Indian villages are no longer about rickety roads, tattered clothes, and frail bodies. Rural connectivity has transformed aspirations. There is increased economic activity and better women participation in the workforce. All this bodes well for consumer durables demand.
Rural infrastructure getting upgraded
The rural road network under the PM Gram Sadak Yojana has expanded from around 61,000 kms in FY05 to over 733,000 kms in FY23 while National Highway network expanded 2.2 fold to 1,45,240 kms.
Rural catching up urban in factories’ share
As per the Annual Survey of Industries, the share of factories in rural areas has increased from 37 per cent in FY10 to 42 per cent in FY20.
Female participation in labour force rising faster in rural
Female labour force participation in rural areas has risen from 18.2 per cent to 27.7 per cent during FY18-21. as against that in urban areas where it has risen only marginally from 15.9 per cent in FY18 to 28.6 per cent in FY21.
Rural still lags in consumer durables
For consumer durable goods such as washing machine and refrigerator, the rural market still remains under-penetrated while structural changes such as rural electrification and increased female participation in labour force might reduce the gap.