Karan Barua (IIM Indore) - Consulting

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Name: Karan Barua

College: IIM Indore

MBA Batch: 2014-2016

Summer Internship Industry: Consulting (Psychometric Testing)

Location: Mumbai

Profile: Content Strategist

Brief Project Description & Responsibilities:

Title: Customer Service Orientation with Logistic Regression

Objectives / Key Deliverables: To create / recreate a psychometric test that will aptly identify the right candidate for the customer service (BPO) industry

Identification of Problems:

1. Very high attrition rate in the BPO industry where employees are into inbound and outbound calling

2. Increase in hiring cost to replace employees due to attrition

3. Right candidates are not at the right place as per their personal aspirations and personality leading to very high attrition

• Ideated a framework for Customer Service Orientation for Telecom Giant with the CEOs and lead Industrial Psychologist

• Created and conceptualized several items for various psychological traits through MCQ questions, pictures, audios and Situational based question category with new Sections and initial Hypothesis

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

There was thorough research, discussions via FGDs with BPO Sector employees, Blogs, websites, case studies, books, amalgamation with several theories from our psychologist and brainstorming to develop a core section in the Psychometric test for BPO Candidates. Basically creating various types of questions which will extract some personality trait of the candidate through the answers they provide, which will be backed by some scientific reason or research.

Share your daily routine & overall summer internship experience.

Being a part of Startup for summers gives you vicissitude of experience. The daily struggle to reach office at 9:00 am located in Chembur via 2 hour journey of Local train and Buses from Powai to working in your CEO’s cabin alone (whenever they are not around) as if you own the company with Monthly Lunch Pot organized by the team; it is indeed enriching.

The best thing about a startup is the flexibility and the scope of your creativity to be heard. You don’t need an appointment to talk to people in any level of Hierarchy. You may just walk in and say, “Excuse me Maam, may I have 10 minutes with you”.

My job profile required a lot of creative thinking that were susceptible to several errors and feasibility constraints. So I had to make frequent visits in my CEO’s cabin as soon as my mind struck an idea.

The cohesiveness of the whole team was the part of the Company’s culture that kept me glued to the company. With the right people around to motivate, listen, have fun with and guide me, it was inevitable that I looked forward to working at office every day.

The location was a challenge since the nearby apartments were only on sale for sharing basis for Women. Rest were very expensive for me. So I had a hectic 2 hour journey on my way to office and the same while coming back. That sucked most of the energy out of me, especially because the weather was also unfavourable during those months (extreme humidity).

How was the selection process conducted?

There were 3 Rounds:

1. CV Shortlisting/Screening from the pool of candidates that applied

2. Online Psychometric Test (link was shared by the Company)

3. Telephonic Interview

What were your key learnings from the summer internship?

Key learnings include:

• For creativity to materialise, a diverse team (In this case Psychologist, HR, Coders) are necessary to have a holistic understanding and the feasibility of every step

• You must not only have an experimental mind but a fearless mind where you are not shy to showcase your ideas else the creativity goes waste

• No matter how much time it takes, nothing should be compromised with quality of deliverables, as long as there is lack in quality, lagging behind competitors is inevitable

• Cohesiveness is necessary in a creative team, but the art of maintaining the cohesiveness throughout the project requires dedication and a collective effort towards the organization’s vision

Three tips would you give to your juniors

1. Definitely be open to any company that gives you an opportunity to do Summers with them; especially Startups; do your background research for that.

2. Startups offer you the best medium to groom yourself; since it is just an experience; don’t fall for the “glam trap” offered by MNCs, basically a glamourous environment to work in but with an undesirable Job Profile. Always target your desired profile rather than a company.

3. Don’t worry about getting placed; as long as you have the basic inclination to experiment, improvise on ideas and good interpersonal skills; there will always be copious companies looking out for you.