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Summer Internship 2010

Apr-May 2010

Summer Internship 2010

PGDM 2009-11
Roll No. 038
Birla Institute of
Management Technology
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Summer Internship 2010

Summer Project Certificate

This is to certify that Mr. Dhruv Srivastava, Roll No. 038, a student of PGDM has worked

on his summer project titled “Reaching Rural Customers at low cost to enhance

the brand awareness and visibility” at Idea Cellular Pvt. Ltd. after trimester-III

in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the programme. This is his original work to the

best of my knowledge.

Date: __________ Signature ___________

Seal: Name of Faculty________

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I take this opportunity to express my deep sense of gratitude to all those who have contributed significantly by

sharing their knowledge and experience in the completion of this project work.

I am extremely grateful to Mr. Ashit Singh, Head- Marketing Communications, my industry guide for being

supportive and for taking out time to help me during my project. His mentorship has set an example for me.

I would also like to thank the entire Marketing Communication team for their continuous support and

motivation which helped me a lot in completing this project.

I am highly indebted to Professor R.J. Masilamani, my Faculty Guide, under whose able guidance this

project was carried out. I thank him for his continuous support, guidance, help and mentoring before, during

the tenure & after completion of the project.

Yours faithfully

Dhruv Srivastava


PGM 2009-11

Birla Institute of Management Technology

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Table of Contents

S.No. Topic Page No.

1 Executive Summary 5

2 Company background 6
Telecommunications Industry-Indian
3 7

4 Review of Literature 12

4 Latest Data & Statistics 15

5 Project Objective & Methodology 17

Field Visit Observations

6 i. Jalgaon & Buldhana 18

ii. Solapur
iii. Nashik

7 Survey findings 33

8 Recommendations 36

9 References 40

10 Appendix-I (Survey Questionnaire) 41

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Executive Summary

About 70 % of the country‟s 1.1 billion consumers live in rural India where about half of the national income
is generated. India‟s steady economic growth in the last few years has led to a rapid increase in its rural
market size and has attracted the interest of telecom service provider companies the world over.

Unexpectedly strong demand for cheap cell-phones in recent years revealed the untapped markets in India's
villages and slums. Thanks to $20 cell-phones and two-cent-a-minute call rates, Indian cellphone companies
are signing up more than five million new subscribers a month, most of them consumers no one would have
considered serving only five years ago.

Various marketing communications methods/initiatives have come up in the recent times to reach and attract
the end consumer/customer resulting in increased brand salience for the organization in the market. Major
modes of marketing communication options include Media advertising (Television, Newspaper, Radio,
Magazines), Place & Outdoor advertising (Bulletins, Bill boards, Cinema, Posters), POP (Shelf talkers,
shopping cart ads, Aisle markers, In-store radio or TV), Event Sponsorships etc. It is increasingly required for
the telecom service provider to have an appropriate and sharp communication mix for both the Urban & Rural
markets as they are very distinct in nature.

To visit and survey the rural hinterland of the state of Maharashtra gave me an important insight into the
nuances of rural telecom growth story. It made me realise the high growth rate potential in the rural
consumers as the positive effects of a catapulting economy trickle down to the poor.

As a part of the project the following objective had to fulfilled:

 To identify the changing media consumption habits of rural customers (Maharashtra & Goa
circle) and help Idea Cellular target their marketing communication mix more effectively.

 Recommend new and innovative communication mediums apart from those already in use by
Idea cellular to increase the brand awareness amongst the rural customers.

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Company Background

Idea Cellular is an Aditya Birla Group Company, India‟s first truly multinational corporation. The
group operates in 25 countries, and is anchored by over 1, 30,000 employees belonging to 30
nationalities. The Group has been adjudged the „6th Top Company for Leaders in Asia Pacific Region‟
in a survey conducted by Hewitt Associates, in partnership with The RBL Group, and Fortune. The
Group has also been rated „The Best Employer in India and among the Top 20 in Asia‟ by the Hewitt-
Economic Times and Wall Street Journal Study 2007.

Idea Cellular is a publicly listed company, having listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the
National Stock Exchange (NSE) in March 2007.

Idea Cellular is a leading GSM mobile services operator in India with over 62 million subscribers,
under brand Idea. It is a pan India integrated GSM operator covering the entire telephony landscape of
the country, and has NLD and ILD operations.

A front runner in introducing revolutionary tariff plans, Idea Cellular has the distinction of offering the
most customer friendly and competitive Pre Paid offerings, for the first time in India, in an increasingly
segmented market. From basic voice & Short messaging Service (SMS) services to high-end value
added & GPRS services such as Blackberry, Data card, Mobile TV, Games etc- Idea is seen as an
innovative, customer focus brand.

Idea offers affordable and world-class mobile services to varied segments of mobile users. Be it high
end, or low-end, price sensitive consumers – Idea‟s tariff plans are designed to suit every pocket. With a
vision of delighting its customers while meeting their individual communication needs anytime,
anywhere, Idea offers seamless coverage to roaming customers travelling to any part of the country, as
well as to international travelling customers across 200 countries. Idea Cellular has partnership with
over 400 operators to ensure that customers are always connected while on the move, within the country
or other parts of the world.

Idea is the winner of „The Emerging Company of the Year Award‟ at the Economic Times Corporate
Excellence Awards 2008-09. The company has received several other national and international
recognitions for its path-breaking innovations in mobile telephony products & services. It won the GSM
Association Award for “Best Billing and Customer Care Solution” for 2 consecutive years. It was
awarded “Mobile Operator of the Award – India” for 2007 and 2008 at the Annual Asian Mobile News

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Telecommunications Industry in India

India is among the fastest growing mobile markets in the world: India, the second largest mobile market
in the world, is also among the fastest growing mobile markets globally. The total number of mobile
subscribers in India (i.e., the subscriber base) has increased from 6.4 million in March 2002 to around
350 million in December 2008, at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 81%, aided by a
significant increase in network coverage and a continual decline in tariffs and handset prices.

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India, a relatively late entrant into mobile services, has benefited from a significant decline in mobile
network costs during the last three to four years. As compared with a capital cost of US$50-90/subscriber
to provide mobile service, it costs as much as US$200-350/subscriber to provide fixed-line services. This
and the added benefit of mobility have led to stagnation in the total fixed line subscriber base, which along
with the significant growth in the mobile base has translated into India having one of the highest ratios
globally of mobile subscribers to total telecom subscribers.

Despite the growth, mobile penetration remains moderate:

As on end September 2008, India had a mobile penetration of around 27%, which is relatively lower as
compared to other countries as depicted in Chart 2.
Given the moderate penetration levels at present, mobile growth in India is expected to continue in the
short to medium term albeit at a lower level because of the larger base effect.

Growth expected to be led by B and C Class circles:

The growth in the domestic telecom industry has largely been concentrated in the Metros and Class A
circles in the past decade, with coverage reaching around 90% and 35%, respectively. However,
coverage in the Class B and Class C cities is still low at 15-25%.
Moreover, within these circles growth has largely been concentrated in the urban areas while penetration

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in the rural areas remains lower. Thus future growth is likely to come largely from Class B and C circles and
rural areas. Keeping this in view, larger players like Bharti Airtel Limited, Reliance Communications Limited,
and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) are largely focusing on increasing their geographical coverage in
Class B and C circles.

Addition of low usage subscribers and competitive pressures lead to fall in ARPUs: With growth
coming from the lower economic strata and on account of strong competition in the mobile industry,
average revenues per user (ARPUs) have moved south over the years. The movements in the ARPUs
and minutes of usage (MoUs) for global system for mobile communications (GSM) and code division
multiple access (CDMA) operators are presented in Charts 5 and 6.

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Conservation of capital

In the past, with costs being amortised over a larger base and steps being taken to rationalize costs, most
telecom operators were able to improve their earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation
(EBITDA) margins. However, in the current market conditions, the margins and return indicators may come
under pressure as ARPUs continue to fall.

The chart broadly illustrates the impact of declining ARPUs on the internal rate of return (IRR) at different
EBDITA margins. Thus, for new operators especially whose margins are low because of the high set-up
costs, operations can be unviable at the current level of incremental ARPUs.

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Competition set to intensify further with market liberalization:

The Indian mobile sector is an intensely competitive industry, featuring 10 mobile operators of which
four, namely Bharti Airtel Limited, Reliance Communications Limited, Vodafone Essar Limited and
BSNL together account for almost three-fourths of the entire mobile market share. This is also the partly
on account of the fact that these operators have their presence in a larger number of circles as compared
with other players. With licences being granted to some of the existing operators for new circles and also
to new entrants, competition is expected to intensify further.

This is also leading to increasing load on the existing infrastructure of towers and stations. With most tower
companies like Indus towers being joint ventures between the competing cellular service providers, the
sharing of the cost is also going to determine the future profitability of the companies.

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Review of Literature

A lot has been written and talked about the under-utilized potential of our rural hinterland. With the economy
catapulting at 7-8% growth rate for the last 6-7 years, Rural India has become the starry eyed boy of corporate
India. I particularly liked one quote by Mr. Adi Godrej

“The rural customer is discerning and the rural market is vibrant. At the current rate of growth, it will soon
outstrip the urban market. The rural market is not sleeping any longer. We are.”

A lot of articles by eminent thinkers of our country helped me in sharpening the focus for my project at the
outset. One such article was Dr. Tapan K Panda who is a faculty member at the Indian Institute of
Management, Lucknow. According to him, Indian marketers have been trying to consolidate their brands in
the rural markets of India for long now. The estimate speaks of the potential volume of business that can be
generated in Indian Rural markets. The estimate is about three times that of the European Market. Yet there
has not been substantial progress in this area. The reasons are well known. The rural market is typically a
seasonal market. The consumption level goes high in post monsoon and dries up during non-crop period. The
unit disposable consumption level is very low and the assortment has to be made in a different size compared
to the urban market to make it suitable for the rural customer‟s pocket. Multiplicity of assortment adds up to
the cost level of the product and works against adding experience effect to the production. Furthermore the
distributed settlement and high transportation cost makes it potentially less feasible for many companies to
launch products for rural consumption.

Another article by Mr. Rahul Mirchandani, Executive Director, Aries Agro Vet Industries Ltd and now a
faculty with the NMIMS University, Mumbai talks about evolving a new marketing mix for selling to rural

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India. He mentions the fact that 1 in 8 people on earth Indian belonging rural India. He also talks about a
study that revealed that the average rural customer takes approximately 2 years to decide on buying a watch.

It must be remembered that rural customer does not have a budget problem. He has a cash problem. This is
because the village folk receive funds only twice a year. At these times, he is capable of making high volume
purchases. At all times, however the unit price is critical and so is the pack size. Because of this, in the lean
season when there is a cash flow crunch, marketers need to provide financial products, schemes or solutions
that suit the needs of the rural population.

The Joint Publicity Committee of the nationalized banks started advertising through mobile van publicity in
early 90s in the rural markets of India. It is a potential tool for reaching customers but how do we do that? The
best would be to make an announcement in the village about a show of some religious and holy films in the
local language and in between we can carry the message to the audience. Rural advertising strategy is not only
important for those who are planning for a brand promotion in the rural market but also for the existing
players in the businesses like tractors, pesticides, fertilizers. Conventional media like television and radio
covers some of the areas but still 265 million are beyond the catch of advertisers through the available
vehicles! Even though there is a reach to the villages but how many of them have the rural electricity to run
the shows! The rural audience may have the purchase parity to be a potential customer but his idea of
consumption and behavior as a consumer is completely different. So the vehicle as well as the message has to
be in the liking of the rural customer. Corporations and advertising agencies have started working out in this
area. The puppet shows in Punjab, Folk media like Ragini in Haryana for communicating qualities of Virat
cement, Pala and Daskathia in Orissa for promoting safe electricity consumption and tooth pastes of Colgate
Palmolive, Baul songs in West Bengal for advertising insecticides are some of the examples.

