Marketers focus is shifting towards low income consumers in tier II tier and III towns as the next level of growth is expected from smaller towns. India’s rural population comprises 12 per cent of the world’s population presenting a huge, untapped market. Taking into consideration the population density in rural India, it offers huge opportunities that brands cannot afford to ignore.
According to a McKinzey Report, India will be the fifth largest consumer market by 2025 and income levels will almost triple. Rural consumer communications is, therefore, a growth strategy for Milestone Brandcom.
“At Milestone, we believe in investing in talent, knowledge and insights. We want to help brands reach its customers wherever they may be. Therefore, we felt the need to go rural. Milestone believes it is essential to gain an understanding about the impact of these elements to succeed in the Indian rural markets. Our future growth strategy involves offering this service to our existing and new clients. Therefore, we have appointed established experts in the field of rural marketing who are equipped with the skills of surviving in these markets,” said Nabendu Bhattacharyya, Founder and Managing Director Milestone Brandcom.
“Our vision for Milestone Outland is to challenge the current status quo in rural consumer Communications. I am personally fond of this business and believe it has huge potential in terms of scale and volume to build communications for the 70 per cent of population residing in rural India. It forms an integral part of the business; every marketer will sooner or later seek one on one communications to reach to these media dark areas,” he added.
In next one month, a pan-India operation is planned with a 50-member team to penetrate through the Indian rural landscape and set new benchmarks for the client’s brand.
Ajay Sundaram has been brought on board as Country Head and Vice President, Milestone Outland.
Ajay Sundaram has over 14 years of experience in the industry and moves to Milestone Brandcom from Leo Burnett. He has also worked as Country Head – Terra, the rural division of Mudramax and Ogilvy Outreach. He has worked on various brands such as P&G, Water Health, GPI and Mahindra Finance, HUL, Shell Foundation, Colgate, Western Union, ITC, ACC, Nerolac, Godrej, Samsung, to name a few.
“I am fascinated by Milestones’ growth story! What interests me is its long-term vision in the business and commitment to fresh investments. We, at Milestone Outland, would like to bring in a new approach to understand the rural consumer who is very different from his urban counterpart. Increasing brand consciousness and disposable incomes has made the rural consumer more demanding and selective in his purchase behaviour,” said Sundaram.
“We plan to reach out to the low income rural consumers and give them an opportunity to understand the various choices in terms of brands and products via continuous penetration through different modes of OOH advertising. To effectively succeed in these markets, campaigns have to be tailored to appeal to the consumers keeping in mind the nuances of their language, dialect and customs prevalent in their region,” he added.