When Fantasy Sports becomes your Job! – Internship at Vinfotech
Interactions, formal or informal, with seniors told me that B school summer internships are a nightmare more often than not. You are one intern in a leading firm expected to deliver results which are unreasonable. And so we reached Vinfotech on April 1, 2015, all set to sacrifice every calorie, minute and happiness for the next two months. Much to my surprise, the scenario was far from my horrifying presumptions.
We landed at our office, to be greeted by our HR. After the ceremonious introduction to the usual intranet, laptop and email usage by the IT team, we set off to meet each one of the employees there. Vinfotech, with a strength of nearly 200 employees passionate about developing some top notch User Interface (UI) and user experience for websites, mobile applications and IT solutions. It has completed many projects in industries such as sports, health care and shipping.
I was selected as an Assistant Project Manager (APM) in the sports domain. What’s so great? Well, just about everything! You get to manage some of the awesome UI for your favourite fantasy sports websites. You draft a game to test it whenever you like. You work with sports data analytics and much more.
Let’s talk business: A little bit about my project
As APM one is expected to know the entire process that is followed from a market lead till delivery. So I hopped on the learning curve, guided by my buddy or mentor as you’d like to call him. Given a few days to study some of the websites and the Project Management process, I gave my inputs as to what could be done to improvise the cycle and was now set to assist a project. My first task was to plan out the payment mechanism for a fantasy sports site. For those of you in the e-commerce domain would say it is a piece of cake. But considering site commissions, player bets, distribution of prize money and refund in case of cancellation the transactions become bidirectional unlike e-commerce where the payment only goes from a customer to the vendor. I spoke to the client almost on a daily basis to understand
Having done a little testing and a little payment, it was now time to take on a project by myself. This was a fantasy sports site which required some major revamping. Here again, I interacted with our client across the globe almost daily maintaining a good rapport and receiving his inputs as to what exactly he expects from the project. Once the requirements were set, priorities were set and work began. Continual motivation and follow ups with the development team were my agenda for the next few days to speed up delivery. Some gaps in communication, knowledge and time uncertainty were what made the project challenging.
Not all work
For those who’d know, Indore is famous for food – Street food. Our office was situated right New Palasia which is where the most famous street food area ‘Chhappan Dukaan’ of Indore is located. Needless to say, we had some variety of munching material from poha, coffee and juices to dosas to rolls to rajma & rice to paratha platters to hot dogs, ice creams and mousse. Our group at office was a pretty lively bunch. We went out to different cafés and restaurants trying out Italian cuisine, Chinese favourites and Marwadi thali’s. Well, that should be enough of food in my article.
What did I take home from my internship (other than a free t-shirt and a mug)?
Talking about learnings from the internship, I have quite a bit to say. This is the first time I worked on a Project Management role where the clients are billed on the number of hours taken to complete the task.
- My first learning was the entire process followed in executing a project. The framework followed and synchronization with client as well as back end team at every step.
- I had some exposure to different payment gateways used for online payments and their business models while assessing their pros and cons. Similarly I had some experience with hosting servers used for our client’s website
- My project where I had the opportunity to interact with the client on a regular basis, taught me to deal with client requirements and translate them into technical tasks for the developer. Nearly daily conversations showed that it is essential for us to think from the client’s point of view as well as from point of view of company’s resources.
- Since the client is not billed per task but per hour of effort, I realized that the time estimation given for each task was extremely critical.
To sum it up, it was two months of a great experience with a comfortable work environment and a feeling of belonging to the group.
-Urvaksh Tavadia, IIM Indore