Britannia has entered in to the rural market by participating in rural melas and displaying its down market
brand Britannia Tiger Biscuits. These rural melas and weekly haats have become more popular medium of
rural advertising by the media planners. Through this arrangement they can break the saddle of scant
geographical distribution of customers in rural markets as people of number of villages assemble together to
participate in the fair. It is a good ground for brand awareness building, trial sales and sampling. It provides a
wider audience at a fairly low cost. Companies like HLL, Titan and Colgate Palmolive use festivals like
Rathyatra, Kumbhmela, and Onam for brand promotion. These companies are following a typical media
schedule and are always in a march from one place to the other with our festival calendar and a collapsible
arrangement of the exhibition setup. Companies can also use popular forms of entertainment like puppetry,
nautanki, ragini, bhangra, qaualli and traditional dance shows to increase the brand experience. The
companies can develop a story line relating to the brand and show the characters using the brands for their
advantage and even the dresses of the characters can be that of the brand‟s packaging.

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The Lowe Lintas „s database covering 5.96 lakh villages over 459 districts suggest the best places to undertake
a brand promotion. The recent example of adopting a railway station by Titan during Kumbha mela helped
them to generate a high brand recall as for each arrival of the train the announcement was made “Welcome to
Sonata-Naini”. The extensive network of postal and medical workers throughout the country can be used as
an alternative vehicle for brand promotion in the rural areas. The days are not far when the postbox, post
office walls and the postman‟s dress will carry the logo and brand names of companies, the walls of the rural
primary health centers, the schools will be covered by suitable brand advertising catering to the taste of the
rural target market. Once innovation in reaching through alternate cost effective media begins, the rural
consumption will increase making it potentially more attractive than the urban market.

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Latest Data & Statistics

Service Provider wise market Share as on 30-04-2010

Mobile penetration as on Jun 2009 for each circle

Circle Category Mobile Penetration

Delhi Metro 138%
Mumbai Metro 112%
Kolkata Metro 102%
Maharashtra A 37%
Gujarat A 45%
Andhra Pradesh A 41%
Karnataka A 46%
Tamil Nadu A 52%
Kerala B 55%
Punjab B 56%
Haryana B 44%
Uttar Pradesh (W) B 31%
Uttar Pradesh (E) B 24%
Rajasthan B 40%
Madhya Pradesh B 25%
West Bengal B 24%
Himachal Pradesh C 55%
Bihar C 20%
Orissa C 27%
Assam C 22%
North East C 29%
Jammu & Kashmir C 37%

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Telecom Subscription Data as on 28th February 2009

 Total Telephone subscriber base reaches 413.85 Million

 Wireless subscription reaches 376.12 Million

 13.44 Million new additions in wireless

 Overall Tele-density reaches 35.65

Telecom Subscription Data as on 30th April 2010

 Total Telephone subscriber base reaches 638.05 Million

 Wireless subscription reaches 601.22 Million

 16.90 Million new additions in wireless

 Overall Tele-density reaches 54.10

Total Subscriber base (Maharashtra-Goa Circle) – 44,461,241 (Excluding Mumbai)

Idea Cellular customer base- 9,556,791 Idea’s Market Share (%) - 21.66 % (Feb 10)

Tata Customer base- 7,962,366 Idea’s Market Share (%) – 21.49 % (Apr 10)

Vodafone customer base- 7,395,688

Reliance- 7,475,986

Airtel customer base- 6,654,899

Aircel customer base- 420,987

BSNL- 4,989,137

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Project Objective and Methodology

The title of the project assigned as part of the Summer Internship at Idea Cellular was “Reaching Rural at low
cost to increase brand awareness & visibility”.

The primary objective of the project was to understand the changing media consumption habits of the rural
customers. Although traditional media options like TV, radio have penetrated into the rural hinterland by a
great percentage, there remains a question on its impact on the rural customers. The rural community is still a
closely knit community and takes a lot of decisions on collective reasoning. A lot of their buying decision
behaviors are more interactive and experience based.

The project scope also included suggesting new & innovative ways of reaching the rural population to
increase the brand salience for Idea Cellular Vis-à-vis its competitors.

The methodology followed included preparation of a comprehensive questionnaire which could help in
understanding their daily media consumption. It more pertained to an exploratory research.

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Field Visit Observations

Buldhana & Jalgaon District

On the way to Khamgaon from Malkapur nothing significant in terms of visibility was seen for any telecom
operator except BSNL. Nandura was a transit village town and there were three wall paintings seen from the
highway for Idea cellular.

Idea cellular was the only operator to have such a visibility in that region. BSNL had small shelters along the
highway at every 2-3 Kms ensuring constant brand visibility throughout the highway. The shelters looked to
be infrastructure support terminals for the landlines in villages.

Also all the bus shelters were painted by Kribhco brand throughout the village. Bus stands for villages off the
highway road were present every 2-3 Kms and hence also giving constant visibility.

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Khamgaon village town didn‟t have too much of brand visibility for any major cellular operator. MTS and Virgin
mobiles had given signage boards on shops as mediums of retail branding. Retail shops around the Khamgaon city
had streamers, small signage boards and POP‟s for Idea Cellular. The signage boards were also seen to be lying on
the roof tops of some shops or got hidden behind other signage boards. This resulted in loss of the investment
made to install those boards at retail outlets.

Jalgaon (Jamod) was travelled to from Khamgaon. It is a taluka in Buldhana district adjoining the MP border. On
the way to Jalgaon (Jamod) by state highway, one observation was that BSNL had put up small boards at the start
of every village giving the Village name and welcoming the visitor and also at the end of every village to wish the
visitors a safe onward journey. The village town of Jalgaon (Jamod) had fairly good visibility for Idea Cellular.
Retail shops had appropriate POP material and Signage‟s to make the presence felt for Idea brand. However one
concern was that boards at shops had got stolen once the shop was closed at the end of the day.

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The distributor at Jalgaon (Jamod) also had its shop painted by Idea Cellular. The shop being at the heart of the
city market provided good visibility for the brand to local village population. Also nearby there was a fruit and
village market for the town and resulted in good amount of people coming to the place. One of the retailers
selling multiple connections had put up a stall nearby the market. According to the Territory Sales Executive
there, new activations increase by 100% when there is such a market in the village town.

