‘Of Snow, Beer And Apples’ – Ayush Agarwal’s SEP Experience

One thing that was clear even before I started my MBA at IIFT was my resolve to go to Europe through the Student Exchange Program. I was offered an opportunity to study in IESEG Institute of Management in Lille in the months of January, February and March. Lille is a beautiful town located in northern France, right next to Belgium.

I reached Paris on the late evening of 29th December and my first “Developed World” experience was taking a high speed train, the French call it the TGV, from Paris to Lille. About 50 minutes into the journey I woke up from my nap and heard the announcement that the train is about to reach Lille. I was bewildered. Lille is about 260 Kilometers away from Paris and the train, with its top speed of about 320 Kmph, took just over 50 minutes to complete the journey. We took a swish Merc S-Class from the train station to reach a beautiful cozy house rented through our seniors’ reference.

Over the next 87 days, I travelled to 45 cities in 14 countries. I explored hills, mountains, forests, grasslands, rivers, lakes and beaches. I saw ancient ruins, medieval palaces and modern skyscrapers. I travelled in trains for hundreds of hours, had more than 100 types of beers and ate several different cuisines. Most importantly I met people from different geographies and cultures and made countless new friends.

Let’s start with the “Student” part of it. My exchange batch consisted of people from over 90 countries. I had modular courses, each course a week long, with the final exams on Fridays. I had to opt for a minimum of 4 courses and spent around 25 days in Lille completing my duties as a student. During this time, I explored Lille, got a taste of the French culture, the extremely fussy language, the general reluctance to understand English and the world famous wine and cuisine.

Now let’s move to my favorite part. The “Travels”.

With its matchless connectivity via road, rail and air, Europe is a traveler’s paradise. I brought a Eurail Global Pass from an Indian travel firm. The pass provided me access to the rail network in over 28 countries and is of immense value for anyone looking to travel as much as I did. All major cities are 4-8 hours away from each other in a serial fashion and you can travel more than half of Europe in a full day’s train travel. The best part about using a Eurail pass is that one can travel in most trains without any reservation and no prior booking is required. This means you can plan your travels on the go.

Most of my travel was solo. I did not want to compromise on my choices of cities and locations. And I did not want to stay in my comfort zone by travelling in a group of friends. I wanted to talk to local people, to other travelers and at times to my own self (what better place to self-reflect than an empty natural park).  Hence, I decided to travel alone. I booked youth hostels via mobile apps (Hostelworld is a great app) most of the time. Youth hostels are a great place to find crazy people from around the world who share the same passion for travelling. I also relied on a few friends who were studying or working at convenient locations in Europe for free food and shelter.

Though I was carrying a phone, I did not buy a SIM card during the entire three months. Not that it was expensive or difficult to get one, but I wanted to limit my communication with my conventional world, specially email and social networking. I wanted to read books in trains and not spend hours on Whatsapp. I wanted to spend my time on my thoughts, not on Facebook timelines. I did not want to walk on beautiful thousand year old streets with my eyes hooked on to my screen for directions. I wanted to get lost on turns and corners and ask people for directions using gestures of all sorts. Sometimes it got scary and cold and sometimes I got desperate. But then the satisfaction I got when I finally found the way to my hostel or to a warm cozy pub serving chilled beer was priceless. Free Wi-Fi is easily available across Europe in cafes, hotels, hostels and places of public transport so one can easily get important things done without being constantly connected.

Let’s talk a little about other basic human needs besides shelter and Wi-Fi and discuss food and beer. Europeans have a fixation with cold breakfasts which is strange as it is already freezing cold in winters. Majority of the buffets that I devoured in youth hostels were cold. And in majority of them, the main items were cheese slices, baguettes, bread slices (toaster if you are lucky) and a lot of salami slices. Cereals, milk and apples are available for vegetarians almost throughout. Every place I stayed had a kitchen which made great sense as restaurants are really expensive. Get your stuff from the nearest supermarket, assemble a quick meal and gulp it all down with beer. My food choices were not very fancy. Sandwiches and apples while you are on the move. Pasta when you have a kitchen, reheated frozen pizzas when you have a kitchen with a microwave. I did try a lot of local cuisine too, mostly the famous street food as restaurants are really expensive. Trust me, fine dining can cost you as much as three days of your entire travel budget in places such as Switzerland and Sweden.

