Rural marketing environment means all those factors like demographic – Physical, Economic, Social etc. which affect the rural marketing.

When marketing activities are done in the rural areas, it is necessary to know the conditions of rural markets in terms of environment which is ever changing.

Rural marketing requires an understanding of the rural environment in which companies have to operate to deliver product and services.

The environment gives the complete picture of threats and opportunities of the markets. Environment means external conditions or surroundings, those in which people live or work and it includes all elements, factors, conditions that have some impact on growth and development of certain organism.


Marketing cannot take place in isolation. Marketing being a dynamic activity is always affected by its environment. A successful marketing is customer-centric; it starts from understanding the customers.

Consumer decisions and actions can be properly understood only when the force field in which they are operating is understood. As such, a study of environmental factors is essential for marketers.

It is also important for marketer to realize the developments and trends in the environment. An environment is that which surrounds an organization. It is the sum totals of internal and external factors where former are controllable and later are uncontrollable. So, environment also affects rural marketing.

The rural marketing environment is complex and is changing continuously. Rural marketing is affected by the dynamism and uncertainty of the environment within which it functions.


Therefore, it is essential to understand the rural marketing environment elements in detail to meet out the challenges and explore all the opportunities provided by the rural markets.

Rural marketing environment encompasses the marketing team within an organization and includes all of outside factors of marketing that affect the marketing team’s ability to develop and maintain successful customer relationship with that targeted customer group.

Learn about:- 1. Meaning and Definitions of Rural Marketing Environment 2. Features of Rural Marketing Environment 3. Importance 4. Environmental Factors 5. Structure.

Rural Marketing Environment: Meaning, Definitions, Features, Importance, Factors and Structure

Rural Marketing Environment – Meaning and Definitions

Rural marketing environment means all those factors like demographic – Physical, Economic, Social etc. which affect the rural marketing. When marketing activities are done in the rural areas, it is necessary to know the conditions of rural markets in terms of environment which is ever changing. Rural marketing requires an understanding of the rural environment in which companies have to operate to deliver product and services.


Rural marketing is basically a focused marketing activity of an organization. The environment gives the complete picture of threats and opportunities of the markets.

Environment means external conditions or surroundings, those in which people live or work and it includes all elements, factors, conditions that have some impact on growth and development of certain organism.

Marketing cannot take place in isolation. Marketing being a dynamic activity is always affected by its environment. A successful marketing is customer-centric; it starts from understanding the customers. Consumer decisions and actions can be properly understood only when the force field in which they are operating is understood.

As such, a study of environmental factors is essential for marketers. It is also important for marketer to realize the developments and trends in the environment. Today decisions are not only for current problems but also for future opportunities, performance and results.


An environment is that which surrounds an organization. It is the sum totals of internal and external factors where former are controllable and later are uncontrollable. Rural marketing activity is basically a focused marketing activity of an organization. So, environment also affects rural marketing. The rural marketing environment is complex and is changing continuously.

Rural marketing is affected by the dynamism and uncertainty of the environment within which it functions. India’s vast rural market offers a huge potential for a marketer facing stiff competition in the urban markets. The rural market environment is very different from the familiar surroundings of the urban market.

Therefore, it is essential to understand the rural marketing environment elements in detail to meet out the challenges and explore all the opportunities provided by the rural markets.

Rural marketing environment encompasses the marketing team within an organization and includes all of outside factors of marketing that affect the marketing team’s ability to develop and maintain successful customer relationship with that targeted customer group.


Various definitions of environment are given below:

According to P. Gisbert, “Environment is anything immediately surrounding an object and exerting a direct influence on it.”

According to E.J. Ross, “Environment is an external force which influences us.”

According to Philip Kotler, “A company’s marketing environment consist of the internal factors and forces, which affect the company’s ability to develop and maintain successful transactions and relationships with the company’s target customers.”


According to Pride and Ferrell, “The marketing environment consists of external forces that directly or indirectly influence an organization’s acquisition of inputs (human, financial and natural resources and raw materials and information) and creation of outputs(goods, services of ideas).”

Rural Marketing Environment – 5 Main Features: External Factors, Flexibility, Complexity, Relativity and Uncertainty

The following are the features of rural marketing environment:

1. Affected by External Factors – Main feature of rural marketing environment is that it is greatly affected by external factors like demographic, economical, political, socio culture etc. It is necessary to study these external factors from the point of view of rural markets because these factors are different in rural markets as compared to urban markets.

2. Flexibility – Rural marketing environment is not static or rigid. It is highly dynamic and keep changing as compared to last few decades. Rural markets have shown a greater change now a days in terms of various factors like income, birth rate, housing pattern etc.


