The Acclaimed Summer Internship At Infibeam

Just when you know that you are halfway through the rollercoaster of MBA, you come to the celebrated summer internship. Well, for me, it was the first step I had to take into the corporate world.

I was happy to work with the hottest industry in India today – ‘The E-commerce’ in a firm which boasts to be ‘the only profitable firm in the industry’. I was equally enthusiastic about knowing the secret to positive PAT hence Infibeam was a hell of a place to be.

The day you get completely dressed up in formals, beating the heat of NCR, avoiding sweat, just to make the first impression worthwhile is a challenge. Trying to ‘do it all’, I reached with a sweaty shirt, sideways hanging bag and came to know to be ‘the only intern recruited’. That gave me a few chills with blood rushing down my feet.

Then you see an office for the first time, the cubicles all around filled with people, interacting, solving numerous issues, no formal appearances, and then you meet your mentor – the person you look up to – Senior Corporate Sales Manager. The business development never looked so easy thence.

Being the only intern, I was working for two business verticals for their B2B segment. The sole intern, reporting to two senior managers and the co-founder of the company, sitting near them; one thing was sure – it wasn’t time for chilling around. I was explained the businesses that were done, the elaboration of my role – see the market, do a competitor analysis, get new business for the firm, understand the process (backend) and optimise it further with analytics and all the stuff you could use. Yeah, that sure was a big gulp for me too!

The next day, you are still new and the ‘only new’ and your morning starts when your mentor asks you to come along in a meeting. The first meeting of your life! The excitement level reaches its peak. You are explained everything on the way and get seated in other company’s conference room. Things go on for quite some time, then you have ‘the first handshake’, cards get exchanged and things begin. Post meeting, the manager says to you ‘mei le aaya tjhe meeting mei, tu kab le ja rha h mujhe?’ Now you know that you need to work your ass off.

The first week, you don’t know how to start. The mentor is giving away suggestions, each ending with ‘bro, you are the IIM guy in the house!’ This gives a further reason to prove yourself. You have the chai-sutta breaks with your manager where he tells you – this is the last trial we are doing on hiring interns. If you don’t produce results, we won’t hire interns from next year. Now you are representing the whole intern fraternity.

The first week went in database creation from various sources you could get your hands on. The primary focus was for:

  • Companies which have Reward and Loyalty or need it, which we would transform online and even provide redemption along with the logistics part
  • Creating online B2C brand stores coupled with the logistics part and other requirements

Creation of database wasn’t easy. That was the time you actually use LinkedIn. I couldn’t have thanked Reid Hoffman more before that. With the continuous approach to companies, many phone calls and emails, understanding their problems, pitching them the solution that our service could provide I had my first meeting! Dude that was a day to live and enjoy. I was asked to accompany in all the meetings I could bring in which further motivated me to officially get out of the company and still have your roaming hours counted in the working hours. Although the working hours were just 6 per day, why don’t flunk even that when you have an option ;). Not just that, the manager treats you in several cafes when you are out for a meeting.

The meetings had the essential ingredients like going around the city in cars, grabbing bites in different cafes, life and philosophy talks with the mentor, the cool-factor you see in the mentor who is in the late twenties and still a senior manager. Life was perfect! Work, get a meeting and be off to roam around. One fine day, I was even with college mates of my manager after a meeting. Now there was just a little work left and much more WORK LEFT.

The things went on, you knew the company, their functioning, the secret to profit making (of course it’s a secret not to be shared), the first salary, Sector 29 of Gurugram, Cybercity, friends from college and the company which gave more of a compassionate feeling to work and came the last day – the presentation day.

Present all that you have done, achieved and proposed. The co-founder in front of you with a diary to make notes, couldn’t have been a prouder moment. Tell about the meetings you have done, the new business that you brought, the market as you saw it, the processes in the company you see to optimise and get acclaimed as the best intern the company had till date. Surely, the summer internship is an acclaimed journey!

Ayushmaan Agarwal

The author is a second year PGDM student at IIM Lucknow. He did his summer internship with Infibeam in Business Development Management. He hails from Almora, a hill station in Uttarakhand. Writing is a new pastime he has taken up but sports remain to be a prominent one.