Sometimes when I see my entire trip in hindsight, I often ask myself if it was about beautiful European cities or about beer. Every major city in Europe has at least three local beers which are excellent. Then there are some which are famous all over a country. And then some are famous all over a region. Even big supermarket chains have some of their own brands. Beer, milk, juices, energy drinks, carbonated beverages and even mineral water, all lie in the same price range making the decision easier from the consumer perspective.  The Bavarian region of Germany has beer halls and beer gardens where you can get it in one litre mugs and sit on long tables with locals and tourists who will make sure you don’t feel alone. There is a famous café in Brussels, Belgium by the name of Delirium Café, which stocks more than 2000 different brands of beer from all around the world. The menu is as thick as a telephone directory. For me the single most important factor that differentiated Europe was that beer was available and was allowed in all public places. In Streets, coffee shops, movie theatres, trains and buses, you can have beer just like you have water. And the best thing about this golden liquid is its ability to help you strike a conversation. You meet people from far and wide over beer.

You get exposed to people from all around the world over a super short time frame. Allow me to illustrate. For three nights I was in Prague, the capital of Czech Republic and the cultural centre of Eastern Europe. On the first night, I just wandered on the beautiful streets admiring the architecture and trying some local delicacies.

The second night, I had absinthe shots in a club with a cyber-security expert from London, an environmentalist from Alaska and a police trainer from Buenos Aires. We discussed how cars and girls change as one travels from Japan to Peru. I was planning to spend the third night in my youth hostel quietly, all thanks to the previous “extra” eventful night. Then in the kitchen, I met a bartender from Texas, a Chinese guy from Hong Kong doing masters in architecture from Vienna and a mysterious Canadian guy and we discussed global political ideologies and the Trump-USA fiasco over hot chocolate. These are just some of the many such chance meetings that happened during my time in Europe.

Travelers are generally open minded, accommodating and not insecure about their origins so the information you gain about one’s country and culture over such casual discussions is invaluable. You realize that it really is global when you meet a bunch of Japanese guys fluent in Sanskrit in a Croatian cafe, drink Belgian beer and eat Mexican quesadillas.

Saint Augustine, whose writings influenced western philosophy once said, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” I studied with people from Latin America and Korea in the same class. I found Buddhist monks in the coffee shops of Amsterdam. I shopped from a Pakistani store in the Jewish quarters of Budapest. I cooked chicken curry and pulao for some guys from main land China. The world is a small jovial place if you want it to be.

Europe is going through the Syrian immigration crisis and is under the constant threat of terror attacks. Still at no point in time in my entire journey, I felt any distress. Give everyone a genuine smile and chances are, they’ll smile right back at you. My travels, first made me speechless and now, a storyteller. Hope my experiences help you when you go on your own journey.

One last tip, get a good rain and snow proof jacket. And a sturdy pair of shoes. Happy tripping.

 

———

About the Author:

Ayush Agarwal is a Full Time student of MBA (IB) Student of 2015-17 Batch.

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Why IIFT Is Not Just Another IIM

Strength lies in differences, not in similarities

          Stephen Coley

 

Many of my friends and colleagues have often had this one question in common irrespective of the discipline they belong to. How is IIFT different from any other IIM? I don’t blame them. It is the nature of our education system that we see the ROI (read pay packages) and heritage (read longevity) as the factors to judge an institution of knowledge on the scale of competency and success. Howsoever flawed it might be, IIFT has often fallen into the trap of measuring its competency on the lines of other premier b-schools that have a different course to offer and pedagogy on papers as well as in principle. You cannot compare apples to oranges and hence, it is paramount for us to point out the differences between the two institutions (IIFT and IIMs) and list out the plethora of opportunities that only IIFT can offer.

