Desh mera rangrez hai babu

September 17, 2013 at 12:47 pm 5 comments

A few months ago, I was one of the faculty at a programme that imparts training in the basics of business to micro-entrepreneurs from rural areas (CREAM training programmes run by Tree Society). The audience comprised villagers running simple businesses such as a cycle repair shop, furniture making, honey collection and selling, beauty salon (or, as they pronounced it,‘saalun’), barber shops, a wedding decorator, etc. Most of them were between 20 to 30 years old, all but 3 were men.

During one session, we were trying to illustrate the importance of adding product / service features that consumers value the most rather than others, given the ever-present constraints of cost and resources. We’d made our point using several simple examples and the audience seemed to have grasped it too, however they seemed slightly somnolent after a heavy lunch and we wanted to wake them up with before we began the next topic which was math-heavy.

So we decided to use an example of a product that was ubiquitous even in villages and used by everyone, that was feature-heavy, and from a category where the fortunes of companies selling the product had gone through ups and downs. One product fit the bill – a mobile phone. We began by asking the audience to tell us what features they wanted in a mobile phone, and which of those were must-haves and which were nice-to-have. Internet and multimedia were amongst the first few mentioned by the audience, followed by aspects related to how long the phone would last – sturdiness, a warranty, good battery strength etc. Basic features such as call quality, sms etc. were mentioned much later, almost as an afterthought.

What almost every person below 30 in that audience wanted was to be able to access songs and video on his mobile phone; even if they didn’t know how to download them, they knew that they wanted to be able to store and listen to them or watch them. Many didn’t really know exactly what internet and multimedia meant, but they did know that such phones guaranteed them access to songs, clips, pictures and games. Many of these young men already had cheap smartphones, those that didn’t were quite clear that affordability was the only reason for not buying one. In hindsight, maybe I should have expected this given the lack of entertainment options in a village, and that a lot of these people ran businesses where they spent significant amounts of time just waiting for customers to visit their outlet.

This article from the Mint gives the results of a TNS survey on mobile phone usage in various countries across the world ; while the survey was probably carried out in urban centres, it’s worth a look anyway. Listening to music turns out to be the No. 1 activity that Indians engage with on their mobile phones, the next are playing games, sms/text messaging and taking photos / videos, in that order.

Clearly the villagers that I met reflected a widespread trend.

  • Zenobia Driver

Entry filed under: Category Evolution, Consumer behavior, Consumer Trends, Marketing, Observations. Tags: , , , , .

Updates Reactions to Chipotle’s ‘Scarecrow’ ad

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. last minute Maldives holidays  |  November 29, 2013 at 12:13 am

    I’m gone to tell my little brother, that
    he should also visit this webpage on regular basis to obtain updated from latest gossip.


  • 2. luxury vases  |  February 28, 2014 at 1:41 am

    I every time emailed this web site post page to
    all my contacts, because if like to read it next my contacts will too.


    • 3. escapevelocityblog  |  February 28, 2014 at 12:02 pm

      Glad you liked the post. Do keep visiting.


  • 4. vegetarian recipes  |  March 12, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my
    own weblog and was wondering what all is
    required to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100% certain.
    Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.


    • 5. escapevelocityblog  |  March 13, 2014 at 5:38 am

      Actually starting a blog on wordpress is very easy. They have a lot of themes that you can go through and choose one, and then customise for yourself. They also have very simple instructions and a tutorial on how to start a blog.

      Just google for ‘starting a blog on wordpress’ and the first few links will tell you all you need to know.

      The cost is actually more in terms of the time it takes to write blogposts, wordpress makes everything else easy and affordable.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Recent Posts


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5 other followers

%d bloggers like this: