Journey To The ‘Centre’ Of The Industry And A ‘Marriage’ With The Past – Abirbhav’s Internship Experience With CRISIL
Part – 1: The “Centre” of the industry – Behind the scenes of how things work
“Data ! Data ! Data ! I can’t make bricks without clay” – Sherlock Holmes
We as MBA students realise the importance of data even more. Data acts as the “lighthouse” or “navigator” required to wade through uncharted waters of the economy or the industry. Data forms the “bricks” for the policy decisions taken by organisations or the Government. Data, details and hair-splitting analysis down to the minutest details can throw up insights never imagined before. Data is thus the force which operates behind the scenes as well as acts as the “centre” of the workings of the Industry or economy as a whole.
But, where does data come from?
The answer to this seemingly tricky question is quite simple – Data comes mainly through research (or experimentation in traditional science). Note that I am talking only about primary data (not the secondary data on the subject matter, which has already been published beforehand). For MBA students, the more you research or interact with the members of your sample space, the more data you will get for a thorough and meaningful analysis. You must have guessed by now, I worked in Research division in CRISIL during my Summer Internship.
Many of you might be associating my role with “credit rating” or “equities” in CRISIL (after all, CRISIL was formerly an acronym for the Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited company, before being acquired by Standard and Poor’s or S&P – one of the Big Three Global credit ratings agencies).
My role, however, was way different from credit ratings. It will be revealed in a short while.
Part – 2: A “Marriage” with the past – For a strong foundation of a superstructure
“Life is divided into three terms – that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, and from the present, to live better in the future” – William Wordsworth
Many of us in MBA study partly to change the career path and venture into a totally new domain. This is a great idea since it helps an individual learn new concepts and apply them later in his or her career.
But what if the new concepts are learnt to bridge the knowledge gaps experienced in the past, solidify the foundations and build a superstructure for the future?
The above photograph from Daimler AG (needs no introduction – Daimler is the parent company of Mercedes Benz) showing the evolution from the nascent stages of automobiles to the futuristic concept car, depicts the same idea – a successful “marriage” of the past with the present to build a great future. My role in CRISIL offered me a very enlightening opportunity for the same – to build up on the past; my past being the world of Automobiles.
So now, I will provide a greater clarity on my role. I worked in the Research Customized division for the Automotive Sector in CRISIL during my Summer Internship. Having worked in the Automotive Sector for Companies like Mitsubishi Electric, Cummins and Keihin and interacting with their renowned customers helped me indispensably during the course of my internship. However, that is not all.
My work was to collect data and provide insights necessary for the automotive sector by and large, especially for the proposed legislation on Bharat Stage VI emission norms which will come into effect from 2020. It was a moment of realisation of the knowledge gaps I had faced during my past. Technically, I knew the concepts. But now, the “uncharted waters” or challenge came in the form of identifying the insights – what needs to be done for the Industry and policy makers? How will these regulations affect the industry? Do we have the necessary supply chain in place? What will be the effects on demand and supply? And most importantly, what needs to be done to mitigate the risks and maximise the income?
A lot of learning about the industry analysis, competitive advantage, Porter’s Forces, Resource analysis and other such concepts on Strategy helped me to answer the questions. I found a quantum of solace (not the movie) from the fact that I was able to fill up quite a lot of the knowledge gaps I had in the past while I was previously employed. I plan to further fill up more such gaps during the course of my study in IIM Trichy. The internship provided with an opportunity to think from every possible direction, especially to think and analyse about the choices and consequences. I am highly grateful to my mentor for guiding me through the project, challenging me, and helping me to learn more. I am also grateful to each and everyone I had the pleasure of interacting during the tenure of my previous employment for painstakingly explaining me the concepts over the years.
I would thus like to sum up by jotting down a few points which might be useful to you while you undertake your Summer Internship:
- Go to the workplace with an open mind, receptive to learn new concepts and practical aspects of how things work.
- Do your homework properly. Academic concepts and learning from your previous work experience should be thorough while you go to work.
- There is scope for learning in every venture you take up – whether to take up an entirely new career path, or build expertise in the work done previously. Either path is fine as long as your concepts are clear.
- Your mentor can act as a bridge between your academic concepts and the real world application of the same. Try learning the application part as much as you can from your mentor. Have an open discussion with him/her regularly about your work, updates and your doubts, if any.
- Get to know the purpose of your project, the value loop of the Company, and where exactly do you fit in. Plan your work accordingly.
- Do not be nervous or overwhelmed by your work. Think rationally what help or resources you need to do your work. Pen them down and seek guidance from your mentor, colleagues, friends or teachers.
Wish you all the very Best for your Internship..!!
(Picture credits: HBO, Daimler, Google Search)