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Home > City Resources > Advertising & Marketing > Rural Marketing
 
A MARKETING MAN WITH A DIFFERENCE
Pradeep Lokhande is the founder/proprietor of a firm called "Rural Relations." When asked what made him go into this unrelated field,Pradeep Lokhande with students he replies: "Basically I am from a village, so I am concerned about the state of the people living in the rural parts of India. Previously I did urban promotions, so why not do rural promotions."

He continues: "I began with rural marketing in 1991. Rural marketing is relationship-based marketing and that is the only way one can reach the rural customer. A state like Madhya Pradesh has 75,000 villages and it is not possible for any marketer to reach all of them. In that state, we have identified 4,000 feeder-marketing villages that cater to all these 75,000 villages."Likewise for Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, they have identified another 24,000 odd villages that act as springboards to the rest of the rural hinterland in these five states.

The network and database of the company is used for marketing information mainly on three ranges of products - health, hygiene and oral care. In fact, at the moment, Tata Tea is now using the database to spread the information on its brand of tea. A Computer Class going on in the schoolToday, he has begun a new program; his dream is that every secondary school in the five states should have one computer. The reason? "In urban cities like Pune, one finds 8 year old kids surfing the net, but in our villages, children are made to walk up to 30 kilometers to reach their schools. In my opinion the net revolution or the information super highway that our politicians love to talk about will have no effect till the kids from rural backgrounds are familiar with the computer."

"All Indians are non resident villagers. That means their grandparents or even parents might have belonged to a rural background. So I feel that if you can contribute to the improvement of your village, you must do it now." The firm has appealed to corporates and individuals to donate their old computers.

To date, the company has been able to collect 68 computers.

By Rahul Surkund

  Advertising & Marketing

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