First and foremost, to defunct the biggest misconception of all, IIFT does not stand for Indian Institute of Fashion Technology and neither we have so many female candidates that a fashion technology institution often commands (enjoys). IIFT as an institution was first conceived under the Ministry of Commerce in 1963 that came into being merely as a think tank for the Indian Govt to provide insights in the field of foreign trade, as there are multiple nuances that had to be taken care of.  It gradually grew as a famous abode for multiple intellectuals and experts that provided specific International Trade related courses to cater a niche field that was rapidly growing by leaps and bounds. IIFT soon became the playground of many civil service employees that have a limited understanding of International commerce and trade, and were the first breed of professionals that passed out of this, now famous, institute.

Post liberalisation, as the foreign trade grew, a need was felt for more number of professionals that had exclusive knowledge of Trade and commerce as there was no other institution in India, which offered International Trade related courses, or anything remotely close to that. IIFT really started to take off after 1991, when many graduates and working professionals rushed to take up any course on international trade from the most coveted and niche institute in the country. It was then, that the administration decided to initiate a course on the lines of an MBA program that provided a unique pedagogy that not only mirrored the rigour of a post graduate program on management but also imparted specialised insights in the field of International Trade and commerce. Therefore, you will find courses like Trade Analytics and International Finance Management only in a regular two-year residential MBA program, that is now ranked amongst the most sought after courses along with PGDM from IIM’s.

As a former aspirant, I used to get fascinated by the brand IIFT and the course it was offering (MBA in International Business, sounds important!) but was woefully ignorant about the differences, or rather opportunities that this curriculum promised. After completing (rather scraping off) almost one year in IIFT, I can safely say that I have a competent understanding (and by no means an expert opinion!) as to what MBA (IB) offers me other than the quintessential degree that is being awarded in scores of other institutions.

A degree from IIFT allows you to explore the opportunities that are available to only selected few! The field of International Trade is one of the oldest and most skill driven domain that offers a high-flying career akin to any other sought after roles in the field of Finance or Consulting, with similar or in some cases, better-paying positions. The summer internship program in IIFT is the only course that offers hands-on experience to work in International Trade Organizations like WTO or OECD. It’s no secret that the top four trading organisations in the world, hire exclusively from the stables of IIFT, and the highest pay packages transcend the pay packages being offered in top three b-schools in the country.

So, in the end, you still want to know what makes IIFT unique? Is it the tag of top trade school in Asia? Or is it the reputation of being the official think tank for the Ministry of Commerce? Or is it the niche courses that only IIFT offers set us apart? Or is it the combination of these factors. The answer cannot be in pure black or white. There are fifty shades of grey in between and the truth probably lies in one of them, but as the quote in the starting of the article depicts, our strength lies not in similarities, but rather the difference that we bring to the table, and that aptly concludes this discussion.

—————–

About the Author:

Divyansh Vashishth, MBA (IB) 2016-18, IIFT-Kolkata Campus

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Life And Lies At IIFT As I Interpret It- Divyansh Vashishth, IIFT- Kolkata Campus

It’s a late Sunday evening and everyone in the campus just had a terrible weekend after we were asked to attend 12 hours of self-help workshop on personal finance conducted by the pioneers of the industry.  I, for one, was looking forward to binge watch a new TV series that got a nine-pointer on IMDB and would have preferred to end the weekend on a high (ahem) with my friends at a local joint nearby. But I was stuck with a case study competition floated exclusively for top ten B-schools by a major consulting firm.  Not really an ideal weekend, if you ask me, but here’s something you can take out of it. In IIFT, almost all weekends are on similar lines. There is always some kind of value addition that is happening and it’s really up to you where you want to take this forward. Even if you are hell-bent on spending your weekends secluded, the curriculum and the administration will ensure that you do the things that will only take your career further in the right direction.

VOlley1VolleyBrawl intra-college level tournament

But it’s not about the work and presentations all the time. Here in IIFT, you will be allowed to delve deep into your extracurricular interests that transcend beyond your regular curriculum. Of course, there will be nights where you will be asked to curb your desire to sleep while your laptop is playing “Die Hard” for the umpteenth time, and pull an all-nighter for a corporate competition or a dossier for the next conference to be held in your college, but those weekends are few and evenly sprinkled throughout the year! You like your classics? We have the IIFT movie nights every Saturday where you vote for your favourite movie/TV series to be played in the amphitheatre (it’s Sherlock this weekend, btw). You’re a sports head? We have college level sports competitions being held regularly every fortnight! From volleyball to Gully cricket, you name it, we got it! You are more of an intellectual kind? Join the literary and debate club and meet with like-minded individuals every week to discuss various happenings of the world! You have an inquisitive mind? Why don’t you participate in Quiz competitions held by the Quizardry club! These guys conduct quiz on almost any trivia under the sun and boy it feels great to rub the nose of your eternal nemesis/best friend in your intellectual glory.

