Chiplun is a small town on the Mumbai – Goa highway in India. (NH 17). It is about 250 km south of Mumbai. It is situated at the foothills of Sahyadri Mountains in Ratnagiri district and known as Parashuram Bhumi. The city lies on the banks of the river Vashishti. To the east of the city lies the Western Ghats. To the west lies Guhagar Beach, about 50kms. Nearby town is Khed with 52 villages. In-all in Ratnagiri there are 500 villages.

Transportation:

The region is hilly and the city is situated in a valley. Since the city is situated in the valley and though it is on the National Highway 17 most of the villages in the interior parts of Chiplun do not have proper pucca roads. It is basically an industrial town. Small scale industries are also present. The industries are mostly pharmaceutical and chemical. There are a number of people from the villages who work in these industries and travel a large distance from their village to the industrial belt of MIDC.

The main transportation means for the populous in Chiplun is the State Transport buses which has a very low frequency in the interior parts of the town and mostly operates three times a day and are mostly used for travelling for both shorter and longer distances like from one taluka to other. The regular users of the S.T. buses are school students of far away villages and employees of the industries located in the indutrial belt of MIDC.

The villagers for relatively shorter distances also use other means like auto-rickshaws. There are also people using cycles and motorbikes for small distance travel. For shorter distances there is a huge amount of people who use neither of the means of transportation but prefer walking. This category includes people like farmers, school students of nearby villages who can be prospective buyers for cycles.

It is also an important stop on the Konkan Railway.

Population:

Chiplun has a total number of 167 villages with an approximate population of 15,000. With such a huge population and that too most of the population does not have its own vehicles, hence there is a huge untapped potential market for bicycle.

Literacy:

The literacy rate in the Chiplun taluka is 65.13%. With such a medium literacy rate we can plan on spending considerable amount on promotion through newspapers, hoardings etc.

Occupation:

A large amount of population is involved in farming as the principle occupation. As the farms are located at far off places from the main residential area of the village the farmers can be targeted as our potential customers for cycles. Also a considerable amount of people work in the industrial area which has employees from many villages of the Chiplun taluka. These workers can also be our target market as travel distances of 4-5 km walking all the way to the industries from their village and back.

Per Capita Income:

The per capita income is Rs.2,312 in Chiplun. Hence the consumers in Chiplun have the buying power for our product.

Climate and Crops:

Region has extreme climate, cold in winter, very hot in summer and very wet. Winter temperatures dip to about 10 C at night. Summer days are extremely hot (above 38 C). The rainy season – the monsoons last from June until October.

In Chiplun the most widely cultivated crop is rice. It is the main crop for most of the marginal farmers. Among fruits grown are alphanso mangoes and jackfruit. Some parts of villages are also involved in horticulture.

Fairs and Festivals:

The most widely celebrated festival in Chiplun is Ganesh Chaturthi a 11-day Hindu festival to pay obeisance to the Elephant God, Ganesh. Also Diwali is celebrated with great pomp. These two festivals witness shopping spree among the villagers. Also shopping takes place on a large scale during the harvesting season of March to June. Apart from this there are also Jatras and Dindis which take place in the villages.

Media and Communication:

Radio is the most widely used media. Also a considerable amount of pople own television sets and apart from doordarshan cable connection is widely available in Chiplun.

The main language spoken is Marathi although almost all the people can speak Hindi. Spoken English is a rarity in Chiplun although quite a few people can read the language. The various newspapers available in Chiplun are – dailies like Navkonkan, Ratnabhoomi, Ratnagiri Times, Sagar (Chiplun) and weeklies like – Smanta, Aarsa, Kisansad, Satyashodhak, Balvant, Eakta Sangram (Chiplun), Konkanraja (Dapoli).

The city boasts of a sole theatre – Padma Theatre.

Commercial:

Since the city is on a major National Highway, there are adequate accommodations, including hotels, motels and lodges. There is also a five star hotel – Taj Riverview Lodge. It is also a junction for those travelling to the Enron (Dhabol) Power Project. It is also an important junction linking the western coast to the interior parts of Maharashtra.

Tourist Places:

Chiplun boasts of a 700 years old Parshuram Temple which is a major tourist attraction. There is a museum named as Walavalkar Shivaji Museum. Located around 55 km from Chiplun, Guhagar beach is a virgin and unspoilt beach, lapped by the waters of the Arabian Sea. A majo monsoon attraction is the Sawatsada Waterfall 2 km away from Chiplun city.

Education:

It also has an engineering college: Rajaram Shind College of Engineering, affiliated to the University of Mumbai. There a number of Marathi medium schools and also a couple of English medium schools in Chiplun including a Convent school.