Like any other kid in India, I have also grown up eating “Tata ka namak”. Into the teen-ages, in an attempt to look cool and hep, I also confess to have shifted to use Fastrack and titan. Lately, to look more graceful, I also have started paying attention to the dazzling jewellery sets of Tanishq. Never through all this time did I pay attention to the fact that Tata is such an integral part of my life until that day!
Two interviews, back to back, grilling me to death. Only to apologize at the end & take me onboard! That is the modesty that every single manager at TAS has. Modesty, though, never steps in between the royalty that is being a TAS manager.
Five months later, there I was in the scorching humid heat of Mumbai, driving to TAJ.
Receptionist greets me with a smile, ‘Miss Saxena, your roommate has already checked in. This is the key to your room. Welcome’. I see foreigners’ kids running around the lobby and hear some language that I don’t recognize. Shops of fancy brands that I have not even heard of surround the place. It is THE FEEL! The energy that TAJ has. For all I can say, it smelt royal!
I, all this time stood there startled on the fact that somebody had called me “Miss Saxena”.
The next blissful morning when we entered Bombay House, I felt the electricity in that building. We were moved to a hall, which was there since conception of the building. The thought that the very room we were sitting in had been occupied by Ratan Tata & Cyrus Mistry some time or the other was amazing!
The dream world took me to Tata Communications Limited, Delhi to work with the strategy development team. In any other firm, you would expect to be welcomed by HR manager or perhaps a talent acquisition team member? We get a welcome by the Vice president himself!
“The go to person for any problem, he is truly a Superman, it is just that he can’t fly” says a momento in his office. In two months, I believe it, word by word.
I sat in his office where he explained the project details. Developing a new partnership program for their prospects. Tata communication if you must know does NOT sell docomo or Tata sky. It focusses on telecommunication specific needs of businesses (B2B, yes). Starting with understanding every single product on the portfolio (trust me it is a LOT of information to soak in!) and then talking to a large number of account managers. It would seem too hard to even start when there is absolutely no model to bank upon. In Tata, that is what they have been doing! My internship gave me a platform to think big, learn and grow! With a lot of data collection (including categorising prospective companies, hundreds!) understanding the point of view of Tata and the vision of the team I came up with a partnership program. This is where the excitement peaked to another level. Field testing.
It allowed me to talk to CXOs of other companies. Seek a first-hand review of my work on the field by the people it was made for. In Delhi AND in Mumbai. Tata lets you do the work the way you want to. You want to travel, make sure your work did not get region specific because you were working in one place, GO, FLY! (I must admit it was challenging to update your work, real time!)
My schedule included talking to VP & AVP sales and discussing various possibilities in the future with each step, on a DAILY basis! The thing I love about this place is, they are as cool as your college seniors will be. All you have to do is walk up to them and ask.
It ended in an equal grand way as it started. More than anything over in the last two months, I am taking a huge amount of learning with me, which is unparalleled! Extensive knowledge about telecom products, talking to vendors, challenges of a partnership model, restrictions to a partnership model, how to bypass those challenges, how to fool around a company (how to stop someone from fooling around, of course!) to something as simple as how to talk to people.
Being in TAS, till date has been the most fruitful two months of my life and I would cherish these for the rest of my life.
— (This is an official entry to the Summer Saga 2015 Competition. If you have an internship story that could compete against the best in India, give it a shot! Read the instructions here and start writing!)