Identifying the vast potential that rural India has to offer, i9 Media has launched its first print product, a monthly magazine called 'Rural & Marketing'. The English magazine will focus on content providing factual, analytical and an all-inclusive information and insight on rural India.
With a print run of 15,000 copies, the magazine will be available across India in all major cities and Tier II and III towns distributed through newsstands and subscriptions. The cover price is set at Rs 80, although the initial invitational price is Rs 50.
Commenting on the launch, Ajay Adlakha, publisher, Rural & Marketing, says, "In spite of having huge untapped potential and revenue generation capacity, the country has no dedicated magazine catering to this segment. The first of its kind, Rural & Marketing will be a guiding force to policy makers, corporate houses and marketing, advertising, branding and media agencies to help them tap the vast potential of rural India."
Sanjiv Sethi, rural marketing and management consultant, says, "Currently, rural markets are growing twice as fast as urban markets and they are already much bigger than the urban markets. Many industrial houses in the country have already jumped into the fray to capture a share in the booming rural markets. However, the firm definition of rural markets is still elusive. The companies are looking for new opportunities and avenues as they are witnessing a decline in their growth rates in urban markets due to market saturation and they do have a huge, untouched and untapped rural Indian market.
"Also, there is very little knowledge about the rural consumers. I believe Rural & Marketing is going to help understand the rural consumer, their purchase decision process and buying patterns," he adds.
Adlakha further states that the aspirational levels among rural consumers today are as high as the urban ones, particularly as they are armed with high purchase power and disposable income, rationalising the need for marketers to look at such markets seriously.
Rural & Marketing will look at revenue coming in from both advertising and subscriptions. The ad-edit ratio will be maintained at 60:40. The media house is looking at companies in the automobile, FMCG, IT and telecom and consumer durables sectors, as well as the public sector for advertising interest.
In the next three months, Adlakha is also looking at including the SAARC nations in the magazine's coverage.
"We are looking at about 30 per cent of our content coming from other countries. This will be done primarily to exchange ideas and opportunities available in the rural regions of the SAARC nations," he says.
The magazine will also have a digital presence. i9 Media is in the process of putting the website together that will feature any and all information when it comes to rural education, policies and tourism, among others, and will not just reproduce the magazine's content.