Inside Maruti’s rural drive: 12,000 sales executives, 900 outlets, and myriads of local influencers

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Villagers in Punjab’s Amritsar district travel in a modified vehicle while a Maruti car follows it in the background

Synopsis

Over the last decade, the number of Maruti sales outlets in emerging cities and rural areas has risen five times. The number of rural sales-development executives has tripled and they now cover half of all villages in India. Maruti’s rural sales have almost tripled in volume and its salience more than doubled from 17% to 38% between FY10 and FY20.

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As companies across industries were reeling from a global financial crisis after the fall of Lehman Brothers in 2008, one Indian company was silently driving into a market its peers didn’t quite care to focus on. Maruti Suzuki had sniffed the untapped potential of India’s hinterland — and rightly so. The yield was instant. ‘Ghar ghar mein Maruti (Maruti in every home)’, a rural sales scheme launched in 2008, started giving India’s No. 1

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