The first few weeks at Mahindra, interacting with top management and important stakeholders of the company, is the perfect bench-marking experience for any internship. The next few weeks, on the other hand are a very strong reality check.
The goals and objectives you set for yourself seem easy to achieve and realistic at first but only once you start the process, you realize where you stand. The first few weeks for me were about the company giving us a glimpse of where we can be, the level of work and responsibility we can eventually earn, post which, the field is where your grit is really put to test.
It’s just as they say, nothing worth having in life comes easy. The nature of my assignment is extremely travel intensive and while it's physically and mentally draining, it gives you the chance to gather something more valuable than can be expressed in numbers. What I had the privilege to gather is an in depth understanding of who our customer really is, how they think, what they associate the product and company with in their minds.
On my journey through multiple cities across the country, I understood how people of certain regions could differ immensely from the same segment in another city.
I learnt how to never classify who our customer is or why they buy the brand. I learnt that being an Indian brand is one of the most powerful assests of the group and how much potential lies in leveraging that. I learnt exactly how much trust and faith people put in homegrown brands. I made new friends; in places I would have never expected. I learnt how to deal with various kind of personalities, from people who were exceptionally aggressive to some that required a lot of push to voice their concerns. I learnt how to manage time; how much difference 10 minutes can make for traffic congestion. I learnt how if you don’t keep yourself hydrated, the sun in the hottest markets can take you down.
I learnt that while travel for work seems very fancy from the outside, it’s by no means easy. It’s this grind that makes the final prize seem worth it. I learnt that weekends don’t exist if your objective is to deliver quality results. I learnt how to push myself to work through 12-hour days. I learnt that no matter how good you are at your work, sometimes you need the help of other people, and how sometimes asking for that help is the best decision you can take.
The main takeaway from the first month has been that the road less travelled is so for a reason and should you choose to wander out on it, be prepared mentally. What the next few weeks hold is a mystery but something that is certain is that I sure can’t predict what happens next. The task is to find the calm between the chaos.