Rural Marketing makes it’s first field trip

As soon as Rural Marketing course, the first-time-ever in Bangladesh was introduced, all our hearts were set to reach for the villages, where the horizons are wide, consumers are not the usual urbanites and  where lies the ultimate ‘base of the Pyramid’. On 24th of April, with scorching ‘Boishakh’ half-way-on, the students of ‘Rural Marketing’ and their faculty Assistant professor Ms. Samira Nuzhat, started off for the coveted field trip. The destination was a village called Razabari of Kapashia where Bangladesh Edible Oil Limited (Famous for their Rupchada oil brand), in collaboration with ‘Market Access’ was running a ‘Rural activation campaign’. By the time the students reached Razabari, BEOL was about to start their stall activities. With branded vans and representatives, the area appeared colorful and festive. Curious villagers started to flock around the stalls, students craned, tiptoed to have a clear view of what was happening. The representatives were showing flip-chart story boards to the visitors. Students were found busy taking notes, matching realities with class-room discussions. The field trip was further enriched by Mr.Farzanul’s informative briefing on their company’s overall rural activities. Students were highly encouraged by his speech, realizing that ‘the power of their (rural consumer) purse isn’t ignorable any more’. However, the most exciting part was probably taking part in ‘Uthan Boithak’s. After the lunch break, the students were divided into small groups of six and followed the Brand Promoters (Female representatives) into the narrow aisles of the village. ‘Uthan Boithak’s are congregation of local villagers, spontaneously arranged by the BPs. This innovative way of consumer engagement is particularly important for media dark rural areas. To end with a happy note, all the participating students have been given a certificate of participation. They all must have visited villages before, but on that day, they had different perspectives, a different mind-set, ready to win rural consumers. With more than 70 % population living in the rural areas, Bangladesh can be called a giant village. Rural Marketing emphasizes on that vast untapped potential. The field trip offered a glimpse of rural Bangladesh, helping students to realize that they are the vanguards; they have the opportunities to transform the rural Bangladesh. Finally, our sincerest thanks go to Mr. A.H.M Ehsanul Huda Chowdhury, Head of the Department, Marketing. Without his support and guidance the tour wouldn’t have been successful.