Aegis Media launches rural marketing cell

17 Dec,2013

By Ravi Balakrishnan


Aegis Media has launched Carat Fresh Rural, a rural marketing specialist for the Indian market. The agency will operate as a separate division within Carat Fresh, Aegis’s activation wing. After a soft launch, Carat Fresh Rural counts Bayer Crop Science, Godrej Consumer Products, Pidilite, Mahindra & Mahindra and Sony Max among its clients. It is headed by Keshav Chandorkar, whose previous experience includes stints with Linterland (the rural division of Lintas) and Dun & Bradstreet. The current team strength is 30 people across seven offices. Carat Fresh Rural will also be working with 1,500 operators who are in charge of implementing rural marketing programmes.


Significantly, Aegis is starting a pure play rural agency at a time when many in the business are opting out of the segment or merging it with urban activation. Rural marketing is expensive and operations oriented, demanding remarkable levels of financial commitment. Besides many marketers with extensive distribution have started using their own networks and local vendors to reach rural segments.


Ashish Bhasin

Ashish Bhasin, chairman – Aegis, India, remains bullish: “Many categories are near saturation in urban areas. Rural markets make sense given good monsoons, and government schemes that provide greater disposable income.” He believes this market has been very poorly serviced by the advertising industry but has potential. “The organised part of rural can be half or more than half the mainstream market, valued at between Rs 25 and Rs 30 crore. It is full of challenges but the pot of gold at the end is humungous.”


Having a team full of veterans, Mr Bhasin intends avoiding many of the pitfalls of rural marketing. One of the largest misconceptions is assuming rural consumers can be served by a dumbed down version of urban communication. The other is underestimating the importance of implementation. Carat intends solving some of these problems via technology.


Source:The Economic Times

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