Emerging Trends in Rural Development and Marketing


Prof. R. Radha

Dhanvantri College of Nursing, Pallakka Palayam, Namakkal District.

*Corresponding Author E-mail: rradha.sakthiss@gmail.com



Rural development is defined as ‘improving living standards of the mass of low-income population residing in rural areas and making the process of their development self-sustaining’. It embraces all those programmes that touch all levels of human living, e.g.., agriculture and related matters, irrigation, communication, education, health, supplementary employment, housing, training and social welfare. (William R. Lassey, 1977).  The initial strategy for agricultural and rural development in India focused attention on institutional reforms like the abolition of Zamindari and Jagirdari systems of land tenure. The emphasis in the strategy of rural development was on an area approach. According to the NCAER survey, the incidence of poverty was 52 per cent for the landless as a whole, 68 per cent for landless wage-earners, 50 and 51 per cent for the roughly 206 million members of scheduled castes and tribes, respectively, 45 per cent for households in which all members were illiterates compared to 27 per cent for households where both male and female adult read and write. Source: Dreze and Srinivasan (1996).


KEYWORDS: Rural development, future rural marketing, Emerging Trends in Rural Development, Rural poverty, Market research, rural Retail marketing, Glamorize rural marketing.





Copp1 has defined rural development as a process through collective efforts, aimed at improving the well-being and self-realization of people living outside the urbanized areas. He further contends that the ultimate target of rural development is people and not infrastructure and according to him one of the objectives of rural development should be to “widen people’s ranges of choices”







Lassey 2 highlights that the focus of rural development should be on, preservation of ecological integrity with a view to providing continuing supply of life supporting resources, efficient and appropriate land use, healthy living conditions, aesthetically pleasing environment effective social, economic, and government institutions.


Importance of Rural Development:

In (WHO- March 2011) Rural development is necessary not only because an overwhelming majority of the population lives in villages but also because the development of the country. Rural development has assumed greater importance in India today than in the earlier period in the process of development of the country. There is much evidence to show that public interest in rural development is growing rapidly. Reaching the benefits of development to India’s 5, 75,000, villages and improving the living standards of the rural people, particularly of those living below the poverty line, have been the avowed goals of India’s Five Year Plans and the 20 Point Programme. (O Gene Norman, 1989)


Need of marketing in:

Large population of RURAL INDIA Literacy Global Integration Rapid growth in service industries India Rise in demanding consumers rate Increased from 36% to 59% India is an agro-based economy and the growth of most of the other sectors of economy is driven by rural demand (J Cruickshank). Urban market is reaching towards the saturation point, thus bringing in and urgent need to focus on rural development. Moreover, more than 70% of India's population lives in villages and constitutions a big market for industry because of increasing disposal incomes and awareness level. (Dreze and Srinivasan (1996) ) In comparison to just 5,161 towns in India there are 6, 38,365 villages in India.


Market growth:

·      Market is growing at a rate of 3-4% per annum

·      In 2001-02, LIC sold 55% of its policies in rural India.

·      Of two million BSNL mobile connections, 50% are in small towns / villages.

·      Of the 6.0 lakh villages, 5.22 lakh have a Village Public Telephone (VPT).

·      41 million Kisan Credit Cards have been issued (against 22 million credit-plus-debitc ards in urban), with cumulative credit of Rs. 977 billion resulting in tremendous Liquidity

·      Of the 20 million Rediff mail sign-ups, 60% are from small towns

·      Investment in formal savings instruments is 6.6 million HHs in rural and 6.7 million HHs in urban.


Recent emerging trends:

Rural India goes mobile• Ensuring Insurance• Media• Internet reach• Brand conscious


Challenges for rural marketing:

Awareness• Affordability• Availability• Acceptability


Market research:

As the rural market develops in the next few years, more qualitative studies will be needed to understand the rural consumer, his lifestyle, aspirations and motivations.


PRA is one of the tools used in the social sector which involves rural people in the research process and they enjoy sharing and analyzing about themselves. (AS Oliveira - 2012).


Quantitative studies on demand estimation, market shares, and customer satisfaction will need to be undertaken in the rural market as well, as demand grows and rural India becomes more attractive for marketers.

Consumer finance:

The evolution of urban markets in the 90s was fueled by the entry of consumer finance products as an outcome of the financial sector reforms in the Indian economy (AK Singh – 2007).  Banks like ICICI and HDFC and others moving aggressively into the rural markets and durable companies like LG, Philips and others extending their distribution, it can be expected that the urban boom of 90s should be repeated in the rural market during the current decade.


Rural vertical:

(In 2012 S Agarwal) Companies will need to equip themselves, if they want to succeed in the dynamic rural market. To begin with, top management commitment would be absolutely essential.


The CEO would need to articulate a strong commitment to rural marketing, only then will the marketing team give its focused attention and sustained support to this growing market segment.  HUL has already created a separate rural vertical with a team of RSMs, ASMs, SOs and RSPs committed exclusively to servicing the rural market. Rural has been given separate sales targets and the company is in the process of allocating separate sales promotion and advertising budgets for this market.


Retail and IT models:

India boasts of a huge unorganized rural retailing system through the 4200 haats. However organized rural retailing has not taken deep roots in rural India IT and connectivity impact the way business is done. Today with STD facility, the retailer can dial the town distributor instantly and fresh stocks would reach him in just a couple of days, because of better road connectivity. (SHH Kazmi – 2007)


Benefits of IT Driven business strategy:

Ease of access, Up-to-date content, Layout, design, consistent themes, Easy navigation, Higher interactivity,  Access through multiple media (M Levy - 2012),  Higher use of non-textual information,  Multiple languages,  Lower transaction cost


Rural managers:

As the rural market is already bigger than its urban counterpart, there is need to develop a good understanding about it among corporate managers. For this to happen rural marketing should be taught as a subject in every business school. (H Schramm-Klein – 2007)


Glamorize rural marketing:

Rural is considered as unglamorous. Industry seminars on these subjects also evoke a similar response. This must change as the rural market in size is bigger than any of the other markets mentioned here Industries associations (CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM) government agencies and academic institutions should take upon themselves to give due importance to rural marketing.


E-rural marketing:

I was paying the price for my lack of knowledge. Now I get the right price for my crop. ITC as changed my life.



Rural markets offer growth opportunities. Rural market is the market of the new millennium. Last but not the least, with the fast improving rural infrastructure and higher exposure to city life the sharp divide between urban and rural will get blurred. But this process has only just began.



1.       J Cruickshank, DG Nowak-, 2001 - Taylor & Francis

2.       AS Oliveira, AU Dallmeyer, LN Romano - Engenharia Agrícola, 2012

3.       AK Singh - 2007 -

4.       S Agarwal - Indian Journal of Marketing, 2012

5.       M Levy, BA Weitz, D Grewal - 2012

6.       J Zentes, D Morschett, H Schramm-Klein - 2007

7.       1James H. Copp, Rural Sociology and Rural Development ,”Rural Sociology ,Vol.37 ,No.4 , Dec. 1972 , pp.515-523

8.       William R. Lassey, Planning in Rural Environment, New York, Mcgraw Hill Book Company ,1977

9.       WHO- Healthy urban planning, 10–11 March 2011, Kobe, Japan.



Received on 11.09.2018       Modified on 05.10.2018

Accepted on 31.10.2018       ©A&V Publications All right reserved

Int.  J. of Advances in Nur. Management. 2019; 7(1):20-22.

DOI: 10.5958/2454-2652.2019.00005.2