Why it matters

Consumers in the rural markets of India account for 70% population but are vastly different from those of urban areas, and brands face many challenges in better engaging and serving this segment. Mahindra Finance’s Ramesh Iyer outlines some of the characteristics and behavioural patterns of rural consumers that marketers must first need to be mindful of.


  • A rural customer has always been a dependent customer, he doesn’t decide on his own, he looks for opinion-makers or trend-setters in his village, and based on that he decides.
  • Rural markets need offline and online solutions, solutions that will work under all circumstances. And these tools must be easy to operate, for example, apps must use pictures instead of words.
  • Rural India will not go completely digital in the future – because people don’t have stable cash-flows. One can never say for sure when money from crops will be released and if it will be released at all, so for such unstructured cash-flows you have to be physically present.