School of Management Sciences, under its foreign university association collaboration program, organzed a 6 day long “Visit Varanasi” program for faculty and students of California State University. The CSU team was headed by Co-Directors of Center of Global Management Prof. Vipin Gupta and Prof. Frank Lin.
Visit Varanasi Program is a unique customized program to this multifaceted multilayered ancient city of light, called Varanasi. Various hues and tones of the city, paint in the colors of Cultural Varanasi, Spiritual Varanasi, Musical Varanasi, Artistic Varanasi and Artistry Varanasi. The city is also a major business center and caters to huge market spread across 4 states including UP.
This Visit Varanasi program was designed as Socio-Cultural-Business tour for the students and faculties, in consultation with Prof. Vipin Gupta, from CSU.
The program was designed to show case the smart mix of all the major elements of the city, keeping in mind the learning quotoient for the participating students as the students were also to be evaulated on the project given during their visit, for 1.5 credit.
The tour started with an introductory session on Varanasi and the program organized at The Taj Gateway, the hotel where the team stayed. The Director of School of Management Sciences, welcomed the guests, The program coordinator Mr. KK Bajpai, explained the details of the program and a special workbook designed for the puropose was given to the guests, along with other welcome goodies, which included a specially designed bag, Map of Varansi, The detail program schedule and Picture Postcard made from photographs clicked by Mr. KK Bajpai, There was a visual introduction of the city given by noted photographers Manish Khattary and Mr. Vinay Tripathi, Later in the day the guests were taken for bajra ride on river Ganga. The team enjoyed the ride and beautiful view of Ghat and Ganga Aarti. Later they dined at the Banaras Club
Day 2 started with precious days debriefing with the students at Crafts Musuem at Trade Facilitation Center, Bada Lalpur, after debriefing session the faculty and students saw the show case of banaras banaras arts and crafts, they saw the samples of fabrics, wood craft, clay craft, carpet, soft stone work and metal work done by expert craftsmen of the area. From there they visited Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarnath, where they were welcomed by the VC Shri Ngawang Samten, who also had an interaction with them and answered their queries. Followed by the visit to Tibetan Institute, the team visited Human Welfare Association office at Sarnath, to gain insight into Geographical Indication marked handicarfats of the area, Varanasi is worlds only place having maximum number (11) of GIs in Handicarfts in a single region. After lunch the team visited National Archeological Museum at Sarnath, and later Dhammekh Stup and Mulagandha Kuti Vihar. The day ended with Indian style dinner at Baati Chokha.
After the visit at crafts museum, and getting insight into GI of handicarfts, the third day was slated at giving the team real exposure to handicarfts of Varanasi. The first visit was to a national awardee woodwork artisan Mr. Rameshwar Singh’s workshop and showroom, the guests saw the amazing crafts being made here and also had the first hand view of the manufacturing process, the artisans instantly made some articles for the guests and gifted them. The second visit was scheduled to Banaras Beads Limited Factory, Mr. Ateek Agrawal, Dy Manager Marketing and Mr. Mohit Gupta, Production Manager, took the guests to the factory show room, where they were shown the entire range of production and possibilities that the glass bead has in commercial market, the students discussed various aspects related to marketing and distribution of the product, later the managers conducted the tour of the factory where the participants could see the process of glass bead manufacturing, finishing, Quality Checking and pacakging. They saw both manual and mechanized way of production and were very impressed with thte professionalism of the company and quality of beads. The third visit of the day was at a Modern Garment Manufacturing unit – GN Designers Handlooms Pvt. Ltd, at Raja Talab, The unit manufactures indian dresses using Banarasi fabric and markets the product with the brand name Gaami. The Managing Director of the compnay Mr. Mukund Agrawal welcomed the guests by gifting them silk stoles and before showing them around the factory, discussed various business, branding and promotion challanges being faced by the company. The profesors and students took active participation in the disucssion and suggested some measures which they thought would help the company overcome some of the problems discussed. The guests showed keen interest in the usage of modern technoogy for fabaricating Indian garments.
