Ankan Sengupta (FMS) - Conglomerate-Group

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Name: Ankan Sengupta

College: FMS, Delhi

MBA Batch: 2015-17

Summer Internship Industry: An Indian Conglomerate-Group strategy division

Location: Mumbai

Profile: Corporate Strategy

Brief Project Description & Responsibilities:

The title of the project was “long term portfolio analytics of the group”

My primary responsibilities were-

a> Realigning group’s current portfolio based on their performance and future forecast of the corresponding sectors

b> Suggest new industries to the group, along with the route, to venture.


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

A brief overview of the project may incorporate the following points:

• Analyzed current financial and market reality of group portfolio: - Used various financial ratio and metrics from modern portfolio theory to get an idea how the group companies are performing and what is their weights on group’s performance as a whole

• Assessed realignment of group’s current portfolio to get better market returns at the existing level of risk: - Analyzed the prospective risk-return of the group companies based on revenue forecasting, and past stock market performance and based on that suggested key pointers to re-evaluate the whole portfolio. I used modern portfolio theory again for my final suggestion.

• Identified and evaluated opportunities to venture into new industries to expand group’s portfolio:- In my second part I used a 2 filter process( Financial and stock market based respectively) to evaluate all the prospective sectors for the company

• Evaluated the shortlisted industries and their sub-sectors on predefined financial and market metrics :- Based on my analysis, I went with the sectors that fulfilled both the criteria mentioned in the previous point. Then I divided each sector into its various sub-sectors and dug deeper to analyze each of them based on macroeconomic and strategic metrics. Also the synergy of the new sector with the existing ones in the group portfolio played an important part to finalize my decisions.

• Recommended 4 new sectors that can be evaluated further for potential portfolio expansion: - Since I had to present my findings to top management of the group, I had to substantiate my findings with numbers and case studies for the final presentation. A quantitative analysis based on the qualitative metrics was performed to finally present my findings, and I used various consulting journals, Stock market performance and financial metrics to build my model and case studies of success in the similar sectors. Ultimately, I recommended 4 new sub-sectors where the company can look for new opportunities through specified investment routes that I suggested.


Share your daily routine & overall summer internship experience.

My reporting time was 9.30AM and I used to leave around 7.30 in evening. First 2 days were induction period and it was pleasant to be able to to talk to the top management people of the group and the companies. I was assigned under the Group VP of Strategy, who was heading the whole strategy division of the group, and was introduced to my ‘buddy’, a Sr. Manager of group strategy division. I was always interested in numbers and strategy, but the project itself was daunting. From the very first day of my internship, it was made clear to me that I will have to present my findings to President or above level managers, so it had to be immaculate. But to my dismay, the topics that were discussed in my introductory meeting with my mentor were absolutely unfamiliar to me. So I had to study modern portfolio theory for about a week or so, then I could start my work. Once I was cognizant of the nuances, the storyline on which I had to work was clear to me. My mentor and buddy both helped me a lot whenever I was stuck in a step or so. Ultimately even before the final presentation, everyone top floor ( I was working in that floor of the office) came to know about my project and was really appreciative of me since I could present the whole thing to the group president. I was selected for the prestigious Arjuna Award ( best intern award) and received a PPI for the same. So I can say it was an excellent learning platform for me being a fresher and I thoroughly enjoyed it which ensued with a grand party thrown by my mentor to the 2 of us, the interns working under him.


How was the selection process conducted?

The selection process started with a shortlist based on CV, followed by an elimination round through group discussion and ended with 2 rounds of back-to-back interviews ( both were HR interviews, 1 with some basic questions on risk-return).


What were your key learnings from the summer internship?

The important takeaways from this project for me -

• Understood the nuances of how to de-aggregate a problem in a structured way

• Learnt how to build a storyline around your project to have a lucid understanding

• Enhanced and learnt to apply academic knowledge in a workplace

• Imbibed new and pertinent functional domain knowledge in finance and strategy

• Became cognizant and accustomed to corporate working environment and culture

• Groomed my interpersonal and other soft skills

• Developed work readiness and other important business skill sets


Three tips would you give to your juniors

1. Stay open to learn new things however daunting it may sound primarily. Don’t shy away from a project at any cost

2. Stay cool, calm and confident while you are working on critical projects like this. If your manager thinks that you are nervous and not confident about your own findings, it would be difficult for you to get an opportunity to present before the top management. A successful presentation in front of top management increases the probability of landing a PPO/PPI by multiple times.

3. Try to enjoy your work. This a serious learning that I received both from my mentor and buddy whenever I feel jaded-“All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy.”