A Job For 60 Days; Summer Experience of TAPMI Student
| July 30,2012 03:47 pm IST
There is an elevated level of happiness when you get you management summer internship with a well known company and then those feelings of expectations rise as the moment of joining that company comes closer. This goes on in each management student's life and then comes the period when you join and start working for that organization that we realise how difficult it is to play in real world environment.
I was selected by well known steel company as summer intern in marketing domain for the region of Maharashtra and Goa. As my college got over in march end, I was supposed to report to their marketing office in Mumbai. Anxiety about the kind of work and people in company was building in my mind as I was travelling to Mumbai. There was also a feeling of fear about the kind of boss I would face. The dilemma was simple but an unknown one. With all the mixed feeling I reached 'Amchi Mumbai' and feelings of everyday local train travel and Mumbai summer heat started popping in my mind.
On day one I reported in Mumbai office on specified time. I was immediately directed to the person whom I was supposed to meet. My reporting manager welcomed me to the organization and told me in brief about the organization. He also indicated me that the region where I would have to work would be Goa. Hearing Goa, my imagination went for a vacation - sun, sand and the beaches.
But the repeated chanting of the word 'work' by him got me come back from my imaginary Sanctum. Then he handed me some product catalogues and told me to go through the literature for the next hour and half. He also informed me that as I was becoming a part of their team as a routine we all would be having lunch together and told me to order whatever I like. In the evening I met the Regional sales manager who told me more about their distributor in Goa with whom I had to work. My product was structural steel used in construction of steel structures in particular. This product was supposed to be promoted via Structural consultants and architects who used this structural steel elements in their designs. I also finally got my project objectives that meant Market Mapping of Goa i.e. search for new markets and determine market demand in different segments for hollow-tube sections (my product).
So with two days of induction in Mumbai, I went back to Goa no doubt my home. As I reached Goa the next day I immediately went and met the Goa distributor and understood few bits and pieces about the clients and market. They gave me the client list which they had and also made me aware of the difficulties they faced. For further market understanding I went ahead and met two prominent structural consultants and understood their part of needs and problems. I was amazed to see that in-spite of a quality product from TATA Steel the product was not selling well. All this was mainly because of Availability.
My primary understanding about the market based on secondary data collected from various entities helped me in understanding and further segmenting the market. The next part was market mapping and demand estimation. I actually went around Goa interviewing Structural consultants and architects as a part of my market research objective. The worst part was getting their appointments. They were never available in office after 12 pm in the morning as they were on field visit of their construction sites. I also observed that when I told them that I am calling on behalf of TATA Steel their tone of voice towards me changed. I was happy that a good brand was backing me. All the engineers used to give me appointments either early in the morning or late in the evening and many times they actually cancelled at the last moment, so my pace of this survey was bit slow. I had actually fixed a target in mind of meeting at-least 1-2 structural consultants/architects in a day but I soon realised that in marketing and sales work never happens as you plan.
Simultaneously my manager had asked me to search for new applications (markets) for the product apart from construction industry. Two new markets were identified by me in accordance with my manager. So accordingly I went to a big client in Goa, after reaching there I realised that to enter that place some employee from inside has to put my name on their system as visitor and then only I could enter that place. I was really in confusion as to how to go about this as I was totally helpless and didn't know anybody inside the big factory. But I remembered one rule which my father had told me i.e. to befriend with the watchman, which I did and with local language advantage got into the company and even met the purchase officer who gave me all specifications of their requirements and my job was done.
Next was the other industry where too I used similar approach and initiated my quest for analysis of that market. I actually met some naval architects and shipyard engineers and information gathered from them gave me valuable insights about this industry and helped me analyse applications where our product could fit in.
Lastly at the end of whole analysis the data was presented to the manager and my guide in Mumbai and they said that this was the first time a project was done on Goa and now they can really build a smart and necessary strategy for improving sales in Goa.
It was a wonderful experience working with TATA Steel. They really have a very good work culture and I really thank my manager for all guidance.