Future Generali

How will the rural consumer’s purchasing sentiments change post the pandemic?

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Rakesh Wadhwa:

I've seen a lot of your work has been done for brands trying to capture rural markets. And you've got some very deep insights about rural markets through your experience in those geographies as well. So how do you see the story unfolding for these markets in the coming future?  Will India be less impacted as we see currently the way things are and will lead a recovery post COVID-19? What do you think about that?

 

Harish Bijoor:

67% of the population of India for instance lives in rural areas. And there are about 41 countries across the world which have a rural quotient. So I keep saying that every country has a yin and yang. Yin is rural and the yang is urban but in our country the Yin is larger than the Yang. In the sense rural people are more around here. Extremely important for us to say that we need to be very sensitive about rural people. Rural people have a far greater degree of sensitivity to issues. Post COVID there are certain things that are going to rematch. Research says that there is one big piece of data coming forth. The rural people are suspicious of urban people. That is a divide. The earlier divide was urban people are snooty about Ruby. We dress like this. I wear these kind of snotty glasses.

Not anymore. The rural people are watching urban people suspiciously. The entire COVID-19 issue  has been seen to be a pandemic of the passport holder out. And the passport holder who possibly lives in the biggest cities of our country. So you have to be sensitive how marketeers go and touch people. Another issue, in India it's the hedging money kind of an apartheid. Urban population actually dictates marketing to the rural population. You need to change the startle guys. Rural needs to dictate the way things are going to be marketed.

Whereas urban needs to listen and enact.

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