A Long Look Back

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A Long Look Back

Right now, it’s as bright as the night outside and as silent as the noise inside. The door is ajar and the light, blinding. It calls to you, loudly as ever, as you lay buried between books and boring conversations. It tells tales of heroes past, and beckons those to yet come; scores of successors all veiled in the spirit of that age. There is the hidden promise of Greatness, of absolute glory, of insanity and ordered mayhem. You can try and make sense of the impending dawn, but before you realize, it’s too late. And as you enter, the ashen phoenix bursts into magnificent flames as You rise again.

It’s the 1971 zeitgeist. There’s new fish in town and it’s painting the college red. You walk around, soak in the sights and hardly realize that history is being created as MAXI registers under ‘The Societies Act of India’. But, do know, this is the calm before the storm.

And suddenly, you’re stuck right in the middle of 1979. Professor Dr Sharad Sarin has just introduced the MAXI Fair and taken the world by, well, storm. The next year is a swirl of sheer awesomeness as the disguised market research event revolutionises consumer behaviour research and elicits extensive praise from industry stalwarts including Philip Kotler, Theodre Levitt and Dr. Phillip Adler. It is no surprise then that the University of Rhode Island conducts the MAXI Fair in 1986 with Dr. Sarin’s expertise.

It’s almost 2009 as you realize that when MAXI leads, others follow. You relive history again as top Indian B Schools follow suit, MAXI Fair gets an ISO Certification and XLRI is established for its Marketing superiority. The media is hooked, and so are you. You see HLL launch a Brooke Bond tea pack using MAXI Fair insights. You see Nestle change its Nestea strategy and Pepsi implement packaging design changes based on MAXI Fair research. And you see all this as erstwhile Richardson Hindustan test their Herbal Vicks product at the Fair.

You see MAXI at work
You see those agents of madness, the harbingers of glory,
And whence you move forward then, the rest is all history.

44 years since, MAXI has progressed on the path of marketing excellence with equal parts of aplomb and responsibility. We pride the legacy we bear and realize that although it is no small feat, we shall continue ahead with a considerable dosage of weird, pure stoic wits and the inherent virtue of quirk. Meanwhile, we love the MAXI Fair and the Limca World Record. We value the insane amount of Facebook likes and the Youtube hits. We cherish the Guinness World record and hold the Food for Thoughts and the grand Circus Maximus particularly close to our heart. But above all, we hold high our drive for innovation, for marketing and for territories unexplored. As the torch bearers of tradition, all we want is to popularize the field at XLRI – though experiences and engagement, through conferences and competitions and through persistence and passion.

That way, we’re all a little crazy. And brilliant at it. Because it ain’t for nothing that they call us the Granddaddy of all Committees. We are MAXI, afterall.

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