All Things Rural: Roundup of Day 1 of RMAI Rural Conclave 2016

Business Events | December 16, 2016 | News

RMAI Sanjay Kaul Vivanta by Taj

The second edition of Rural Conclave 2016 organized by Rural Marketing Association of India (RMAI) kicked off to a celebratory start yesterday at Vivanta by Taj Gurgaon. The convention was attended by brand marketers, rural marketing specialists and industry veterans alike, who had come from different parts of the country to deliberate and discuss the challenges, technologies and trends that rule rural.

The conclave began with the opening address by Sanjay Kaul, President RMAI and Founder & CEO, Impact Communications. In his address Kaul talked about how rural is the next market destination for brands and how consumption patterns and consumer behaviour have evolved over the years. Following him, Harish Bijoor, Brand Strategy Specialist & CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc. delivered the theme address. Bijoor in his address talked about the positive disruptions in the economy and stated that in order to succeed brands have to look at rural as an ecosystem and not a market.

The first panel discussion of the conclave had the theme 'Market Prioritization: Smart Sorting by Data Analytics & Technology', where the panellists of the session were Peeyush Bajpai, Director Big Data Analytics, Nielsen India; Sandeep Seth, Principal Consultant & Co founder, LDMC (GIS Mapping), and Aditya Sinha, Head Rural Business, Map My India. The session was moderated by Prashant Mandke, Vice President & Head Anugrah Madison. The session was about how technology can aid a rural marketer in market prioritization. Speaking on the subject, Peeyush Bajpai stated, “What we are seeing in rural right now is the emergence of ‘Ruburnban’- which is a combination of rural growth in an urban environment." Sandeep Seth and Aditya Sinha followed up next on stage displaying how technology can be used instead of traditional survey patterns to get better and deeper insights into the rural hinterland.

The next session at the conclave was by Sankalp Potbhare, Head - Business Strategy and Sales Development at RB India who shared a path-breaking case study on distribution: Project Vriddhi by Reckitt Benckiser with the audience. Potbhare in his session said, “Identification of the right market in the land of abundance is the most important beginning step in order to build a profitable and sustainable distribution network.” He also shared how leveraging tech to the greatest extent possible helped RB to establish a strong distribution network.

Following him was a session by Raghu Roy, Managing Director, MaRS Monitoring and Research Systems Private Limited that talked about Know the Rural Consumer 2.0. In his session, Roy highlighted how after humans evolved they got segregated into rural and urban consumers, and that rural is not just one but many. He remarked, “There is no one sentence that can describe rural. Even today the patterns of living and behaviour of consumers are no less than that of an urban consumer. The only difference between the two is in reaching them. However, both are open to communication and to simplify it can be said that rural will remain where the farmers are.”

The next panel discussion was on the subject of Decoding the BIG DATA: From Data to Insights and was moderated by Anirban Chaudhuri, Senior Vice President & Executive Planning Director at J. Walter Thompson. Venkatram Vasantavada, President (Crop Nutrition Business), Deepak Fertilisers & Petrochemical Corporation Ltd; Antony Cherukara, VP-Corporate Strategy & Head Agriculture & Allied Business, Kirloskar Oil Engines Limited and Puneet Vidyarthi, Head Rural & Digital innovation, JCB were the speakers for the session.

Post lunch a special session on ICT Models for Farming was delivered by Siddhartha Choudhary, Chief Revenue Officer, CropIn Technology. Choudhary in his address emphasized the supply chain challenges, coverage challenges and competency challenges one faced while growing a rural business and how technology & data can help salvage the situation. He concluded, “The disruptors in rural market will influence consumer behaviour and hence organizations in rural need to continuously evolve. Also, the objective needs to be clearly defined first before using the big data.”

Valluvan Varadarajan from Pidlite Industries was on the stage next and talked about The Rise of Rurban. Varadarajan highlighted how rural was changing in a small town scenario, and how with the education level increase in rural a gold rush has begun which would further lead to an increase in disposable income and lifestyle upgradation.

The day also saw a panel discussion on the subject ‘Rural Agency Kay Mann Ki Baat’ which was spearheaded by Dalveer Singh, Head Experiential Marketing, APAC WPP with Prashant Mandke, Vice President & Head, Anugrah Madison; Anirban Chaudhuri; Nikhil Sharma, Partner MART; and Kalpana Raina, Head Strategy Planning, Impact Communications as panellists.

Day 1 of the conclave ended with addresses by Sandeep Aurora-Director Marketing & Market Development, Intel South Asia; Badri Beriwal-General Manager, Rural Business, GlaxoSmithKline; and Utpal Mhatre- Regional Sales Manager, Tata Steel. 

The second edition of Rural Conclave 2016 organized by Rural Marketing Association of India (RMAI) kicked off to a celebratory start yesterday at Vivanta by Taj Gurgaon.

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