Shuvo Dey’s Internship Experience At Idea Cellular Ltd

It all started on the zeroth day of our Summer Placement Process. The result came at around 11 pm. Four of us got selected for doing our summer internship with Idea Cellular Ltd. Now let’s fast-forward to 20thMarch, 2017, the day I received my Internship project, and more importantly, my internship location. Apparently, I had 13 days to mentally prepare myself to spend the 2 months of internship days in BIHAR & JHARKHAND. Yes, that was the location allotted to me. Being a person who has spent his entire life only in cities like Kolkata, Mumbai & Pune, I had to adjust myself to deal with people from a place with extremely different demography. Gradually I came to know that I was the only person in our batch to have gotten a location in these states. Considering the perception (rather the misconception) most parts of India carries for Bihar, it was not late before people started consoling me for the location. And along with consolation came the innumerable suggestions to deal with the people from Bihar. More than being helpful, the suggestions seemed quite threatening to me. Thankfully the HR SPOC (who was coincidentally a super-senior) was constantly in touch with me informing the details about my stay in Patna.

Being a person who has spent his entire life only in cities like Kolkata, Mumbai & Pune, I had to adjust myself to deal with people from a place with extremely different demography. Soon, I came to know that I was the only person in our batch to have gotten a location in these states. Considering the perception (rather the misconception) most parts of India carries for Bihar, it was not late before people started consoling me for the location. And along with consolation came the innumerable suggestions to deal with the people from Bihar. More than being helpful, the suggestions seemed quite threatening to me. Thankfully the HR SPOC (who was coincidentally a super-senior) was constantly in touch with me informing the details about my stay in Patna.

I reached Patna on 2nd April, 2017, a day before my reporting day. A driver was waiting with a car at the airport to take me to the hotel, where accommodation was given to us for the 1st week of our internship by the company. There I met the other 2 interns who also got the same location. One of them was from IIM Indore and was interning in the service delivery domain, the other from IIFT Delhi and having project in Sales &Marketing profile like me.

My Project was to increase the 4G SIM upgrade among the smartphone users of the circle. Bihar & Jharkhand circle was in the process of launching 4G, and they had already launched in 5 towns and 7 more towns were about to get 4G in the coming 2 months. This project, being a live one and the phenomenon of 4G being the latest sensation in the telecom sector, had a huge learning scope for me. The Mobile Broadband Head of the Marketing team of Bihar& Jharkhand Circle was allocated as my guide. Whenever I was sitting in the circle head office, I had the opportunity to sit right next to my guide. This rare opportunity gave me the chance to get accustomed with several managerial aspects of any company.

I have seen the whole marketing approach change in a single day for a circle. Recommendations were made, planned, approved and implemented in a matter of 3-4 hours to stay ahead of the competitors. Above all, my guide is the most workaholic person I have ever come across. For him, weekends are an illusion, and working hours start at 9 am and it can never end before 10 o’clock at night. His dedication inspired me so much so that in the 61 days of internship, I took only 3 days in total as holidays (1 of those 3 was obviously dedicated to “Bahubali 2”).

During my stint with Idea Cellular Ltd, I had to visit markets of Muzaffarpur, Siwan & Patna in Bihar and Ranchi & Dhanbad in Jharkhand. In the process of meeting 310 retailers and 278 customers, I had to sit at places like retail shops and roadside umbrella shops, I had to deal with retail shop owners as well as Distributor Sales Executives (DSE), and I had to sometimes walk 4-5 hours at a stretch or ride behind the motorbike of DSEs through half the town. But all these were really useful in understanding the crust of actual market. For all I know, you can never be a true marketer as long as you are not aware of your actual market. During this whole process I got the helping hands of so many people from Bihar and Jharkhand, which I could never imagine at any metro city. People were literally waiting for the chance to help me out.

Finally came the day of my final review presentation. To be able to put across all our ideas in the stipulated time frame, we all made small presentations. But to our surprise, all 3 of us interns gave presentations for 2 hours each. It was more like a detailed discussion with the top level management. The marketing head (my assigned mentor) was the most enthusiastic person who critically questioned each of our ideas for the 6 long hours. My substantial achievement out of this internship would be my 4-5 ideas which the marketing head, on that very spot, asked his team to implement immediately giving a sense of satisfaction to me.

Through these 2 months of experience, I have realized that at this very moment in India, Telecom is the most challenging industry to work in. The extent of unpredictability that is present currently due to several recent activities has made this industry the best one for any newcomer who is enthusiastic about learning. Also, the rare opportunity I got to work in a project which is related to both Sales and Marketing domain, has given me the exposure which any intern dreams of.

I guess the words of the HR Head on my last day in the internship sums up my experience the best: “The chance of burn-out is highest is Telecom Industry due to its dynamic nature, but the same dynamism makes everyday so interesting, that it’s totally worth it.”

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