3. Complexity – Another feature of rural marketing environment is complexity. There is not only one or two factor which affect rural markets but there are various factors. So, it is not easy to study all factors and hence, it is complex in nature.

4. Relativity – Impact of rural marketing environment may differ from company to company or country to country. Some environmental factors may affect some company a lot while these factors may have less effect on other company.

5. Uncertainty – It is very difficult to predict the changes of marketing environment. As environment is changing very fast. For example, rural markets have great change in term of IT, fashion revolution etc.

Rural Marketing Environment – Importance of Studying Rural Marketing Environment

In modern time, importance of marketing environment is becoming more dynamic and complex, day by day specially in rural areas. For the successful management and implementation of marketing activities in rural areas, it is necessary to study and analyse its environment.

The importance of studying rural marketing environment is as follows:

1. To Study the Developments and Complexities of Rural Environment:


Complexities of environment refer to those factors which influence the business. These factors affect the business in different ways. Marketing environment is studied for measuring these complexities because in environment, changes occurs regularly like change in interest of consumers, income profile of rural consumers, size, qualities, availability of goods, occupation etc.

In short, these complexities and changes can be ascertained easily through the study of marketing environment. Study of rural marketing environmental is also important for marketers in order to realize the developments and trends in rural markets rather than to know the static picture of rural market environment.

2. To Make Company Policy:

In order to prepare the company policy, it is responsibility of marketing manager to change the company’s policy along with change in environment. Company’s policy will be different in rural markets as compared to urban markets. Moreover, he should make timely changes in these policies and strategies according to changes occurring in the environment. Success of any business depend on the fact that how fast it can make changes in the policies and strategies on the basis of change in environment.

3. Help in Taking Various Marketing Decision:

A marketing manager has to take various decisions regarding marketing at different times. Appropriate decisions can be taken only if marketing manager has integrated knowledge of marketing environment. On the basis of these decisions, he can establish proper coordination among marketing departments.


Understanding of rural marketing environment help in taking various marketing decisions like product decision, price decision, demand estimate decision etc. Demographic, socio cultural, economic factors in rural areas help in preparing marketing plan for the marketer.

4. To Recognize New Market Opportunities:

Opportunities are the favourable situations of the business. If a marketing manager has adequate strength, then he can take benefit of these opportunities. Through environment analysis, timely knowledge of available opportunities for business is received.

Thus, marketing manager can take benefit of these opportunities by making plans in suitable time period. Marketing opportunity is an area of buyer need or potential interests in which a company can perform profitably. Opportunities can be in many forms and marketers must have an ability of spotting them. For this, it is necessary to study rural marketing environment to tap the potential of rural markets.

5. To Understand Rural Market Conditions:

A marketing manager has to sell his product in the market for which he should have knowledge about the customers, competitive units, suppliers, etc. Information about market conditions like change in demand and supply of goods, fashion, taste, competition, boom, recession in market, etc. is beneficial for the business. A marketing manager gets all this information through the study of marketing environment.


6. Helpful in Providing Information Regarding Threats:

Threats refer to adverse situations which increase the risk of business. This risk can be due to technical changes, increase in competition, change in fashion, economic changes and lack of material. Thus knowledge of marketing environment is necessary for getting the timely information regarding problems, challenges and possible threats of marketing

7. Helpful in Facing the Competition and to Get Information Regarding New Challenges and Problems:

Study of marketing environment is necessary for keeping the products of the organization in existence for long period. For this, marketing manager has to regularly study the products of competitive units, their cost, marketing strategies, promotion plans, etc. A marketer can get the information about new challenges and problems with the help of marketing environment.

8. Importance in Studying Rural Consumer Behaviour:

Rural consumers are very different from urban consumers in terms of thinking, lifestyle, culture, behaviour etc. Consumer decisions and actions of rural consumers can be properly comprehend only when the factors in which they are operating is understood.


9. To Protect Themselves from the Effect of External Factors:

External factors like, economic, demographic, socio-cultural etc., keeps changing. These factors are uncontrollable and their effect is unbearable. These factors provide threat as well as opportunities. So, in order to protect themselves and to exploit opportunities, it is important for the marketers to study these external environment factors.

Rural Marketing Environment – Environmental Factors: Internal and External Environment

Organizational environment means the forces (commonly known as opportunities and threats) which can make an impact on organizational activities. Organizations do not exist in isolation. It works with the overall environment.

These environmental factors are majorly divided into two parts like internal and external:

(i) Internal Environment:

It refers to those elements which influence the internal activities of an organization such as – Money, Material, Machine and Labour.


(ii) External Environment:

It refers to those elements which influence the outside activities of an organization like – Demographic, Physical, Socio-Cultural, Technological, Political and Legal influences.

