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B-School Students on the Streets to Sell Educational Toys.

Students from NITIE Mumbai are all geared for their social responsibility event called the Mahamandi. Away from the sophisticated B-School classroom environment, they take to streets on 12th October 2013 for the event MAHA MANDI.

During this one day event, students of NITIE swamp the streets of Mumbai to sell educational toys. These toys are made by an NGO, Navnirmiti and all the funds generated from this activity are used by them to provide the impoverished children a better future. Besides making this world a happier place, the queries about our education system moving away from ground realities is put to rest. NITIE implement the classroom theories of marketing management, consumer behavior and personal selling, on the streets of Mumbai!

Previous year’s MAHA MANDI was a huge success with more than Rs 11 lakhs of revenue being generated in one single day. Students of NITIE, and other B-schools like NMIMS, SIBM-Pune, SJMSOM, at IIT-Bombay, KJ Somaiya, IES-Bandra.

The event provides a humbling experience as was shared by a few of the participants in 2011. There were more than 1000 participants divided into teams of two. After the event was flagged off, the teams moved onto their chosen destinations, with the aim of selling their range of products.

The toys on offer were ‘Tangram’, ‘Jodo’, ‘Navrang’. The sales pitch was on the educational value of these toys and how they could effectively complement a child’s learning in the classrooms.

tangram, jodo, navrang

tangram, jodo, navrang

The response was mixed: some success and “more importantly some failures too”. Most of them were initially apprehensive about approaching their prospective customers. After passing the initial hurdles when they actually pitched their share of toys and games to people, few politely declined, while others were almost rude.

Then there were parents who bought the toys for their children! They recognised the toys a great way for the parents to teach the concepts of Mathematics to their children. The toys would eliminate the need to mug things up, as children will see the things live before their eyes. The experience gave new insights into customer behaviour and how to adapt to the needs of the customers and choose the right product and right strategy to pitch in to them.

One of the participants exclaimed “At the end of the day, we had covered roughly 160 Km with our bag full, not with toys but a bunch of memorable experiences.” The year of 2013 is also the Golden Jubilee year for NITIE.

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