As I begin to pen down my experience as a summer intern in a startup, I realize my bag is full of nuggets of wisdom, which can be aptly classified as a crash course on entrepreneurship.
The company I interned at, Morphedo, is an early age startup that deals with 3D Printing services. It primarily caters to B2C segment with its own 3D designers, printers and artist. The founders were ex-employees of Aditya Birla Group who took the entrepreneurial plunge in the 2nd year of their MBA course at BIMTech, Greater Noida.
3D Printing is a very interesting concept where the consumer has the ability to design his or her own products. Anything that they can visualize, be it accessories, home decor, special gift concepts or even prototypes can be custom printed in every shape, size or color. There is a huge market potential but the customer awareness is very, very low. Customer education was the real problem for the entire industry rather than customer acquisition.
I was offered the role of a digital marketer and the primary deliverable was to increase the reach of its website and its social media presence. But things started becoming more challenging and interesting when the founders decided to change the business model. Morphedo, at the time of writing this article, is being transformed into a marketplace where it would bring 3D designers, artist, 3D printer owners and consumers under a common umbrella. Due to the NDA clause, I won’t get into the juicier details about the work I did for the marketplace but I can surely provide a snapshot of my brief stint in a startup.
1. You will learn something about everything: Apart from sketching out the content strategy for SMM, at times I found myself penning a script for a whiteboard animation video to designing the pricing model for the marketplace. Other times, I would be cold calling the printer owners pitching about the new marketplace and the next day taking interviews of Amazon, eBay and Flipkart sellers to discover new insights that would help me improve the sellers' dashboard and rating system on our site. You get to don different hats and in the process, you get to learn stuff across different domains.
2. It’s a family first, a company later: Never in those 60 odd days, did I feel I am working for a company. The founders left no stone unturned to make sure the interns feel at home. The working atmosphere was very amiable, and there was a flat hierarchy. To top it all, there were occasional movie outings with the entire team and finished it off with dinner at the founders’ place. There was a right balance of “work hard, party harder” culture.
3. You get to be a part of the bigger picture: Every piece of work I did had a direct impact on the company and the users. It gave me immense satisfaction see my solutions being accepted and implemented almost immediately. You get to know how the strategies you charted out will be used by the company in the future and gives you even more reasons to work harder.
4. Life gets a bit more sorted: As a fresher, I had little to no idea how it feels like working in a company or a particular department. I missed the obvious connection in a few classroom teachings, which the work-ex guys can easily relate to. Whatever doubts I had about which domain to pursue and how life will look like a few years down the line, all got sorted out when I actually got to work across different domains. The best part? Well, I got to apply the classroom teaching of multiple courses taught at IIM Indore right from Legal to Design Thinking to Marketing at Morphedo. You propose a solution; it gets implemented, you see the results, you learn, and then you move to tackle the next problem. It’s a constant evolution, and you emerge more confident every time.
There were a couple of funny incidents as well. There was this particular incident where the organizers of a Startup Expo misprinted the founder's name, Sushil Baranwal and printed my name instead. My name was everywhere, on the ID-card, nameplate, in fact even on the Pitching Event's list as well. Being a sport, he didn't correct the name on the nameplate, and I got to be the founder of Morphedo for a day and greeted the visitors as such.
Pankaj Basumatary is a Civil Engineering Graduate from Assam Engineering College and currently a PGP2 student in IIM Indore. He is a amateur photographer and has a keen interest in digital marketing.