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On interacting with the people, retailers and sales people, I came to know that they have been growing operational
issues in the town region. One of the customers that I interacted with as a part of the survey said that he had first
been using Idea cellular but have now switched to Vodafone as he was not able to make a call through Idea. The
network always remained congested and also had major call drop issues. Three regions nearby the village town of
Jalgaon (Jamod) have serious network problems:

1. Jamod
2. Sangrampur
3. Madakhed

Such issues have resulted in loss business and brand image for Idea cellular and needs to be addressed at the
earliest. Retailers are stocking less of Idea vouchers and V top up balance due to lower demand from customers
for the same and also due to increasing problem of form rejection. As per retailers 15-20% forms are getting
rejected which is not the case with other cellular service providers.

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Weekly bazaars at villages offer a good opportunity for Idea cellular to increase its brand awareness and
visibility. Local weekly bazaar days for the regions are:

1. Nandura- Monday

2. Khamgaon- Thursday

3. Asalgaon- Tuesday

Also important festivals in Buldhana district include

1. Sharif Sailani ShahMiya Urs at Pimpalgaon

2. Sarai Mahasiddha Baba Fair at Dhanora

3. Shri Balaji Fair at Deulgaon Raja

I also got an opportunity to visit the weekly bazaar at Asalgaon. It was a huge market setup and had
everything from a pin to a cart which a villager needs to live comfortably. It had people coming in from 50
nearby towns and villages to buy. It could be a potential place to increase sales and brand awareness by
having some kind of interactive marketing initiatives targeted there.

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Travelling from Khamgaon to Jalgaon on the NH6 gave a good opportunity to observe the wall paintings done
by Idea Cellular. I could find more than 10-15 wall paintings spanning the 140 Km distance between
Khamgaon and Jalgaon.

Jalgaon city had an average visibility. However one creative and unique medium observed was used by
Vodafone. It had its boards on all the traffic light poles across the city having messages suggesting following
basic traffic rules.

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Raver and Nimbhore budruk village towns were covered from Jalgaon. The visibility along the route was
again impressive with lots of wall paintings visible along the route while travelling by bus. Wall paintings
had been done in the smallest of villages on the route.

The in shop branding at Raver and Nimbhore budruk was also very good. The signage boards could be seen
on the shops. Requisite POP materials and posters were put up inside the shop.

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Nimbhore budruk town also had operational problems. There was 1-2 hr signal blackout generally during
evenings. Also there were call drop complaints at nights due to extreme congestion. These problems were only
coming since last 2 months. Also there was a perception amongst the customers of Idea being costly which was
a little surprising since Idea has been a value for money offering throughout.

Idea was the first operator to setup cellular operations in that region and hence enjoys maximum presence,
however due to above said operational problems Vodafone and Airtel can give stiff competition in the coming

The weekly markets in the Nimbhore Budruk region happen on:

1. Raver- Friday

2. Nimbhore budruk- Thursday

On the way back to Pune from Jalgaon, there was good amount of wall paintings done along the highway.
This was found mostly after the Aurangabad city. However Tata Indicom had a very impressive presence
across the highway. They had painted every shop in clusters of 3-4 along the highway and at regular intervals.
Also along the road near the army cantonment area in Aurangabad, Tata Indicom had put boards around the
trees planted.

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The region was seen to be very weak in terms of branding and visibility for Idea Cellular. There is no
merchandiser for Idea Cellular at Solapur. As a result competitor companies like Vodafone, Airtel, and
Reliance have a very strong visibility across the city retail stores with billboards, Posters, Danglers, and
Streamers etc. across retail stores in the city. The ratio was 1:5 for Idea Vs other brands. A few Idea posters
were visible on the poles along the road. After 4-5 poles, some other brand was visible. Some poles on the
extreme roadside had Idea on it but it was not visible that much.

There were only three places in the Solapur city where any sort of Idea branding was found as depicted in the
images below. These were also limited to the area where Idea office was located near Dufferin Chowk.

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Two talukas South Solapur and Akkalkot were surveyed during this visit. Along the NH13, Vodafone and
Airtel have gone very aggressive and almost every retail shop has a signage board.

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The maximum that could be seen for Idea Cellular was the streamers and shelf stickers. Idea is the leading
name in mobile service providers. No brand visibility was observed along the NH13 highway and NH9
highway where Airtel and Vodafone have gone extremely aggressive. Every shop has been branded by both of
them. POP‟s, danglers and other in shop posters were also dominated by Virgin, Vodafone and Airtel. The
maximum seen for Idea was shelf strip stickers. Along the NH13 highway, every retailer asked for a board as
they were selling INR 40000+ business for Idea but did not have any branding of it. It more seemed as a craze
for them.

For the Akkalkot region not much was seen in terms of visibility for any Service provider brand.

Primary issue was the late delivery of vouchers and recharge coupons. The courier company delivers the order
after 4-5 days from the order date.

Two wall paintings were seen on the route to Mandrup region. One of the unique medium observed was that
Vodafone had put up sign boards for the Auto rickshaw stands across Solapur.

Sankratra is big mela festival in Solapur. It happens in the month of January and lasts for 3-4 weeks.

1. Weekly bazaar in Mandrup happens on Friday

2. Weekly bazaar in Wadasang happens on Wednesday

The Idea point in Akkalkot had a very good in shop branding, however the shop was on the first floor of the
building and there was no signage telling that the Idea point was there in the building.

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Every household had access to DTH in the villages. 90% of the villagers own a mobile phone (Atleast 1 in
the family). Most mobiles were dual-sim mobile phones. 60-65% villagers had 3-4 sim cards of different
operators. The primary usage was Idea of course.

They do hear the radio all day long but don‟t really focus on it. The largest circulated paper is Lokmatt. The
other two are Pudhari and Sakaal. However they do not pay much attention to ads given in the papers.TV is a
very attractive medium for them. Most of them could recall the Save tress Ad by Idea. There is no electricity
throughout the day. Most attractive time to advertise could be the evening for higher probability of ads being

I could find 3-4 old boards of Idea cellular at different locations where the retailer no longer existed. If we
could somehow collect these boards, recycle them to have the new Idea logo and put it on for the retailers.


