Marketers focus on hinterland for business growth

India’s fledgling aspiration curve seems to be taking a deft detour. After cherry-picking sustained focus mostly on urban centers and metro cities for years, marketers are looking closely at tier 2 and 3 hubs, the ‘hinterland’ demand so as to see through the current downturn.

Nandini Sen Gupta of TNN gives some interesting instances to drive home this particular point in a just published article as follows:

  • Car companies, in search of markets less driven by economic sentiment, have been focusing attention on rural/semi urban India for a while now. As a result, rural India is now a ‘strategy market’ for Motown. According to the sales & marketing head of Hyundai Motor India, Says Rakesh Srivastava, the company is focusing on rural markets (beyond top 110 cities) by increasing the number of sales outlets.
  • “In 2011, around 15% of sales came from rural and semi-urban markets. In 2012, it grew to 16.9% and we expect it will increase to over 20% by 2014. Hyundai has 270 rural sales outlets (RSO) and we plan to take it to 350 outlets by end of 2013,” he has been quoted as saying.
  • Even luxury brands such as Lamborghini are looking at these markets for the next phase of growth. Says Pavan Shetty their head of Indian operations states that in the super car segment where prices hover above the Rs 3 crore mark, they are seeing growing demand from places like Cochin, Pune, Jaipur and Hyderabad.”
  • The company is using a hub-and-spoke model to reach out to these customers through their specialized activities. For instance, an event in Chandigarh attracts customers from Jallandhar and Ludhiana who otherwise would have had to come to Delhi. There are a lot of enquiries from these places,” he informs.
  • Consumer electronics giant Sony India has recently announced that it will launch small-screen Bravia brand TV sets with prices starting as low as Rs 15,000 to tap demand in smaller towns and cities. Sony isn’t the only durables company to eye non-metro nirvana.

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