For Manindar Kumar Nayak, his Summer Internship Placement (SIP) was the reason for many adventures through the state of Madhya Pradesh. Originally from Bokaro Steel City in Jharkhand, Manindar took on a summer internship through Kirloaskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies (KIAMS) with TTK Prestige.
Manindar applied for the internship because of his interest in the FMCG sector, and his ultimate aim to work in the area of customer servicing. The research project he undertook helped him understand the kind of work that lies behind building a marketing strategy. This will help him directly with his specialisation in Marketing and Operations at KIAMS.
Manindar’s project with TTK Prestige was to conduct exploratory market research to analyse the market share, competitors, pricing, distribution, quality and perception of buying by dealers and customers. For this, he conducted face-to-face research, and interacted with dealers, distributors, sub-dealers and retailers on the various aspects listed out in the feedback forms given to him by TTK Prestige. The interactions were formal and informal, depending on the situation.
Roaming from town to town, conducting a market research project, Manindar’s accommodation varied between lodges and PGs and found himself eating at local dhabas, restaurants and food courts. The internship certainly was intensive, but so were the learnings that Manindar brought back from it. It helped him learn work ethics, industry work culture, sales and operational process. Working during the summer months, when it is marriage season in some parts of India, also forced him to sometimes pursue dealers and distributors who were unwilling to meet him due to lack of time! While the entire process of surveying was long and exhaustive, this was an unexpected situation that he had to put some effort into working around.
The internship, despite its challenges, provided a steep learning curve for Manindar. He learnt, through practical work, about customer attitudes, beliefs, demands and behaviour patterns and gained other market insights as well. He was also helped by the KIAMS faculty at all stages, especially his mentor, who guided him throughout and help increase his interest in the process of survey and analysis. This hands-on internship will go a long way in helping him secure a job within marketing and operations after he graduates.