Qz
IIFTians during a weekend Quiz

Wanna go out of the campus and chill out? Kolkata offers mind-boggling opportunities to revel your hard-earned break and make the most of it! Be it pandal hopping during Durga Puja (yes you get week-long holidays to explore as you please) or go for fancy lounge and sports café on Park Street! Or if partying is not your thing, then you can always go to the quaint parts of North Kolkata and soak in the quiet and often nostalgic driven British Era marvels like Victoria Memorial or shop for that blue shirt at dirt-cheap prices on the Espalande street. Or simply take a long walk near the shores of river Hoogly right next to the grand Howrah Bridge. If it’s the food that gets you going, then you just landed in the right place! Go for the famous fish curry and Chawranghee rolls and finish up the gluttony with the famous rosugullas and sondesh from legendary Ballram Mullick sweet shop (which happens to be quite near to our campus!) Kolkata also happens to be the gateway city for multiple tracks and unexplored weekend getaways like the eternal Sundarbans or a night out to Mandarmani beach! It’s almost a ritual for IIFTians to visit the great North East after summer and final placements!

In the end, whenever we would look back and reflect on our college life, we will remember the fun times we had with our friends and not what happened in the classrooms. No doubt, IIFT offers you world-class academic infrastructure and strong corporate relations that will take your professional career to new heights, but it’s not just the placements that this campus has to offer. It’s the culture that defines the campus and these small but significant activities bring about a true change in you not only as a student of International Business, but also as a person.

Welcome to IIFT, where you will receive so much more than just a degree!

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A Pre-Placement Talk To Remember! – Marico At IIFT

In a situation when you are attending numerous presentations by various prospective companies during the campus summer placements, there are some which clearly outshine others in terms of the way they present themselves and how they choose to interact with the batch. One of these was certainly Marico.

The PPT started with a question to the batch on what was their perception of Marico as a company. The interesting part was that we were given the creative liberty to answer the question in our own witty way. One of our fellow batch-mates answered the question by comparing the company with Virat Kohli, who is the same age as the company and his leadership qualities and other traits with the FMCG giant. Marico rewarded the most creative answers with some lovely goody bags! “At Marico, we have no employees, only members”, is still the single most powerful proposition that any organisation could make to its prospective summer trainees.

The batch was also shown various advertisements of Nihar Naturals and how they have been successful with their precise brand positioning. The subtle transformation of the brand, Set Wet was also an interesting story which was put forth by Ms. Ankita Bharadwaj, its brand manager. One very unique aspect of the culture showcased by the company was the Espresso Sessions that are part of the STAMP program, wherein the interns at Marico are encouraged to have open discussions with the CXOs of the company over a cup of coffee.

Have you interacted with Marico ChatBot?

So, Marico is one of the first companies in India to use ChatBot, an Artificial Intelligence Entity, to enable campus pre-placement talks and to answer the questions posed by prospective summer trainees through ChatBot conversations on Facebook Messenger. We personally felt that it was a revolutionary idea put forward by an Indian company, a simple idea which would strike a chord with students and prospective employees and get them acquainted with the company and everything and anything they want to know it. So, even if someone feels shy about asking questions in public, they needn’t be worried. All they have to do is log on to Facebook and get their queries solved through the ChatBot.

Simply asking questions is not enough; it is important to ask the right questions, around topics such as job role, key learning areas etc. Marico’s Chatbot successfully covers all important aspects of this, presenting three umbrella topics of information – “Marico as a company”, “Culture at Marico” and “Careers at Marico”, which put together, enable a user to know everything they would want to know about the company. Facebook ChatBot is a great initiative by Marico to engage with the student community and its consumers and sharing information about the company. In line with their core value of “Making a Difference”, it is indeed really nice to see Marico make a difference on Social Media as well. Marico has always been the front-runner in leveraging social media to develop higher engagement with the student community and its user base, which is really inspiring.

