“Most of what is known about me is a rumour, my story is far more interesting"
I have always been interested in psychology as a science. I love reading Freud, Viktor Frankl, Nietzsche and then I came across Edward L Bernays. His use of psychology to influence consumer behaviour was no less than magical for my little mind. And from there I developed an inclination towards Marketing. My main motivation to join MBA was to excel in the same and get to meet the modern day Bernays. And I couldn’t be happier to get placed in CEAT Tyres under RPG group. On interaction with my seniors and friends, I got a hint of what it held for me. I heard praises for the open culture of the RPG group and an FMCG approach to Sales and Marketing in CEAT Tyres and then, all there was left of it was to wait for it.
During our induction period, we were given a run through of the length and breadth of the businesses under the umbrella of RPG. And I can swear on the fact that everyone present in the room imagined himself/herself as a part of the humongous group and there far reaching arms in related and unrelated businesses. The vision of the management board stopped nowhere short of infinity. After induction, we were sent to our location of work and the game began.
I was posted in Delhi and my project involved Industry Study and further benchmarking, in simple terms implying a lot of time under the sun. I would admit that I find marketing interesting due to its roots in psychology, but Sales as its twin sister is not something I have been quite fond of. But the support of my seniors at the office in every step of the way made the journey more of a pleasure than I had presumed it to be.
In hindsight, I would say that understanding the multiple aspects of CEAT Sales was one of the best things that have happened to me since I joined the MBA life. The intricacies and execution, problems and solutions to those problems, the chain with so many stakeholders worked like a well-oiled machinery to keep everything running optimally. Moreover, in this rhapsody, the elements of RPG's core focus on Happiness remained intact and touched the last partner in the queue, and that is undoubtedly an admirable feat for me.
After, understanding the business of CEAT, now started my real work where I was supposed to visit different channel partners across the chain in different industries to get their feedback about distribution system and draw insights out of them. I visited distributors and/or dealers from 19 companies comprising of 5 industries to understand the distribution value chain and their source of competitive advantage. The research done in the 2-month span was an eye-opener and start of my love for the Sales role. I knew the contribution of psychology in Marketing, but I realised here that Sales is surely the foundation of it. I saw the importance of the customer relationship management, keeping even the smallest channel partner happy and everyone under check ‘cos that was the only thing that will, in the long run, ensure trickling of policy benefits to customer and profitability of the overall company.
At the end of my internship, my love for the RPG group was surpassed by the love for my internship project. It had become more like a part of me and my main motivation to join the group. As the curtain prepared to draw on this amazing journey, I started to start filtration of all that I did in the past two months to recommend the solutions to the problem at hand. And, I got a chance to present my work to the Sales Head at CEAT, and the mere feeling of presenting it to him was like a recognition of the efforts I put in since the time I came as an intern in this group. There were a lot of takeaways from my internship including the importance of stakeholders in every business, importance of channel partner co-operation and cross-disciplinary application of almost every concept. But the most important one which is so simple that it hides in plain sight is to seek help from anyone and everyone, sometimes the key to your problem might lie with the person sitting next to you.