Moving along the NH 60 from Pune to Nashik, Idea brand had excellent visibility with the help of wall
paintings. Along the 185 Km stretch from Pune to Sinnar, Idea wall paintings were seen after every 2-3 Km
which translated into atleast 60-65 paintings along the stretch. After sinnar, only 3-4 paintings were seen upto

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Dindora district was travelled to from Nashik. Village town of Vani was also covered from there. The bus
stand at Vavi had a big wall painting done and caught the attention even when I was not looking for it.
Although no wall paintings were seen along the route however the two village towns had very good in-shop
branding for Idea cellular. Shelf stickers, streamers and other PoP material had been put up inside the shops.

One of the issues at Vani was that there was mostly a strong wind that blew across the village town and most
of the signage boards put up by Idea cellular ended up in a mess. Also the upcountry distributor complained of
upcountry retailers not having signage boards. The town retailers had two-three of the same.

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I also did visit the Sonjamb gram Panchayat. The walls offer a potential location for wall painting to enable
direct visibility to rural population.

The rural villages around 10 Km range from Vani also had good visibility in terms of shop branding.

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Local market / weekly bazaar happen on the following days:

1. Dindori- Sunday

2. Vani- Tuesday

Shirdi was also covered as part of the rural trip. The state highway to shirdi had nothing to offer for Idea
cellular. Airtel had done a lot of wall painting on the way which was significant in the sense that Shirdi being
a place of religious importance attracted thousands of visitors from across India.

There is also a very famous Devi ka mandir atop a hill in Vani and attracts a lot of rural visitors. Idea can tap
this route to the mandir to increase the impact of Idea Cellular branding.

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Survey Results

Population size: 100

Districts: Jalgaon, Buldhana, Solapur, Nashik

Most likely to affect purchase

Weekly bazaar

Ref by Retailer
18% Television

4% campaigns
4% 10%
Launch Promotion

Of the 100 people that could be surveyed during the two month training period, 36% people said that weekly
bazaar medium is the most likely to affect the purchase decision. Next in line came the retailer reference as
the village community is a closely knit community and hence almost every person is known to the other one.
There is a big trust build up due to this kind of social environment.

Effective Communication

90 72
50 28
Non Traditional e.g Traditional media e.g
Weekly bazaar Newspaper

72% people also said that non traditional medium of communication is more effective than the traditional
media such as newspaper, television and radio. Though TV had a penetration of more than 50% in the

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places surveyed, however the decision maker of the house i.e. Man is generally out for work throughout the
day and 7 days a week. He prefers to eat and sleep once he gets back from work. He does not have the
inclination to entertain himself after the long day at work. Also more than 40% of the population cannot
read and write and hence does not refer to advertisements given in the newspapers. Radio is something that
runs throughout the day without paying too much attention to it.

CSR Activity attracts you

more towards the Company
& its products

10% Yes

80% Can't say

80% of the villagers gave a positive response towards the company which invests in CSR activities and
helps the rural folk better their lives.

One of the major findings from the survey was that the perception of Idea Cellular being a value for money
offering is fading away. Consumers are beginning to feel that Idea connection is a costlier alternative to
other operators. It is recommended that there is concerted effort on part of the Product team, VAS team and
the Marketing Communication team to reposition the brand image of Idea cellular as a common man‟s
mobile connection. Also there were several complaints regarding the multiple customer service numbers
for different queries and gave unnecessary jitters to the rural consumer.

One more insight from the survey yielded that the retail point visibility impacts the consumer more than the
media visibility. Many consumers felt that aggressive retail visibility by companies like Vodafone and
Airtel made them to believe that these connections were more progressive and better as compared to Idea
cellular and could result in greater churn factor for Idea cellular.

Also the major reason for choosing Idea for most customers is its quality and availability. These two must
be carefully dealt with to offset any competition from operators like Vodafone, Airtel and others. Of the 4
districts surveyed, two had persistent problems on the above said important parameters and resulted in
negative sentiment towards the company.

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Information on New
40 34
25 22
20 16 16
10 4

The survey also showed that Friends and Family are the most effective medium for communication of new
product/services launched in the market. However, it should be noted that the other two mediums i.e.
Retailer and Market needs to tapped more vigorously on part of the company to increase its revenue from
new, innovative and user friendly products launched from time to time.

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1. One medium with high potential to reach the rural customers effectively could be utilizing the Bus stand
at small village towns. There is a radio announcement which happens at every bus stand at periodic
intervals. If Idea could also use the recording medium which could say something like “Idea welcomes
you to xyz Bus stand, Enjoy seamless coverage with Mahrashtra’s No. 1 cellular operator” which
could follow or precede the bus announcements. Also there could be our branding materials at these
small village town bus stands. Maximum rural people use these bus stands only.

Idea could either use the benchmarking of the population numbers or could select the village towns that
are growing grounds for other cellular operators to paint the bus shelters or effectively utilizing the
above said radio announcement option.

2. Gram Panchayats are also very potential places/locations to do wall painting. Generally gram
Panchayats are located at the centre of the village town. By definition, a gram Panchayat is located in a
village having population of above 500 and in case if the population is below that then two or more
villages are combined to form a Gram Panchayat.

Data mining can help Idea in getting data of gram Panchayats in towns with population of more than
5000. LUT‟s can also be targeted at first for such wall paintings. There are in total, 27832 Gram
Panchayat‟s in Maharashtra.

