The Student Of The Year – Marico’s Next Gen
Who has a five-year plan anymore? The industry is moving at a faster pace than it was 5 years back. For someone in marketing, it is, even more, dynamic, which is why a working professional in this field needs to constantly update himself. Meet Aditya Radhakrishnan, an NMIMS alumnus and recipient of the NMIMS Best Student of the year award (2014-16). His five-year plan includes holidaying in Vegas and becoming the finest brand manager at Marico. Let’s see how he plans to get there.
Aditya always wanted to join a company like Marico. His interest in the company was aroused much before Marico launched their ‘Over the Wall’ competition in his B-school campus. Despite landing a PPO at a Multinational FMCG company by participating in another competition, he still chose Marico. Why? According to Aditya, Marico is considered one of the top companies on his campus because of its unique culture. He says, “Over here they refer to their employees as “members” and recognize that each member is unique in their own way.” This approach is something that readily appealed to Aditya. “To me, Marico came across as a splitting mirror image of myself. What I am as a person is a personification of Marico as a company.” This sync between the candidate’s personality and Marico’s culture is what Marico looks for whilst hiring a member.
Currently a management trainee, Aditya is doing a marketing stint with one of Marico’s brands called ‘Nihar’. Even though he is a management trainee, he is handling the responsibilities of a brand manager, doing everything that a brand manager does within the scope of the project. Aditya said, “The tenure of a management training program is a year but every 2-3 months, there is a new project to work on. Essentially it means that by the time I complete one year, I will have finished 4-5 projects in different functional areas. The Management Trainee Programme is very aptly designed to understand the company and its working better.“
Interview at Marico
Interviews can be quite a grueling process in themselves. Who remembers what they read in a chemistry textbook when they were in the 10th standard? Marico realizes that it is not just a person’s technical knowledge that is important, but a cultural fit is essential as well. It is no wonder then that during his interview for the Marico internship, Aditya had a very light-hearted and informal discussion with the panel. He recalls, “The interview went quite smoothly; the panel was interested in getting to know me as a person rather than just inquiring about what I’ve done academically, which was quite refreshing and reassuring. After all, it’s not only the company you work for but also the people in the company you work with that matters.” Having said that, no matter how easy-going the interviewers are, the interviewees must prepare vigorously. Aditya tells us how he prepared for the interview, “The process is not just about them selecting you; it is also about you selecting them. Hence, you have to look at it from both perspectives. For the relationship to be fruitful, Marico has to be the company of your choice as well. In order to make this conscious decision, you must read up about the company, their culture, their brands and anything and everything that will have an implication on your candidature. At the same time, I also did all I could to sell myself as an attractive proposition to the company.“
Internship Experience At Marico
Not all companies provide an on-ground experience of their work environment the way Marico does. Marico takes the projects it gives to its interns very seriously and there is a lot of science behind who gets which project. Aditya comments, “There are frequent reviews with the senior members and you are given access to all the necessary resources to execute your project. You are given the flexibility to do anything that you want to do as long as it adds value and meaning to your project. Moreover, each intern is assigned a guide to help them with their project. But, in the end, it is up to you to ask the right questions. The project that I was handed overplayed to my strengths and was designed to leverage some of my key capabilities. Within this framework, I got the opportunity to implement my project and get a hands-on, enriching experience.” Undoubtedly, it comes with its fair share of challenges. He explains, “It’s like a scientific experiment that one conducts. Right from coordinating with the local agencies to solving all the obstacles yourself, each step is a learning experience. At the end of the day, you need to update your guide about the obstacles you faced and the measures taken to overcome them. The internship here is as good as working full-fledged with the company. They are always happy to extend support but you’ve got to be the initiator.“
So how does one secure a job at Marico?
First things first, you need to exhibit the culture that personifies Marico. Unless there is a cultural fit, both sides may not have a satisfactory experience. Aditya adds, “This is something that one cannot fake. By the end of two months, you yourself will know whether you’re a fit for the company’s culture or not. There are certain values essential to the company such as innovation, excellence, opportunity seeking etc. and if you possess these, you know you’re perfect for the company. Secondly, the way you implement and execute your project makes a big impact. If you handle it well, you’ve passed the other half of the test. “
How does the future look for the management trainee?
“With the industry evolving at an exponential pace, I just want to learn and soak in as much as I can. That said, in 3 to 5 years, I see myself as a brand manager at Marico. I want to be on top of things and make sure that things are not on top of me. Continuous growth and learning is not only a part of my 5-year work plan but also a part of my life plan.”
Key Learnings for Future Applicants:
- Do your research and take a genuine interest: Exhibiting keen interest and curiosity in what a company does is an essential part of scoring in the interview process.
- Selection is a two-way street: Make sure that when a company selects you, you also actively select the company.
- Make the most of what you’ve got: Opportunities are plenty but what you make out of those opportunities is what counts.
- Values are your best Asset: Technical knowledge will only help you to a certain extent. In the long run, it is your personal attributes and qualities that a company values.
- Learn and Keep Learning: Make continuous learning a way of life as it is a major factor in determining the sustainability of your success.
‘This is a Promoted Feature.’