RMAI Rural Conclave 2018 Celebrates Insightful Takeaways, Knowledge Sharing, and Young Talent

Business Events | March 1, 2018 | Feature

RMAI Rural Marketing Association of India

Gone are the days when Rural was only about copious untilled lands managed by farmers and marketing in rural all about door to door salesmanship by brands. With the advancement of information technology and increase in the income of rural consumers in India, the dynamics of rural marketing have evolved tremendously and the rural FMCG market is anticipated to become a USD 100 Billion giant by 2025.

Decoding the various aspects of Rural Marketing in India today, Rural Marketing Association in India organised the RMAI Rural Marketing Conclave 2018 on February 23 and 24, 2018 at Vivanta by Taj, Dwarka New Delhi. This years’ edition of the conclave brought together some of the sharpest minds of the industry, consisting of the most forward-thinking marketers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and technology players to navigate the future of Rural Marketing.

In his opening address, Sanjay Kaul, President RMAI, and Founder & CEO, Impact Communications said, “Rural markets have changed faster than the marketers would have imagined just a few years back. Our endeavor at RMAI is to design knowledge platforms or share the knowledge that is relevant and in sync with the changing needs of the Rural of today.”

The conclave kicked off with Praveen Kumar- Rural Market Expert, Lighting Asia/India, IFC World Bank Group, Puneet Avasthi- EVP, IMRB International, Amit Rangra- EBD & VP, JWT & Anirban Chaudhary - SVP and EPD, JWT sharing their views on ‘Evolving new rural consumers its changing landscape’. The session was moderated by Shantanu Jain, Lead Experiential Marketing at Event FAQS. Through the discussion, the panelists deciphered that the lines between the rural and urban youth had blurred and women in rural today enjoyed a decision making power in the household matters, owing to their increased contribution to the family income.

In the succeeding session, Peeyush Bajpai, Director, Big Data, Neilson shared how analytics can enable companies to better understand rural customers and improve their marketing power. Following him on stage Dr. Venkat, Promoter, Sam Analytics shared an interesting case of a political party leveraged Rural Marketing practices to create a strong presence for itself across large geographies.

KV Sridhar (POPS), Founder & CCO, Hyper Collective spoke how to secure the turf in rural. He emphasised that companies need to focus on build brand engagement and affinity and not limit to brand awareness and availability alone.

Next on the stage, Danish Siddiqui, Head Rural Marketing, Hero MotoCorp shared some winning strategies in the rural market, alongside some of the key initiatives taken by the company that contributes to their growth in the rural market. Siddhiqui divulaged that brands should follow the mantra of- Being Natural, Enchance Reach, Create Meaningful Relationships and have Rigour in their approch to successfully market themselves in Rural. 

Deepak Saksena, Head Partnerships, Hindustan Unilever talked about the challenges of create a viable business model in Rural, which is largely occupied, by CSR and Philanthropy.

Day 2 of the RMAI Rural Conclave 2018 got off to a celebratory start as Onkar K Khullar, Founder, Digital Gandhi energised the audiences through fun engagements and delievered a through provoking address on the theme of 'Social Innovation in Rural'.

One of the biggest highlights of the Day 2 of the convention was the open house session “Raj Ki Chaupal” wherein Raj Kr Jha, consultant, Ogilvy took on the audiences' questions on Creating Creative and Effective Communication Strategies in the Rural Marketing domain.

Vijay Sharma, Commercial Lead, Global Emerging Markets Acceleration Team, GSK  presented the case studies of the “Horlicks Swasthya Abhiyan” and “Mobile Sakhi” which are two of the many key initiatives by GSK in Rural. Sharma elaborated on how GSK leveraged data to engage their consumers in a meaningful and sustained manner.

Following him, Siddhartha Choudhary, CEO, Desta Global shared with the audiences how his brand leveraged on mobile technology to create a viable buisiness model to bring the rural ecosystem together. 

Subhroto Chakroborty, Founder & Chief Digital Consultant, Digital Fellow shared an extensive list of Do’s & Don’ts of Mobile Marketing in Rural. Chakroborty through his session highlighted that while most brands are increasingly using Mobile as a medium to market themselves, the campaigns that they are creating fail because they are curated on computer screens and not keeping mind how they will appear on mobile phones.

Aashish Chopra, the award-winning Viral Video Marketer shared tricks of the trade, which one can keep handy while approaching a strategy for Viral Marketing. As Chopra shared with the audiences some of his most viral campaigns at Ixigo.com, he remarked, "It is a myth that one needs a state of the art production studio and top of the line technology to create viral video campaigns. It is infact, the creativity that matters the most for a video campaign."


Next at the convention, a representative panel of Academicians & Marketers shared their thoughts on Digital Strategies for Rural.  Dr. Moutosy Maity from IIM Lucknow shared how GEN NEXT needs to be prepared for Rural marketing in Digital Era. Puneet Vidyarthi- AVP Marketing & Digital Innovations, JCB, Rujuta Nadkarni- Head Digital Marketing, Mahindra & Mahindra Farm Div. & Aditi Nanda- Ex-Head Marketing & BD, Cropin shared their insights on winning digital strategies. Prabhakar Tiwari of The MargDarshak Inc. moderated the session.

Speakers from neighboring countries of Bangladesh and Nepal gave an overview of their respective rural markets those are largely similar to India and explained the scope of collaboration and need of cross-sharing of rural knowledge. 

Throughout the two days of the conclave, RMAI felicitated 25 Young Rural Marketing Professionals of the Industry for their contribution to Rural Marketing. The association is now gearing up to host Flame Awards Asia 2018 which is it's annual awards property that acknowledges and celebrates the rural marketing campaigns in South Asia. The awards are set to take place on May 4, 2018 at Hotel Sahara Star in Mumbai.

Decoding the various aspects of Rural Marketing in India today, Rural Marketing Association in India organised the RMAI Rural Marketing Conclave 2018 on Feb 23-24 at Vivanta by Taj, Dwarka New Delhi

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