The day-long 'Dainik Bhaskar Unmetro' conference, held in Gurgaon, kicked off with the welcome address from Pradeep Dwivedi, CCS and MO, Dainik Bhaskar Group. He pointed out that there is an increasing aspiration among the consumers in the non-metros, as the business class is rising in this market and so is affluence. Marketers need to understand how to gauge the quantum of this aspiration and how to tap it.
She further added that people in the non-metros are the ones who chose to live there. "They are not the migratory population and their lifestyle indicators, expenditures and other economic decisions are calling the shots in the growth of the country. Be it the FMCG, food, personal care, banking, automobile or any other sector, all are getting good numbers from these areas. Every marketer should clearly remember that a large youth population resides in this decision," she stated.
The keynote session, 'Emerging Consumer Demand: The rise of Unmetro India - A top retailer's Perspective' was addressed by Damodar Mall, CEO, Reliance Retail. He observed that even though big and premium brands might not feature some regions in their distribution plan, it does mean not that people in those areas do not want to buy those products, and at that point of time, supermarkets come into play where they get all these premium products for the consumers. "The number of supermarkets in India is growing and so is the consumption from these markets. A few years ago, it was a different scene where people shied away from buying products from the supermarkets, which removes the physical shopkeeper between the consumer and his shopping experience."
Mall further added that a mall gives the local daughter-in-law of the region an option to shop according to her choice, without being advised by the shopkeeper who has been the family shopkeeper for several decades. "He added that his core Tg excluded HNI's, who do not shop from these supermarkets or send someone else on their behalf. Today, almost every brand wants to be on the shelf of these supermarkets. We service the catchment we are in, and it is the customer that calls the shots. We do not believe in metro or non-metro, we believe where there is a demand there will be a supermarket to service them. The reasons for this growth are increasing awareness among the people, growing fashion consciousness, people travelling more, increasing e-commerce distribution, social media awareness, increasing footprints of national chains and others. And this consumption increases around the festival time, when people, especially women, have the license to spend. Over the few years, trends have shown that women have been increasingly spending heavily during festivals," Mall said.
Vohra further added that the company's media plan initially included only trade media. "Once we felt that we had established that well, we decided to connect with the masses via a national campaign, and, today, our media spends have increased manifold. Digital has played an important role in our promotions as we generate content, and connect with the masses across all age groups giving our brand the strength it needs. But, this medium has enough power to build and destroy your brand; so one has to be true to one's values and promises."