I had the opportunity to intern with the Aditya Birla Group over the summer of 2019 as part of their Group Internship Program. The Group Internship Program, or the GIP, is part of the Aditya Birla Leadership Programs. The aim of this program is to groom exceptional individuals to be future leaders of the group. My project was with the Pulp and Fiber division of Grasim, called Birla Cellulose. Grasim is one the flagship companies of the Aditya Birla Group, and the Pulp and Fiber division is one of the market leaders in Viscose Staple Fiber (VSF) production worldwide.
I was working with the Branding and Communication division. My project involved a lot of field work, and it was very interesting. I got to travel to multiple cities and do my project in all of these various locations. I had to conduct surveys and audits, both of which I found immensely engaging. I travelled to Mumbai, Bengaluru and Pune. Each of these cities had their own vibes, and the results I got from each of them was also quite varied. It was an interesting experience for me to witness the difference of culture and behaviour in the three cities.
My first year at IIM Shillong had prepared me very well for this internship. Many of the courses that I had over the entire year, as well as all the informal learning that happened either through the course or because of the general environment, were all very helpful. In particular, my learnings during the courses on Marketing, Business Research Methods and Human Resource Management found a direct application in my internship. It was a great learning experience to carry out a live market study under the guidance of experts from the company. The discussions that were had in class, about the difficulties of carrying out a field study and the high quality of information obtainable when the direct interaction occurs were experienced firsthand.
I also believe I could contribute to Birla Cellulose with the kind of work I was doing. I was able to provide them with live information about how their activation programs were running, and this information was used to carry out immediate course corrective actions. The efficacy of these course corrective actions was also immediately measured and it was possible to fully understand the impact of all of these various decisions.
The project that I had given me a good chance to interact with consumers, and to understand how gaps creep into a well-planned ecosystem. The direct interaction also helped me understand how the consumer perceives the kind of marketing communication that a company engages in. It was interesting to observe the perception that the consumers get from any display or activation that a company engages in. I also got a chance to work across multiple teams, and to better understand cross-functional collaboration and the kind of dynamics that are present in such a situation.
My overall experience with the Aditya Birla Group was great. The Young Talent Management Team is very helpful, and they ensure that every process moves smoothly. The kind of learning that I got out of the internship, supported by the ever helpful ABG team, made my internship experience an amazing one.