Not Reinventing The Wheel, But Making It More Efficient – Gaurav’s Experience At Tata Steel Jamshedpur – IIM Indore
City of comfort
Jamshedpur, popularly known as the steel city, has a peaceful charm of the early cities established by the British. Every landmark built by Jamsetji Tata stands tall even now and has a story to tell about its legacy. The meticulous planning reminds us of the era of British architecture. The lush green township developed by Tata Steel for its employees has a stadium, a magnificent park, supermarkets and schools. All this offers comforts, convenience and a splendid life out of workplace in a city far away from the hustle-bustle of the metros. Fortunately, the rains drenched the city almost every day after our arrival. The daily 15 minute walk from Tata Steel gate to XLRI hostel through wide pavements planted with ample shady trees was as rejuvenating as a morning stroll in the Jubilee Park.
Snapshot of the project
As a part of my summer internship, I got a chance to work in the Strategic Procurement division of Tata Steel. It comes under the Supply Chain Management vertical. My project was in a relatively younger department. As compared to its counterparts where almost all the processes were pre-defined, I got the freedom to ‘build everything from scratch’. This was something that led to an enriching learning experience. This organization is more than 100 years old and has implemented all the industry’s best practices.
Not just that, it is the inventor of many value ethics, HR policies and quality standards, which are treated as a benchmark in the industry by companies all over the world. This posed a serious challenge for me to come up with an entirely new set of process maps. The knowledge management was very efficient and it was the primary source for me to get all the process literature there is, for the company. My mentor was very particular about the deliverables and meeting the deadlines.
I had to come up with a new system to manage the day to day activities of the department which involved managing vendor engagement plans, long term heavy machinery procurement, negotiations, understanding and reducing life cycle costs, benchmarking against international counterparts, improving current Information Management System, identify KPIs and evaluate them to measure the performance of the department. I was given a blank slate to draw and my hands began to tremble with anticipation! My guides made it very clear that the task was to create process management tools keeping in mind the existing system. I was asked not to reinvent the wheel but make it more efficient.
Indeed there was a work culture which I found nowhere else. Few employees have been associated with the company for so long that this was ingrained in them – the family culture… and this family parties, a lot! I barely remember if there was any weekend without a birthday or festival celebration in the office. Even the annual review meetings at Beldih Club happened to be a luxurious get together with sumptuous dinners after the methodical presentations were over.
The entire two months passed very quickly with so much happening around and two weekend getaways to Kolkata and Sundarbans. The learnings from the internship will always be engraved in my mind as this was the first time in my academic career I took something in operations and strategy. This is what MBA teaches us, to push our boundaries and do something we have never done. It forces us to climb higher and face our fears because only after you reach the top, the astounding view makes you realize all that slogging was worth it.
About the Author:
Gaurav Mandan is the student placement co-ordinator at IIM Indore. His interests are travelling, learning German and reading about current affairs.