Consumer goods are most penetrated in rural India. Food products like biscuits, personal hygiene like bathing soap or shampoo, skincare products like face creams have high penetration. However, brand awareness and choices are still limited as not many companies have been able to reach these markets. Often mass media reach has exposed the rural population to some of the consumer product brands but non-availability often influences consumption opportunities of these consumers.

MART conducts market research to understand the rural consumer for his consumption behavior and attitude towards consumer goods; develop strategies based on research to segment and target, design low cost ‘last mile’ distribution models and design effective communication models; pilots the strategic implementation to take the strategies from the drawing board to the market and then for sustainability and scalability.

Our Differentiators

Consumer goods demand effective distribution and communication models as these are purchased repeatedly at a regular frequency. MART has established time tested sustainable and scalable models for ‘last mile distribution’ and has effectively used ‘existing traditional rural events’ like haats to communicate.


Consumer Product Research

Challenge/Problem: Understand the market opportunity for fortified curd among low income consumers

  • Study the consumption of milk products, especially curd  in homes across 6 states of India
  • Study the neighborhood retail store behavior towards stocking of milk products, including curd and specifically fortified curd.
  • Understand the consumer response to fortified curd. Concept test.

Our Approach: The research was designed in two parts, first to understand consumers and second to study retail behavior

  • A qualitative study was conducted to gain insights into consumption of curd and attitude towards fortified curd.
  • The qualitative phase also included studying neighborhood retail stores for stocking and selling behavior for curd and fortified curd.
  • A quantitative study was conducted among consumers of milk products/curd to understand their knowledge and attitude towards fortified food and curd. The study also profiled the consumers based on usage of curd in their dietary habits. The concept of fortified curd was tested for acceptance among low income consumers.
Results/Solution:  The study helped in understanding consumer knowledge and attitude towards curd and fortified curd. The relevance, comprehension and intention to consume was assessed.

Prototype Testing

Challenge/Problem:  Mosquito repellents in two forms were tested for their relevance and acceptance in different socio-economically classified households.  Study was conducted in small towns of Maharastra and Tamil Nadu.

Our Approach

  • Identified households from different SECs and studied their usage habits for mosquito repellents (coil, tablet or liquid).
  • One prototype was placed with a household for trial use for a fortnight. Feedback for the first prototype was collected at the end of every week. Sample households were given prototype 1 and second set of sample households were given prototype 2.
  • The placement of prototypes was then switched for another 15 days of usage. Households were then asked to respond to the new prototype for its effectiveness and also give a comparative between prototype 1 and prototype 2.

Results/Solution:  The study assessed the relevance and acceptance for each type of prototypes among different SEC households. One prototype had higher acceptance in SEC A households.

Business Modeling

Challenge/Problem:  30% of population in the rural areas of Uttar Pradesh (India), do not use dental hygiene products. The leading brand in dental care needed to grow the market against growing competition from MNC brand and Indian brands

Our Approach

  • Conducted a market assessment study to understand the practices and reasons for non-adoption among target consumer groups. Identified potential communication points and explored potential trigger points to induce trials
  • Designed a low cost ‘last mile distribution’ model – ‘DISHA’, to reach the uncovered markets and create new markets. Educated rural youth were trained to become entrepreneurs and do business in the uncovered villages within the territory of company sub-stockist.
  • These entrepreneurs were trained and equipped to communicate with consumers and induce trial use.

Results/Solution:  DISHA was scaled across 28 districts of Uttar Pradesh and nearly 250 youth entrepreneurs became channel partners to the company’s distribution network. Their contribution to sale was 15% of the total rural sales in U.P.

Effective Communication

Challenge/Problem: Understand the consumption habits of sparkling drink among rural consumers and identify communication cues for effectiveness

Our Approach: A qualitative study was conducted to understand the target consumer and their association with sparkling drinks. The consumption practices and attitude was studied in different states. Insights were developed towards consumer preferences and aspirations.

Results/Solution: Communication cues were used to develop the concept of ‘occasion to celebrate’ with sparkling drink.

Saroj Kr. Mohanta

Saroj Kr. Mohanta: Saroj’s interests lie in understanding consumers in low income, high volumes markets or the ‘emerging markets’. He has built deep understanding of rural consumer’s life, aspirations and behavior especially in the area of FMCG and durables. He has developed innovative approaches in market research like adapting social research tools to market research tools. He has worked a number of projects for world reputed organizations.

Nikhil Sharma

Nikhil Sharma: Nikhil, a Post Graduate in Rural Management from IIRM, Jaipur has a decade long experience working with the rural communities and deeply understanding their needs and behavior. His special interests lie in developing on-ground communication strategies for low income segments. He has worked on creating award winning rural communication and distribution models for various consumer goods and durable companies in India. Nikhil also handles business development for the corporate sector and overall supervision of operational aspect of implementation projects at MART.

Ambuja cement
Birla Cement
Coca Cola
JK Lakshmi Cement
Tata Steel
Ultra Tech
Usha International
World Gold council(WGC)