Wildcraft... Ready for anything!
Along with the tagline, these words are more than befitting to describe the internship experience at Wildcraft.
The brand as we know is a Head to toe outfitter for outdoors. The organization claims and lives up to the characteristics of a startup. It has an almost flat structure, has no cubicles or cabins, and when it comes to approachability, for any help needed, all you need to do is ask. Due to a strong conviction in its products, Wildcraft has carved itself as a product-based company.
The induction, which was a week long and frenetic in itself, walked us through the functioning of the industry. It also involved introductions and briefings from different divisions of Wildcraft. It even gave us the opportunity to know the who’s-who of the company. We even had a career counselling session, where an esteemed dignitary from a prestigious institute was invited to council us about career planning. On the last day of our induction, all the interns got their locations. I was the only one who was deployed on a location different from his preference. It was Hyderabad, the city of biryani.
Post induction, I joined the Hyderabad branch office. Hyderabad has a branch office, and all operations in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are centralized from there. Being a branch office, it had fewer staff members, which had its ayes and nays. Smaller workforce meant everyone was approachable; the atmosphere of the office couldn’t have been more accommodating. The flip side to it was, as there weren’t too many people, getting a wider perspective about things was curbed to a certain extent. The projects I worked upon were part of an Area Sales Manager’s job role and covered different facets of marketing, from Business Development to achieving sales targets. Most of the work required field visits, so almost all of my time was spent in the market, be it with the dealers/outlets or the distributors.
In the first week itself, all the definitions and concepts I had assimilated in lectures, went astray. The silver lining in the umpteen rejections I faced during this time was the first order I closed for the company. It was like getting straight A’s in your exams or scoring a goal in a football match. The feeling stays with you for a long time. I still get a buzz out of it. Another experience worth mentioning is being part of a new category launch. Expanding in a category, which already has too many competitors, is an uphill battle. Here, developing a negotiation process to close a win-win deal is quintessential in order to develop a long-term productive relationship with the dealers. It gave me an exposure of being involved in all the three tiers of sales. I even got a brief hold on how to drive sales numbers for real. However, the hours were long and I hardly got a day off, the learnings outweighed the exertion and the experience was invaluable.