Academic journal article Asia-Pacific Business Review

Consumers Attitude and Preferences towards Self Help Group Products

Academic journal article Asia-Pacific Business Review

Consumers Attitude and Preferences towards Self Help Group Products

Article excerpt

Introduction

Empowerment of women groups involves the creation of a political space for these groups by the state and hence liberation from man made bondage through sustained struggle and resistance. The rural women are the marginalized groups of our society. Owing to the presence of socio economic constraints in the rural areas, women potential for development remains far from the full utilization and they being pushed back into the social hierarchical systems. Self Help Group (SHG) plays crucial role in rural and urban areas by manufacturing and selling the products. Marketing the products made by SHG's is an important and difficult one as the products have to be sold through the rural marketing concept to the rural people themselves. Marketing these products in the urban areas is much more difficult. The SHG will have to emphasize on the quality and affordable price to enhance the sales. Therefore SHG will have to explore the ways and means of providing products and services that meet the needs of rural consumer and evolve appropriate communication strategy and market promotion. SHGs perform several functions of the firm which the firms themselves had to handle the traditional approach.

List of Products

Some of the products, which are conveniently produced / marketed by SHGs include: Fibre based products, like carry bags, hand bags, decoration items etc, Palm leaf products like baskets leaf mats, Coconut shell products, Toys made of paper, fruits, terracotta etc, Sea shell crafts, Cut flower items, and bead ornaments.

Food items, Honey and honey based products, Pickles, Sea foods, Wafers (Appalam), Flour items, Bakery items, Masala Powders, Fried Chips like banana, tapioca etc, Murukku, Awal, Jams, squash etc, Palm candies, Oils like coconut etc, Coconut shell charcoal, Plant Fibre brushes, Rose water, Temple articles, Jewellery, Greeting cards from plant materials, Vermicompost, coir pith compost, Thatched palm leaf, Detergents, soaps, Phenyl, and Ready made garments.

Embroidery products, Pin lace products, Cloth items, Granite and marble based products, Sculptures, Boat building, Handlooms, Metal crafts like Jewellery, Wood based items, furniture, carvings, leather products, Pottery items, Flower and flower products like bouquets, Roof and flooring tiles, Herbal medicines, Clay and hollow bricks.

Scope of the Present Study

It is felt that the disparity and gender bias can be minimized, if not totally eliminated with the success of SHGs in the third world countries. The success of the system of SHGs in China and Bangladesh has opened up opportunities in India as well the main problem which there SHGs encounter is the acceptance of their products by the consumers. Hence, the present study focuses its attention on consumer preference for the products of these groups. The SHGs can sustain their market only if they understand the attitude and behaviour of their customs. There is a stiff competition from other players especially in urban areas. The present study, therefore, is conducted in Coimbatore, a second tier city in Tamilnadu. This city, like any other city is a mix of rich and poor, and is influenced by the rapid growth of urban population. Many SHGs have been set up in and around the city, and this conducting the present study was found suitable.

Objectives of the Study

The following are the specific objectives of the study.

(i) To find out the consumer attitude and preferences towards the Self Help Group products.

(ii) To assess the awareness about Self Help Groups and the products manufactured by SHGs.

(iii) To examine the factors influencing the purchase of Self Help Group products.

(iv) To identify the satisfaction rate of consumers towards the SHGs' products.

(v) To study the problems and difficulties faced by the consumer in purchasing the SHGs' products and

(vi) To suggest measures to solve the problems faced by the SHG. …

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