New Delhi: The Indian economy is witnessing a transition with many investors jostling for space in the market. As, the urban markets are not offering enough opportunities amid higher competitive environment, business houses are looking for better alternatives and hence exploring India to understand and tap the resources of smaller cities.

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In real terms India is facing a market shift from the metros to urban markets and finally to the smaller cities. These are the markets of future, where the real India can bank upon and is actually experiencing growth.


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.

Elaborating on how the concept of Real India emerged, Sanjay Gupta, CEO of Jagran Prakashan Ltd said that the Conclave was an effort to showcase what it means to be in the heartland of India. “The idea was to showcase emerging Bihar to the media fraternity,” he said.

Opening the event, Chetan Sharma, TV anchor and business journalist, said, “ At this “real-ity show, it was time to get real” and that Jagran and exchange4media had realized that it was time to put in real effort, acknowledgement to take the test of time.”

He recalled that last month he had attended a forum abroad where it was clearly pointed out that the economy of the world cannot grow without India.
“I said not ‘without’ India but ‘within’; the growth has to come from within,” said Sharma.

Everyone today is talking ‘Go rural’ – the game is about tapping these areas where aspiration levels and exposure levels are high. So, the next thrust is for these cities.

“The objective behind ‘Real India’ is to turn the spotlight on emerging markets that are driving India from within. The expectation is to create a platform where the industry can come together and discuss the rise of these markets, the future growth prospects, the changing lifestyles of consumers and the challenges these markets throw up – eventually to generate an in-depth knowledge of these markets,” said Basant Rathore, VP – Strategy, Business and Brand, Jagran.

From the Speakers’ desk

To transform India into a new brand we talk of India and the different states; “we talk of BRICS, but India has a state that will define BRICS – Bihari Rising In Consorting Society”! Therefore we have a new brand – Bihar; and what is this brand all about?

With the objective of a better tomorrow, Alok Bharadwaj, Sr Vice-President, Marketing, Canon India says, “We are here with a mindset of value creation and business. As business leaders, we need to create a better tomorrow. We need to bring in change as nothing is permanent and develop a value creation platform.

“I see this happening in Bihar”

Addressing the forum, the COO of Dish TV, Salil Kapoor said, "Bihar is the only state that has been mentioned in the book, breakout nations, the book that has an international angle to it has a state like Bihar mentioned in it. The state that was considered as a burden is today taken as a powerhouse and an opportunity because of its numbers.

“Bihar is changing. It is the fastest growing state in the country in terms of economy as well as per capita income, with figures of FY’ 11-12 13.2 percent and 12 percent respectively,” Kapoor asserted.

Kapoor also underlined the importance of media & TV that acted as a catalyst in the growth of Bihar.

Highlighting the importance of reach to the targeted audience, Vimal Pande, CEO VI, John group of companies said, “A good reach is an important factor for the marketers.  And for this a better infrastructure plays a vital role.”
 “One can travel to the interiors one can sell products and one can make the people aware and turn them into consumers”, he said.

Applauding the infrastructural development in Bihar, Pande said, “Earlier it used to take us five days in Bihar for three meetings, but now with the infrastructural development we can move swiftly and finish off work as per our schedule, there is no transport issues, no road issues and we can travel in the night too.”

Dheeraj Sinha, author and brand strategist emphasized that before he spoke of a new Bihar, he had to talk about what it meant to be a Bihari. No matter how much education you got in Bihar, you had to go to Delhi to get polished, he observed.

Bihar was a “land of lawlessness” - that was the perception of the state; it had brilliant individuals, it was resource rich, but was economically poor. “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,” he said. That was the first sign that the state was churning.

“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.


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