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How can FMCG Companies Chase Growth in the Rural Markets of Bangladesh?

Do you know that the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry of Bangladesh is not only one of the biggest but also the most resilient to economic setbacks? 


In today’s unstable economic times, with so much happening around the world and affecting the local economy, this industry stands tall, least affected. We don’t see mass layoffs or substantial dips in profit in the FMCG industry. And the core reason is the products themselves.


We say this because, FMCG products can be purchased by people of different income levels, especially the ones in rural markets. Thus, FMCG companies can look to grow their businesses in these markets, which make up the majority of the population. 


In this article, we look at how FMCG companies can chase growth in rural markets in an abruptly changing market. 


Understanding the FMCG Market in Rural Bangladesh

FMCG, usually non-durable goods, have a one-year shelf life if not consumed. The FMCG industry in Bangladesh is one of the fastest-growing industries of the country. These products are always in demand by households and are bought frequently. You can get them at the produce stand, grocery stores, supermarkets, etc.


Because these products get sold at comparatively low prices, both urban and rural population can access them.  This scenario has lured multinational companies to come and invest in the FMCG market. 


As per industry experts, the Bangladeshi FMCG industry value has shot up from USD 3.70 billion in FY2021 to USD 3.90 billion in FY2022. Moreover, the revenue is expected to grow by 16.18% from 2022 to 2027 (Statista, 2022).



A key driver for this fast growth of the local FMCG industry is their penetration in the rural markets. As per the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), the last 15 years witnessed consumption expenditure for rural areas reach 103% from 81%. Except during the pandemic times, which hit all the physical products industries adversely, companies have expanded their investments in FMCG, especially in rural areas. 

Expansion of FMCG Companies in Rural Markets

With rapid urbanization and increasing income, the FMCG expansion is witnessable in Bangladesh. By 2022, it crossed BDT 30 crores, with a 7-8% annual growth. 


Trends show that consumers in recent times focus more on convenience, rather than just opting for cheaper options. FMCG companies now put a  greater emphasis on 


  • quality, 

  • value for money, 

  • flexible payment methods, and 

  • on-demand availability of products 


With payment modes like Bkash and Nagad available to rural markets as well, companies also curtail shopping experiences with these options. For instance, you can see many Unilever products available at rural stores, purchasable through MFS payments. 



Related to this, a 2021 report by the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) concluded that digitization of stock ordering processes and inventory management will propel FMCG businesses to efficiently manage their distribution networks and avail real-time data to forecast future demands. 

The Role of DMS in Rural Market Expansion

As predicted by the UNCDF report, supply chains are becoming digitized with stronger and more advanced transactions among the value chain members.  The digitization of distribution processes has opened the doors for Distribution Management Software (DMS) service providers to offer game-changing solutions. 


DMS solutions like Sokrio DMS, offer top-notch features that boost and streamline distribution networks across the country.  Their standout features include:


  • Real-time management Dashboard with data insights and performance metrics

  • Sales Team Route Planning, Activity & Attendance Monitoring

  • Automated and Real-time Purchase, Stocks, and Inventory Management

  • Simplified and real-time order management process

  • Customized Reports and formats

  • Virtual Retail Audit and Inspection

  • Market survey and intelligence

It becomes easy for FMCG firms to use DMS and monitor their channels across rural areas with timely data, accurate route planning, real-time manpower monitoring, and quick, visualized reports. 

In fact, FMCG owners can enjoy the following benefits if they use DMS solutions:


  • Improved Market Response: With direct access to market data and real-time updates, employees and sales reps are better equipped to respond to market demands promptly.

  • Enhanced Productivity: Eliminating the need to report to the office before heading to the market optimizes the utilization of employees’ working hours, significantly increasing their productivity.

  • Strengthened Team Collaboration: Solutions like Sokrio DMS have communication features that foster a collaborative work environment, leading to improved teamwork and coordination between office and field personnel.

  • Data-Driven Decision-Making: Access to data analytics empowers management with insights that lead to more informed and strategic decision-making processes.

  • Positive Cultural Shift: The adoption of a DMS creates a sense of innovation and adaptability within the organization, positively transforming the work culture.

What the Future Holds

As per a report by The Business Standard, Bangladesh is expected to become the 9th largest consumer market by 2030. And, if the current economic growth stays steady, then the middle-and-affluent class population will hit 34 million by 2025. 


The report further informs that as of 2023, the Bangladesh consumer goods market is $4 billion in size and growing at an annual rate of 9%. 


On the other hand, as Bangladesh is primarily an agro-based economy, the rural markets play a vital role in its development. And as more FMCG companies expand their supply chains across rural lands, these underdeveloped markets become crucial for economic survival. 


FMCG companies can succeed in rural markets by understanding the needs of rural consumers, developing products that are affordable and relevant to their lives, and using effective distribution channels and systems. 


With Bangladesh aiming for LDC graduation by 2026, the development initiatives should be balanced between both urban and rural areas. This is where digitized and advanced solutions like DMS can play a pivotal role in strengthening business processes. The business processes with then transform and better the economy toward LDC graduation and Vision 2041. 

To Sum Up

FMCG companies are expanding into the large rural markets in Bangladesh, given the vast opportunities of growth and investment there is. 


With the digitization of distribution and supply chain processes on the rise,  FMCG companies can effectively and efficiently manage their distribution networks and avail real-time data to forecast future demands. Solutions like Sokrio DMS can be of great benefit in these changing and developmental times. 


Know more about Sokrio DMS by contacting them.


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