Students at a stall put up at the fair in Jamshedpur on Saturday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Jamshedpur, Jan. 19: MAXI Fair, XLRI’s annual two-day survey of corporate brands and consumer behaviour to determine what clicks and what does not, kicked off at the business school’s playground here today.
A respected brand in itself, the ISO 9001-2000 certified event this year was inaugurated by Subhash Singh, the regional manager of Central Bank of India, in the presence of representatives of a number of partner companies like Hindustan Unilever, Castrol India, Airtel, and ITC Limited.
The students, a team of 15 of who worked tirelessly for close to eight months to take care of every aspect — from sponsorship to media to logistics — of the fair, will go into the gaming mode this year too to ferret out people’s insights into their decision making process.
The cheekily-named games on offer this year include Jwalaji Telefilms, a game for market research on beauty products of Hindustan Unilever; Ajab Bike ki Gazab Kahani, research on lubricants manufactured by Castrol; Gazab Dishum, research on new mobile features of Airtel and Team Dabaang, research on personal care products of ITC Limited.
“We decided to expand our base this year and sent out invitations to IIM-Shillong, IIT-Kharagpur, IIM-Ranchi and IIM-Calcutta for participation. However none of them turned up,” said Anumeha Gupta, a student committee member of MAXI.
The idea of MAXI fair was conceptualised 34 years ago by marketing professor and visionary Sharad Sarin.
Every year since then, major Indian corporate houses bring their market research problems to students of XLRI, who design elaborate games around them.
So it is a win-win situation for all. While the visitors have fun winning prizes in games, the students get useful data on public preferences and use the data to work around various problems.
The fair had last year notched a whopping footfall of 5,000 over two days.
Earlier, XLRI also kick started a two-day national human resources conference on the theme “Emerging trends in talent management” at its Father Prabhu Hall.
Inaugurating the conference, Tata Steel managing director H.M. Nerurkar said the need of the hour was to focus on the manufacturing sector.
“The service sector has been attracting some of the nest talents over the years, but it is time we focussed on the manufacturing sector too,” Nerurkar said.
Keynote speaker at the conference chief learning officer of Wipro and prolific author Abhijit Bhaduri stressed on the importance of social media and talent management.