In order to understand the constantly changing and challenging market scenarios, India’s premier B-school MDI Gurgaon organized a Roundtable Discussion on ‘Driving growth in India by serving the BOP segment’ on 04 July 2018. The roundtable was chaired by renowned marketing Guru, Prof. Jagdish Sheth, Charles H. Kellstadt Chair in Marketing, Goizueta Business School, Emory University, Atlanta, USA.
The roundtable witnessed participation of Industry stalwarts from Tata Communications, Google India, Maruti Suzuki India Limited, Max Healthcare, Jabong, Future Brands Limited, Businessworld Media Group, exchange4Media Group, Bata India, HP, Magicbricks.com, SRF Foundation, CBRE, The MargDarshak Inc., IL&FS, Global Team Blue (Ford), Excel4apps, Arvind Fashions Limited, Smartron, HarVa XPO and Lava International Limited.
The discussion evolved around how low income consumer markets worldwide are growing faster than the growth of the economy. India’s market is at least USD 1 trillion, which is highly unorganized and unbranded. The discretionary income is greater among the low income consumers because they pay no taxes, spend less on rent, and get subsidies from the government. Access to this low income consumer group is a challenge as they live in rural markets, which are unorganized and fragmented. The big Indian industries should have a separate strategy to take care of the rural market, from product design to supply chain management.
The market is full of opportunities at the base of the pyramid. It is wide open for technological innovations to tap the potential and uniqueness of these markets. It is important to understand the unbranded competition and the value proposition they offer.
Prof. Jagdish Sheth while sharing his valuable insights highlighted the significant role which recent government initiatives like Make in India and Digital India will play in organizing lower income consumer markets through scale and efficiency.
The industry participants present at the roundtable brainstormed on how the unexplored rural market and low income consumer group can be tapped through innovative marketing strategies like converting unbranded to branded consumption, non-users to users, developing used goods market, inventing new ways to distribute products, developing aspirational brands, and repackaging the products in smaller sizes to make it affordable.
Speaking on the occasion Dr. Himadri Das, Director MDI Gurgaon said “We are considering setting up a Center for BoP Marketing, to be mentored by Prof. Jagdish Sheth. This will be run as an industry consortium sponsored research center where consortium members will finance the center to do research that is of relevance to them. The research output will first be shared with the consortium members before publishing in academic journals.”
The seminar was also attended by MDI faculty members and research scholars. Prof Sheth impressed upon them on how time management and stress management become a key in producing high quality research output while balancing other demands on their time. He said faculty should balance between newsworthy research, memorable teaching, and transformational service.
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