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Rural Marketing with special reference to HUL

Indian Economy & Rural Marketing Problem Definition Domain Analysis HUL overview HUL strategies for rural India 4 As of Rural Marketing Shakti Lifebuoy Swasthya Chetana

Rural Marketing - Why and What

Indian Economy - Rural orientation Difference from agricultural marketing

C.K. Prahalad, says that one way to survive is to discover how to convert the [worlds] poor into consumers and introduce them to the global market.

Problem Definition
Rural Poor are skilled on traditional activities and produce excellent products Some of the efforts from Govt., NGOs have also trained them on new skills /technologies These rich products are produced at individual or community level in rural areas These efforts of Rural Poor do not yield adequate return due to poor marketing facilities

Domain Analysis - Current Scenario

An analysis of the current scenario brings to light the following points:
Most of the products are sold in the local rural haats. Some state government bodies extend preferential treatment to these products at the time of procurement Attempts are made to publicize and promote the sale of these products through periodic exhibitions and melas
By and large, marketing issues such as demand assessment, brand identification, product promotion etc. have, at best, been extended cursory consideration.

Domain Analysis - Challenges

Sale of products mostly confined to Rural haats; therefore
May not fetch a very good price for the products Limited demand; low turnover;low income Chance for product improvement is limited

Limited awareness in the global market Products not available all the time in most of the places Full financial benefits not realized by the rural producer Nearly impossible to analyze the market

Possible Solution

Provide a marketing infrastructure that ensures a ready market for these products

Solution Characteristics ...

The marketing infrastructure should be such that it Is durable in terms of time Publicizes and promotes the widest range of products to the widest possible customer base Provides an any time - any where access to the customers Facilitates unhindered flow of financial benefits, generated from the sale of products, to producers Reveals customer preferences thereby assisting the rural entrepreneurs in understanding the potential demand

Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) is India's largest fast moving consumer goods company HUL's brands touch the lives of two out of three Indians. They endow the company with turnover of Rs.20, 239 crores (for the 15 month period January 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009). The mission that inspires HUL's over 15,000 employees is to "add vitality to life".

HUL Strategies for Rural India

To reach out to rural areas ,HUL started Project Streamline in late 1990s Appointed 6000 sub-stockists that covered 50,000 villages Project Bharath a direct marketing exercise for promotion Shakti: Economic development through micro enterprise

Lifebuoy Swasthya Chetana a project to make a billion Indians feel safe






Rational: Increasing Product Reach


Emotional: Empowering Women

Social: Providing an opportunity to generate income & breaking the viscous cycle.

Piloted in Nalgonda district in 2001,

Has been scaled up and extended to over 5,000 villages in 52 districts in AP, Karnataka, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh with Primarily through SHGs who act as direct dealers in the rural markets. Market HUL products and use their services for stocking their produce Programme is facilitated by the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) of Nalgonda district.

A woman from a SHG selected as a Shakti entrepreneur receives stocks at her doorstep from the HLL rural distributor

Sells direct to consumers as well as to retailers in the village.

Each Shakti entrepreneur services 6-10chief brands from the HUL A Shakti entrepreneur sets off with 4-5 villages in the population strata of 1,000-2,000 people portfolio -

Lifebuoy, Wheel, Pepsodent, Annapurna salt and Clinic Plus.

Creating a rural-specific brand as it will only dissipate the advertising media effort for the brands. To get started the Shakti woman borrows from her SHG and the company itself chooses only one person. With training and hand-holding by the company for the first three months, she begins her door-to-door journey selling her wares.

A Shakti Entrepreneur Addressing her colleagues

Shakti- New Ventures

iShakti, the Internet-based rural information service, has been launched in Andhra Pradesh, in association with the Andhra Pradesh Government's Rajiv Internet Village Program. The service is now available in Nalgonda, Vishakapatnam, West Godavari and East Godavari districts. iShakti has been developed to provide information and services to meet rural needs in medical health and hygiene, agriculture, animal husbandry, education, vocational training and employment and women's empowerment.

Allow other companies which do not compete with HLL to get onto the Shakti network to sell their products

Creates a win-win partnership between HUL and its consumers, some of whom will also draw on the organisation for their livelihood, and it builds a self-sustaining virtuous cycle of growth for all In the process of piloting `I-Shakti', an IT-based rural information service that will provide solutions to key rural needs in the areas of agriculture, education, vocational training, health and hygiene Women in the rural areas are the catalyst of change and that is why its whole programme keeps women in focus. Its the rural women who give Shakti its strength.

Project Shakti is working for HUL to be a great promotional Project and work in both terms that is Promotion as well as Distribution with social welfare as it gives employment to rural women and increase their income.

Repositioning of LIFEBUOY
The worlds largest selling soap. Launched in the year 1895 In 2002 Lifebuoy was relaunched, marking a new turning point in its history The relaunch of the 107-year-old Lifebuoy has been done in a bid to drive growth in a sluggish soap market. HLL challenged everything that Lifebuoy stood for - perfume, formulation, size and shape.

Marketing of lifebuoy in rural India..

Media's strategy for Lifebuoy soap's re-launch:

The agency devised a strategy to ensure that it advocated family health rather than personal hygiene. There were large chunks of the users who were in "unreachable areas" - rural markets. Media vehicles used: Wall paintings, cinema vans, weekly markets (haat), fairs and festivals. Given the rural consumer's fascination for cinema, the cinema vans show popular movies, interspersed with products advertisements. Low Price Points: To help people on low incomes afford to buy soap, an 18 gram bar of lifebuoy soap was introduced - enough for one person to wash their hands once a day for 10 weeks.

Lifebuoy Swastya Chetna (LBSC) is a rural health and hygiene initiative which was started in 2002. LBSC was initiated in media dark villages (in UP, MP, Bihar, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Orissa) with the objective of spreading awareness about the importance of washing hands with soap.

The theme of the campaign is based on the serious implications of laxity in Health Care, like Diarrhoea. In India a child succumbs to diarrhoea every 30 seconds. This results in almost 3 million deaths a year! However, a report by WHO showed that simple handwashing with soap and water can reduce diarrhoeal diseases by up to 48%. This was leverage by Hindustan Lever to develop the campaign.

Being Indias leading personal wash health brand, Lifebuoy saw a role for itself in propagating the message of hygiene and health in villages. To develop a sustainable model to educate and apprise rural customers in 15000 village in 8 states across India, about maintaining good health through practice of basic hygienic habits including the handwash habit. It aimed at changing the underlying behavior and attitude of the villagers, which was a definite challenge indeed. It targets children as they are the harbingers of change in society and mothers since they are the custodians of health.

Plan of Action
Swasthya Chetna, which means 'Health Awakening', is a multi-phased activity that works towards effecting hand washing behaviour change in rural communities. The main message of the campaign is "Visibly clean is not really clean. In the initial phase, a Health Development Facilitator (HDF) and an assistant initiates contact and interacts with students and influencers of the community, i.e. village community representatives, medical practitioners, school teachers etc. A number of tools such as a pictorial story in a flip chart format, a Glo-germ demonstration and a quiz with attractive prizes to reinforce the message are used. The first interaction with students is then replicated with the women and finally the rest of the community.

The programme has touched 27000 villages and 120 mn people over the last four years. In 2006 alone LBSC contacted 10,000 villages in UP, MP, Jharkhand and Bihar. This on-going project is committed to spreading the message of health and hygiene and touching more lives in rural India over 2007.

Why All These Programs?

To make people aware To increase the consumption To increase the income To increase behavior in
Awareness and living standard Lifestyle Self Consciousness