Carat Fresh Integrated sets up rural marketing operation

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Planning & Buying | April 19, 2013
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The operation will be headed by Keshav Chandorker, who was managing the rural marketing vertical for Dun & Bradstreet.

Keshav Chandorkar

Ashish Bhasin

Sampath Shenoy

Carat Fresh Integrated, a media communication specialist under Aegis Media India, has expanded its base to rural marketing. It has also roped in Keshav Chandorkar, former national manager, rural marketing for Dun & Bradstreet, to head the new operation. The rural marketing division will also hire other professionals with experience in rural marketing. Chandorkar was with Linterland for 10 years before he joined Dun & Bradstreet.

Chandorkar has 18 years of experience in activation, profit centre management, key accounts management, rural marketing and strategy planning. He began his career with Dr Jain Video on Wheels and was associated with Selvel, Lowe Lintas-Linterland and Dun & Bradstreet, handling the rural marketing team.

Ashish Bhasin, chairman, India and CEO, Southeast Asia, Aegis Media, says, "Rural marketing, in a country like India, is probably the most important aspect for several marketers but is often ignored due to the lack of knowledgeable and professional agencies. Having worked on several rural brands including the launch of HUL's Wheel and having established Lowe Lintas's Linterland from scratch, my learning is that rural marketing has an almost endless potential for our clients, particularly when urban markets are slowing down."

Agreeing with him, Sampath Shenoy, vice-president, Carat Fresh Integrated adds that Chandorkar's experience in the rural sector will help the company to strengthen and expand its reach.

On his part, Chandorkar says, "I am going to start with expanding our footprint across the country. So, focus will be on expanding presence in the market first."

Chandorkar adds that his initial focus area will be to put in place planning and implementation teams, before activating others. The division will aim to penetrate proper rural areas as defined by the Census.

"While most brands want to go rural, their definition of rural market varies. For many, rural begins where the company's distribution ends. Also, the reach is critical in rural marketing. That's where strategy will come to play," he states.

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