Total no.
Total Urban Rural No. of number of
District of
population Population population talukas Gram
2,627,315 1,052,621
Jalgaon 3,679,936 15 1150 783
(74%) (28.6%)
473,286 1,759,194
Buldhana 2,232,480 13 1297 1061
(21.2%) (78.8%)
1,225,284 2,624,259
Solapur 3,849,543 11 1143 1027
(31.8%) (68.2%)
233,256 1,253,330
Osmanabad 1,486,586 11 1423 912
(15.7%) (84.3%)
490,261 1,590,024
Latur 2,080,285 10 945 786
(23.6%) (76.4%)
633,031 1,948,804
Sangli 2,583,524 10 731 705
(24.5%) (75.5%)
1,042,320 2,473,093
Kolhapur 3,515,413 9 969 815
(29.65%) (70.35%)

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78,194 790,631
Sindhudurg 868,825 9 743 433
(9%) (91%)
192,141 1,504,636
Ratnagiri 1,696,777 9 1541 1439
(11.3%) (88.7%)
534,835 1,673,094
Raigad 2,207,929 15 1859 818
(24.2%) (75.8%)
398,141 2,398,765
Satara 2,796,906 11 1707 1487
(14.2%) (85.8%)
4,195,385 3,028,839
Pune 7,224,224 13 1177 1049
(58.1%) (41.9%)
803,597 3,284,480
Ahmednagar 4,088,077 14 1581 1435
(58.1%) (41.9%)
387,000 1,773,000
Beed 2,160,000 11 1365 1018
(17.9%) (82.1%)
1,937,002 3,050,921
Nashik 4,987,923 15 1931 1373
(38.8%) (61.2%)
1,087,150 1,809,863
Aurangabad 2,897,013 9 1344 852
(37.5%) (62.5%)
485,013 1,006,096
Parbhani 1,491,109 9 852 772
(32.5%) (67.5%)
307,516 1,304,841
Jalna 1,612,357 8 970 779
(19.1%) (80.9%)
445,554 1,263,439
Dhule 1,708,993 4 681 546
(26.1%) (73.9%)
202,659 1,109,050
Nandurbar 1,311,709 6 947 473
(15.45%) (84.55%)
627,497 1,002,742
Akola 1,630,239 6 1009 541
(38.5%) (61.5%)
811,402 2,056,756
Nanded 2,868,158 16 1572 1313
(28.29%) (61.5%)
154,030 833,130
Hingoli 987,160 5 711 565
(15.6%) (84.4%)
178,445 841,771
Washim 1,020,216 5 789 493
(17.5%) (82.5%)
357,000 1,720,000
Yavatmal 2,077,000 16 2117 1204
(17.2%) (82.8%)
309,696 921,244
Wardha 1,230,640 8 1361 512
(25.17%) (74.83%)
899,579 1,707,581
Amravati 2,607,160 14 1679 724
(34.5%) (65.5%)
2,607,362 1,444,082
Nagpur 4,051,444 14 1874 778
(64.4%) (35.6%)
672,676 1,405,233
Chandrapur 2,077,909 15 1575 815
(32.4%) (67.6%)
67,250 902,710
Gadchiroli 969,960 12 1688 467
(7%) (93%)
175,352 960,483
Bhandara 1,135,835 8 870 541
(15.4%) (84.6%)
143,405 1,056,746
Gondia 1,200,151 7 954 556
(12%) (88%)

Towns which have a population above 10,000 can be used for painting bus shelters and below 10,000 can
be used for Gram Panchayat walls ensuring a two pronged strategy for greater visibility.

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3. The rural customers are very fond of entertainment. If Idea cellular could start a pilot initiative where
very popular movies of the last five years could be showcased to rural people under the series “Idea
film festival”. Let it be an initiative at talukas headquarters as they are generally well connected. We
could showcase our TV advertisements during short breaks between movies which would help in
better brand recall. Also there is a Sonu Nigam concert happening in Jalgaon soon. Idea could exploit
this opportunity since it‟s surely going to be a big crowd puller. Contact numbers are 09372168080,

4. We could also have some benchmark for giving signage‟s and boards for retail points. It could set
upwards of Rs 50000+ per month. This might also imbibe a competitive spirit amongst retailers to
have boards.


In working with close coordination with the business intelligence team of Idea cellular, information
about retailers giving business more than the set threshold criteria can found where till date there have
been no boards given. Also deep rural areas should be given boards which are lower in cost to the
company e.g. the wooden frame support ones. With the help of sales staff,

5. There are also places where our boards tend to be not visible at retail outlets or have been discarded off
on the roof. We could have our own man or have a collaborative effort with the Sales team to place the
displaced boards in correct positions. Come out with some way to utilize or recycle the minor damaged

6. We can also come up with a concept of “Idea Choupal”. It‟s going be a place in the village where
most people usually sit and talk (for e.g. The Panchayat gram). It‟s a place where we try and make
people think about problems and hence find solutions. The Choupal will have posters of campaigns
which have been launched by Idea (Save tress, every person will be known by a number, People
responses to Govt policies through SMS, walk when you talk). Sensitize people against wasting water,
saving electricity, fuel.

Also reinforce the fact that Idea is the best operator in Rural Maharashtra and propel its Son of the Soil
image through this initiative.

Idea can also involve the government in advertising it‟s save the girl child, NREGS and other public
centric programs through this Choupal. As from a business perspective, the distributor can have a stall
there to get new customers also do recharges. This Choupal can also have Idea PCO phones. This can
be tried as a pilot project in LUT regions.

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7. Also I could find that small pickup trucks were used by villagers to sell off their produce of the season
in the market. If Idea could brand this pick trucks to actually give and impression to the people that it
is Idea that has launched such an initiative to help local people. The truck would also provide
immediate visibility across the highway and also in the market. It would certainly give a positive
image of the company to the customer and would help in better brand recall.


Farmers use local private transport to take their produce and sell in the market. These private
contractors generally run 4-5 vehicles on the highways. If Idea could tie up with 1-2 contractors, give
them an incentive to paint their vehicles with Idea logo. It‟s even possible for Idea to have custom
made stick posters for these vehicles and hence get greater visibility.

8. The postal department has the maximum reach when it comes to accessing rural India. If we could
locate and brand the post collection boxes and the post offices in villages, it can directly affect Idea
brand recall and visibility.


The post-collection boxes are mostly wall mounted or are fixed to the ground. Idea could wall paint
the section above & below the box if it‟s hanging. Also in partnership with the Maharashtra postal
department, post collection boxes around Maharashtra can be painted again but will now carry the Idea
logo on it in the form of a strip. The paint cost will be borne by Idea however in return Idea would be
allowed a space at the bottom of the collection box.

9. Rural customers generally are very god believing people. Hence, throughout Maharashtra there would
be places of worship near a cluster of villages which would attract a lot of people from nearby village
towns in big numbers. The route to these places of worship as well as the place offer a potential
branding space for Idea cellular.


