In the 1990s MART was the first rural marketing consultancy firm in the country, focusing on the social/development sector, creating large scale livelihoods for the rural poor in partnership with some of the big international NGOs and donor organizations.
In 1997 we undertook a large survey for World Bank to identify large scale livelihood opportunities in 1100 villages and 186 haats (periodic markets) of Uttar Pradesh, India. We also undertook the first ever National study on Haats and Melas that has became a reference document for marketers.We developed the ‘3M Approach’ for generating large scale employment in rural areas.
During this period the corporate sector started eyeing the growing rural market’ MART co-created its game changing rural models with several Fortune 500 companies.
In 2000, MART and Hindustan Unilever co-created ‘Project Shakti’ to reach products in smaller villages by appointing women from Self Help Groups as dealers. Another ‘last mile distribution’ model utilizing rural youth was successfully implemented with Colgate and later with telecom, FMCG, ICT, Insurance and health sector companies.Our deep knowledge of the rural markets was comprehensively captured in the ‘Rural Marketing’ Book authored by our CEO in 2005.
MART moved to the next orbit, taking leadership position in the emerging markets knowledge space and linking with firms in US, Europe and Japan.
Our initiatives included developing the ICT model for Grameenphone in Bangladesh; formally introducing the subject of rural marketing in the business schools of Bangladesh; revamping the distribution model for a USAID funded organization in Nepal; conducting rural marketing workshops in Malaysia; and building knowledge partnerships and strategic alliances with world class academic institutions like INSEAD, University of Illinois and Cambridge University.We ventured into Innovation - Our CEO, Pradeep Kashyap was invited to share MART ’s experience at a Global CEOs Innovation event in Paris. We developed our ‘3i Innovation Framework’; and introduced the concept of ‘Inclusive Marketing’ to the world.