Sneha Mittal (IIM Udaipur) - Power Generation and Manufacturing

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Name: Sneha Mittal

College: Indian Institute of Management Udaipur

MBA Batch: PGP 2014-16

Summer Internship Industry: Power Generation and Manufacturing

Location: Pune, India

Profile: Sales and Marketing

Brief Project Description & Responsibilities:

Conduct a market research to identify the factors affecting consumer behaviour and provide recommendations on improving the sales in the identified market segment.

My role responsibilities included:

1) Interacting with the key officials of the department to get better understanding of the products offered by the company

2) Interacting with the dealers and scheduling meetings with the identified potential customers

3) Conducting one-on-one interviews with the customers to get a clear understanding of the factors affecting purchase behaviour

4) Qualitative and quantitative analysis of data to calculate potential of each customer, identification of broad issues and list down the challenges faced by the dealers and the customers

5) Provide recommendations to increase business with the identified customers

What was the overview of the project? Elaborate with some details

My project was to conduct market research through one on one interaction with the identified potential customers to gain an understanding of the factors affecting their purchase behaviours. I was responsible to identify why the customer chose to buy a particular product from the competitors in addition to identifying opportunities for cross-selling other products.

In primary research, I personally interacted with the key officials within the company to understand the product offerings, trends and challenges faced in the industry. In addition, I went through company’s official presentations and website data to get an overview of the company’s offerings. I then created a questionnaire to identify the factors affecting purchase behaviour of the customers.

Next, we scheduled one on one interviews with the identified potential customers to get a better understanding of the issues faced by the customers. The collected data was qualitatively and quantitatively analysed to provide clear recommendations to the company to increase business with these customers.

Share your daily routine & overall summer internship experience.

The company was very flexible in terms of timings, however, all the employees (including all interns) started the day at 9:00 am. The typical day started with interaction with buddy/mentor (assigned to each intern from the first day of joining) to get clear objectives for the day. After gaining a clear understanding of the requirements and after thorough discussions, we all started working on the tasks assigned to us. All the interns were assigned individual projects with a buddy and mentor each. We all met for a coffee break in the pantry area at around 11:30am. After relaxing for a while, we all got back to work. Next, we together went out for lunch in the canteen at around 1:00 - 1:30pm and came back by around 2:00 pm. During this time, we exchanged our learnings and discussed what all we were working on, in addition to exchanging ideas on each other’s projects. After lunch break, we went back to work, and continued to work till around 7:00-8:00 pm with occasional coffee/snacks break.

Many of us were assigned field work and had the opportunity to meet customers from different regions. During the field visits, the day typically started at 9:00 am and went on as per the meetings scheduled with the customers. After the completion of all meetings, we ensure that we came back and clearly logged in the collected data in understandable form.

Overall summer internship experience was simply amazing. On professional front, my mentors and buddies (I was fortunate enough to have 2) were very helpful and provided me guidance from time to time. They also assisted me by asking me the right questions which led me to analyse the data in a better way. The employees of the company were very helpful and I got to learn a lot from each person I interacted within the company. On personal front, I made some lifetime friends with students from different colleges. We went out occasionally and bonded very well. The office culture was very open, flexible and conducive which enabled us to bond better within ourselves as well as with the company officials. I would never forget such an experience and would love to work with the company again!

How was the selection process conducted?

The selection process included a group discussion on topic “Suggest digital marketing strategies to increase business in B2B scenario”. Next, we had to undergo personal interview which focussed on implementation of the concepts learnt in the classroom.

What were your key learnings from the summer internship?

I learnt a lot of things especially about the way of working with people (my job partially included field work), the way of dealing with difficult customers, applying theory and frameworks learnt in the classroom to practical situations and making professional and concise presentations. We had an opportunity to interact and present our projects to top officials of the company, which added to the richness of the experience. And yes, not to forget, I also made some really good friends.

Three tips would you give to your juniors

1) Clearly define your project statement, project objective and the methodology you plan to follow in the initial one week of the internship. This will guide you throughout the project and you will not feel lost in the middle of the project. Once you have finalized the above, clarify with your mentor/buddy that your understanding is in line with their expectations or not.

2) Carry a diary with you from Day 1. Jot down important points as and when you come across any. Keep pictures of those notes, so that you have the required data at the appropriate time. Else, you may struggle at finding the data and its source at the end moment. I would suggest, also start preparing your presentation from Day 1, as it will be helpful to you when any of the company officials ask you to present (which might be at the end moment).

3) Network and make good friends with other interns in the company. Try and collaborate with them and you will get to learn a lot of things from them!