So, an organization has its own internal strength and weaknesses as well as common external opportunities and threats. They have to play effectively to convert their hurdles into suitable aid which can be controlled by them. In the following sessions, we will discuss about the major external factors which influence the organization’s activity.

Rural Marketing Environment means the opportunities and threats available in front of the marketers while promoting their sales very particularly in the rural areas. If the marketers are concentrating both in rural as well as urban markets, they can mutually tackle rural and urban environmental threats in a positive manner. For example, while paying tax, Government is giving tax benefits or sometimes tax holidays (i.e., exempted to pay tax) to the corporate that are starting their production unit in rural areas.

This is just because to improve rural employment opportunities, their income and overall rural prosperity. If a manufacturer constructs or shifts their production place to rural area, he/she can avail the tax benefit. In this way, one of the major environmental threats (i.e., liability to pay huge corporate tax) can be overcome and will reflect in the reduced production cost. At the same time, rural environmental threat such as – low literacy level, reach of media, etc., can be tackled by targeting urban consumers.

In real situation, it is very difficult to conduct Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis in this environment because of the frequent occurrences of changes. Marketers, who are ready to take effective steps to change their marketing plans and strategies, will prosper in this changing environment.

Rural Marketing Environment – Structures

Rural marketing structure includes the various types of environments which are very important and to be understood by the marketers who want to sell their products in the rural areas.

Demographic Environment:

Growing population is not a sign for growing market unless they have considerable purchasing power. Generally, people between the age group of 15-35 are the largest consumption group for many goods. More particularly, consumers who falls in the age group of 20-35, accounts almost 25% of India’s total consumption. If the corporate gear up their marketing policies to attract the people below the age group of 35, they can easily tap nearly 70% of rural potential.

Education and Literacy Level of Rural Women and Youth:

Fortunately, here also, the change is taking place and the rural literacy rate is risen nearly 25% over the last two decades. The improved literacy rate naturally leads to the growth of demand for education oriented products like – pen, pencil, notebooks and electronic goods such as – digital diaries, calculators, etc. It also increases the rural employment opportunities, disposable income and finally rural purchasing power for several products in the sectors of consumer durables as well as FMCG. So, the growth in rural literacy level, results in noticeable change for the improvement of rural people’s socio-economic status.

Although the Central and State Governments have implemented many schemes, severe punishments etc., to stop childhood marriage, keep away from education to girls, killing female child at the stage of birth itself, etc., unfortunately, these customs are still exist in many states of India such as – Bihar, Haryana, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and so on. These are all just because of higher illiteracy level among rural people and particularly lack of literacy level among rural women.

But the rural youth education and literacy level shows a good progress and prosperous rural India. Here, the contribution given by both State and Central Governments to improve rural youth literacy rate is noticeable one. This growth in youth literacy level increases the demand for modern, fashionable, current trend products among the younger generation.

Also it increases the brand awareness of rural consumers for various products (national and international level). Marketers can make serious efforts to capture these adults group (falls in the age group of 20-35), for their products such as perfumes, two- wheelers, western outfits, etc., which accounts nearly 25% of India’s consumption.

Density of Population:

Although the rural population has come down over the years, there has been considerable increase in real terms of total number of rural population. If we compare the rural proportion to total population in the past three decades, it is slightly decreasing. But still the total number of rural population is increasing in a considerable manner.

Rural Housing:

One can easily assess the economic status and growth of any sector with the help of housing pattern they have. Over the decades, there has been spectacular change in the trend of housing pattern. People are showing interest to shift from less permanent (semi-pucca) type of houses to more permanent (pucca) type of houses.

In the decade of 1980s, kuccha and semi-pucca houses were more when compared with the more permanent houses. Just 22% of houses only felt in the category of pucca houses. In 1990s, 31% of houses were in the type of pucca and the remaining were in the type of semi-pucca and kuchha.

In the millennium decade, the more permanent natured pucca houses hits more than 40 % of rural houses (approximately 50 million houses) and the rest 60% of housing type cumulates both semi-pucca and kuchha.

In this also, kuchha type of houses accounts only 23% (when compared with past decades, these type of houses are following down) and the balance 36% is a little bit improved semi-pucca. Various state governments are putting more efforts to increase semi-pucca and pucca houses and to reduce kuccha houses.

Rural Household Pattern:

Rural household pattern consists of family structure and housing pattern. In rural areas also, Indian tradition joint family system is slowly goes down and the nuclear family culture is spreading alike in the urban areas.

Family Structure:

Different types of family structures are existing in the demographic India. These can broadly be classified based on the number of households in a family under two groups namely; Joint family and Nuclear family.

