‘Your Objective Is To Get The Job; Not To Impress The Interviewer’ – HPCL Intern – Summer Saga 2018

Organization: Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited

Project Title: Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning of Composite Cylinder in Mumbai Market.

On the very first day, as I entered the HPCL Marketing HQO located in Fort, Mumbai, I was taken aback by the workforce of the organisation, stalwarts who have a minimum of 25 years of work experience in the domain appear everywhere in HQO. It was a rich and enthralling experience to work for an organisation which works for itself and the country. The first day equally exciting and daunting, to my relief, my manager was nonchalant and was fully supportive throughout the internship.

I was assigned to General Manager of Technological Unit and Business Development to look into boosting sales of the composite cylinder, a new product which HPCL is planning to launch within six months’ time. As I was briefed about the project it was evident that I had to conduct survey for the three assigned regions where the cylinder was launched on pilot basis I was more nervous than excited as I had to conduct survey for as much as 1200 customers, luckily sales officers have come to my rescue and I had to do 1/4th of the survey, i.e., 300 responses. The first week was more of knowledge transfer from HPCL experts on Sales and Technical unit second and third weeks I involved myself in spending time with customers at distributors offices, which was part of qualitative survey, inspired from the notions of engagement with customers, I have prepared a questionnaire with the help of my mentor and guide. There were opposing views, productive discussions, arguments and agreements from my mentor and guide which enhanced the questionnaire further. The entire 4th week I had dedicated time only for questionnaire preparation and ideation for the final report. Most of 5th,6th and 7th weeks of the internship I have spent time with customers, have visited chawls (basti) to understand their apprehensions over the product.

By the end of the 7th week, I had received survey responses from sales officers. Meanwhile, I have been penning the final project report outline. After receiving the survey responses, I dumped them onto SPSS and Tableau which helped me in analysing the data as well as visualising, I made a lot of inferences from both tools and presented the same, mentors and manager was quite happy regarding the report.

One major thing what I learnt here while doing an internship at HPCL is the ability to think from multiple facets which can only be gained from classroom training. In the report which I have submitted, I was shabby at the beginning of the internship then, later on, I started analysing things from various courses which I have undergone in my first year PGP, thinking from operations facet helped me in analysing the problems faced during the delivery of cylinders by distributors, then from economics perspective, both microeconomics and macroeconomics concepts such as first movers advantage and oil shocks respectively, wearing strategy hat and analysing the data helped a lot in terms of prospects of the product in the short term and long term. I have tried analysing the product, and its attributed from the financial facet but was prohibited by the mentor as it gets cumbersome after specific steps of analysis.

The most exciting thing is that I have skipped Research in Marketing Decisions course in my 3rd term, for which I had my regrets, fortunately, to analyse the survey data I had to go through fundamental concepts of Research in Marketing Decisions and SPSS Software which helped in analysing the data more deeply.

Things which HRs lookout for potential employees in HPCL: Zeal to work for the nation, as a person/candidate cannot be selected at higher rung positions one has to clear all India exam conducted by HPCL for various roles.

You are expected to be a go-getter regarding anything when you join as a trainee or at lower rung.

Things which HRs lookout for potential employees (other organisations):

Do not think of the interview as an oral exam, where you by-heart certain answers to a specific question and blurt out the same answers when a similar question is posed. Think of it as a discussion which happens between you and an older adult (your friend’s father/mother or someone of similar age).

Remember, the interviewer is interested in knowing you rather than the answers you give him. Try to give anecdotes which can substantiate the facts with some real-life experiences.

  1. Speak with confidence and enthusiasm, be distinct in your tone.
  2. Use simple English; your objective is to get the job and not to impress the interviewer