Duty makes us do things well, but love makes us do them beautifully.
The date September 10, 2015 will remain etched in my memory for a long time. On that eventful day, I got selected for internship in my dream company, Dabur, a 130-year old enterprise and one of the most recognizable brands in the country. I feel privileged that my first stint in the professional world was at this FMCG major. The only formal knowledge that I had about marketing was through the two subjects that I was taught in my first year at IIM Rohtak. The sessions on marketing organized by the seniors were certainly helpful. So, with no prior corporate experience, I set out for this venture with the learning mode switched on. Thankfully, my mentors were considerate enough to train a novice like me and they patiently addressed all my queries. From the very first day at work, I was made to feel at home.
In the first month, I was planning, executing and evaluating an online campaign with a team in which the company’s investment was significant. I understood the intricacies of generating ideas that a brand uses to communicate with its customers. Moreover, I also learnt how a campaign of such a large scale requires cross-functional teams and agencies working in tandem. My stint there drew parallel with a T-20 game. The 60-day experience in marketing and sales with a lot to deliver was quite similar to playing a 20-20 game in full swing. Weekends were like strategic timeouts for us to analyze our previous week's performance and make strategies for the coming week. A public holiday in between was as if the rain had stopped the play. Field Umpires got replaced when restructuring was done in the organization. We needed to maximize our output in the initial days, which were quite akin to the power-play overs, so that the target for the month (required run-rate) remained achievable.
I feel glad that my project was something that actually contributed to the company. I owe this to the seriousness with which Dabur treats its interns. I got exposed to research, technical, legal and financial aspects of product development. I was amazed to know that people who are managing top brands do not talk rocket science. The only difference is that they have a very clear-cut understanding of how to handle difficult situations.
In the following month, I was really delighted to get a project in e-commerce. The icing on the cake was that I got to sit with a team of account managers handling trade with big e-retail chains. To better understand the core of sales which happened on ground, I made market visits and observed how the ‘aam aadmi’ bought items of daily needs. Market visits to stores helped me understand how dynamics of company’s sales and distribution work at ground level. I was accompanied by sales executives who had on-ground experience of implementing the sales strategy of the company. I also got a chance to visit the warehouse of a major national online grocer.
Adding to the fun was being present on an ever active floor of brand managers, a place abuzz with intriguing discussions like the creative briefs of advertisements. There were trials for new products that gave us the privilege to use them way before the rest of India. I also got numerous opportunities to attend workshops and presentations by e-commerce firms, media agencies etc. along with the whole marketing team of Dabur.
Finally, I owe this enriching experience to my college, IIM Rohtak, for providing me the platform to intern with a giant in FMCG sector. My eagerness to learn helped me capitalize on inputs from the whole gamut of individuals I interacted with, right from the Heads of Marketing to my fellow interns. In hindsight, I can say with certainty that “those were the best days of my life!”
About the Author:
Pravah Purohit is a second year student at IIM Rohtak. He’s a Graduate in Electronics Engineering from Nirma University. He is also a part of Academic Affairs Committee at IIM Rohtak.