Numerous feelings both good and bad cock-tailed my mind while I was anxiously looking forward to my summer internship. Firstly, I was excited about the analytics profile offered to me. Secondly, little scared since couldn't find much data about the profile despite my meticulous Googling efforts. Thirdly, little confused about myself whether I will be able to cope up with the work culture of Omega Analytics since it was a small 10 year old company. This ridiculous confusion was because of my prior work experience in a huge Indian MNC with not so flat corporate culture.
My end term was on top of the head and I still didn't have any communication about my internship. One day with great courage I called up the director who also happened to be the founder without any reply from the other side. After this stint I left a text message without much hope. But a nice warm reply enlightened me which was increased to two fold when I was told that my base location for a month will be my hometown, Guwahati. My first lesson, if you are looking forward to intern in a start-up or a small company please contact them yourself without hesitation. In an almost two hour Skype call with the director I was explained about the company, about Engineering Analytics in infrastructure sector, technologies used, detailed scope of various technologies used and brief overview of the projects I am going to work on. I felt overdosed for a while and found myself dedicating another hour revising whatever notes I could jot down during the call in-spite of my approaching end term. Two main projects I was to work on were:
- Exploring the market potential for application of Geo-spatial technologies in infrastructural projects in North-Eastern States.
- Studying requirements for route selection of gas and petroleum product pipelines in the hydrocarbon sector.
He also mentioned that I was free to work on anything on any area during my 2 months of internship apart from the above mentioned two. I had the liberty to enjoy luxurious stay at home while at the same time felt that I was missing essence of working in a small company with extremely small employee strength. Almost 3-4 days I spent half the time on Skype and phone with my mentor (the director) learning the technical and analytical aspects. Remaining time was dedicated to find more data on this B2B market from the internet. I started with PESTLE analysis of Infrastructure Industry in North-eastern regions followed by primary and secondary data collection. My research was focused on Railways, Roads, pipelines, Irrigation and hydro power sector. For gathering primary data I listed down places to visit, figured out key decision makers to meet them. Most of them held very important positions in the industry with extremely busy schedule. I had to figure out easier ways to fix an appointment with them. After 2-3 meetings I very smartly started using IIM tag to get immediate and longer appointments citing project work. My second lesson, Brand IIM work even in the remote places of the Country. These meetings served me many purposes. Gathering information about various ongoing and upcoming projects, Information on awareness of key decision makers on various geo-spatial Technologies such as GIS, Remote sensing, Photogrammetry etc., information on competitors while also subtly marketing Omega Analytics. In this span of time I got an opportunity to visit some of the beautiful neighboring North-Eastern States. After this adventurous travel and lots of pampering at home for a month it was now time to head to Bangalore to finish remaining assignments.
My office was a small but cozy place situated in the heart of Bangalore. I was delighted to meet my mentor who was also the director and founder of the company. IITB and IIMB alumnus, extremely knowledgeable and down-to-Earth person who had a stint of glorious career in Financial and IT sector before establishing Omega. I didn't have any kind of formal induction or welcome party but that small informal welcome meet was heartwarming. It was a very informal environment, Director sitting just in the next cabin and ever ready to clarify any kind of queries and doubts. After satisfactory submission of the report for the first project I started to work on my second project.
Even though I had done enormous amount of studies on various Engineering Analytics services such as project site selection, Route selection for railways, roads, power transmission lines, Drainage and irrigation canal network planning, traffic surveys etc. I had to really work hard for my second project. I had to analyze route selection process of gas and petroleum product pipelines in the hydrocarbon sector. For the entire process I had to consider both cost factors and non-cost factors to select the optimum route with the lowest cost. I had to travel back to my Chemical engineering days, find e-books on fluid mechanics and momentum transfer and do rigorous studies. My third lesson, as Steve Jobs rightly said “you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards”. I was delighted to revisit my Chemical Engineering and get the maximum out of it. Entire process ended with a positive feedback from my mentor giving me self-satisfaction on the work I did during these 2 months.
Some of the biggest challenges I faced was, within a very short span of time I had to learn about various geo-spatial technologies such as GIS, Remote sensing, Photogrammetry etc. I also had to go through some basic civil engineering and electrical Engineering concepts for railway and power transmission assignments. Additionally, meeting some of the VIPs and VVIPs in infrastructural sector was both learning experience and challenging aspect. Presentations to potential high profile clients made me go cold sometimes. In this span of time, I learnt how to deal differently with different people with different profiles. E.g. I had to be very technical while talking to the chief Engineers and on the other hand had to explain about various opportunity costs involved while meeting the higher management. My Fourth lesson, be ready to deal with any situation!
Apart from my 2 major projects I also voluntarily worked on many presentations for the marketing team as well. It was a delight to work with an amazing boss in a super flat environment. I had the entire freedom of the World to do whatever I wanted. Overall it was a tremendous learning experience at Omega Analytics Pvt. Ltd.