Again following the same classification pattern, nuclear family can be divided into two types such as – nuclear family with elders and without elders.

Joint Family:

Group of people (grand-parents, parents, their brothers and sisters, their children) living together and using common property and dwelling house. Generally, the elder person is the head of the family and he is responsible to make decisions in all issues.

Nuclear with Elders:

It is a shrieked form of big joint family. It consists of grand-parents, parents and their children alone (not living with parent’s brothers and sisters’ family). Here, also final decision is taken by the senior person. This lack of individual decision making capacity is one of the major marketing hurdles for the marketers while promoting their products in villages.

Nuclear without Elders:

This is the exact nuclear family which is commonly seen in urban sector Father, mother and their children (nowadays, not even children only with single child) is the total family members and they can take individual decisions in all matters.

Recently, one more different type of nuclear family system is emerging in India. In this system, all are living in a big common house but, having separate kitchens, savings, assets/properties, etc.

Occupational Patterns:

Agricultural and allied activities are the main occupation for the rural people. An allied activity includes Horticulture, Forestry, Fishery, Animal Husbandry (dairy, poultry, and goat), Floriculture etc., the everyday needs of the villagers are also met by many other types of occupations. In rural sector, agri-based occupation can be different types.

The occupations which can be generally seen in the villages are:

1. Farm laborer

2. Milkman

3. Washer man

4. Pot maker

5. Blacksmith

6. Barber

7. Carpenter

8. Cobbler

9. Priest

10. Weaver.

Other rural occupation which are non-agricultural and support agricultural requirements and the rural people in their daily life are:

1. Village doctor

2. Policemen

3. Traditional village nurse

4. Anganwadi workers

5. Teacher

6. Peon

7. Grocer

8. Mechanic

9. Cyber cafe owner

10. Venders

11. Agricultural experts

12. Electricians etc.

Census of 2001 reports that, this agri-based occupational trend is slowly changing and a gradual shift towards non-agri based work has been taken place. As per the NSSO Rounds Survey, for the year of 1999-2000, rural India’s Primary sector workforce accounts for 76.1%, Secondary sector 11.3%, Tertiary sector 12.5% and finally non-farm sector hits 23.8%, which is next to the Primary sector.

Economic Environment:

There is a tremendous growth in rural Indian economy. The higher income class in the rural sector has almost grown six times. There is an increase in the rural per capita income also. Let’s understand the progress.

Income Generation:

The occupation pattern reveals the income generation pattern also. From the Table 3.7, we can find out more than 40% of rural people are engaged in agricultural and allied activities. Next followed by the wage earners, salary earners, and small shop keepers and so on. If we compare with urban sector, rural sector hits very little percentage of professionals and businessman.

In contrast, nearly 40% of urban people are earning regular salaries and just 3.45% of people alone engaged in agriculture and related activities. Wage earners and small shop keepers comes in the second and third place respectively which is similar in the rural sector and followed by the artisan, businessman etc.

Expenditure Pattern:

If we compare the availability of disposable income in the hands of rural and urban population, generally less is with the rural people. This is reflected in their expenditure pattern also which is evidenced from Table 3.8.

From Table 3.8, it is clear that the rural population is spending more than half of their income on food items. If we particularly analyze their proportion of expenditure on food items, nearly 33% is spended on cereals and the rest alone is spended on all other food items such as – milk and milk based products, vegetables, edible oil, beverages and others, etc.

If we compare with the expenditure pattern on non-food items of urban people, approximately 41% alone accounts in the rural sector. Here, the major proportion of rural people spending on fuel and light is nearly 21% of total expenditure on non-food items.

Saving Pattern:

As the time is changing the earning, consumption and saving pattern of the Indian consumers are also changing. The research made by Centre for Macro Consumer Research (CMCR) of the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) reports that there will be rapid shift of 42% in the income level of the rural households by 2015. This would become possible due to the development in agriculture, and other activities like construction, retail, trading, etc.

There is a huge dramatic change in the rural sector with a change with the shift in the income earnings and the consumption patterns of the rural consumers. But there is a huge disparity between the income generation and consumption pattern among the various states of rural India. Bridging this gap is a big challenge for the marketers and government.

The study further reveals that the top 44% of the households in the country currently have 93% of the country’s surplus income. Further it states that even the bottom 60% of households have 40% of total household expenditure. This shows the consumption power of the rural consumers who are at the bottom of the pyramid. Hence, for any marketer it is inevitable to ignore the rural consumers who are at the bottom of the pyramid.

Poor education is another factor that affects the size of the rural work force. Only 14% of the rural population have a graduate and above as a chief bread winner accounting for over 28% of the total household income. Thus, the education factor directly links to the growth of the income level of rural households.

