Understanding the rural consumer’s behaviour in the context of his ecosystem: a telecommunication perspective

Saroj Kumar Mohanta

MART

Abhishek Mishra and Satya Dash

Indian Institute of Management Lucknow

Introduction

The rural population, often considered as a homogeneous mass by marketers, is heterogeneous not only by its economic capacity but also by its occupation. The consumption capabilities of these households vary for different product categories, and this includes mobile phone ownership and usage. The critical variation in the rural population is occupation, where 70% of the households are engaged in agriculture but only about 40% own cultivable land. The different occupation requires the person to remain connected with different touchpoints. The farmer may need to remain connected with the agri-input trader, agriculture society and mandi (wholesale market) trader, while the retailer needs to connect with the company stockist and wholesaler in one town or multiple towns. This study therefore assumes that the occupation would also influence need for and ownership of mobile phones.