IIM Indore Students Celebrate Rural Marketing Fest Utsaha 2015
Janapav Kutti, a village some 40kms away from the IIM Indore Campus was full of bright, gleeful faces flocking to Utsaha’15 – The Annual Rural Marketing Festival organised by the students of IIM Indore. The fest was spread over a two day period (Nov 24-25 2015) encompassing the auspicious occasion of Kartik Purnima. Utsaha 2015, in its eighth edition was filled with myriad of hues, fun and fervour all around and saw strong participation from men, women and children alike. Over two days, more than one lakh people visited the Mela. The highlight of this year was the participation of an overwhelmingly large number of children.
The roots of Utsaha go back to 2004 when a group of IIM Indore students conducted a market research event in Indore City. Noticing the lack of consumer research in the rural domain, this market research event was converted into Utsaha in its present form. The present form of Ustaha began in 2008-09 when PGP students of IIM Indore saw an opportunity in the Kartik Purnima Mela of Janapav Kutti as a suitable platform to understand rural consumer behaviour. Since then Utsaha has gone from an idea to the one of the most awaited events in the B school calendar with active support and projects from government, corporate houses, institutes and SMEs.
With Kratos as the branding partner, the 8th edition of Utsaha saw students of IIM Indore carry out 5 different projects with partner companies including PepsiCo, Emami, Prataap Snacks and Rohit Surfactants through disguised marketing techniques in order to understand consumer behaviour and capture valuable insights into the minds of the Indian ‘rural consumer’. To accomplish this, the students designed fun games and activities to elicit responses from the consumers to help characterize the pattern of their choices and needs.
With the giant wheel in the background, the entire venue and the leading street provided a panoramic view of colourfully decorated stalls, thousands of children and adults actively participating and enjoying the various attractions. The goodies offered by participating companies provided an incentive to the people to participate even more. These surveys provided an in depth information about the perspective that consumers held towards various market offerings. Due to the much larger turnout this year, survey targets were met much before closing time.
Other than innovative research techniques, the event also offered a plethora of activities. Interesting games like ‘Toffee Dhoondo Toffee Pao’, ‘Pin ka Panga’, ‘Kismat ki daud’ kept the visitors engaged. Simple yet herculean in nature, games like putting the beads together in a thread, duplicating a pair of bangles in a limited period of time, searching for goodies in a scrambled box of items, placing the coin in the centre of a water basket, a game of darts etc. kept the youthful audience engaged from dawn to dusk. A magic show and a fun filled game of Musical Chairs were a treat for the young children.
Many students from IIM-Indore visited the Mela over the 2 days, enjoying traditional delicacies and the giant wheel which remained the central attraction. PGP Chair, IIM Indore Prof. Dipayan Datta who visited the fair along with a good number of faculty members especially from the Marketing Domain told us, “Like every year, Utsaha has been a great success; the importance of the rural consumer is only growing each year and yes, companies, both Indian as well as MNC’s are definitely taking note!’’.
A new addition to Utsaha this year was the ‘Umeed’ Initiative which aims to indulge in social welfare and engagement activities in the Janapav Kutti village. As a part of this initiative students of IIM Indore visited the village, provided career counselling to the students and worked towards welfare of women.
Indeed a cake of back breaking and hard work, topped with cherries of success and satisfaction of serving the rural community and baked on the flames of united effort and team spirit was cherished by one and all. Eagerly awaiting for the next edition are the students of IIM Indore, a fest which will continue to set new benchmarks, being one its kind in the B-school fests across the country.
– Media and Marketing Team, Utsaha 2015