Daily Winner for: – 8th August 2012
Name of the intern: – Gokulnath
Institute: – IIM Indore
Organization interned with: – PepsiCo India
It was the time when my batch mates were busy attending interviews for summer internships. But for me, the first short-list came after five disappointing days after the process had begun. But, I was rejected as I did not know Hindi, which the job nature demanded. Well, Hindi was the only word I knew in Hindi. Dejected and frustrated, I opened my inbox — 1 unread mail! That mail brought my mood to the other extreme. It was an offer letter for a summer internship at my dream company, the leader in the Indian beverage market, PepsiCo India Holding Pvt Ltd. I had applied for it earlier through my personal contacts.
My joining date was April 1, Fool’s Day and a Sunday. Counting on that offer I had signed out of the placement processes in my college. If it were a Fool’s Day prank, I would have had to intern at my home helping my Mom in her household chores. Thankfully, it was not. I was asked to join on April 2nd. Though I had the luxury of working from an air conditioned cabin in the office, I chose to work from the market in the front-line, as I would be exposed to the market reality. Chennai’s heat could even turn a Nimbooz into a Pepsi. So I had to make a heavy-hearted choice.
At the time I joined, Mrs. Indra Nooyi, the CEO, was on a visit to the markets of Chennai. I had to do petty jobs like cleaning up Pepsi coolers, sticking posters, etc. So did the higher employees, though. Merchandising, they called it. Of course, Pepsi kept me energized during the ten hours of work under the scorching sun. Those were the most informative days of my internship. I understood that creating brand visibility is the key to sell such impulse products. In the weeks that followed, I was dealing with channel management and managing the stocks with distributors and retailers.
Mr. Inder Kumar, a Customer Executive and my mentor, made my stint more interesting. Apart from work related discussions, we also had discussions on general topics. He inspired me with the way he handled his subordinates. So I learned human resource management along with Marketing.
Was it all about tiring field work? Not at all. My bike and my camera accompanied me on the streets of Chennai during the nights. Roads are always awesome in the dark. I kept my shutter engaged capturing the beauty of the city at night. My bike rolled for about 1700 km and my camera clicked more than 10,000 snaps in just five weeks. One night, I even encountered a couple of thugs and luckily escaped them. PepsiCo taught me a lot in the two month stint. As a Marketing aspirant, a shutterbug, a passionate biker and a road geek, I enjoyed interning at Pepsico. Pepsi turned my blood blue and made my dream come true.
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