Idea could start with the wall painting of the route to the place of worship. The wall painting would
start 2-3 Kms from the place to have a greater probability of visibility. Mostly people tend to doze off
till the destination is near and hence if the wall paintings are visible 2-3 kms from the destination
(worship place), they are more likely to observe the same. Also the paintings should be alternating on
both sides of the roads. On reaching the religious place, Idea could partner either with the Mandir trust
to have sign boards welcoming the people to the place of worship. This should be ideally be located at
the entry point of the mandir. Also Idea should make sure that the retail points have good branding in
terms of signage boards, in shop PoP materials at such places.

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1. Dhumal M N, Tayade A., Khandkar A, Rural Marketing-Understanding the Consumer Behavior and
Decision Process
2. Dr. Narendran Menon, Suresh K, Customization of Marketing Mix for Rural Markets, RM86-04-006,
Marketing to rural consumers-Understanding and tapping the rural market potential, Apr 2008
3. Dr. Tapan K Panda, IIMA, Wooing the rural customers!, The Hindu, Jul 2001
4. Ghosh A, Aggarwal V, Marwaha , Mar 2009, Telecom Infrastructure in India, ICRA Rating feature
5. Goyal V, Suman P., Consulting Club, IIM C, The Indian Telecom Industry
6. Mirchandani R, Evolving a New Marketing Mix for selling to rural Indians
7. Press release No. 15/2010, TRAI, New Delhi, Mar 2010
8. VNL, Mar 2009, Bringing Telecom to Rural India

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1. Name _______________________________________________

2. Gender ______________________________________________

3. Age _________________________________________________

4. Number of people in the family __________________________

5. Do you own a mobile phone? ___________________________

6. What made you choose this mobile phone over other phones?

a. Brand

b. Price

c. Easy availability

d. Product features

e. Advertisement & Promotions

7. Which mobile connection are you using? ________________________

8. Why did you choose this connection over other connections?

a. Advertisement & Promotions

b. Quality

c. Value for money/Price

d. Easy availability

e. Customer service

9. Do you think brand is much important than other parameters like price, availability etc. when you are buying a

a. Yes
b. No.

10. Where do you stay? ________________________________________________________

Which is the most aggressively promoted service provider brand there? ______________

What medium of communication does it use? ___________________________________

11. Do you get attracted to these mediums? _______________________________________

What in particular attracts you to those brand promotions? ________________________

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12. Rank the mobile service providers in order of preference?




13. Can you recall any promotion of Idea Cellular? What medium was used for the same?


14. Which of the below are most likely to affect your purchase decision?

a. Television
b. Radio
c. Newspaper
d. Wall paintings
e. Cinema
f. Launch promotions
g. Weekly bazaar
h. Cycle & Rickshaw mounted campaigns
i. Reference by retailer
j. Poster
k. Nukkad naatak/Puppet show

15. Where do you get information regarding any new product or service launched in the market?

Retailers Friends and family

Visit to the market Outdoor Advertisements

TV Newspaper

Other _____________________________

16. Do you think if a company uses Weekly market, Puppet show, wall paintings to advertise their product instead
of usual mediums like TV, Radio etc, you would still go ahead and try the product?

a. Yes

b. No.

17. Do you think social media marketing can influence you into buying a product?

a. Yes

b. No

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18. If you purchase a 2nd connection for yourself today, would you buy the same connection again?

a. Yes, why _________________________

b. No, why _________________________

19. Which is the source of entertainment for your family? _____________________________

For your village people? _____________________________________________________

If companies advertise through these entertainment sources, would you buy the product?

a. Yes

b. No

20. Where do all the people from your village and nearby villages meet up together on some

Occasion or festival? ________________________________________________________

What is the most celebrated festival in your region & When? _________________________

21. Do you visit the weekly bazaar in your area? ______________________________________

If companies come and sell you their products in such markets, would be tempted to buy?

a. Yes

b. No

22. Which is the largest circulated newspaper in your region? ____________________________

23. Which section do you read mostly in the paper? ____________________________________

Do you pay attention to the advertisements in the papers? ___________________________

24. How regularly do you listen to Radio?

a. Regularly
b. Occasionally
c. Never

25. How much time do you spend listening to radio in a day?

a. One hour and above

b. 30 mins – 1 hr
c. Less than 30 mins

26. Which radio station do you regularly tune into? ____________________________________

27. What do you usually listen on the radio? __________________________________________

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28. How regularly do you watch television?

a. Regularly
b. Occasionally
c. Never

29. How much time do you spend on television in a day?

a. >1 hr
b. 30 mins- 1 Hr
c. <30 mins

30. Which channels do you watch regularly? __________________________________________

31. What do you do during the day/weekends? How do you keep yourself entertained?

32. A CSR activity of a company attracts you more towards the company and its products?

a. Yes
b. No

33. Do you think wall paintings make an impact on you to recall a brand?

a. Yes
b. No

34. Any comments/suggestions about Idea cellular?


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1. नाभ _______________________________________________
2. लरॊग ______________________________________________
3. उम्र _________________________________________________
4. ऩरयवाय भें रोगों की सॊख्मा ? __________________________
5. क्मा आऩके ऩास भोफाइर पोन है ? ___________________________
6. अन्म भोफाइर पोन के साभने इस पोन को आऩने क्मयॊ चुना?

a. ब्ाॊड
b. भल्
य म
c. आसान उऩरब्धता
d. उत्ऩाद सवु वधाएॉ/भख
ु ाकृतत
e. ववऻाऩन औय प्रचाय

7. आऩ कौनसे भोफाइर कनेक्शन का प्रमोग कय यहे हैं. ________________________

8. अन्म भोफाइर कनेक्शन के साभने आऩने इस कनेक्शन को क्मयॊ चुना?

a. ववऻाऩन औय प्रचाय
b. गण
ु वत्ता
c. ऩैसे के लरए भल्
य म / भल्
य म
d. आसान उऩरब्धता
e. ग्राहक सेवा

9. क्मा आऩको रगता है के अन्म भानकों जैसे कीभत, उऩरब्धता आदद की तर

ु ना भें ब्ाॊड ज्मादा भहत्वऩण
य ण है ?

