Kozhikode: The Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode (IIMK) is all set to overhaul the marketing model of the ambitious Mahila Mall in Kozhikode. The mall, a Kudumbasree venture is claimed to be the first of its kind in the country and is being currently executed with the support of the District Kudumbasree Mission.
The Mall is the biggest venture of any Kudumbasree self-help group and is stated to provide jobs to 250 women directly and 500 women indirectly. The 36,000 square feet Mall of five stories boasts of branded outlets, supermarket, restaurant, boutiques, footwear shops, beauty parlours, banks, outlets for – imported gadgets, handicraft, babycare, electronics and home appliances. Besides this it also houses conference rooms, training centres and underground parking facility. However, the women entrepreneurs who enjoy a sizeable footfall during festive season and exhibitions are currently experiencing dwindling customer numbers in off-season, resulting in an unsteady source of income for participating women entrepreneurs and outlet owners. This is resulting in a financial crunch and difficulty in paying rent, electricity bills and the salaries of the people employed in these outlets.
IIM Kozhikode under its Social Outreach Programme has reached out to the Unity Group in a coordination meeting held on Monday, to overcome this lacunae and to carry out a pro bono study of their marketing model to revamp and restructure the marketing strategy for Mahila Mall. The project will be spearheaded by Prof. Debashis Chatterjee, Director, IIM Kozhikode and Prof. Deepa Sethi, Chairperson, International Relations and Faculty in the area of Humanities & Liberal Arts in Management at IIM Kozhikode and will comprise of a team of six students who will take this as a live project. The team will furnish a detailed report with corrective measures to overcome the lean trading patch experienced by this Kudumbasree outlet.
In his message to this initiative, Prof. Debashis Chatterjee said, “Connections between society and educational institutions provide the best framework for inclusive growth and we all at IIM Kozhikode strongly believe in this and make constant effort to strengthen the social capital through our knowledge, expertise and skills. We would provide the roadmap to sustainable business model to Mahila Mall.”
Further, excited at the prospect of teaming up with IIMK, Mrs Vijaya K, Secretary, Unity Group, Kudumbasree said “Financial security is crucial to a self-help model like Kudumbasree. It not only encourages women to participate but is also vital to offer social stability to households being run by these enterprising women entrepreneurs. We are hoping that IIMK with its expertise and know-how will help us in making Mahila Mall a financially sustainable role model in the true spirit for what the Kudumbasree project is known world over. We are thankful to IIMK for the same. ”
Elaborating further on the prospects of this association, Prof Deepa Sethi shared “Our team at IIM Kozhikode is excited to work on this live project which is an opportunity to do something meaningful for the society. Our team will make efforts to take Mahila Mall to newer heights and provide it a global exposure. There is a lot of enthusiasm in the team with regard to this project.”