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Management | Rural markets offer major career growth potential

Management | Rural markets offer major career growth potential
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First Published: Mon, Aug 27 2007. 01 04 AM IST
Updated: Mon, Aug 27 2007. 01 04 AM IST
Employment opportunities are multiplying, particularly in the rural sector, with companies focusing on the untapped potential there. Mint presents a fortnightly column on job prospects in the sector.
I have worked for five years in FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) in Uttar Pradesh. Would shifting to rural marketing be useful for me ?
You will be happy to know that a large number of FMCG companies have already started making intensive efforts to reach rural markets. This is because these are large markets, and untapped. The rural market for FMCG products is estimated at $14.4 billion (Rs59,328 crore) and growing at a faster rate than its urban counterparts. For example, Coca-Cola is growing at 37% in these markets against 24% in urban areas. Almost one-third of the rural population now uses shampoos, against 13% in 2000. In absolute numbers, however, the penetration is still low. Coke, for instance, reaches a little more than 25% of the market.
However, from a future perspective, income levels are going up, infrastructure is improving, and lifestyles are changing, too. Imagine the future possibilities of growth for Coke when penetration improves from one-fourth to, say, half of the rural market.
Considering these developments and future plans, rural markets perhaps offer a major career growth potential for dedicated and hardworking individuals. You may note, though, that so far you have catered to non-rural markets. Compared with your current job profile, you will have to operate in far more difficult living conditions and new assignments can be strenuous due to the lack of facilities we city-dwellers are used to.
I am a fresh graduate from Delhi University and I am interested in working for an NGO. How should I find my first job?
Delhi houses a large number of NGOs and international development agencies such as CRY, CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Oxfam, Pradan, Development Alternatives, to name a few. In my opinion, your search has to go through a series of proactive steps.
First, undertake desk research and collect names of development organizations and the kind of work they do. This process will familiarize you with the width of possible assignments. Second, try to identify what kind of work will interest you most. For example, it could be educating the elderly or helping in sanitation of slums or taking care of homeless children, etc. Once you discover your areas of interest, compile a list of NGOs that undertake similar work.
At this stage, you may write a letter addressed to the head of human resources of each of these organizations seeking a job opportunity, also explaining what interests you in looking for such assignments. This may bring about some results in terms of interview calls. You could even try calling these NGOs to seek an appointment and meet the people concerned. Organizations love to hire people who are enthusiastic and who make efforts to reach their goal.
Ajay Gupta is the chief executive of ruralnaukri.com.
Questions and comments on careers are welcome at skmint@livemint.com
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First Published: Mon, Aug 27 2007. 01 04 AM IST