak' and coordinates with an average of 600 farmers in 4-5 surrounding villages within about a 5 km radius. Currently, there are over 6,000 e-Choupal networks spread across seven states and rapidly growing.
These e-choupal form the information nodes for Bharat Barometer. Once the research design has been established by Intellect, the data is then collected across this network, reaching out to the desired profile in the villages of India. The network promises a very high rural penetration and high sample sizes at times unachievable with the conventional research methods; particularly with the fast response time of the service.
While Intellect prepares the research design and powers the data analysis; ITC e-Choupal provides the expertise of targeting and eliciting information and tele-porting it to the Intellect databases.
With this partnership, Intellect, the research arm of LMG will be the first to be able to tap and expose its customer with depth, accuracy and breadth across the nation for rural penetration and inputs.