Low awareness about Telangana Sona: ISB

Recommends brand building for the unique rice variety

The Indian School of Business (ISB) that carried out a study for evolving a marketing strategy for Telangana Sona rice has found that the superfine variety rice with the unique selling proposition of having the lowest glycemic index among all popular varieties in the country is popular solely in Telangana, although it has a strong market potential.

The study carried out between July first week and October first week in 2020 in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and West Bengal has stated that the new variety of rice developed by Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU) has low awareness not only in other States, but within Telangana too, and is known significantly less among the popular varieties.

In the 50-page report submitted to the State government recently, the ISB study has revealed that “the availability of Telangana Sona accounts for 70% of the market in Telangana at present and the remaining 30% is split between Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Mumbai.”

Stating that Telangana Sona is in the introductory stage in terms of marketing, a substantial number of respondents who participated in the study stated that they were unaware of the existence of the product.

Marketing cornerstones

The study carried out by the premier business school has concluded that the cornerstones of the marketing potential of Telangana Sona include its favourableness with farmers and millers, an affordable price point, preferred grain size and the growing consumer interest in shifting to healthier diets.

“The key gaps to look for are the name similarities between Telangana Sona and Sona Masoori, post-cooking textures that may not appeal to certain consumers, and a strong association with diabetics that may deter normal consumers from associating with it,” they study stated.

It has suggested that the strongest markets for Telangana Sona would be consumers who prefer separate and slender grains post-cooking and healthier lifestyles.

The report suggested that the branding campaigns for Telangana Sona should focus on communicating the places where the product is available and its tasty and healthy attributes.

“Additionally, given the nascent stage of the product introduction in the market, it is essential to create powerful brand symbols to derive long-term benefits from the advertising campaigns,” the study recommended. Further it suggested that a strong brand symbol can be created by creating a brand logo associated with Telangana Sona.

“Over time, we believe that Telangana Sona will also have significant potential in overseas markets such as the United States that already has a strong health revolution underway and has a significant population of the Indian diaspora,” the report added.

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