Jagran Solutions sets up a rural division

By Rohit Nautiyal , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | September 24, 2009
The new division will handle business worth Rs 35 crore

With a view to address marketers' needs to activate emerging Indian markets, Jagran Solutions, the activation arm of Jagran Prakashan, has launched its rural division.

Though a team dedicated to rural activation has been around for a year now, the division was formally created recently. The company claims that currently, this division handles activations business worth Rs 35 crore.

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Discussing the development, Ambika Sharma, national head, Jagran Solutions says that the dynamics of rural markets differ from other market types and rural marketing strategies are different from those aimed at urban consumers. "In order to handle the needs of emerging rural Indian markets, it was imperative that operations should be handled by a dedicated team with expertise. Consumer insight, creativity, reach, scale, control and result orientation will be the driving forces of this division," she says.

Rural markets offer a large potential volume growth for all brands. Factors such as rise in rural income levels, huge investments by governments on infrastructure, increase in literacy and education level and thrust on health programmes have transformed rural markets, which witnessed a growth of 20 per cent in the last four years.

Sharing the rural division's plans to focus on long term, result driven activations, Sharma says, "The market is strong and there is a vacuum for an organised creative partner with strong understanding of the market and direct execution capabilities."

She adds that short term, high impact activations in the segment will also be seen. The time line of activation is defined by the duration needed to create the desired impact and get the pre-defined results. However, with the scale of most activations being extensive, the duration in the market is comparatively longer.

According to MGI India Consumer Demand Model, by 2015, aggregate rural consumption will be up by 172 per cent and average household consumption in rural areas will rise by 155 per cent. About 72 per cent of India's population lives in rural areas. By 2010, rural India will consume 60 per cent of the goods produced in the country. It can be inferred that the marketing initiatives and the spends allocated to this segment will show similar change.

Sharma feels that now, activations for rural markets are not restricted to mobile vans. Innovations have found their way quite successfully into the segment. According to her, activations need to sync with the consumer's thought and belief, speak the language of the locals and yet be aspirational.

The rural division of Jagran Solutions handles clients such as HLL Lifecare Limited, state government clients in Bihar, MP and Haryana, Escorts and FMCG brands such as Dabur and Hindustan Unilever. The largest project undertaken is the Mobile Medical Unit project for the government of Bihar, worth approximately Rs 22 crore.

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