For those of you who haven’t tried Marico’s ChatBot yet, all you have to do is go to the ‘Marico Campus Connections’ page, drop them a “Hi” in the Facebook messenger window and get going. Know everything about careers and culture at Marico instantly; no more waiting.

27

The presentation ended with a very interactive Q&A session and by the end of it, the whole batch was feeling vibrant and energetic and had an urge to join this fabulous company and work for it.

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In a situation when you are attending numerous presentations by various prospective companies during the campus summer placements, there are some which clearly outshine others in terms of the way they present themselves and how they choose to interact with the batch. One of these was certainly Marico.

The PPT started with a question to the batch on what was their perception of Marico as a company. The interesting part was that we were given the creative liberty to answer the question in our own witty way. One of our fellow batch-mates answered the question by comparing the company with Virat Kohli, who is the same age as the company and his leadership qualities and other traits with the FMCG giant. Marico rewarded the most creative answers with some lovely goody bags! “At Marico, we have no employees, only members”, is still the single most powerful proposition that any organisation could make to its prospective summer trainees.

The batch was also shown various advertisements of Nihar Naturals and how they have been successful with their precise brand positioning. The subtle transformation of the brand, Set Wet was also an interesting story which was put forth by Ms. Ankita Bharadwaj, its brand manager. One very unique aspect of the culture showcased by the company was the Espresso Sessions that are part of the STAMP program, wherein the interns at Marico are encouraged to have open discussions with the CXOs of the company over a cup of coffee.

Have you interacted with Marico ChatBot?

So, Marico is one of the first companies in India to use ChatBot, an Artificial Intelligence Entity, to enable campus pre-placement talks and to answer the questions posed by prospective summer trainees through ChatBot conversations on Facebook Messenger. We personally felt that it was a revolutionary idea put forward by an Indian company, a simple idea which would strike a chord with students and prospective employees and get them acquainted with the company and everything and anything they want to know it. So, even if someone feels shy about asking questions in public, they needn’t be worried. All they have to do is log on to Facebook and get their queries solved through the ChatBot.

Simply asking questions is not enough; it is important to ask the right questions, around topics such as job role, key learning areas etc. Marico’s Chatbot successfully covers all important aspects of this, presenting three umbrella topics of information – “Marico as a company”, “Culture at Marico” and “Careers at Marico”, which put together, enable a user to know everything they would want to know about the company. Facebook ChatBot is a great initiative by Marico to engage with the student community and its consumers and sharing information about the company. In line with their core value of “Making a Difference”, it is indeed really nice to see Marico make a difference on Social Media as well. Marico has always been the front-runner in leveraging social media to develop higher engagement with the student community and its user base, which is really inspiring.

For those of you who haven’t tried Marico’s ChatBot yet, all you have to do is go to the ‘Marico Campus Connections’ page, drop them a “Hi” in the Facebook messenger window and get going. Know everything about careers and culture at Marico instantly; no more waiting.

27

The presentation ended with a very interactive Q&A session and by the end of it, the whole batch was feeling vibrant and energetic and had an urge to join this fabulous company and work for it.

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3

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In a situation when you are attending numerous presentations by various prospective companies during the campus summer placements, there are some which clearly outshine others in terms of the way they present themselves and how they choose to interact with the batch. One of these was certainly Marico.

The PPT started with a question to the batch on what was their perception of Marico as a company. The interesting part was that we were given the creative liberty to answer the question in our own witty way. One of our fellow batch-mates answered the question by comparing the company with Virat Kohli, who is the same age as the company and his leadership qualities and other traits with the FMCG giant. Marico rewarded the most creative answers with some lovely goody bags! “At Marico, we have no employees, only members”, is still the single most powerful proposition that any organisation could make to its prospective summer trainees.

The batch was also shown various advertisements of Nihar Naturals and how they have been successful with their precise brand positioning. The subtle transformation of the brand, Set Wet was also an interesting story which was put forth by Ms. Ankita Bharadwaj, its brand manager. One very unique aspect of the culture showcased by the company was the Espresso Sessions that are part of the STAMP program, wherein the interns at Marico are encouraged to have open discussions with the CXOs of the company over a cup of coffee.

