Friday, 19 July 2013

MBA Students Thinking Beyond The Rat Race

Thinking beyond the rat race: MBA students intern with grocers in Karnataka

Interns with a Dharwad-based fruit and vegetable vendor

It is common for MBA students to intern with big corporate firms, but three youngsters studying at the prestigious Karnatak University in Hubli-Dharwad thought beyond the rat-race.

Desirous of exploring the unorganised fruit and vegetable sector from the marketing perspective, Mohammed Moin, Atul A . and Halaswamy Naik are interning with a Dharwad-based fruit and vegetable vendor, Sadiq.

Dharwad has an estimated 60 such vendors, who ply their trade pitted against a host of challenges including organised retail outlets and middlemen.

The trio says they "want to evolve economically sustainable business models to protect the interests of the vendors", adding that the go -ahead to FDI in retail will pose a formidable challenge for the sector in the long run.

In the process, they added, they will study the consumption patterns of buyers, and find out how vendors store their fruits and vegetables to keep them from rotting.

They are also trying to understand the multiple revenue models and pricing strategies that make the business of street vendors profitable round the year, in times of glut and shortage. The students' initiative has come in for praise from the university's teachers as well as the business community.

"This is a bold step, as they could have opted for any MNC for their internship. Hopefully, they will come up with scalable revenue models for the vendors in the wake of the fast changing dynamics of the retail sector," said Ashok G., CEO, Onleo Solutions, which is involved in customising business solutions for the unorganised retail market.

But most thrilled of all are the vendors themselves. "When the students came to us, we could not say no. They are making good progress. Hopefully, they will guide us in the days ahead," said Saad Pasha, one of the vendors in Dharwad.



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