Last summer of 2020, I had the opportunity through my college IMT Hyderabad to pursue the summer internship program with Marico. My internship was a steep forward learning curve. Each day at Marico brought a new challenge and an opportunity to deep dive into the world of sales and distribution.
Two months with Marico
I was given the opportunity to work with the divisional sales head of West Bengal, my mentor, and the sales team of Kolkata on a project that required me to analyze the challenges in sales for new products and work with the team to create the sales strategy for the upcoming months.
I did extensive survey work with the retailers to understand their challenges and behavior to gain insights that can support my ideas and strategies.
Yes, the virtual internship did dampen the experience of overall sales to a certain extent. Still, the insightful sessions from the senior leadership sales team expanded our approach to comprehend the problem, and listening to their market stint experience gave us the flavor of sales in the FMCG industry.
Interactions with fellow interns, territory sales officers, distributors, and delivery persons helped me learn how products like Parachute and saffola flow from the manufacturers to reach the retailers' shelves via various intermediaries.
My mentor from Marico, faculty guides were highly supportive during the stint, which helped me take control of my plan, and empowered me to drive the project.
The path toward the Pre-placement offers
From sending the daily update mail to my mentor outlining my ideas and planning for project deliverables to extensive calls for retailers to build upon my insight defined my two-month journey with Marico. This was appreciated by my mentor by taking ownership of the work and developing a solid backing of my ideas.
There were roadblocks when it came to presenting my ideas articulately. I tried improving the quality of decks as much, and my mentor assisted me in honing the skill. The deck I presented had less than 7 slides. Still, the content communicated my understanding of the project, ideas, and strategies for future implications.
The post-internship process, which is the project review and discussion, was comprehensive. The interview process was more like a brainstorming session.
Eventually, the project's challenges were discussed to understand the future implementation of the project. Post internship review session with a highly experienced leader has given me a fresh approach to comprehending the problem and instilling consumer bias within me.
With various rounds of review and discussion, fortunately, I was able to cross them all to receive the pre-placement offer from Marico.