Rural people are also becoming aware of saving their income during the crisis situation. Based on some research it has been reported that around 81% of the rural households save a portion of their disposable income for the future. Because of their savings for the future more than 50% of the rural households are very confident about their steady and bright future.

Physical Environment:

Indian land is a mixture of both domestic land as well as cultivation land. But unfortunately, urban side cultivation land also slowly utilized for household purpose such as constructing factories, apartments, buildings, multiplexes and so on. In contrast with the urban side, the rural cultivation land is still used for the agriculture purpose.

Distinguishing Features:

Rural land is a combination of cultivation land and farm houses. Farmers normally live in their own farm houses and those houses falls in the category of kuchha in general.

If we observe Indian villages, construction of houses are majorly based on Religious, Caste and Relationship. Some examples are – Agraharam – colony of Brahmins, Vysiyar Street – Vaishyas residing place and separate colony for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes.

Scattered and Clustered Settlement:

Rural India is inevitably connected with towns and villages. Most of the towns are nothing but the developed villages and they have Municipalities instead of Panchayats. But still, other attributes such as dependency on weekly haats, mandis and melas for buying and selling of goods in towns are as same as in the villages.

People in towns are involved in various jobs, such as – teachers, officers, professionals, businessmen, farmers and so on. All though they have different occupations, we can simply group them under two categories like, stable salary earners and unstable or irregular income earners.

Other Major Macro Environments:

As India is growing and has more opportunities for the lower-income group. If we take the data from the past ten years, the lower-income group shifted to higher-income group.

Land Distribution:

It has been clear that nearly 75% of income from rural area is generated through agriculture and allied activities. Land is the basic resource for all agriculture based activities. Land which is an unrecognized asset has changed the living style and attitude of farmers. Rural people enjoy the closeness with nature, soil, animals and other natural things.

Land can be classified in many ways such as:

Land Based on Topography:

i. Plains

ii. Plateaus

iii. Hills

iv. Mountains.

Land Based on Use:

i. Cultivable land

ii. Uncultivable land

iii. Land for public infrastructure

iv. Forest land.

Land management is becoming very important due to increase in demand for land because of growth in Indian population.

So, land distribution plays a vital role in the distribution of rural income. Proportion of households and cultivated area under different land holding patterns in rural area.

If we observe, approximately 80% of holdings accounts for 39% total land cultivated and the balance 20% of holdings accounts for 61% of land. It shows the uneven distribution of land and ultimately leads to the uneven income distribution. In rural areas, less number of families only falls in the higher income groups when compared with the larger lower income groups’ category.

From the marketer’s point of view, this is very important situation who are dealing with agricultural inputs. Because unlike the common demand for agro-inputs (such as – fertilizers, pesticides etc.) irrespective of income level or streams, durable inputs like tractors, power tillers, etc., may have more demand from higher income groups only.

One more thing to be noticed here is the number of holdings is increasing. If we compare the land holdings pattern with the past three to four decades, nearly 70% of increase is affected due to the fact of subdivision and fragmentation system which is widely spread in rural areas.

Even though the total consumption of rural sector exceeds urban sector, individual family consumption is comparatively less. Marketing efforts should be geared up to cater nearly 100 million rural families. Thus, the rural market is characterized by ample disparities in consumption levels.

Land Use Pattern:

If we observe our land use pattern, from the total cultivation area, approximately 74% is occupied by food crops and only 26% is occupied by non-food crops. This situation clearly exhibits the excessive dependence on food crops rather than non-food commercial crops. It is because of the farmer’s attitude towards food security i.e., they used to retain sufficient quantities of production for their own consumption and the rest alone goes – to the market.

Take the food crops such as rice, wheat, vegetables etc., as example whose retention quantity is estimated nearly 50%. In contrast, the entire production of non-food crops goes to the market without noticeable proportion of retention like food crops. For example, almost the entire production of cotton, sugarcane, groundnut, etc., are marketed. This has an implication in generation of disposable income.

In general, large farmers are able to generate adequate disposable incomes because they can grow food as well as non-food, commercial crops with the help of sufficient land holding pattern. But the small farmers are in a position to grow only food crops that too in a little quantity and are able to generate small disposable income.

So, the marketers surely show interest to target the large rural farmers. Anyway this situation is slowly changing due to the introduction of latest technologies in the agricultural sector for the result of high yield such as, high yield seeds, cross-cultured seeds, pesticides, etc.


Irrigation plays a vital role while increasing the potentiality of rural market. Actually, in agricultural sector, many new technologies were implemented in irrigation only such as energized pump sets and so on to improve the overall yield and economy. To improve the irrigated area, many kinds of investment schemes like minor, medium and major are continuously framed and implemented by the Government.

