BOP is not about the farm but about sustainability: R Mukundan

Marketing to bottom of pyramid entails understanding the economic landscape, human capital, sustainability & tech, says MD, Tata Chemicals

e4m by Abhinav Mohapatra
Published: Feb 18, 2013 7:31 PM  | 3 min read
BOP is not about the farm but about sustainability: R Mukundan

People who have a soft side should enter marketing and not only be the hard driven number crunching marketer, said R Mukundan, Managing Director, Tata Chemicals.

Mukundan shared that the company follows a system of LIFE (Living Industrial Farm Essentials) which contributes to 60-65 per cent of the market share of TCL (Tata Chemicals Limited). He claimed that the brand is the largest rural network in India, having more than 700 stores across states such as UP and Haryana and has a turnover of Rs 15,000 crore.

Talking about marketing to the BOP (Bottom Of the Pyramid), Mukundan said, “The CXO has to take a lot of things into consideration while mastering the art of marketing to the BOP. It is essential that the CXO understands the economic landscape, sustainability, human capital, technology, changing social order, innovation and revolution, since the Indians born today will consume 13 times more resources than their grandparents.”

Bottom of the pyramid, he said, is not about the farm but about sustainability, the products that are now being made to last for five years will have to last for the next 50 years.”

Talking about how digital landscape has changed the face of the current day systems, Mukundan said, “It has made the current system obsolete, social activism and reach is important now; the mobile connectivity is shifting to smartphones, hence, there is more connectivity to the digital social world.”

“Focussing on the last two of the five takeaways from Mahatma Gandhi, Satya, Ahimsa, Swaraj, Antodaya and Sarvodaya, the crux is to focus on serving people,” said Mukandan to connect BOP to Gandhi. He also said that there are other four As of BOP by Prahalad that he takes into consideration; namely, Awareness, Access, Affordability and Availability. Putting the thoughts together, Mukundan said, “There are five Ds at the bottom of the pyramid, out of which the most important is ‘Dignity’; this is where most brands and companies fall short of. They should think out of the ‘class’ system and think beyond.”

He later reiterated his learning highlighting the need for identification, asthetic matter, importance of awareness, internet buzz creation, reach and penetration, technology, innovation and humility. Here he said, “Innovation is going to drive the things of the future.”

Mukundan shared his thoughts on the ‘Art of marketing to the BOP – is it Gandhian or Prahlad way?’ at All India Management Association’s Third Marketing Congress, held in Delhi.

The session was chaired by Annurag Batra, Chairman and Editor in Chief, exchange4media Group.

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