Finally, the rural drought may have ended for Indian consumer goods firms

Over 65% of Indians live in villages and small towns, a key market for consumer companies that draw anywhere between 40% and 45% of their sales from the hinterland.

But the once high-growth driver of everything from shampoo sachets and detergents to hair oils has been battered over the last few years. In 2014 and 2015, rural areas suffered low rainfall. Then, in November 2016, the government’s move to ban high-value notes prompted households to cut back on discretionary spending.

And it is...

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