Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Internship Experience at Exide Industries Ltd.

From the beginning of MBA journey, I was always fascinated by the stream of marketing and wanted to work in that domain only. I got the opportunity to fulfill my dream, when I got an offer from a company which has dominated the automobile battery market in India- “EXIDE Industries Ltd”.

Prior to B-School, I had worked in a Steel company in construction domain. Going back to the same type of role could have been easier, but it could have prevented me from taking the once in a lifetime occasion of stepping out of my comfort zone and exploring new avenues. With this thought I started my journey of Summer Internship. The summer internship period was close to two month and the experience was quite adventurous and full of exciting tasks.
April 1, 2013 was my first day at the regional marketing office of Exide at Kolkata. I was told to report the Regional Sales Manager at 9.30AM. I was too excited to start the wonderful journey of two month and reached there by 9.00 AM. When I reached there, the office was almost empty with the presence of two security guards. I was told by the security guards to wait till my guide come to office. Meanwhile some more interns came and they are from some Top B schools In India. I waited there almost three hour, before I called by my mentor (RSM) to his chamber. I was asked about my area of interest and some questions about academics, hobbies etc. The Regional sales manager informed me to come after two days to meet the Area manager who will be my industry guide for the period of two months.

After two days, I met my guide and I found him very co-operative and knowledgeable about the battery industry. I have been told to analyze the competitor’s market position including distribution channel and Sales promotion. The first week passed by spending time on service department looking out for information about the battery and its function. In the second week I searched Internet and asked local garage owners about the dealers and retailers of Competitor Company. So basically, I started my actual work in the third week of my Internship.

In the first phase I tried to cover the region of Kolkata. The travelling in summer in Kolkata is really tough, that too in the crowded city buses where you will be literally trapped inside .But I had to do my work irrespective of any condition. I had to visit the distributors and retailers to collect the information about the competitor company and this was not an easy task! I found this job to be quite challenging because most of the time the distributor and the retailers will not to give you any information. You have to snatch some information indirectly. I did exactly the same to collect the data.

In the second phase I visited Bankura , Purulia , Medinpore , Berhempore , Krishnagar etc.  My visits to different places were very enriching. I was travelling to all the places for the first time in my life. The travelling was quite adventurous. I traveled by Bus, Rickshaw and even took lift to visit the interior part of the area. I visited a lot of garages and met many mechanics to know their mode of working. I remember one incident where a mechanic was constantly explaining me how terrible the condition of people in west Bengal and how political parties are playing dirty games but gave a little information which I could have used in my project. Eventually I completed my entire ground work and covered most part of west Bengal.  One Good thing was that, my company had given me the freedom to work according to my plan. My guide had never pushed me to do something of his choice. I was given a complete freedom to execute the entire work.

As the final phase of my SIP came closer, I compiled all the data and prepared a complete report and presented it before my mentor. I was able to satisfy him with the effort and the information which I had collected in the period of two months. The last day of my summer internship was quite eventful with my mentor inviting me for lunch. I was informed by the corporate office to collect my certificate and the stipend. I enjoyed my work and learned many things which will definitely help me to be a successful manager. The journey ended with an experience of a life time. 

Jillam Parida
PGDM II, Marketing

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