There currently are a tsunami of startups innovating and ideating on new concepts that may blow our socks away, every other acquaintance of ours is involved with a millennial in some or the other way. With a morning sip of tea gazing at newspaper articles our eyes are sometimes greeted with big bold black headlines covering startups, labeling them as the most disruptive or the most innovative business ideas of the decade. The ecosystem for startups has thrived a lot in the last decade and the zeal to make a dent in the market has rapidly intensified. But most of the startup’s interest follows towards the fascinating product or service categories that are mainly absorbed by the urban population. The agrarian audience is almost always sidelined.
Amongst the large chunk of startups, there are very few newly established businesses that are pivoting their attention to the rural areas in India. The idea to target the areas where the market is still backward seems too inane for companies as most of them will still want to cater to the fancy customer base and the reasonable thought process that precedes that decision is quite understandable. We may have technological penetration but the market maturity is still way off course especially when we compare the audience. But that does not mean that the rural market should be ignored. The startups currently focusing the tier 2 or 3 markets are mainly agriculturally based startups but for a very holistic development of the rural sector, we need startups that will move beyond agriculture.
The Startup Advantage
With almost 70% of the population in the rural areas, empowering them is only going to develop the entire nation. Economic development cannot be measured in the boundaries of urban cities it is beyond urban that we need to focus. One of the startup advantages is its dynamic workforce and work culture, branching out into new service that will cater to the rural population is fairly easy when compared to big multinationals. Infact, most of the startups are now being backed by these same multinationals as the bandwidth to experiment is more with the startups. Developing through experimenting is what the startups can focus on. Curated and cost-effective services for the rural population can help the startups expand their hold in the rural society. With the growing infrastructure and technological penetration, the adoptability of new services and products of the rural audience has also increased. It is an opportune time for the startups to broaden their horizon and venture into the untapped market. With startups already blooming in the tier 1 market, with proper government support and corporate support the expansion can easily propel the rise of the rural economy.