The tryst with handicarft production process continued in the fourth day, with first visit being at Sajoi village, where women handicarft worksers weave banarasi fabric, the village is promoted by Tata Group through its venture The Taj Gateway hotels and they are facilitated by a local NGO in the process. The village girls are trained by other girls who have completed their training and have beocme master craftsperson, the complete raw material is provided by Tata and the studetns are also given stipend, These girls also make finished quality product for Taj Group of Hotels spread across the globe. The team saw and understood the intricate process of handloom fabric manufacturing and could appreciate the hard work which goes into making a piece of fabric.
Later in the day they visited Patodia Exports, a state of the art carpet factory, they were welcomed by Mr. Apurva Patodia the Director of the company, personally gave a guided tour to the team members, where he introducted them to various processes in carpet manufacturing right from procurement of wool and other raw material, to design, finishing, and QC measures, he also showed the team members the mechanized tufted carpet manufacutring facility. After the factory visit in the Unit 2, the team left for Unit 1 of factory which housed the corporate office of the company, for a presentation on other processes in carpet manufacturing like dying etc, through a film. Mr Apurva also introducted them to his retail brand “Hands”which has its show room in Delhi and Mumbai.
After handloom fabric and carpet manufacturing unit visit, the team headed to School of Management Sciences, campus to have an interaction with the students, the students were addressed by Prof. Frank Lin, Prof. Jake Zhu, Prof. Ya Ni, Dr. James Schmidt and Professor Harol Dynck. The studetns Rosario, Tanya and Lesley also interacted with the studetns.
The day ended with a program with business stalwarts of the area in the program “Face to Face with EUPEA” at The Banaras Club, which was attended by Dr. DS Vyas, President EUPEA, Mr. Junaid Ansari, Treasure, EUPEA along with other esteemed members and past presidents Mr. Amitabh and Mr. Naveen Kapoor. The professors and students of CSU discussed with EUPEA members challanges and opportunities in the area of Handloom, handicrafts business of Varanasi region. The meeting was followed by the dinner.
After hectic business tour of the city, the fifth day started very early at 530 AM. The guests were taken to Assi Ghat to enjoy the serenity of Morning Ganga Arti with vedic chants and classical music. From Assi, the Musical Bajra Ride started which had Classical musicians playing Indian Classical music on Sitar accompanied by Tabla. The guests were enthralled by the morning beauty of Ganga, its Ghats and the rising Sun and every body captured the moements on their camera and smartphones. After enjoying the morning at Ganga, the team returned to hotel and after breakfast moved to Faculty of Ayurved at BHU to have an insight into the ancient Indian Medicin System, at Department of Dravya Gun. The group was welcomed by Prof. Anil Kumar Singh,Prof KN Dwivedi and Prof. VK Dwivedi, who later gave a presentation on the subject, which was follwed by a visit to Bhaishajodyan guided by Dr.Jasmeet Singh, Curator of Ayurved Museum at the deaprtment. The guests visited the museum also.
After their visit at Dravy Gun department, the team visited Kashi Vishwanath temple at BHU campus, where they relaxed and enjoyed the serene ennvironment. In the afternoon the team visited Bharat Kala Bhawan Museum at BHU Campus, their tour was guided by Musueum curetor Dr. Priyanka Chandra, who explained the details of the exhibits at the musuem in detail.
The final day of the visit, The team started for IT BHU for a prescheudled lecture on GMAT/TOFEL to the IIT students, the program was facilitated by Prof. AK Agrawal, who is also head T&P, after the lecture the professors felicitated the guests. From BHU the team headed for School of Management Sceinces. After having their lunch at SMS, the guests took round of the campus, and informally interacted with the studetns. Later they conducted an FDP on “Discovering Self, Discovering India, and Discovering the World” The lecture was delivered by Prof. Vipin Gupta. After the FDP, the velidactory session was conducted and all the participants were given participation certificates.
4 Certificate of appreciation were also given to the faculties and panorama club students who helped in the organization of the program and capturing the moments on camera. The faculties Mr. Viresh Tripathi, and Mr. Saurabh Srivastava and students Mr. Atul Kumar Srivastava and Mr. Shubham Adhikari. The guests were given parting goodies which comprised of handicraft items of woodcraft, gift pack of banaras beads, silk stole and soft stone inlay elephant, along with 10 photograph postcard shot by Mr. Manish Khattry.
The guests were given a warm farewell by the Director, Registrar, Faculties and students of SMS