Gramotsava started in 2006 with the purpose of spreading awareness among the rural population and making them aware of modern technologies which can be used to bridge the gap between the rural and the urban.
Essentially a rural marketing fair by design, it’s main objectives include, the promotion of products & services in rural areas, conducting of need-based market research and fostering a productive relationship between the rural community and the organizations functioning in the rural sector. The theme for this year’s Gramotsava was ‘Smart Village’. The time has come when people should not only focus on smart cities but also on smart villages which are equally important for the maintenance of balance and play a key role in helping the country develop in a sustainable manner.
The event is broadly divided into three phases – Adi Parva (Pre-fair Phase), Madhya Parva (Fair Days) and Iti Parva (Post-fair Phase). The entire student community falls in action well ahead of the actual event with elaborate and meticulous planning. This year, Gramotsava kick-started with the launch of the official video, and it was launched by unveiling the banner and this year’s mascot, ‘Boney Bhaina’ – an Olive Ridley turtle. This was followed by a string of cultural performances and the release of the fifth volume of Dhvani, the annual magazine of RMAX – The Rural Managers Association of XIMB.
The rural marketing fair was held for two days – 23rd and 24th September 2017 at Nimapara near Puri, Odisha. It intended to bring leading corporate brands closer to the rural hinterlands. Some of the esteemed corporate and social entities associated with the fair were our Title Sponsor- Suzuki Super Sales Motors Pvt. Ltd., our Co-sponsors- Bazaar Kolkata, Punjab National Bank, Tata Motors Consortium. Many stalls were set up where almost 200 budding rural managers (from the school of Rural Management, XUB) extensively promoted the products and services of the organizations.
Innovative games and live demonstrations were held to study the perception of the rural customers. Free dental checkup, cultural activities like skit themed on Ramayana and dancing competition attracted a large number of audience.
Faculty and students of the flagship MBA-Rural Management Program share their thoughts…
“Gramotsava was the best platform to learn about rural marketing strategies. Interacting with rural folks and knowing their preferences was indeed an enriching experience” – Pramitee Behera.
“The experience of working with Swaraj Motors was an enriching one both in terms of knowledge and fun. The Van Promotions helped me to gain an insight as to how to make yourself heard, pitch your product and convince them to be on Gramostava ground. The rigorous efforts of all the team constituted the success of the event as well our own live project” – Siddhant Kumar
“Gramotsava was started by the batch of 2004-06. Over the years, brands like Mahindra, TVS and Hero have given live projects (to our students). It is an excellent example of experiential learning where students connect theory to practice..” – Jeevan J Arakal, Professor of Marketing
A personal note: I am an alumnus of the MBA-Rural Management program of XIMB and have been witness to two editions of Gramotsava. In my first year itself, I saw the effort that the seniors put towards co-ordinating the entire affair. For the random visitor, the college administration or the faculties; Gramotsava is a two/three-days affair. But for us students, show starts much much earlier.
Enough has been said and written about how hectic a B-schooler’s schedule can get and we were no exceptions to this. So our preparations for Gramotsava started late in the night after classes, assignments and placecom obligations. Skit rehearsals were done in the hostel rooftops, auditions for culturals and emcees were held in the room of a senior. One could spot two-three students with laptops in the night mess sending cold mailers to potential sponsors. For an outsider, this would seem chaotic, yet somehow it all added up and fused into something beautiful that lasted beyond three days. People discovered in themselves talents they thought they never had, stage fright was overcome by many, new friendships were kindled, and old ones renewed. Along with rounds of coffee, biscuits and chips, the spirit of achieving something wonderful together kept us up in the nights before the audi launch. All of this teaches us so many things that a classroom doesn’t. The lessons that we learn here, we carry for the longest time. So much to the fact that, the senior who used to huddle up sleepy juniors and directs them for the skit is now a territory sales manager with 60 people reporting to him. The guy who used to email Gramotsava event pitch decks to potential sponsors in the night mess now makes presentations to Sarkari Babus as a social sector consultant. Or the girl who used to manage accounts and vendors for the entire event is now a flourishing private banker.
Such learning, much wow! #BhaiWah
This was published in collaboration with IlluminatiX – The Media and PR Cell of XIMB. The Broken Scooter is the official online partner for Gramotsava.