Have you interacted with Marico ChatBot?

So, Marico is one of the first companies in India to use ChatBot, an Artificial Intelligence Entity, to enable campus pre-placement talks and to answer the questions posed by prospective summer trainees through ChatBot conversations on Facebook Messenger. We personally felt that it was a revolutionary idea put forward by an Indian company, a simple idea which would strike a chord with students and prospective employees and get them acquainted with the company and everything and anything they want to know it. So, even if someone feels shy about asking questions in public, they needn’t be worried. All they have to do is log on to Facebook and get their queries solved through the ChatBot.

Simply asking questions is not enough; it is important to ask the right questions, around topics such as job role, key learning areas etc. Marico’s Chatbot successfully covers all important aspects of this, presenting three umbrella topics of information – “Marico as a company”, “Culture at Marico” and “Careers at Marico”, which put together, enable a user to know everything they would want to know about the company. Facebook ChatBot is a great initiative by Marico to engage with the student community and its consumers and sharing information about the company. In line with their core value of “Making a Difference”, it is indeed really nice to see Marico make a difference on Social Media as well. Marico has always been the front-runner in leveraging social media to develop higher engagement with the student community and its user base, which is really inspiring.

For those of you who haven’t tried Marico’s ChatBot yet, all you have to do is go to the ‘Marico Campus Connections’ page, drop them a “Hi” in the Facebook messenger window and get going. Know everything about careers and culture at Marico instantly; no more waiting.

27

The presentation ended with a very interactive Q&A session and by the end of it, the whole batch was feeling vibrant and energetic and had an urge to join this fabulous company and work for it.

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3

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In a situation when you are attending numerous presentations by various prospective companies during the campus summer placements, there are some which clearly outshine others in terms of the way they present themselves and how they choose to interact with the batch. One of these was certainly Marico.

The PPT started with a question to the batch on what was their perception of Marico as a company. The interesting part was that we were given the creative liberty to answer the question in our own witty way. One of our fellow batch-mates answered the question by comparing the company with Virat Kohli, who is the same age as the company and his leadership qualities and other traits with the FMCG giant. Marico rewarded the most creative answers with some lovely goody bags! “At Marico, we have no employees, only members”, is still the single most powerful proposition that any organisation could make to its prospective summer trainees.

The batch was also shown various advertisements of Nihar Naturals and how they have been successful with their precise brand positioning. The subtle transformation of the brand, Set Wet was also an interesting story which was put forth by Ms. Ankita Bharadwaj, its brand manager. One very unique aspect of the culture showcased by the company was the Espresso Sessions that are part of the STAMP program, wherein the interns at Marico are encouraged to have open discussions with the CXOs of the company over a cup of coffee.

Have you interacted with Marico ChatBot?

So, Marico is one of the first companies in India to use ChatBot, an Artificial Intelligence Entity, to enable campus pre-placement talks and to answer the questions posed by prospective summer trainees through ChatBot conversations on Facebook Messenger. We personally felt that it was a revolutionary idea put forward by an Indian company, a simple idea which would strike a chord with students and prospective employees and get them acquainted with the company and everything and anything they want to know it. So, even if someone feels shy about asking questions in public, they needn’t be worried. All they have to do is log on to Facebook and get their queries solved through the ChatBot.

Simply asking questions is not enough; it is important to ask the right questions, around topics such as job role, key learning areas etc. Marico’s Chatbot successfully covers all important aspects of this, presenting three umbrella topics of information – “Marico as a company”, “Culture at Marico” and “Careers at Marico”, which put together, enable a user to know everything they would want to know about the company. Facebook ChatBot is a great initiative by Marico to engage with the student community and its consumers and sharing information about the company. In line with their core value of “Making a Difference”, it is indeed really nice to see Marico make a difference on Social Media as well. Marico has always been the front-runner in leveraging social media to develop higher engagement with the student community and its user base, which is really inspiring.

For those of you who haven’t tried Marico’s ChatBot yet, all you have to do is go to the ‘Marico Campus Connections’ page, drop them a “Hi” in the Facebook messenger window and get going. Know everything about careers and culture at Marico instantly; no more waiting.

