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Corporates should leverage banking networks to tap rural markets, says Indian Bank chief
22 September 2007

Chennai: At a two-day seminar organised by the Madras Management Association (MMA), chairman and M S Sundara Rajan, managing director, Indian Bank impressed upon corporates the need to utilise bank networks to make their products accessible in rural areas.

Rajan stressed the need for innovative ideas to market to rural India. As an example, he referred to EID Parry's partnership with Indian Bank to set up information kiosks within the bank's branches in Cuddalore district for rural consumers.

According to Rajan, loans extended by Indian Bank in rural and semi-urban areas have seen credit from the bank grow by at least 20 per cent annually.

At the same event, Ramesh Viswanathan, executive director, CavinKare Pvt Ltd, said that marketers must devise innovative products to break into rural markets, sharing the examples of products such as Chik shampoo, Chinni's pickles and UB Export brand beer that have seen rural launches.

Innovation in marketing strategies for these products came in the form of 50-paise sachets for the shampoo and pickles, while for the beer, pricing it at 50 per cent of its original price, with a portion of cost refunded upon the return of the empty beer bottle proved to be a clincher.

The seminar was hosted by MMA during the sixth All India Management Students' Convention, and had informative presentations by guest and students alike. Also part of the event is a business plan competition for students, a thousand of whom are attending the event.

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Corporates should leverage banking networks to tap rural markets, says Indian Bank chief