Supravo Palit (FMS) - FMCG

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Name: Supravo Palit

College: Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi

MBA Batch: 2014-16

Summer Internship Industry: Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG)

Location: Mumbai, India

Profile: Institutional Sales

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

Institutional Sales or B2B sales is the form of transaction where the organisation sells their products or services to larger buyers who purchase said goods and services for use in their own production or for their usage. My project was to explore opportunities in Institutional sales for the organisation I was working in and to gather market information in order to evaluate the potential of the Institutional sales channel. My responsibilities and key deliverables were:

1) To define Institutional Channel for a product in India.

2) To find the Institution Sales department structure & way of working in rival organisations and suggest a departmental structure for the organisation in institutional sales.

3) To gather information on discount structure of competitions on aging stock.

4) To define SOP/role of the different departments while approaching for Cross promotions deal with brands/industry

5) Suggest discount structure & lead time to supply the goods for high value orders

6) Find out potential of small packs in Institution business.

7) To evaluate current potential markets & scope for institution Sales.

Share your daily routine & overall summer internship experience.

My daily routine consisted of the following:

• Visiting stores (both general and modern trade) in order to find out about products from rival organisations, their pricing schemes, offers and discounts provided.

• Meeting up with distributors, discussing the present and upcoming trends in the institution business, their demands and expectations from the organisation, about the rival organisations – their departmental structure, revenue earned from institutional sales, margins and discounts offered, size and price of variants used etc. –

• Visiting different buyer organisations that my internship organisation and its peers cater to in order to understand their preferences. During such visits I met representatives from rival companies and gathered information from them.

How was the selection process conducted?

The selection process constituted of CV shortlisting followed by a round of group discussion and 2 rounds of interviews. The group discussion was among groups of about 10 people and the topic given was an abstract one. The first round of interview was a mix of HR questions and marketing questions. The second round of interview was only HR questions and some discussions about the types of projects I might be doing once I join the company and what sort of commitment might be required from me.

What were your key learnings from the summer internship?

I learned the workings of the FMCG industry as well as the Institutional Sales business at different levels of infrastructure through practical and on-the-job experience. Till now I had seen things from the consumer’s point of view. This summer internship offered me the chance to see things from the manufacturer’s perspective. It was a very interesting and illuminating experience. Also I gained a lot of knowledge through market visits, discussions with distributors and negotiations with clients which are essential elements in order to build a career in Sales and Marketing

Three tips would you give to your juniors

1. Have an eagerness to learn new things. Develop a proactive go-getter attitude. Organisations really like people who do not wait to be told what to do. Communicate with your mentors, supervisors and other people in the organisation and the value chain as frequently as you can. This will help build up a network of information.

2. In a marketing internship especially in an FMCG organisation, most of the learning comes from hands-on experience. Spend most of the time in field and market visits in order to learn the nitty-gritties of selling and marketing.

3. Be absolutely thorough about knowledge of your organisations and also those of the organisation’s rivals. Learn the advantages and disadvantages between the products offered by your organisation and the rivals’.

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