27

The presentation ended with a very interactive Q&A session and by the end of it, the whole batch was feeling vibrant and energetic and had an urge to join this fabulous company and work for it.

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3

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In a situation when you are attending numerous presentations by various prospective companies during the campus summer placements, there are some which clearly outshine others in terms of the way they present themselves and how they choose to interact with the batch. One of these was certainly Marico.

The PPT started with a question to the batch on what was their perception of Marico as a company. The interesting part was that we were given the creative liberty to answer the question in our own witty way. One of our fellow batch-mates answered the question by comparing the company with Virat Kohli, who is the same age as the company and his leadership qualities and other traits with the FMCG giant. Marico rewarded the most creative answers with some lovely goody bags! “At Marico, we have no employees, only members”, is still the single most powerful proposition that any organisation could make to its prospective summer trainees.

The batch was also shown various advertisements of Nihar Naturals and how they have been successful with their precise brand positioning. The subtle transformation of the brand, Set Wet was also an interesting story which was put forth by Ms. Ankita Bharadwaj, its brand manager. One very unique aspect of the culture showcased by the company was the Espresso Sessions that are part of the STAMP program, wherein the interns at Marico are encouraged to have open discussions with the CXOs of the company over a cup of coffee.

Have you interacted with Marico ChatBot?

So, Marico is one of the first companies in India to use ChatBot, an Artificial Intelligence Entity, to enable campus pre-placement talks and to answer the questions posed by prospective summer trainees through ChatBot conversations on Facebook Messenger. We personally felt that it was a revolutionary idea put forward by an Indian company, a simple idea which would strike a chord with students and prospective employees and get them acquainted with the company and everything and anything they want to know it. So, even if someone feels shy about asking questions in public, they needn’t be worried. All they have to do is log on to Facebook and get their queries solved through the ChatBot.

Simply asking questions is not enough; it is important to ask the right questions, around topics such as job role, key learning areas etc. Marico’s Chatbot successfully covers all important aspects of this, presenting three umbrella topics of information – “Marico as a company”, “Culture at Marico” and “Careers at Marico”, which put together, enable a user to know everything they would want to know about the company. Facebook ChatBot is a great initiative by Marico to engage with the student community and its consumers and sharing information about the company. In line with their core value of “Making a Difference”, it is indeed really nice to see Marico make a difference on Social Media as well. Marico has always been the front-runner in leveraging social media to develop higher engagement with the student community and its user base, which is really inspiring.

For those of you who haven’t tried Marico’s ChatBot yet, all you have to do is go to the ‘Marico Campus Connections’ page, drop them a “Hi” in the Facebook messenger window and get going. Know everything about careers and culture at Marico instantly; no more waiting.

27

The presentation ended with a very interactive Q&A session and by the end of it, the whole batch was feeling vibrant and energetic and had an urge to join this fabulous company and work for it.

Screenshots:

3

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In a situation when you are attending numerous presentations by various prospective companies during the campus summer placements, there are some which clearly outshine others in terms of the way they present themselves and how they choose to interact with the batch. One of these was certainly Marico.

The PPT started with a question to the batch on what was their perception of Marico as a company. The interesting part was that we were given the creative liberty to answer the question in our own witty way. One of our fellow batch-mates answered the question by comparing the company with Virat Kohli, who is the same age as the company and his leadership qualities and other traits with the FMCG giant. Marico rewarded the most creative answers with some lovely goody bags! “At Marico, we have no employees, only members”, is still the single most powerful proposition that any organisation could make to its prospective summer trainees.

The batch was also shown various advertisements of Nihar Naturals and how they have been successful with their precise brand positioning. The subtle transformation of the brand, Set Wet was also an interesting story which was put forth by Ms. Ankita Bharadwaj, its brand manager. One very unique aspect of the culture showcased by the company was the Espresso Sessions that are part of the STAMP program, wherein the interns at Marico are encouraged to have open discussions with the CXOs of the company over a cup of coffee.

Have you interacted with Marico ChatBot?

