Summer Internship Experience At Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail
Having heard that a sales stint is unfailingly always a tiring experience, I had an opposite view of it being an enjoyable learning experience. This thought process- of enjoying the travelling and thereby getting to learn from the unique experiences helped me land in “MADURA FASHION & LIFESTYLE” as a summer intern.
Apparel industry being very dynamic in nature and requiring different business models amazed me to a great extent. The entry of big fashion giants like H & M, Zara etc in the Indian apparel retail and e-commerce discounting changed the entire scenario. Increasing disposable incomes and aspiration based purchasing along with international fashion trends have made it difficult for the marketers to predict the behaviour of the consumer. This kept me interested in this industry which is incessantly evolving.
Being an intern, I had to go to an entirely new market for evaluation of the same and spot franchisee opportunities for market development of a particular format of our brand. I had to travel to around 15 cities in 2 months in the scorching heat. I had to send a report to my mentor after the analysis of every city which kept me occupied even during the weekends. But all said and done, enjoying the whole process was very important.
Stepping into the role of the Retail Business Development Executive made me understand and explore the criteria to enter a new market ( The famous PORTER’S 5 forces and Ansoff matrix crossed my mind during the stint). Selection and Evaluation of a market that fits your own business model and the addition of retail space in a sustainable manner are both intuitive and a complex decision, which is what I had to precisely do. Interaction with the retailers, customers and every businessman in the city helped me understand the market & how it gets evolved over a period of time. Sales pitch to potential franchisees & negotiations with them were an entirely new ball game.
“MARKET” – this is a very simple word but it kept throwing me into new dimensions and meanings in every new city. That’s the beauty of it. That’s the best learning and take away from my internship.
Being a part of Trade show and being an umpire in the Cricket Premier League for the internal stakeholders made the experience a cherishable one forever.
Overall, these 2 months were nothing short of an unparalleled experience where I learnt how to deal with people and more importantly, it made me a patient salesperson as I had to face hard times when the potential franchisees, who weren’t interested in the business model, showed me my way out in a not so gentle way.
Having successfully completed my analysis and evaluation, I hope that at least 5 new stores would soon open up in the 15 cities that I covered. This will make me a proud intern who delivered what was expected of him in an impressive way.