For Jaipuria Jaipur students, Naila Village was the classroom for a day

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On Christmas Eve, while the world was in a holiday mood, 40 PGDM students of Jaipuria, Jaipur were having their once in a lifetime experience. Their Rural Marketing course took them to Naila Village in Kanota Tehsil. The idea of the visit was to get acquainted with the rural life and understand the culture, challenges and opportunities it presents, first hand. And the trip served that purpose to a great extent.

It may be recalled that Naila was the only village that President Bill Clinton visited on his official trip to the country. There clearly had to be something special about the village, as the students found out under the expert guidance of course instructor Dr. Sheenu Jain and Dr. Nidhi Vashisth. Not only did they get a chance to explore the local culture but understand more about communication and marketing in a rural setup. Like student Akshita Gupta noted, “It was a great way to learn more about and experience life in rural India.”

Jaipuria Institute of Management has always strived to help its students get real life learning experience besides classroom training. This initiative was another step in the same direction and hoped to sensitize future managers to the life in villages. It also aimed to encourage them to set up entrepreneurial ventures in these areas and create job opportunities for others.

Students ended up learning a lot about brands and marketing in rural India through what they witnessed firsthand. And it was certainly not what they had expected, as student Priti Singh recalled. “It was interesting to see major brands from Lux Cozi to Tide, Pepsi to Olay dominating the market. But there were a lot of fake products and cheap imitations to be found,” she said.

Thus the trip turned out to be an eye opener in many ways for students, who got to learn a lot from it. They got a fair idea about governance and much talked about development in villages. But importantly they could see it from the perspective of both; administration and the locals. In fact, students had the exciting opportunity of interacting with the locals, who shed more light on NREGA and Mid Day meals schemes. It was definitely interesting for students to understand the impact these schemes have had on locals and challenges they are faced with.

Another student, Govind Sharma was completely enthralled by the whole experience. “From being overwhelmed by the aroma of food being cooked around to being dazzled by vibrant colours of saris in stores and listening to locals speaking in their regional dialects, it was an exciting experience for our senses,” he gushed.

But the day to Naila wouldn’t have been complete without a visit Naila Fort Palace. It’s a private property owned by Mr Prathviraj Oberoi, Owner Oberoi group of Hotels and students found the tour around it quite fascinating. It was the perfect culmination for a day of learning as student Panav Chaddha summed it up. “An enjoyable and experiential, day long trip, which I wish hadn’t come to an end so quickly,” he said. His classmates probably echoed his sentiments.