‘If You Are Feeling Comfortable Then It’s Time To Challenge Yourself Again’ – Kavya Annapareddy’s Internship Experience – IIM Indore
My expectations from the internship were simple: To experience a marketing job and figure out if it was compatible with me. But I learned much more than I expected to.
The first day was spent essentially understanding what DoctorC as a company does and believes in through the voices of people working there. I spent at least five minutes with each member. It was interesting because I got to understand what role each member plays in the growth of the company.
The rest half of the day was spent in discerning how the company came to be what it is from the founder himself. I soon realized that what he related to me in little more than an hour was a journey of two whole years of many individuals. And each obstacle was perceived as an opportunity to evolve. The whole team matured with each experience and I was part of that team now.
I’m a part of the marketing department and my key objectives were to:
1. Schedule camps to hit company’s monthly goals: 6500 transactions each month
2. Find scalable ways that generate good no. of camps every month: discover at least one source through which a minimum of 5 companies can be signed up
Identification of Problems
My initial job involved in getting corporates to sign up for DoctorC health check by pitching to them through emails, cold calling and dealing with their responses. At the beginning, I faced great difficulty in approaching them with my pitch. And in my first feedback session, I had a revelation: I had to believe in my pitch to communicate it across to others. Mansi, co-founder of DoctorC, showed it to me how every conversation we have in our lives is a pitch and doing a sales job is in no way degrading.
I began to work on my confidence of my pitch but it took longer than I expected. It was the next involvement with DoctorC’s team that helped me communicate better to my clients. I personally attended a health check and worked on ground as a registrar. This experience aided me to understand what I was doing and what follows, after we schedule the health camp.
A few weeks passed and I was getting comfortable at what I was doing. I started to interact with my colleagues as well. In one of our meetings, Neehar said “If you are feeling comfortable, then it’s time to challenge yourself again.” Henceforth, the second part of my objective had to be worked upon as well.
I had to find at least one scalable source that gives us camps without putting so much effort. I made a list of possibilities and Neehar gave me the freedom to pursue them all. That’s when I realized: the scope my job depended upon how much I wanted to pursue finding solutions for every botheration I face.
Consequently, most of my ideas on the list failed and for a while I felt personally responsible until I realized- every operation made cannot turn into an accomplishment but the act itself was important to find if the potential existed. And one shouldn’t stop oneself due to fear.
I subsequently followed making a list of insurance companies for possible partnerships and then my inertia set in. My efforts disappointed me and I began to question myself. What followed next was the big lesson that Neehar taught me, “When you have to do a difficult thing, think of it in terms of numbers. Attach no emotion until you get the job done. Post this, evaluate your learning and apply that learning the next time. Once you get your numbers, you know how many attempts you need to make for a success.”
All my life I believed in giving my best shot at everything I do and each failure disappointed me. While doing so, I dismissed the bigger picture- getting the job done. Every attempt was deciding but achieving the target is more crucial, irrespective of attempts made.
Schedule of Activities
After a week working in DoctorC, I had to set up my OKRs (Objectives and Key Results). And I had to spend 50% of my time working on first objective and the rest 50% on the other.
I was designated corporate Partnerships and that essentially involved signing up corporates for the health checks offered by DoctorC. My job involved communicating, usually with the HRs or senior managers, about the health check and potential benefits it offers. I follow up with them until confirmation, post which I schedule the date of health camp with help of Madhu and Arun from Operations.
The second objective was to find other possibilities which let us acquire customers with less than the current effort. This involved making appointments and meeting with insurance brokers to understand possibility of a partnership.
Akshay, Madhu and Arun had been of great help in learning what to do, how to do and the specifics of my role. Akshay specially helped me right from the first day. I would say he was my second mentor.
My job also involved cold calling some customers to achieve daily, weekly and monthly targets which is now being automated in form of an app.
This job was initially hard for me as it involved sitting in an office for couple of hours continuously. I always felt it was all about doing one’s assigned work but my experience proved me otherwise. My internship taught me that working professionally meant networking, communicating ideas and thoughts effectively, working as team and developing one’s skills.
The virtue of working at a startup is that the speeds at which things are done and expected to be done are quite electric. There are always occasions to contribute, chances to take and qualities to germinate. It is a live organism that grows on the energy of each being. Each effort is so visible and material that nothing short of passion is truly welcomed.
My interactions with the founders and the way they deal with situations modeled how I ought to handle circumstances myself.
Neehar is always bubbling with energy which he channels into innovation. Each time I had a problem, he came up with answers that resolved the complication. And that’s when I discovered for myself what innovation meant- coming up with simpler ways to do the same thing.
The job helped me learn a lot about myself and the kind of work I love to do. I challenged a deeply held belief that I wasn’t a marketing person by joining the internship. I’m glad I did so.