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Rural Influencers E3: Role of SHGs in Rural Marketing

Rural Influencers E3: Role of SHGs in Rural Marketing

The former United Nations’ Secretary General Kofi Annan had famously said,“There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women”. This path-breaking inclusive philosophy plays an important role in the socio-economic development of the countries in the world.

Friends,I am Ajay Adlakha, Editor-in-Chief of Rural Marketing business portal, welcoming you to my new blog. Here I am on a mission to help businessmen and organisations to scale their businesses in rural India, by simplifying rural marketing strategies. Last week as part of Rural Influencers series,you went through my blog on ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist)workers.

Dear marketers, now, in order to simplify your rural marketing strategies, I am going to discuss a revolutionary economic activity for and by women, the self-help-groups, famously known as SHGs.

In order to understand the effectiveness of SHGs in reaching rural consumers, we need to see their prowess in rural employment generation. Ramkali Devi, member of a 36 women’s group, Aarti Aajivika SHG, makes carpets in a remote village, surrounded by the forests of Dudhwa National Park in Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh. The group also participates in the fairs and exhibitions to showcase and sell their handmade products.

Nearly 10 years ago, these women did not have any kind of earning, but today, while generating livelihoods for themselves, they are also providing employment to over 300 women in the surrounding villages. Each of those women earn 300 to 500 rupees daily on an average. It’s one of many uplifting examples of financial empowerment brought about by SHGs in rural India.

Self-help-groups are the micro enterprises in rural India, largely led by women. According to a recent estimate by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development(NABARD),there are 22 lakh women self-help-groups, functioning as micro enterprises across India, largely in the hinterlands. They constitute around 3.3 crore members. It’s easy to see their massive impact on consumption of goods and services in rural India.

SHGs promote small savings among their members. The savings are kept with the bank. This is the common fund in the name of the SHG. Many SHGs, under NABARD's 'SHG Bank Linkage' programme, borrow from banks once they accumulate a base of their own capital. This model has attracted attention as a possible way of delivering micro-finance services to poor populations that have been difficult to reach directly through banks or other institutions. By aggregating their individual savings into a single deposit, self-help groups minimise the bank's transaction costs and generate an attractive volume of deposits. Through self-help groups, the bank can serve small rural depositors while paying them a market rate of interest.

Besides consumers of goods and services, SHG members also turn into big influencers for the women population in their neighbourhood in the rural areas. Friends, now what is there for the marketers?This is an opportunity to reach to the bottom of the pyramid and if you can make it then you are in the market.Thus, you have a big chain of economically empowered women to promote your products and services.

Friends, in the form of 3.3 crore economically empowered women, I have put a big horizon of influencers in the rural markets in front of you. They can give your brands a handsome growth. All you need to do is to get in touch with us. We, with a highly experienced team of marketing and business professionals can get you a lion’s share from the rural markets To know more on this crucial topic, you can watch my video on my channel by clicking on this link.

And yes! If there’s anything specific that you want me to address in my videos and blogs, please suggest. Watch out for my next video and blog next week on the importance of Anganwadi workers in simplifying your rural marketing.