New Delhi: With the metros and urban markets not providing enough space for business, the investors are eyeing upon emerging markets like Bihar as a sustainable alternatives.

Speaking at the Real India Conclave, Dheeraj Sinha, author and brand strategist, chose to make the crowd familiar with the expectation of the natives of Bihar from the market.  

“No matter how much education you got in Bihar, you had to go to Delhi to get polished. Bihar was a “land of lawlessness” - that was the perception about the state; it had brilliant individuals, it was resource rich, but was economically poor,” Sinha said, adding, “My first experience of this change was four years ago, the village I came from had no light, but now solar lamps, roads have come up. That was the first sign that the state was churning,” he said.

Another remarkable factor was the rising aspirations, he said. Brands like Lee, Puma have made their appearances. Consumerism is palpable, there’s change in taste. The ‘sattu’ has given way to Chinese noodles and so on. The bottom of the pyramid strategy strips all costs, and wants to be top in status. The fact that the word ‘Narbhasana’ finds pride of place in the Bihari Dictionary (on Facebook) is a symbol of the state coming out of the shadows and celebrating being a Bihari.

Citing few examples for the changing picture of Bihar, Sinha said, “The aspiration and desire of people is developing. A person who started as a child labourer but moved on to own a flourishing catering business does not own a car, but his children are studying hard to crack IIT-JEE entrance tests.”

Bihar has been making headlines for its resurgence. It’s not all celebration, but it’s just the beginning; it’s too early to celebrate (the per capita income is 1/3 of the national average).

“While there is definite upswing, there’s no need to celebrate,” noted Sinha.  But what has happened is the support of the government. The three key components for real revolution are that people should want to change, the role of business and brands.

He concluded by showing an international case study where the brand Levi’s partnered with Braddock, an old steel city to rebuild the city; it was a fascinating story where business and people revolution can go hand-in-hand.

The last task for Bihar is to awaken its people’s potential, for participation of people is important.

The re-branding of Bihar should happen. There should be a participative approach for brands and business. “It’s for marketers to provoke and make it a personal revolution, so that you are proud of being a Bihari,” he concluded.

With the motto, “Marketers cannot afford to ignore emerging markets of India today”, ‘Real India Conclave’ is an attempt by Jagran and exchange4media to bring to the forefront the huge opportunities that are waiting to be tapped in the emerging states in India. This initiative is aimed at revealing the potential of emerging India. It is a thematic forum and the first edition focuses on the state of Bihar.


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