“Technology marketing solutions to reach rural India”: Kapil Sibal

“Technology marketing solutions to reach rural India”: Kapil Sibal
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First Published: Wed, Aug 22 2007. 02 02 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Aug 22 2007. 02 02 PM IST
New Delhi: Technology marketing should be based on cost effective evolution of the product and should reach greater part of the vibrant rural India, said Kapil Sibal, minister of science and technology and earth sciences at the Marketing Summit 2007: “Rewriting marketing for the ‘new India’, managing dreams, realities, needs and wants” organized by CII in the capital.
‘Out of the box’ marketing solutions were demonstrated as India Inc came together to discuss the benefits of progress that have the potential to seep through all levels of society. With the strong synergy between science and technology on the one hand and marketing goods and services on the other, clearly, “India has to sell what it makes, and also make what it can sell”.
Sibal emphasized that as the demographic dividend in India pays off in the next few years, the working age population will be able to fill global gaps and stabilize global demand. Captains of industry shared experiences and outlined their vision for this new India, which was growing exponentially, not just in urban metros but in tier 2 and tier 3 cities besides opening up a whole new world of challenges and opportunities in the vast rural hinterland.
India tracking success stories in new areas
Finally, the impressive achievements of Indian companies in the areas of information technology, business outsourcing, bio-medical research, manufacturing and services have helped change the perception of India as being a low-tech, agriculture dependent nation. According to industry representatives, India is now being increasingly seen as a technological, services and manufacturing powerhouse.
The substantial increase in the budgetary allocation for the social sector reflects the Government’s strong commitment to sustainable development in rural and urban areas which can be further harnessed.
Entrepreneurship: powerful driver for young population
With a growing young population, the biggest challenge will be to provide an environment that encourages and rewards entrepreneurial abilities, said Sunil Bharti Mittal, President, CII. He said,” Entrepreneurship could be India’s differentiator in the new global economy”.
The concept of marketing then should not be only about realizing the opportunity at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ but also mainstreaming benefits of the market. He said that private sector industry is an economic brand ambassador for the country and is playing its role in building Brand India.
Participants echoed the thought that the need of the hour is to continue the ‘bull run’ on all three core fronts of economic, social and political growth and to ensure that it is in sync with critical stakeholders, namely government, media and civil society”.
Use marketing strategy to widen market base
Vijay Mallya, chairman and CEO, UB Group talked about how a brand is not an inanimate object but one which can be likened to an individual. He said that the best of brands need to be reinvented every three to four years and marketers should create a clear line of communication to their target audience, unless they want to get taken over by competition - both domestic and global.
The consensus was that marketers should tap the increasing volume by widening the market rather than focusing on the increased usage by limited target audience. A common man in semi-urban areas must be reached by companies. Communication strategies have to address needs of those in remote areas. There is a huge market out there waiting to be tapped said,GR Gopinath, managing director, Air Deccan.
Strategic positioning
The brand should cut across different segments of the socio-economic strata and reach specific target audience through proper positioning, said Bijou Kurien, president and chief executive, Lifestyle, Reliance Retail. He said that volume and value compliment each other in the reach of a product and brand.
What is making international companies eye India and what is also holding back top notch Indian professionals on their terra firma, is the surge of high value opportunity on home ground. As Andrew Horne, managing director, Xerox India Limited admitted, the Indian experience has been different from the marketing understanding of other countries. India provides unique opportunity of providing volume sales to a company along with the demand of quality and value. And the perception is that the best is yet to come. The convergence of professionals and the collective pooling of ideas and strategies will make the market place in the times to come “fun”, “vibrant” and “economically attractive”.
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First Published: Wed, Aug 22 2007. 02 02 PM IST