Life is a roller coaster ride where low moments are meant to stretch till zenith. With utmost dedication and hard work Ravi (third from right) not only proved himself but also was able to stand as the best employee. His story will make you believe that money is not everything that everyone desires, there are people who follow their heart.
A philosopher says and I quote, “Choose a job that you like, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
The story of my internship is more or less the same. I am a PGDM student with marketing as my major. While other friends of my college were getting selected for sales profile in different companies which came to our college for SIP (summer internship program), from the bottom of my heart I was praying, “Please god don’t give me sales I want to do core marketing”. Sales is necessary but doesn’t catch my eyes. Thanks to almighty god I got the marketing profile in an IT travel company (since the company was of medium size and in IT, travel marketing was not the key differentiator with the competitors, the CEO was himself handling the work and for the first time they recruited someone for marketing profile).
On April 6th 2015, my internship started. We were 5 friends from the same college in the company, 4 were in sales and I was in marketing. For the initial one week we were told about the industry, how our company works, what were the products offered and technical stuff. From the second week onwards the sales guys were asked to go to field and I was the only student among the other employees.
My first task was to do a competitor analysis. I am sure most of my friends will agree to this, that for performing a competitor analysis we go for secondary resources. We use ‘Google baba’ and find out other companies working in the same domain, dig into their sites and collect information from various other sites as well. I did the same and within 2 days presented a report to the CEO. I still can’t forget that day. He said and I quote, “You have wasted my time, your work is only 5% of what I expected from you. I want all the information, their product line, features, cost and other things. Next time when you have something real then only take appointment.”
In IT travel industry (my company develops travel portals like yatra, makemytrip etc. So the cost of developing portal with all payment gateway and APIs, varied a lot in the industry) variation is quite huge in the services and cost. So I did an Indian jugad. I bought a new SIM card, created a new gmail account under the name “Happy tours and travels”, listed myself on the ‘JustDial’. Then I started calling each one of 25-28 competitors as a potential customer. I asked them for their services and if they could give me an appointed (for companies in Delhi, I met them personally in their office, for outside Delhi I booked skype appointments). I collected all the details and I was very happy as more than 70% of them responded nicely (they gave me all the information, what technology they are using, some of them also gave a demo of their products which I recorded with a software in my laptop). Again I went to my mentor with the excel sheet filled with information. But he again surprised me. He told me to take the deal to the next level, negotiate with them and check how low you can go with the price. I learned that in negotiation, patience and time plays very important role. If the seller knows that you need his service then he is on the high ground but if you show them with your actions that you have other better options also, then my friend you have the advantage.
I negotiated with each one of them. It took me more than 4 weeks and seriously I was enjoying that a lot. I loved it when a lot of people called me sir and requested me to take their product. Sales guys called me in the evening before weekend that this deal would make his weekend if I agreed (the cost of the deal was between 4-15 Lacs). One company, I won’t name them but they dropped their price to 4 Lacs from initial proposal of 13.8 Lacs.
Finally I compiled all the data in one sheet presented it before the whole sales team along with my CEOs, explained the way I took to collect the data and that presentation ended with a standing ovation. After the meeting the sales team came to me and congratulated me for my work and told me that the sheet was amazing as that would help them while pitching their product, and they could highlight the difference as they now know everything about the competitor’s product.
After that presentation I was on the cloud nine. My CEO then transferred all the marketing activities to me. I was working on things I wanted. During two months of internship I took only one leave compared to my friends who took more than 7-8 leaves. I was then asked to hire the PR service for the company. I shortlisted the PR agencies and took their initial round of presentation, conveyed what my company wants to achieve and what their role should be. In short I was the acting marketing head of the company. I signed contracts (my CEO said the deals with the magazines that I close will be signed by me). I remember in one of the contract the opposite party wrote “contact person: Ravi (marketing head)”. That was the second happiest moment of my life.
The happiest moment happened in the last. I had a great time in the company. My mentor was very happy, I had a great impact on the other employees too. They all became my friends. On the last day my CEOs collected all the interns in the conference room and gave them their completion certificates. When my number came, he asked the HR head to read the paper in my envelope. The first was obviously the completion letter. The next paper was the ‘Best performer certificate’ (which my friends and the entire sales team was expecting). I was on the clouds. Then breaking all the expectations of my friends and mine the last letter was the PPO. They offered me to work with them. The HR, CEOs were also happy to give me the letter. They all clapped for me and my mentor congratulated me with a firm handshake and said ‘nice work’. I wanted to say to him that during my time there what I was doing, I never felt that I was working, it was fun talking to new people, convincing them for your idea, negotiating with them on your terms.
I really enjoyed those 2 months of my internship, and I suggest all my fellows should only take the opportunities if that interest them not because of the money or the name.
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