Posted on August 5, 2016
Common Service Centre (CSC) & their Rural Invasion
What is Common Service Centre (CSC)?
In order to supplement the efforts to digitalize rural India, the government had introduced CSCs. Technically; these are access points to enable delivery of various electronic services in villages and truly, it is the beacon of hope for rural areas. They bring with them a chance for the youth to learn and prosper while the elders can thrive for a new beginning.
Vision of CSCs:-
- Digital Infrastructure as a core utility to every citizen
- Governance and services on demand
- Digital Empowerment of citizens
CSC aims to facilitate digital integration in rural and backward areas by spreading awareness, information and providing training to every citizen residing in such areas to empower them digitally. The scope of the objectives runs down to inclusion of government services on demand to them, so that their needs are identified and satisfied by the government efficiently.
The key services provided at a basic CSC also include the following:-
- B2C services such as e-commerce, IT, consulting, education, health etc.
- B2B services such as market research, analysis, advertising, promotion, BPO etc.
The services are designed to accommodate every aspect of digital integration with emphasis to making resources available in otherwise cut off locations. While a thorough understanding of the power of the World Wide Web can give you information, knowledge and ideas, the execution remains wayward. Therefore, government took the initiative to introduce services such as consultancy; information technology and micro finance using pilot Common Service Centres.
Why are they the future?
The fact that these centres encourage entrepreneurial ambitions of rural people and has planned a full circle to ensure their success is noteworthy. Proper implementation of this scheme will lead to:-
- More digitally aware rural citizens which are open to using internet for research to scour information required to make informed decisions.
- An army of youth ready to take their businesses to the next level without fear and cynicism.
- Improvement in computer literacy rate and increase in internet usage among youth as well as adults.
- Introduction of new avenues for businesses and cottage industries to sell their products and expand without leaving their comfort zone.
The end result of this support provided by government is a village where people are more digitally aware, open to ecommerce and willing to enter new markets. This leads to increase in purchasing power of rural areas and small towns.
How does this impact a rural marketer?
The biggest complain rural marketing agencies had was the lack of awareness in rural areas which left digital marketing secondary to older and more conservative methods. CSC are assisting to correct this very situation through their programmes to help every individual have access to digital infrastructure and assistance. Additionally, CSCs are presenting advertising and promotional solutions in rural areas by giving infrastructural and information technology services as well as branding opportunities.
Thus this becomes access point to an audience who is digitally aware, interested in intake of information freely and most of all it provides a platform. Here is why the marketers need to focus on CSC to target rural audience:-
- Likelihood of acceptance
People coming to CSC are mostly the ones willing to become digitally literate which means they embrace change rather than running from it. Such audience is the key to building a brand in rural areas as they will be perceptive and ready to engage in interactive conversations or try out a new brand.
- Branding Opportunities
The centre is often visited by villagers on a regular basis which provides exposure and visibility to the brands. Putting up temporary structures or posters on the centre can have a positive impact on brand awareness. Reliance communication PCO and Western Union or Xpress money counters are examples of strategic product placement and smart advertising as it does not involve in pull approach but rather makes the consumers curious about the brand.
- Future Benefits and Long term thinking
The scheme dedicates itself to generate, stir and put the digital revolution in the front and forward- this itself ends up opening the path of digital marketing for the rural marketing players.