Mudra launches specialised unit on rural marketing - Terra

By Savia Jane Pinto , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Marketing | September 08, 2008
The unit will offer complete rural mass media solutions

On the & #BANNER1 & # heels of launching Water, Mudra's specialised unit for brand strategy and design consultancy, Mudra launches yet another specialised unit and this one concentrates on integrated rural solutions called Terra. Water designed the logo for Terra too.

This new unit, that was launched yesterday, will offer specialised services - research, strategic planning and consultancy, creative solutions, on-ground consumer activation, retail activation and complete rural mass media solutions. Terra is a part of the Mudra Group.

Terra means earth. The name is representative of the growth that is a result of water and earth intermingling. The unit seeks to be that precursor to growth in the rural areas.

The unit will start its operations in all metros - Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore and will have offices in other smaller cities such as Jabalpur, Lucknow, Patna, Indore, Meerut, Ahmedabad and Aurangabad. In totality, Terra will have a footprint in 1,75,000 villages and 4,000 towns across 13 states in India.

Madhukar Kamath, MD and CEO, Mudra Group, in an official communiqué, says, "With the launch of Terra, we have added another specialist skill set that marketers will value. Terra will help marketers engage the rural consumer meaningfully. We have invested in the very best talent in the industry and put into place systems for strategic and implementation rigour."

Madhukar Kamath

Pratap Bose

Ajay SundaramMudra has been doing the groundwork on setting up Terra since Anurag Gupta, president, strategic initiatives and integration joined Mudra from OgilvyAction. Speaking to afaqs!, Gupta, says, "There are not many serious players in the field of rural marketing and the need is present."

Not many players have a specialised team working on rural marketing; the only names that come to mind are Ogilvy Outreach and Lintas' Linterland. Terra aims to fill the gap that has been created. "Many of Mudra's clients have wanted to use this expertise and now Terra will be fully equipped to do so," says Gupta.

Pratap Bose, chief operating officer, Mudra Group tells afaqs!, "Terra has been a part of Mudra's plan for quite a while now. The burgeoning middle class is taking rural India towards growth and every marketer today has to address rural India."

Bose says that Mudra would like to have a mix of clients in its stable which would mean that a few from Mudra's own backyard and new non-Mudra clients. Presently they are working on about 10 clients, names of which he declined to comment on for obvious reasons. The sectors that Terra is looking to work with are, FMCG, financials, auto, social clients and others.

In an official statement, Bose says, "The launch is strategically significant for the Mudra Group and strengthens our integrated services play. Our ambition for Terra is to be the finest integrated rural communications expert in the country. We are also geared to execute faster and better than anyone else in the market; and are committed to empowering clients with state-of-the-art real-time tracking, reporting and monitoring systems."

The Terra team will be headed by Ajay Sundaram, a rural marketing veteran. Sundaram too was with OgilvyAction Outreach before moving into Terra. He will head the national operation for Terra.

High on his mandate is to marry the operations with technology, technology being the differentiating factor for Terra. Next is bringing on many more clients and also refining and improving the talent pool that is part of Terra, he shares with afaqs!

The team also includes Manish Sinha, head of integrated planning and in-house hands in the form of Manav Malvai and Deepa Kirodian who will be senior creative directors and will work closely with Sundaram on his team.