Rural marketing is now a two-way marketing process. There is
inflow of products into rural markets for production or
consumption and there is also outflow of products to urban
What is Rural Marketing?
ITC is the country’s leading FMCG marketer, the clear market
leader in the Indian Paperboard and Packaging industry, a globally
acknowledged pioneer in farmer empowerment through its wide
reaching Agri Business, the second largest Hotel Chain in India and
a trailblazer in ‘green hoteliering’.
Chairman, ITC Ltd. : Y C Deveshwar
Business Segments Of ITC
ITC have created over 50 popular brands across categories that serve
millions of households and support and sustain over 5 million
livelihoods across India. Within a relatively short span of time, ITC has
established vital brands across diverse businesses that include
branded packaged foods, personal care, education & stationery
products, incense sticks and safety matches, lifestyle apparel and
hotels. Each of ITC’s brands has today garnered significant market
standing in the global Indian marketplace.
Agri Business Hotels
Cigarettes and Cigars
Key product segments in FMCG sector are
Branded Packaged Foods
Personal Care Products
Education & Stationery Products
Agarbattis and Safety Matches
Launched in 1975, ITC Hotels, India's premier chain of luxury hotels,
has become synonymous with Indian hospitality. ITC Hotels
pioneered the concept of 'Responsible Luxury' in the hospitality
industry, drawing on the strengths of the ITC groups’ sustainability
practices. Responsible Luxury personifies an ethos that integrates
world-class green practices with contemporary design elements to
deliver the best of luxury in the greenest possible manner.
ITC's Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division is India's largest,
technologically advanced and most eco-friendly, paper and
paperboards business. The business caters to a wide spectrum of
packaging, graphic, communication, writing, printing and specialty
paper requirements through its four world-class manufacturing units,
7sales offices and a network of more than 50 dealers in India, along
with an international trade network of 18 distributors / agents and 4
finishing operations close to the market for providing faster service to
PAPERBOARDS & SPECIALITY PAPERS
ITC's Packaging & Printing Business is the largest value added
converter of paperboard packaging in South Asia. It converts
over 70,000 tonnes of paper, paperboard and laminates per
annum into a variety of value-added packaging solutions for the
food & beverage, personal products, cigarette, liquor and
consumer goods industries.
ITC's pre-eminent position as one of India's leading corporates in the
agricultural sector is based on strong and enduring farmer partnerships
that has revolutionized and transformed the rural agricultural sector. A
unique rural digital infrastructure network, coupled with deep
understanding of agricultural practices and intensive research, has built a
competitive and efficient supply chain that creates and delivers immense
value across the agricultural value chain. One of the largest exporters of
agri products from the country.
ITC Infotech is a fully owned subsidiary of ITC Ltd. Formed in 2000,
ITC Infotech has today carved a niche for itself in the arena of global
IT services and solutions. The company has established technology
Centers of Excellence (CoE) to deepen capabilities and incubate
cutting-edge technical competencies.
With over 5600 employees, ITC Infotech conforms to the highest
standards in process quality, with ISO 27001, ISO 9001 and CMMi
Level 3 accreditations.
Key Rural Marketing Strategies employed by
• By communicating and changing quality perception
• By proper communication in Indian Language
• By understanding cultural and social values
• By promoting Indian Sports Teams
• By developing rural specific products
• By adopting localized way of distribution.
• By giving Indian words for brands
e-Choupal is an initiative of ITC Limited, a conglomerate in India, to
link directly with rural farmers via the Internet for procurement
of agricultural and aquaculture products like soybeans, wheat, coffee,
and prawns. e-Choupal tackles the challenges posed by Indian
agriculture, characterized by fragmented farms, weak infrastructure
and the involvement of intermediaries. The programme installs
computers with Internet access in rural areas of India to offer farmers
up-to-date marketing and agricultural information. Today the
initiative of ITC has empowered the lives of people living in 10 states
where 40000 villages have 6500 e choupals and around 4 million
farmers have been empowered.
AVAILABILITY: It emphasizes on the availability of the goods and
services to the end consumers. In the case of e-choupal the products
are available continuously because sanchalaks maintains continuous
inventory and maintains aggregate demnand.
AFFORDABILITY: It focuses on product pricing. ITC buys from farmers
directly in the last days closing price and even pays them for
transportation. Goods are weighted electronically and hence farmers
are no more cheated as they used to be previously. Hence it is a win-
win situation both for farmers and the company.
ACCEPTABILITY: It focuses on convincing the customer to buy the
product. ITC’s e-choupal initiative is proving the farmers with real
time updated information on weather. It is providing them
customized knowledge in the form of farm management and risk
management. It is also providing them lower transaction cost. It is
also providing them financial services in the form of life, general,
health and crop insurance.
AWARENESS: It focuses on making people aware of the product. It is
providing active servicing up to rural outlets. It is providing them
with wide range of product categories. Moreover it has made
entrepreneurs out of farmers as they are managing most of the
work, it instills in them the sense of ownership
ITC also employs 4As in e-Choupal
• Highly diversified product range.
• Related products selling -whitegoods, diesel, fertilizers, insurance etc.
• Products are of relatively high quality
• Agricultural inputs were aggressively priced (lower than competitors)
• Comparable products at lower price under different brand namePrice
• Developed procurement hubs, rural mini malls in the vicinity of villages.
• All products available under one roof.
• Selling, purchasing and storage at the same place
• Products are sold through samyojaks, sanchalaks who were among the villagers.
• Awareness among farmers, CSR activities job opportunities, farmer self-efficacy.
• Skilled central management group.
PRODUCT, PRICE, PLACE, PROMOTION
4Ps of ITC Rural Marketing Strategies
• Technology Innovation
• Cooperation with Government Bodies
• Enhance Publicity and Training
• Simplify Interface of e-choupal
• Extend lifecycle of equipment
• Increase revenue by adding advertisementsCost
Key Challenges faced by ITC in Rural Marketing and possible alternatives are :
• Increase the utilization of eChoupal
• Sign contract with the farmers
• More innovations are needed
• Provide faster and more responsive customer service
• Create incentive programs for the farmers
• Maintain good relationship with sanchalak and samyojak
Key Recommendations for ITC e-Choupals are:
• Rural wealth creation in agriculture
through securing empowerment,
collaboration & competition.
• A transformational initiative for
sustainable development of society.
• Commitment to transparency & the
respect & fairness with which both
farmers & local partners are treated.
ITC eChoupal an innovative strategy which is elaborative & extensive in rural markets so far