From ‘Ganne Ka Rus’ With Salesmen To Developing Product Concepts With Marketers – Mohit’s Internship Experience At Dabur – IIFT (Kolkata)

The joy of bagging an internship at India’s 4th largest FMCG was at its brim and the 2 month voyage was about to begin. On the very first day, we met some of the brilliant minds from the HR department, were given a warm welcome to the ‘Dabur Family’ and soon were made to set our feet into something that, believe you me, is actually ‘Fast Moving’.

The ‘Campus Star Program’ at Dabur was impressively developed and planned to give the interns, flavors of both – vanilla and butterscotch. We were assigned 2 projects in Sales and Marketing for the first and the second month each. For my first month, I was sent to the North Regional Office, and on the first day itself, I was assigned my project guide and the project. My project guide was the North 3 ZSM, a really warm, helpful and knowledgeable person and I was given a project brief by the ZSM and Delhi Region’s ASM.

At the end of day 1, I was told something that was a bit surprising, but a lot more valuable – “Don’t come to office much, real learning of sales and distribution takes place in the market only. You need to slog each day in the market, but every-day will bestow a new learning and soon everything will start to make perfect sense”.   My Sales project was Delhi Distribution Expansion and involved visiting retail outlets with salesmen and meeting distributors of various other players in the market. Walking kilometers with the salesmen when the sun was happily tormenting Delhi, gave a feeling of exhaustion, but it was definitely worth it.

When in the evening I used to come back from the ‘market’, learning number of new things – how margins, CDs, line and bill cuts etc. work, everything actually started to make perfect sense! After every few days, I used to meet my project guide and the strands of sales and distribution I learnt in the market were more strengthened. He was the perfect guide I could have asked for. Despite his busy schedules and meetings, he always used to give me ample time and hence at the end of 1 month, I was appreciated for my work by the North Regional Manager.

The second month began with an exceptionally interactive session with some of the top leadership at Dabur – the CMO, CFO and the likes. They told us why Dabur is a perfect company to work for and what makes the employees stick to Dabur for decades – the reason being that ‘Dabur gives its employees the freedom to do what they want to and how they want to’. Many of them were at Dabur for over 25-30 years. The next day, we were assigned our Marketing projects and the respective guides too.

Luckily, I was assigned the pain relief category, which my guide told, was an excellent learning opportunity as the New Product Development (NPD) was in this 3rd month – i.e. it was neither an idea generation nor a product launch. My product was development of Marketing Mix (the 4 P’s we hear a lot about in lectures) for the Pain Relief Category. I was given a project brief and told that I was free to recommend any product based on my understanding and consumer interactions. I had market visits, went to interact with consumers ‘in pain’ and it was overall, an amazing experience.

I actually got to know why our professors chant –‘Consumer is the king’. The internship made me use everything from macros in excel to SWOT and Marketing Mix.   My stay at Dabur was much more than what I had dreamt of. It was perfectly smooth, extremely warm and professional and the memories of those 2 months will always be alive in the years to come.       ——– About the Author: Mohit Mahajan Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (Kolkata Campus)

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