The focus of my project was finding a product or service opportunity within the system which would enhance the consumption patterns of condoms as a personal hygiene and well being product, for young men in rural Gujarat as primary target consumers.
In today’s context, rural India is the most critical market for everyone, from the government to the corporate sector. Studies reveal that 88% of the rural population that watches TV knows about the use of condoms, but only 3% of the population uses condoms on a regular basis. The associated system does not fulfil regional needs. In rural areas, gradual shifts in the consumption patterns are now emerging. Up gradation of product use is being witnessed. Local and unbranded products are being replaced by national brands and low priced products by higher priced products.
To get a proper balance between economic growth and health care, the Government of India is giving importance to issues like population control, AIDS and STDs. Very specific to the personal care industries, I chose to understand consumption pattern of condoms in rural Gujarat.
I started by exploring changing trends of personal care products. I found an article on changing patterns of lifestyles in rural India that interested me a lot. I read more to understand rural India. Very soon I realized that the subject I was dealing with couldn’t be a feature common to rural India because of our vast cultural diversity.
I sensitized myself to cultural differences and was advised to observe people’s day-to-day lives, their culture, family, social structure, village structure, occupation, their ethics, morals, laws, customs, influence of geography on people’s psychology, habits, and entertainment. It was great learning; I could not believe that so many things that we ignore in our daily lives, drive us.