Radhika Sarda (XIMB) - Real Estate

Posted in Internship Experience Stories, Total Reads: 552

Name: Radhika Sarda

College: Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar (XIMB)

MBA Batch: 2014-16

Summer Internship Industry: Real Estate

Location: Ahmedabad, India

Profile: Strategy and Operations

Brief Project Description & Responsibilities:

Title of the Project : ‘How to reduce cost of construction by using alternative technology, material and methodology?’


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

With the falling real estate prices and rising cost of inflation, cost of construction is a major concern for all the real estate developers. My summer internship project revolved around this concern. The Project involved understanding the various components of cost of construction to the lowest level of detail possible. Then I had to find out alternative ways to reduce this cost of construction.


Share your daily routine &overall summer internship experience.

Each day at Ahmedabad would start at 6 am. Some exercise and I would then get ready for the long day.We (me and a co-intern) would leave the guesthouse at 8 am after having breakfast, which usually involved getting the breakfast packed as would always be late. The bus would pick us at 8.30 from the regional office and take us to the site office. I was working in the Projects team, where everyone was either a civil engineer or an electrical engineer, but engineer for sure. And I was the only person with zero knowledge of engineering (I am a Chartered Accountant), leave aside civil engineering, on a project to reduce the cost of construction.

So the first few days were rather too hectic as I had to visit the site too often to understand how exactly a building is built. Observation, discussion with the juniors in the projects team (who by this time had become good friends of mine) would give me ample of jargons each day to go back and study from the net. So each day after office, I would reach back the guest house at 8 pm and my homework would begin right after dinner. The nocturnal habits developed in Bschool came to my rescue here as I took some basic courses in civil engineering from online portals and studied those modules each night.

Till the mid review time, I was nowhere close to reducing cost. But yes I had by then understood all the cost components. After this began my research- primary research of materials available in local market, competitor analysis, secondary research of the technological advancements globally and talks with some research scholars in IIT- roorkee, the best civil engineering college in the country. This helped me to come up with value engineering ideas and ofcourse with the help of my guide, buddy and the entire projects team I could test their feasibility and implementation.

I was able to save a few crores for the company and won the Best Summer Internship Project Award at the company.


How was the selection process conducted?

The Company had come to our campus. It had its own form which tested our creativity and talent, on basis of which we were shortlisted for the GD round. It was a managerial Group Discussion where we fought for the available resources. The GD was an elimination round and few of us were selected for the interview. I faced the interview which was mostly around my profile and general awareness, cracking which gave me an internship at one of the dream companies in the Campus.


What were your key learnings from the summer internship?

My summer internship project challenged me to excel myself. I has given me the confidence in my abilities that “Sky is the limit” and I could venture successfully in completely new territories.

It has helped me to develop my communication and management skills as interacting with the civil engineers meant decoding what they meant from their jargons, which I had no knowledge of. It imbibed the importance of time management in me as I had to complete a vast project in 2 months.

On the domain knowledge part, I learnt value engineering lessons as well as project management principles. I learnt operations and marketing in real estate.


Three tips would you give to your juniors

1. Explore yourself to the maximum possible extent. Summer internship is an opportunity to come out of your comfort zones and explore.

2. Do not hesitate if you do not know or understand anything. Google it or ask it.

3. Learn as much as you can. Because no knowledge is waste.