Chandani Gupta interned at Tata Motors and shares her adventurous journey to Kolkata. Chandani is pursuing her MBA at BIT Mesra, Patna. Read on to explore her challenging story.
Before beginning this story I am closing my eyes and recalling all those special moments I had during my summer internship…yes, those were awesome and are still in my memories, not just a narrated story. It’s the real one that shows the reality a girl has to face at an unknown place. I was strictly told by my parents to choose a company which should be nearby my hometown but I was unable to stop myself in giving an interview at Tata Motors which was organized by my college. I was lucky and three of us were selected. There were two of my male friends and I was the only girl. But I decided to get my first corporate experience at Tata Motors and after a long and healthy discussion, I convinced my parents somehow.
After taking my second semester’s last exam which was on 9th May in morning, without knowing the toughness of job and role I packed up all the required things including my 4-year-old laptop that is approx two and a half kg in weight, my goodies, and of course, mothers love in the form of eatables. But that time, the weight of my luggage made me realize how much she loves me. I finally left my hometown Patna.
For the first time, I was traveling alone and realized that my fear is the biggest strength of mine. I was fearful from inside but was confident from outside. But at that time, fear was suppressed with my curiosity of seeing the new part of India which was quoted by my college teacher as the ‘City of Joy’. I arrived in the morning at 7 AM and 10 AM was the reporting time. After the long journey, I was very conscious about my look and dressing. So, I got a simple hotel for 500 bucks for a touch-up and then reached the regional office of Tata Motors, Kolkata. This was my first exposure to corporate. What a busy day it was, everybody was in a hurry. Later on, I got to know that they are from Sales and Marketing division, and Saturday is the day when they need to complete their weekly targets. We left office at 5 pm. As I was having money constraint, I started finding a PG as I was not willing to pay for the hotel again. I got one PG nearby the office.
Initially, for two weeks, we were instructed to go through all the catalogs provided by the company. My actual work, which was “To find the satisfaction level of 100 fleet customers and data consolidation,” was assigned to me on the 15th day, and my real journey started from then. I was not having a single idea about the city, its people, its customs, behavior, and the language. Language was the biggest barrier for me there, but my sister who was earlier studying in Kolkata taught me a few lines including ‘kota gare’ (how much for this), ‘kothaye jabe’ (where are u going) and most important one ‘Dada ami bangla bujhte pari naa te bolte pari na aamate Hindi te kato joga jogi korun’ (I cant speak Bengali, please talk in Hindi).
Finding 100 fleet customers was never an easy task but it was quite interesting. It never gave me a chance to see places of Kolkata, but I can still say I have seen Kolkata very closely. I made a target of 8 fleets per day. Every night was curious and days were adventurous. Down the lanes of Kolkata, I was meeting several kinds of people; some were interesting and informative giving me a lot of business as well as cultural knowledge, some were confused who didn’t even know why do they like (or don’t like) our products, some were kind enough to help me in searching for other customers, and some were disgusting enough to call me at midnight.
I remember a lady who was really inspirational. She was a lady owning more than 30 passenger cabs in Kolkata. I got a chance to meet her but it was just by chance. She told me her story that with how much courage had she continued her father’s business at the early age of 15 after his death, which was refused to handle by his brothers. That time she was having just two cars but by her strong vision and commitment, now she is one of the top listed customers of all the existing vehicles brands. She made me realize the strength a women possesses. The inspiration helped me in early completion of my task and I was back to Patna on 9h July. I have read somewhere “live life and die hard”. But she taught me to “die hard to live life”.
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