Jamshedpur warms up to XLRI's 25th Marketing Fair in the winter chill

MUMBAI: The celebrations for the 25th anniversary of The Marketing Fair (MF) got off to a grand start on 27 December in the steel city of Jamshedpur. The highlight of the MF was the presence of three former Marketing Association of XLRI [MAXI] secretaries - representing different eras - who were pivotal in making the MF to what it is today.

The celebration also saw Dr Sharad Sarin, the pioneer of this concept, unveil the next logical step of the Fair - a marketing lab.



The silver jubilee edition was inaugurated by a traditional lighting of the lamp by the MAXI secretaries and Dr Sarin. Sarin took a trip down memory lane, recalling how the MF had evolved over the years, the Herculean challenges that came in its path and how the odds were overcome. He said, "The Fair would have died a natural death after its first edition, had it not been for the determination of the 1979 to 1981 batch." The then secretary of MAXI, Ajay Uppal, was also present.

Uppal, who is now a senior executive with Birla Tyres, gave an inspirational talk that was garnished with a liberal dose of humour. He shared his experiences in the industry over the years that shed light on the challenges that await the managers-to-be in the years ahead.

The 1983 MAXI secretary P N Subramanium who is now a successful entrepreneur and head of Third Eye was also present. The 1993 MAXI secretary C V L Srinivas, who will don the mantle of managing director of Maximize India come 2 January, recalled how the MF had evolved in the ten years since Subramanium's time. That was when satellite TV had entered India and the Fair, keeping up with the latest trends, had done a psychographic study of Star TV's viewership, receiving rich accolades.

XLRI dean (academics), Dr E M Rao, a renowned author and professor of personnel management and industrial relations, shared his views, quoting instances from his long innings in the corporate world prior to joining XLRI.

The MF saw more than 4000 residents of Jamshedpur descending on the campus to be part of the celebration and participating with enthusiasm all day long. The industry majors that participated in the MF this year were Colgate Palmolive, Franklin Templeton Investments, ITC, Nestle, Titan and UTI Bank.

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