In the past one decade, the industrial growth was not significant in India. Major impact was observed in the performance of core manufacturing industries, and despite several corrective measures taken by the government for sustainability of large firms, successes were few and far between. To boost the economy, more emphasis was given to service sector after observing the huge contribution of services in developed economies. Another peculiarity of the Indian market was the dominance by a few large players in almost every sector. These large players were, in effect, cannibalizing the small firms since they were not in a position to compete with large firms in terms of innovations, market share and policy framework. But COVID-19 changed all the calculations, people lost their jobs and incomes fell leading to reduction of buying capacity. As a result of that performance of large firms went down the line and people expressed a clear preference for products which are local made and available in nearby market. In India, rural markets present a great opportunity because of the saturation of urban markets. Therefore, the pandemic has presented a great opportunity for local players to establish their brands and markets with limited resources which they failed to do in the pre-COVID-19 era.
Concept of Vocal for Local:
The Indian market comprises of urban and rural and there is a significant differential nature of buying pattern, customer preferences, liking etc. The rural market and industry mostly depends on agriculture and allied industries. But in different studies and debate, it says that there is a need of rapid revolution in the rural product and rural market. As a result the overall development of the country will amplify. The VOCAL FOR LOCAL concept emerged recently in India and the moto is to be self-reliant. If this succeeds than we will get all round positive changes in countries economic, socio-cultural scenario. If we look into government initiatives, they mainly try to promote MSME which are the key drivers of country’s economic growth in recent years. MSME mainly operate by looking into local resource availability, combined with entrepreneurial skills and also limited market coverage. In this regard the small firms need to develop the brand which is required by a particular geographic region. Initiatives such as dairy firms, food processing units, restaurants, bakeries, jewelry manufacturing units, packaging industries, horticulture and many more which can emerge from local resources where people does not require high skill, promotion and pricing strategy. In this present situation, it is very much possible for the small firms to develop their business strategy by looking into the needs and demands of the local market and in terms of resources, it is easy to get the resources which are available in the surroundings. India is a country where people have a tendency to prefer branded products and also foreign made product. But this thought is going through a change now and people are developing their mindset to buy local products. There are so many industries such as FMCG, Electronics goods which are experiencing higher demand for locally designed products which have taken into account specific local requirements. If we follow Porter’s five force model which states that there is a big hurdle for market entry of local firms, suppliers were working under the constraint of market dominance by big brand. Local products were not getting proper leverage due this dominance by established brands, but now the door is open to small firms to operate without taking help of the larger firms because lot of initiatives and benefits are provided by the government in terms of finance, technology and also training support. The VOCAL FOR LOCAL concept also emphasizing the root of development which is more connected with rural India resources.
How to develop the market:
As we know that in skills, competency, strategy, financial capability, distribution systems etc., the large firms are miles ahead as they operate both at national and international levels, and thus it is big challenges for the small firms to follow them and their structure. So the small firms need to do an analysis of how the other small firms are operating in the market and what is their Unique Selling Proposition. Apart from that, small firms need to design products which are best suited in the local market. The market segmentation can be done for a particular geographic region. Resources should be sourced locally which can help them to restrict their price. Firms have to follow a different line of communication to reach the people and also indentify the most convenient way of promote their product. As a small firm has limited market coverage the distribution system should be designed such that a customer can get the products as and when required. Product development can be done not by following the large corporates but with the smell of local touch because it can make sentimental differences to the consumers to purchase the product. The basic ideas of vocal for local is to promote small firm with limited resource and try to develop small market which can reduce price burden of the consumers, accustom with the more locally made product which can grow the economics of the country and dependency towards large branded product will be less. Therefore we can say that there are few areas the small firms must consider to develop market.
- Small level of segmentation where firm can give more focus.
- Products can be design on identification of specific local needs and wants.
- Development of products based on local touch and smell but of good quality.
- Pricing should not be comparable to large firm.
- Technology can be adopted but aligned with affordability.
- Smooth and faster delivery system
- Traditional methods of promotion can work but attempt should be to leverage digital to the maximum extent possible
- Development of organic products present a great opportunity.
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