For example, states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra are expected to irrigate about 19 lakh hectares of land from the project Sardar Sarofar Project across river Narmada. We can imagine the prosperity of farmers in these beneficiary states.

The major source of irrigation is wells followed by canals. Nearly about 40% of gross cropped area is from approximately 80 million hectares of gross irrigated area. The important point to be noted here is, still nearly 60% of rural India is dependent on rainfall for their agricultural activities.

Anyway, many steps have been taken and major and medium level irrigation projects also initiated to improve the rural irrigation potential. One more important scheme launched by the Government in the year of 2005 was ‘National Project for Repair, Renovation and Restoration of Water Bodies’.

It mainly focuses on the restoration and augmentation of water bodies storage capacities and recovering and extending their lost potential. ‘Drip Irrigation’ programme was launched to cover more areas under irrigation. Currently, about three lakh hectares are under drip irrigation in various states of India and a great scope to extend this method under the context of shrinking ground water supply.

So, it is very clear that the availability of irrigation facilities leads to the higher technology development and finally results in the increased productivity, income and improved rural purchasing power.

Socio-Cultural Environment:

It is very difficult to define a definite boundary for the identification of socio-cultural differences in a country. Because every country has different society and polity and that too varies from region to region. It also varies between sub-regions, different religious, caste and community groups. So, some common factors have been grouped together to form socio-cultural regions.

The major factors which are used to construct different socio-cultural regions in an environment are:

i. Sociological factors – It cumulates the habits, tastes, lifestyle and preferences of different consumers. The social constitution and changes in the constitutions influences these in a big way.

ii. Anthropological factors – Existence of regional cultures and sub-cultures plays a predominant role here.

iii. Psychological factors – It includes the consumer’s attitude, interest, personality and mind set. These psychological factors influence more in the overall buying behaviour of consumers.

Sales promotional schemes, selling and distribution strategies, advertising are all influenced more by the above mentioned factors. So, the marketers are using these socio-cultural regions as a yardstick for their market segmentation and targeting purpose.

In a nutshell, we can conclude that the urban environment shows degrees of homogeneity across the socio-cultural regions, whereas the rural environment entirely differs.

Values and Beliefs:

Values are nothing but genetic traits and simplicity is the main ingredient. It is customary to respect elders and touch their feet as to seek their blessings. Occasions or festivals demand a lot of participation in terms of rangoli drawing, diyas and an array of yummy treats made in the authentic variety as per the caste and geography.

Hindu rituals are a lot about song and dance and each family has a natural way to adjust to these formats. It is a ritual to pray to the Goddess of learning Maa Saraswathi to achieve success. Similarly, business people always insist on drawing the Swastika which marks prosperity and worship the Goddess of wealth.

The values in India are about living life with an enthusiasm and observing the belief that there is one God existing despite so many religions. Respecting elders, understanding cross culture traditions, free mingling to accommodate tolerance, staying interested in rural welfare are the values of India. The historical object, cuisine handicrafts, attire and lifestyle of the rural folks is still followed and preserved by Indians.

Even though India is a country of various religions and caste, our culture tells us just one thing ‘phir bhi dil hai Hindustani’.

Existence of Sub-Cultures:

Before we understand about the sub-culture, let us know about the culture. Culture is defined as a complex of values, ideas, attitudes and other meaningful symbols created by man to shape human behaviour and the artifacts of that behaviour as they are transmitted from one generation to next.

We are all aware that India is the place for existence of a number of sub-cultures. It is easy to identify people through their sub-culture, which is reflected by the race, religion, region, nationality, etc. It varies from state to state and even district to district.

People are likely to behave in the same manner, follow same religious practices and even represent the same race when they come from the same state or nation. For example – An Indian will behave like an Indian whichever country she/he goes. Similarly, a Kannadiga or a Bihari will always present herself/ himself as belonging to her/his state. Even he/she will be more comfortable in the company of people from his/her state.

Rural people follow their culture very rigidly. A marketer has to understand the culture very deeply before launching the product in a particular region or state of India. The symbol or language used to give message about the product and even people selected (brand Ambassadors) to communicate the message also have to be selected carefully depending upon the region, religion, etc.

Caste System:

The Indian caste system is a system of social stratification and social restriction in India in which communities are defined by thousands of hereditary groups called Jatis.

Indian society stands strongly on four pillars, such as, Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. Other sub-castes and cults are constructed on these pillars only.

The Brahmins got first priority and supremacy position among the others. They have separate colony (popularly called as Agraharam) for themselves and others are prohibited even to enter in that colony.

