The initial two weeks of group induction followed by business induction led me to prepare the ground work for the remaining 6 weeks of my project in my business sector. Prior calls with buddy and mentor before the start of the programme actually removed any kind of novelty in my first interaction in the department. The schedule was quite intact and my mentor had allotted a specific schedule to take me through the project and line out he expectations and deliverables . The best part of the process was when my mentor invited me to attend the national dealers meet and he took me to all the senior leaders meet for the entire day. The kind of insights I got to know from just being a silent participant in these meeting with some of the senior leaders of the group is priceless. These insights regarding the future of automotive industry , the sales strategy for the next financial year and the next marketing campaign, were something one generally doesn’t come across in regular classroom lectures .
The major highlight of this phase of internship was interacting with Mr Dilip Chhabaria (the founder of DC designs and the creator of India’ first ever sports car – Avanti). My project demanded a thorough understanding of the automobile customization and modification industry. Having a dearth of prior experience in this offbeat industry, I had a challenging time to get a grasp the nuances of customization business. The eureka moment happened when I was facilitated by my mentor and department to visit Dileep Chhabaria at his Pune facility. I had a thorough discussion with all the stakeholders in my project to prepare a checklist and timeline of my engagement with DC. Needless to say , DC is considered to be the undisputed supremo of automobile customization in the country.
The next day, I had a day long engagement with DC at his workshop, where I was assigned a production manager to guide me through the customization process flow of cars ranging from BMW 5 series to Jeep Rubicon to Mahindra Marazzo to gigantic Volvo buses. After the tour of the shop floor , I had an elaborate discussion with DC, where he debriefed the nuances of customization business and patiently inquired all my queries to demystify the purview of this niche business. Surprisingly our discussion was not limited to the business scenario , but ranged from topics like the future of automobile industry to leadership and the general election 2019.
These five hours of discussion actually gave valuable lessons and insights not only in the world of customization business but also to the intricacies of entrepreneurship, leadership and designing and understanding customer psychology . It was a sheer realization how a business can be an amalgamation of one’s passion, hobby and work.
But the excitement grew manifold , when I got to take a ride in a plush new DC Avanti Roadster at his facility . The car roared like anything with its massive 250 bhp engine , which allowed it to speed up from 0 to 100 Kmph in 6 seconds. The next day ,Mr Chhabaria invited me to his private art gallery , where I came across some of the magnificent 3D paintings of sign arts from oil to acrylic. He explained me how his art proves to be a delighter for his customers. The man was a master of studying the customer psychology and was a perfectionist in creating products as desired by his customers. I came across cases , where customers couldn’t put their imagination in words and DC being a master in customer psychology , would create the exact replica based on customers gestures , reflexes and their profiles. I tried to garner as this art of customer profiling and steering a customer to a product of their desire.
Overall it was a once in a lifetime experience to know such a niche business from the person , who actually started this ecosystem in the country. The next week was spent on ideating the approach , preparing timelines and visiting customers and other stakeholders in various metro cities of the country to get a primary insight of the products and devising a road map for the business.