Deepika Gupta is currently pursuing her second year of MBA at IIM Indore. She was a Sales Intern at Marico and has received a PPO for her performance during the internship.
What was the selection process followed by Marico for summer placements?
The selection process was quite straight forward. A shortlist was released based on the resume and psychometric test. The shortlisted participants had to appear in the Case discussion, followed by the personal interview. The case study given was a small case based on the aspects of Sales and Distribution management. It's an elimination round and the key to surviving is to understand the case first and then take a stand. The PI was conducted by a panel of 2 interviewers (brand managers or function heads of the company) and it was mostly about my internships, hobbies, and activities in college. It is important to know your resume thoroughly and be prepared for a lot of HR questions.
What kind of projects were offered?
The interns are not given a choice during project allocation. We were assigned projects based on our strengths and areas of interest. The project brief was sent around one week before the commencement of the internship so that one could familiarize themselves with the different aspects of it and also get in touch with the guides.
All the Sales and Marketing interns were assigned different brands and we were given ongoing business problems or projects. We were given full ownership of the work and were actually involved in the process of problem identification and finding solutions. My project was with the New Business Division and I was working on establishing the Modern Trade channel for two new food brands.
What kind of support did you receive from the senior leadership?
The kind of support and guidance that the senior leadership gave us was really encouraging. Being a fresher, I was totally unaware of the work environment but not even once did I feel that I was at any disadvantage. Everyone in the team including my guide, super guide, and the business heads, were so approachable and easy to talk to. I was heard, guided and given ownership of the work. People might be busy sometimes but the intention to help is always there and the leaders even go out of the way to help you.
How easy or difficult was it for you to acclimatize to the work environment and how did you go about it?
I still remember how nervous and stressed I was at the induction program. Being a fresher, I thought about all the things that could possibly go wrong because I had no idea as to how things work around in a corporate. But it was just a few hours later that I was at ease in the environment. We were given a warm welcome by the senior leadership of the company (including the CXOs) in the two-day induction program.
Post that, I met my guide and the entire team. Everyone was really welcoming and in just a couple of days, I felt like a part of the family. Staying late or coming in early never really bothered me because the whole team worked together. From accompanying me on market visits and improving my Excel skills to rooting for me in the final presentation, my team helped me every step of the way.
I guess the key to acclimatize yourself with the environment in Marico is to take ownership of your work and just be yourself. I used to ask a lot of questions because as a fresher I had to learn every single thing from scratch but every single person in the office helped me and I was only encouraged to learn more.
What challenges did you face and how did you overcome it?
My project was with two new brands of Marico and therefore my first challenge was to understand everything about the products and the channel in a couple of days. I tried to catch hold of people in the office whenever they were free and talk to them to understand the brands.
The next big thing was to travel to different cities and gather insights. A sales project requires a lot of market visits and running around. The only tip here is to not think of it as a burden but an opportunity to interact with people from different cities.
Since my team was Working with new brands, there were a lot of late nighters and weekend meetings. I hardly had any free time on my plate. But I saw it as an opportunity to spend more time with people I want to learn from and thus it never bothered me. It's just a two-month stint and your aim should be to give all you've got for your project.
Any tips you would like to give regarding an internship with Marico
1. Don't burn yourself out in the pressure of completing your project. There are a lot of people around to help. Just go and talk to them and you will always find a better way to get things done.
2. Networking is really important. You should always interact with people other than your teammates and stay updated on what's happening with other brands. You can always get inspiration from others and it'll also help you during the reviews and PPIs.
3. Lastly, stay positive and focused. It's just a matter of two months. So, just make sure that you leave an impact with your work.
We wish Deepika all the very best for her future!