The next priority was given to Kshatriyas (i.e., warriors), followed by Vaishyas who belongs to business or trade group. And finally, Shudras were given lowest priority among the four classes and were suffered by lot of social and economic disadvantages such as restricted to enter into temple, use common well, roads, school, hospitals and other facilities.

They were supposed to live in the prescribed boundaries only. For example, for the survival of those people, separate area is allotted which is far away to reach in general. If they entered in the common place or use any resources, severe punishment are given by the supreme community people. After some decades, fortunately, these caste based priorities were wiped out, and all are treated in equal manner.

Basic human rights got supreme priority instead of all other things because of the continuous effort taken by our Government and other social service volunteers.

Even though, the old Zamindari system and untouchability were removed, still some sort of social imbalances exist in many remote villages of India. Some people in village who are in the decision making capacity, are more sensitive towards the caste based feelings and too rigid to even approach.

Their values and beliefs should be honored; otherwise, reach and survival will be more difficult to the corporate. So, the marketers should be very conscious while drafting their promotional policies, advertising schemes to spread messages about products.

Caste system is very strong in rural India. People cannot do things against their caste. Rural people have to marry themselves or their children within their caste. If they don’t do so, they may have to pay heavy penalty such as – out casting them from the village and community or even sometimes parents kill their own daughters and sons if they try to marry outside their caste or within their caste (Honor Killing).

Rural Recreation:

Recreation is a vital part of rural social life. For retaining the physical and mental health the recreation plays a major role. There are several centres available in the towns providing recreating facilities as this is one of the ways to recreate people out of dull and monotonous life. The rural recreations are not polished, home grown and less costly.

There are several characteristics of rural recreation that are given below:

i. Part of a rural life – It has become a routine work for the villagers to recreate after a day of hectic work as a part of their social life.

ii. Collective participation – Musical shows and dramas are the best recreating activities that the villagers perform. These are practised and performed in groups. The villagers contribute together and also offer several prizes in order to enjoy collectively.

iii. Family influence – During some festivals or any other auspicious occasions the family members actively participate and arrange several recreational programmes.

iv. Religious Recreation – Religion is a part of socio-cultural and recreation of rural India. Various religious stories are narrated or enacted in a particular fashion with music through dramas and puppet shows etc.

v. Simple – Rural recreation activities are very simple in nature. There is no element of commercialization in it.

vi. Universal – The biggest advantage in the rural recreation activities is that the whole village population takes part and enjoys every bit of life with their kith and kin.

However, nowadays there is a slight change taking place in the rural recreational activities. The new technologies involved in recreation in the urban areas have also influenced the rural recreation programmes such as – now the rural programmes are for a shorter time as compared to earlier which was slow and time consuming. Some evil elements of urban recreation such as – smoking and drinking have also damaged spirit of rural traditional recreation enjoyment.

Administrative and Legal Structures:

Panchayat Raj is a south Asian political system mainly in India, Pakistan and Nepal. In India, it has a four way administrative structure namely; Gram Sabha, Gram Panchayat, Panchayat Samiti, and Zilla Parishad. Traditionally, it is an assembly of villagers under the head of five respective elders to settle their disputes. Later on, its functions are stream lined. The top level and bottom level of Panchayat Raj are explained here.

1. Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs):

PRIs ensure the direct participation of people from the grass root level itself.

The salient features of panchayat raj under the 73rd amendment of the constitutional act, 1992, are:

i. To provide 3-tier system of Panchayati Raj for all states having population of over 2 million.

The 3-tier system of panchayati raj consists of the following:

a. Zila Parishad at the District Level;

b. Panchayat Samitis at the Block Level; and

c. Gram Panchayat at the Village Level.

ii. To hold Panchayat elections regularly after every 5 years.

iii. To provide reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Women (not less than 33%).

iv. To appoint State Finance Commission to make recommendations as regards the financial powers of the Panchayats.

v. To constitute District Planning Committee to prepare draft development plans for the district as a whole.

Powers and responsibilities delegated to panchayats are:

i. Preparation of plan for economic development and social justice.

ii. Implementation of the schemes for economic development and social justice in relation to 29 subjects given in Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution.

iii. To levy, collect and appropriate taxes, duties, tolls and fees.

The panchayats receive funds from three main sources such as:

i. Local body grants, as recommended by the Central Finance Commission;

ii. Funds for implementation of centrally-sponsored schemes; and

iii. Funds released by the State Governments on the recommendations of the State Finance Commissions.