a. हाॊ
b. नह .ॊ

10. आऩ कहाॉ यहते हो? ________________________________________________________

वहाॉ कौन सा सफसे आक्राभक ऩदोन्नत सेवा प्रदाता ब्ाॊड है ? ______________

कौन से सॊचाय भाध्मभ का उऩमोग कयता है मह? ___________________________________

11. क्मा आऩको इन भाध्मभों ने आकवषणत ककमा? ______________________________________

उन ब्ाॊड ऩदोन्नतत भें क्मा ववशेष आकषणण रगा आऩको? ________________________

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12. भोफाइर सेवा प्रदाताओॊ को यैंक भें डालरए ?


b._______________________ c._______________________

13. क्मा आऩ ककसी आइडडमा सेरर

ु य ऩदोन्नतत को माद कय सकते हैं? क्मा भाध्मभ इस्तेभार ककमा था आइडडमा ने?


14. नीचे से कौन सी सॊबावना आऩके खय द कयने के तनणणम को सफसे अधधक प्रबाववत कयती है?

a. दयय दशणन
b. ये डडमो
c. अख़फाय
d. लबवत्तधचत्र
e. लसनेभा
f. रॉन्च प्रचाय
g. साप्तादहक फाजाय
h. साइककर औय रयक्शा अलबमान घड़
ु सवाय
i. पुटकय बफक्री के द्वाया सॊदबण
j. ऩोस्टय
k. नक्
ु कड़ नाटक / कठऩत
ु र शो

15. आऩको फाजाय भें ककसी बी नई सेवा मा उत्ऩाद सॊफधॊ धत जानकाय कहाॉ से लभरती है ?

ु या ववक्रेताओॊ लभत्रों औय ऩरयवाय

क्मात्रा कयने के लरए फाजाय आउटडोय ववऻाऩन

ट वी न्मज
य ऩेऩसण

अन्म _____________________________

16. क्मा आऩको रगता है कक अगय एक कॊऩनी ट वी, ये डडमो आदद साभान्म भाध्मभों के फजाम द वाय धचत्रों, साप्तादहक
फाजाय, कठऩत
ु र शो का उऩमोग अऩने उत्ऩाद का ववऻाऩन कयने के लरए कयती है तो आऩ उसके उत्ऩाद का प्रमोग
कयके दे ख्नग
े ?े

a. हाॊ
b. नह .ॊ

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17. क्मा आऩको रगता है कक साभाजजक भीडडमा ववऩणन (भाकेदटॊग) एक उत्ऩाद को खय दने भें प्रबाववत कय सकते

a. हाॊ
b. नह ॊ

18. अगय आऩ आज अऩने लरए एक 2nd कनेक्शन खय द्दते हैं, तो वो वह होगा जो आऩ अबी इस्तेभार कय यहे हैं?

a. हाॉ, क्मों _________________________

b. नह ,ॊ क्मों _________________________

19. आऩके ऩरयवाय के लरए भनोयॊ जन का क्मा स्रोत है? _____________________________

आऩके गाॊव के रोगों के लरए? _____________________________________________________

इन भनोयॊ जन सत्र
य ों भें ववऻाऩन के भाध्मभ से आऩ खय दने के लरए
प्रबाववत होंगे??

a. हाॊ
b. नह ॊ

20. कुछ अवसय मा त्मौहाय ऩय नज़द क गाॊवों के सबी रोग गाॊव भें कहाॉ एकत्र होते
हैं? ___________________________________________________

आऩके गाॊव भें सफसे भनामा जाने वारा त्मौहाय ?_________________________

21. क्मा आऩ अऩने साप्तादहक फाजाय ऺेत्र भें मात्रा कयते हैं? ______________________________________

इस तयह के फाजायों भें अगय कॊऩतनमों के आने औय अऩने उत्ऩादों के फेचने से आऩ खय दने के लरए
प्रबाववत होंगे?

a. हाॊ
b. नह ॊ

22. अऩने ऺेत्र कौन सा है सफसे फड़ा अखफाय ऩरयचालरत? ____________________________

23. जो अनब
ु ाग कागज भें ज्मादातय तभ
ु ऩढा है ? ____________________________________

क्मा आऩ कागज भें ववऻाऩनों के बग

ु तान कयने के लरए ध्मान? ___________________________

24. कैसे तनमलभत रूऩ से ये डडमो सन

ु ने तभ
ु ?

a. तनमलभत
b. कबी कबी
c. कबी नह ॊ

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25. आऩ ककतना सभम एक ददन भें ये डडमो सन

ु ने भें खचण कयते हैं?

a. एक घॊटा औय ऊऩय
b. 30 लभनट - 1 घॊटा
c. कभ से कभ 30 लभनट

26. कौन सी ये डडमो स्टे शन तनमलभत रूऩ से सन

ु ने कयते हैं आऩ? __________________________

27. आभतौय ऩय क्मा सन

ु ने कयते हैं आऩ ये डडमो ऩय? ___________________________________

28. कैसे रूऩ से ट वी दे खते तभ

ु ?

a. तनमलभत
b. कबी कबी
c. कबी नह ॊ

29. आऩ ककतना सभम एक ददन भें ट वी ऩय खचण कयते हैं?

a. > 1 घॊटा
b. 30 लभनट-1 Hr
c. <30 लभनट

30. जो तनमलभत रूऩ से चैनरों दे खना कयते तभ

ु ? ______________________________________

31. वीकेंड/ददन के दौयान आऩ क्मा कयते हैं? आऩ कैसे अऩने आऩ का भनोयॊ जन कयते हो?



32. आऩ को एक सीएसआय गततववधध कॊऩनी औय कॊऩनी उत्ऩादों की औय अधधक आकवषणत कयती है ?

a. हाॊ
b. नह ॊ

33. क्मा आऩ लबवत्त – धचत्र (wall paintings) से प्रबाववत होते हैं?

a. हाॊ
b. नह ॊ

34. आइडडमा सेरर

ु य के फाये भें दटप्ऩणी/ सझ
ु ाव?



Increasing Rural visibility at low cost Page 48

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