I’m very excited about this trip not just because I’ve never travelled to these areas before, but also because of the sudden attention that rural India has been garnering in the media. I’m referring to two much emailed articles that came out in the WSJ and Mint newspapers today (Mint is a business newspaper that partners with WSJ). Rural India has been untouched by the recession and continues to consume and purchase more consumer products in the market than urban India. In fact, sales from rural India account for more than 50% of Unilever’s total sales in personal care products in India. Rural India has accounted for 50% of Vodafone’s new subscriptions for cell phone connections in the last year, and just today, the Indian prime minister has said that the economy will target for 9% growth rate, fuelled no doubt by the growing consumerism in the robust rural economy.
To know more about HUL’s Project Shakti, try this and this. This project has been successfully implemented in countries in Asia under Unilever Bangladesh (UBL) as Joyeeta and in Unilever Sri Lanka as Saubaghya.
Mahayatra: long journey