So, Marico is one of the first companies in India to use ChatBot, an Artificial Intelligence Entity, to enable campus pre-placement talks and to answer the questions posed by prospective summer trainees through ChatBot conversations on Facebook Messenger. We personally felt that it was a revolutionary idea put forward by an Indian company, a simple idea which would strike a chord with students and prospective employees and get them acquainted with the company and everything and anything they want to know it. So, even if someone feels shy about asking questions in public, they needn’t be worried. All they have to do is log on to Facebook and get their queries solved through the ChatBot.

Simply asking questions is not enough; it is important to ask the right questions, around topics such as job role, key learning areas etc. Marico’s Chatbot successfully covers all important aspects of this, presenting three umbrella topics of information – “Marico as a company”, “Culture at Marico” and “Careers at Marico”, which put together, enable a user to know everything they would want to know about the company. Facebook ChatBot is a great initiative by Marico to engage with the student community and its consumers and sharing information about the company. In line with their core value of “Making a Difference”, it is indeed really nice to see Marico make a difference on Social Media as well. Marico has always been the front-runner in leveraging social media to develop higher engagement with the student community and its user base, which is really inspiring.

For those of you who haven’t tried Marico’s ChatBot yet, all you have to do is go to the ‘Marico Campus Connections’ page, drop them a “Hi” in the Facebook messenger window and get going. Know everything about careers and culture at Marico instantly; no more waiting.

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The presentation ended with a very interactive Q&A session and by the end of it, the whole batch was feeling vibrant and energetic and had an urge to join this fabulous company and work for it.

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In a situation when you are attending numerous presentations by various prospective companies during the campus summer placements, there are some which clearly outshine others in terms of the way they present themselves and how they choose to interact with the batch. One of these was certainly Marico.

The PPT started with a question to the batch on what was their perception of Marico as a company. The interesting part was that we were given the creative liberty to answer the question in our own witty way. One of our fellow batch-mates answered the question by comparing the company with Virat Kohli, who is the same age as the company and his leadership qualities and other traits with the FMCG giant. Marico rewarded the most creative answers with some lovely goody bags! “At Marico, we have no employees, only members”, is still the single most powerful proposition that any organisation could make to its prospective summer trainees.

The batch was also shown various advertisements of Nihar Naturals and how they have been successful with their precise brand positioning. The subtle transformation of the brand, Set Wet was also an interesting story which was put forth by Ms. Ankita Bharadwaj, its brand manager. One very unique aspect of the culture showcased by the company was the Espresso Sessions that are part of the STAMP program, wherein the interns at Marico are encouraged to have open discussions with the CXOs of the company over a cup of coffee.

Have you interacted with Marico ChatBot?

So, Marico is one of the first companies in India to use ChatBot, an Artificial Intelligence Entity, to enable campus pre-placement talks and to answer the questions posed by prospective summer trainees through ChatBot conversations on Facebook Messenger. We personally felt that it was a revolutionary idea put forward by an Indian company, a simple idea which would strike a chord with students and prospective employees and get them acquainted with the company and everything and anything they want to know it. So, even if someone feels shy about asking questions in public, they needn’t be worried. All they have to do is log on to Facebook and get their queries solved through the ChatBot.

Simply asking questions is not enough; it is important to ask the right questions, around topics such as job role, key learning areas etc. Marico’s Chatbot successfully covers all important aspects of this, presenting three umbrella topics of information – “Marico as a company”, “Culture at Marico” and “Careers at Marico”, which put together, enable a user to know everything they would want to know about the company. Facebook ChatBot is a great initiative by Marico to engage with the student community and its consumers and sharing information about the company. In line with their core value of “Making a Difference”, it is indeed really nice to see Marico make a difference on Social Media as well. Marico has always been the front-runner in leveraging social media to develop higher engagement with the student community and its user base, which is really inspiring.

For those of you who haven’t tried Marico’s ChatBot yet, all you have to do is go to the ‘Marico Campus Connections’ page, drop them a “Hi” in the Facebook messenger window and get going. Know everything about careers and culture at Marico instantly; no more waiting.

27

The presentation ended with a very interactive Q&A session and by the end of it, the whole batch was feeling vibrant and energetic and had an urge to join this fabulous company and work for it.

Screenshots:

3

Profile gravatar of Media Cell IIFT

MediaCommittee IIFT

Message Author