Better facilities including infrastructure needed to boost rural retail

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With the rural consumer spending over Rs 4,157 billion, it is imperative for the government and private sector firms to focus on specialised infrastructure to tap this vast market as they are the biggest buyers, says a report.

The companies planning to enter rural retail have to focus on improving infrastructure, seasonality of demand, heterogeneous population, complex buying behaviour and price sensitivity, said the report by CII and YES Bank.

The report ‘Rural Retail: The next phase in retailing’ said once the sector grows there would be a slew of positive implications.

“While rural sector is at a nascent stage, rural retail will have a direct impact in boosting infrastructure, employment, increased revenue and tax generation and check rural migration,” said Kalyan Chakravarthy , country head, Food and Agribusiness Strategic, YES Bank.

In addition the farmers, intermediaries and manufacturers will also undergo a major change that would bring a positive impact to the rural retail, states the report.

“Rural folks have to be seen from the background, that what and how much they were exposed to,” said Sanjay Chabra of DCM Shriram.

He emphasised the importance of building trust in rural retail. “Unlike urban retail, in rural retail there are fixed set of customers and one cannot cheat them. The area that would be addressed is within 25-30 kms, unlike in urban retail where customers come from far flung areas,” he said.

Laxman Singh Rathore of Tata said though Tata Kisan Sansar was increasing its outlets in the rural areas and farmers were getting all assistance, yet there was apathy towards agriculture among the youth in the rural areas.

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