Business Case Studies, Marketing Strategies / Strategic Marketing Case Study, Nokia`s Rural Marketing Strategies in India, Reaching Out to the Bottom of Pyramid

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Case Title:

Nokia`s Rural Marketing Strategies in India: Reaching Out to the Bottom of Pyramid

Publication Year : 2009

Authors: Shreya Tantia & Priti Krishnan

Industry: Telecommunications


Case Code: MKS0119

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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This case, set in 2008, attempts to analyse strategies to succeed at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) through the example of ‘Nokia Life Tools’, a service launched by Nokia to tap the unmet information needs of rural farmers. Since 2000, the rural market has emerged into a gold mine for MNCs wanting to expand their market share. Due to rising income level, literacy rate and disposable income, the rural consumer market has been growing at twice the rate than the urban market, accounting for nearly 50% of the sales of many product categories like FMCG and consumer durables. However, despite the booming opportunities, companies, with exception to a few have not succeeded in the rural market. The case delves into the factors that make succeeding at the BOP a challenge for marketers.

Nokia has been flourishing in rural India, by customising its phones according to market needs. However, how far does the Nokia Life Tools service, an SMS-based service that would provide information on agriculture, education and entertainment to farmers in return for a monthly subscription fit with the rural needs and challenges? The case delves into the challenges Nokia would face in making its new service successful in rural India.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To understand the dynamics of the rural markets in India and analyse the need for customising according to rural markets
  • To analyse the fit of Nokia Life Tools in rural India
  • To analyse whether Nokia will be successful or not.

Keywords : Nokia, Bottom of the Pyramid, Rural Marketing Strategies, Marketing, Marketing Strategies, Market Segmentation, HLL, ICICI, 4Ps, Customization, BOP


  • Rural Marketing in India: Demographics and Economics
  • Reaching Out to the BOP
  • Nokia – Launching of Life Update Service

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