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How caste based census data would change Indian markets

13, Aug 2010 By Pagal Patrakar

New Delhi. With Group of Ministers having given green signal for carrying out caste based census, the strategic management groups of various companies in India have started thinking over ways to use the caste data for profitable business initiatives. Industry leaders believe that while the census results might put renewed pressure on the private sector to implement reservations in jobs, there were positive aspects to it as well.

“We would come to know which part of India hosts which all castes in what proportions, and we can come up with caste-specific products and services.” said Vishal, strategic brand manager with Idea Cellular, who is planning to come up with caste-based recharge coupons such as Yadavji 500 or Rajput 300.

“Mobile companies had earlier launched 786 rupees recharge coupons in Muslim dominated areas during Ramzan, and it was well received. Unfortunately, we lacked data on castes till now.” informed Vishal.

Corporate meeting
Caste based data is all set to become a central feature in corporate meetings

FMCG companies too have started re-evaluating their sales and distribution strategy and are all set to incorporate the caste based data in their supply chain management.

“Apart from coming up with innovative ideas for direct selling to different caste groups, we would also have to factor in caste of a person while selecting dealers or whole-sellers in different areas.” a senior manager in a soap manufacturing company said.

But most active are the advertising agencies and entertainment professionals, who believe that the caste based data would open a new dimension to the way businesses were done in India till date.

“Till now, soap-operas were with cultural themes and settings; stories of saas-bahu from Punjabi, Gujarati, Rajasthani and these days even from UP-Bihari families. We knew the population strength and spread of these cultural groups and their purchasing power, and planned and advertised new serials accordingly. Now we’d have such data on thousands of castes. You can imagine the outcome.” said an executive producer with Colors TV.

Producers at Sony Entertainment Television also confirmed that they were planning to incorporate caste based data while selecting candidates for 6th season of Indian Idol.

“It will help us get a very accurate estimate on quantum of SMS revenue earned when people send in SMS votes in support of each candidate. It would also help us plan better on ways of promotion of a candidate and the show in different areas of the country.” a producer of the show said.

The channel is planning to exhort people to vote for candidates of their respective castes to win the reality show, something people are accustomed to do during assembly and general elections.