Tata Motors` Project Neev: Rural Influencer Marketing

Tata Motors` Project Neev: Rural Influencer Marketing
Case Code: CLMM165
Case Length: 5 Pages
Pub Date: 2021
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.200
Organization: Tata Motors Ltd.
Industry: Automotive
Countries: India
Themes: Rural Markets, Marketing Strategy, Channel Strategy & Development, Communication Strategy
Tata Motors` Project Neev: Rural Influencer Marketing


The case “Tata Motors’ Project Neev: Rural Influencer Marketing,” describes India’s biggest automobile manufacturing company, Tata Motors Ltd. (Tata)’s rural marketing initiative – Project Neev. As part of the initiative, Tata hired prominent rural people to serve as Tata Gram Mitras and do word-of-mouth marketing for its vehicle range in far-flung villages with a population of less than 50,000. Furthermore, Tata distributed its vehicles in those markets through third-party outlets called Tata Kisan Mitra, apart from leveraging the rural outreach programs of other enterprises through strategic partnerships. Project Neev was a success – enhancing Tata’s competitive strength and accounting for a large proportion of the company’s vehicle sales. Within a decade, Tata expanded the scope of Project Neev to cover almost all Indian states. So, will Project Neev continue to reap dividends for Tata in the future?


  • Understand the needs and wants of rural buyers.
  • Examine the challenges involved in reaching out to rural customers.
  • Explore the potential in using influential rural people for marketing.
  • Analyze innovative rural distribution channels.
  • Examine the possibility of using existing rural retail businesses as a distribution channel.
  • Scrutinize rural channel management.


In 2019, the biggest automobile manufacturing company in India, Tata Motors Ltd. (Tata), stated that its rural marketing initiative called Project Neev (Foundation) was operational in 25 Indian states and had engagements in 448 districts.

In the early 2010s, Tata realized that the market for the SCV’s in the hinterlands of the country was not growing as expected and therefore it looked for a strategy to expand its rural reach. Through its research, Tata concluded that its product portfolio and prices were appropriate for the rural markets, but there were issues with the other two P’s of a typical marketing mix: Promotion and Place.


Rural Marketing; Consumer Behavior; Mobile Apps; Word-of-mouth Marketing; Influencer Marketing; Rural Distribution; Rural Outreach Programs; Piggybacking; Competitive Strength; Rural Channel Management; Strategic Marketing Management; Rural Buyer; Third Party Distribution; Marketing Mix; Brand Ambassador;

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