Indian economy experienced a slowdown in the past year owing to the global economy battling recessionary pressures. However, India’s rural market remained virtually unscathed due to the agricultural sector and huge opportunities prevailing in this area. About 80% of India’s population which accounts for almost 800 million people resides in villages. Middle class families and the disposable income of rural population are rapidly increasing. Today rural India accounts more than 50% of India’s GDP and is even bigger than the urban market. The Indian subcontinent is the most exhilarating and dynamic emerging market of the world. Government of India has taken up several initiatives in order to sustain the growth of rural India. ‘Go rural’ strategy is highly followed by the marketer’s these days. Moreover, Indian as well as multina-tionals marketers such as Colgate-Palmolive, Godrej and Hindustan Lever have spot opportunities and are concentrating on rural markets.
India is anticipated to experience the highest growth in polymer demand over the next five years outstripping China and other emerging nations. The demand is expected to grow by 8-10% with healthy growth in industries such as packaging, consumer durables, clothing, automobiles and more. India is currently the world’s third largest consumer of polymers and third largest producer of agro-chemicals. It produces around 9 million tons of polymers with imports of around 2.8 million tons. The urban to rural flow involves agricultural inputs, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) such as soaps, detergents, cosmetics, textiles, and so on. Most of the packaging activities done to these FMCG products involve plastics derived from polymers. In rural markets, durables such as refrigerators as well as consumer electronic goods are probable to observe rising demand in the coming years as the government is making strategies to capitalize considerably in rural electrification.
The Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector in rural and semi-urban India is estimated to cross $20 billion by 2018. Polymers and agro-chemicals industries in India present immense growth opportunities. Policies have been initiated to set up integrated Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Regions (PCPIR). Moreover, the insatiable manufacturing industry, supportive government policies and a freshly surging economy is all set to boost the polymer consumption in rural India by 2020.
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