The ‘rurban’ consumers — a fast maturing grey area between India’s urban and rural segments — are characterised as having the upbringing and background of the rural sector but with aspirations mirroring the lifestyle and habits of its urban counterparts. They are a complex section of consumers who need something more than what has been offered to them so far.
The emergence of this ‘rurban’ population will prove to be a game-changer for our country and has fast started to determine the shape of India’s democracy as well as market economy. If this consumer market is tapped to its full potential, it can very well become the torch-bearer for a company’s growth and performance.
However, the key to cracking this emerging market is customization and innovations which bring the same taste and experience to the consumer at a reasonable price. It is no longer about ‘value for money’ but offering ‘money for value’.
This segment will spend money depending on the value of the offering. As much as the rural consumer may exhibit similar aspirations as their urban counterparts, they are less willing to experiment if they do not see adequate value. Therefore, companies must invest in research and development to ensure this need is met.
Gone are the days where demand was maintained by tightening of the supply chain or giving importance to the rich and affluent. In the new era, all customers reign supreme and we need to make each one of them feel special. It is not a short sprint any more, it is a battle for the last mile.
So, brace yourself for the long, hard haul!