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Maximum reach for Maxi fair

XLRIs two-day marketing extravaganza in Jamshedpur, the Maxi fair, will grow up.

For the first time in 33 years, Maxi fair on January 19-20, 2013, will have B-schools other than host XLRI participating in the fun-filled marketing research activities.

Imitation is the best form of flattery, but XLRI doesnt want such honour. XLRI started the concept of getting market research inputs for companies from consumers via games and fun activities over three decades ago, but many B-schools have replicated the idea. So we thought, why not make Maxi bigger and reach out to management cradles? Jitendra Bansal, Maxi secretary, said.

Launched by actor Rahul Bose on December 13, XLRI has sent invites to 10 top B-schools in India for the January event. So far, IIM-Shillong and IIM-Indore have confirmed their participation.

Conceived by XLRI marketing professor Sharad Sarin, the Maxi fair started in the late 1970s, way ahead of its time.

So far, 150 companies have already participated in it, including biggies such as ITC, Glaxo Smithkline and P&G. It has also received an ISO 9001 certification. But its game plan stays the same junking boring research questions and eliciting accurate data on consumer perceptions with fun.

For instance, gaming options last year were Snow White for the Day (beauty products), Jo Dar Gaya Samjho Mar Gaya (health food), Bring On the Men (male grooming items).

Though participation has been extended to other cradles, XLRI will ensure the quality of the showpiece event stays top-notch. Selection criteria for teams from other B-schools will be tough. An XLRI panel will pick teams on the basis of case studies, while participating companies will make the final selection. Finally, teams will get a week with company officials to polish their research methods.

The popular and insightful Maxi fair will reach a whole new level, said Sanjeev Varshney, XLRI marketing faculty.