2. Gram Sabha:

Gram Sabha constitutes the lowest level of Panchayati Raj. A common Gram Sabha exists for very small group villages with a population of 200 or more and it should meet at least once in each quarter for making decisions which affects their day-to-day life such as –

i. Levying and collecting local taxes.

ii. Construction and maintenance of resources like – roads, school buildings, water tanks and drainage etc., and

iii. To execute government schemes with respect to generation of employment opportunities in villages and so on.

iv. The main eligible criteria to be a member in Gram Sabha is-a person should attained the age of 18 and have the voting right.

v. Its main function is preventing the Panchayats from misusing money and/or favouring a particular group or religious or individual person. It also keeps an eye on the elected representatives to monitor their services and to make them responsible to the people who elected them.

vi. Gram Sabha receives funds from the following three main sources for their development programs –

a. Amount collected from house taxes, market places etc.

b. Fund received from various Government department schemes.

c. Donations received for community works etc.

Technological Environment:

The major three revolutions, Green Revolution in the agriculture sector, White Revolution in the dairy sector, Fibre Revolution in the textile sector and the role of Non-Government Organizations were geared up many changes in the technological environment.

1. Green Revolution:

From the year 1967 to 1978, is termed as Green Revolution period. The main motive of the government to initiate this program is to improve food grain production in India by using advanced equipments and to attain self-sufficiency in the area of food production.

Some notable economic results which were generated by this revolution are:

i. Crop areas under high-yield varieties required fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides and other inputs. Farm equipments like tractors with farm implements; diesel pump sets, etc., introduced mechanization into the farm sector for the first time.

ii. The increase in farm production also introduced mechanized processing, spurring growth of the local manufacturing sector.

iii. The modernization and mechanization of the farm sector boosted farm productivity, triggered industrial growth, created jobs and initiated a change in the quality of life in villages.

2. White Revolution:

With the successful implementation of Green Revolution, the Government initiated White Revolution to achieve self-sufficiency in the area of milk production. The main motive of this policy was, the producer cooperative society (producer cooperatives) should try to match urban demand with the supply of rural produce.

It means, the producer cooperatives acts as a middleman in rural area for selling the rural produce among the urban consumers. At the same time, the demand for dairy products like – ice cream, flavoured milk, yoghurt, butter, cheese etc., also grown in a considerable manner.

Urbanization, changing lifestyle and food habits of people also played a significant role for this increased demand. This resulted in a big way of success in the area of milk production and processing.

In India, most successful states in dairy development through producers’ cooperative societies are – Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, western Utter Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. If we compare the results, nearly 80% of increase is affected in the field of milk production from all over the country.

3. Yellow Revolution:

To improve the production of oil seeds and its output (edible oil), Government initiated Yellow Revolution. This recorded a spectacular increase in both areas. The production was doubled from 11 million tonnes in the year of 1986-87 to 22 million tonnes in 1994-95.

4. Blue Revolution:

Before 50 years, Indian fisheries sector produced 6, 00,000 tons of fish only. To increase the overall quantity, India introduced Blue Revolution. Its main focus was to increase fish production in small ponds and water bodies.

5. Some Other Major Revolutions:

Nearly, 12 more revolutions also took place in India to improve production in various sectors, such as – petroleum, leather, cocoa, jute, cotton, honey, tomato, potato, egg and so on.


i. Black Revolution – Petroleum Production

ii. Brown Revolution – Leather/Cocoa Production

iii. Golden Revolution – Overall Horticulture or Honey Production

iv. Golden Fibre Revolution – Jute Production

v. Grey Revolution – Fertilizer Production

vi. Pink Revolution – Onion/Pharmaceutical (India)/Prawn Production

vii. Red Revolution – Meat and Tomato Production

viii. Round Revolution – Potato Production

ix. Silver Fibre Revolution – Cotton Production

x. Silver Revolution – Egg/Poultry Production.

6. The Non-Government Organization (NGO) Movement:

Non-Government Organizations (popularly known as NGOs) and other voluntary agencies play a vital role in creating awareness, developing skills and introducing new technologies, etc., in the rural areas.

They identify the grassroots in those areas and introduce latest technologies in the fields of food processing, natural resource management, leather processing, low-cost spindles, weaving machinery, etc., to bring change in the life of the rural people. Many Government programs were implemented through NABARD, CAPART, KVIC and so on are fine-tuned with the help of these organizations.

Some other assistance provided by NGOs are:

i. Basic health care services

ii. Child care services

iii. Education and training

They also provide assistance to create awareness and develop skills and introduce technology etc.

Top 10 NGOs-lndia:

i. Help Age India-Rank 1

ii. Sangram Sanstha-Rank 3

iii. Lepra Society

iv. Deepalaya

v. Karmayog

Top 10 NGOs-World:

i. The Wikimedia Foundation

ii. Partner in Health

iii. Oxfam

iv. BRAC

v. International Rescue Committee

vi. PATH

vii. CARE International

viii. Medicines San Frontieres

ix. Danish Refugee Council

x. Ushahidi

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