Believing in yourself is the first secret to success. Saleem is pursuing MBA and shares his wonderful experience of internship days.
My internship with Ramco systems, Chennai commenced on April 8, 2015, 9: 00 AM, which was just 48 hours after my wedding, which took place in Madurai. So check out how much dedicated and engrossed I would have been with respect to my internship.
I’m sure not all of you would be aware of Ramco systems and few would get confused with Ramco Cements. So let me give some information about their products and services. They are market leaders in providing ERP software’s with cloud based solutions in various domains including Aviation and HCM. It is a mid-sized product based firm headquartered in Chennai and have 21 offices worldwide catering 100+ clients in all sectors.
I got an opportunity to intern as a Pre-sales Consultant in their Aviation team which had a team size of 30 people spread across Chennai, Singapore and Dubai. So after the usual formalities of system allocation and certificate verification processes , my unit HR representative took me to the 5th floor of the 8-Storey building in Chennai where my team members was sitting.
The HR took me to the senior manager’s cabin for introducing me, but he was not available in his room, the HR saw that he was in the conference room with all the team members explaining something on the white board where it had graphs, charts and chits of paper stuck all over.
When the HR was about to knock the door, he smiled to her and signaled her to make me wait in the waiting room. So the HR conveyed the same and told me to wait in the conference room where he would be meeting me after the discussion. Seeing the intensity of the discussion and the tensed faces of all employees in the discussion room, I thought I’m screwed up for the next 2 months and I assumed I would have to work for 12 hours a day, which would ruin all my evening plans of taking my wife out for dinner, movies and shopping as that period was supposed to be our first week of wedding.
While I was thinking about this scene, my mind moved on to think about the first impression concept taught to us as part of our Organizational Behaviour course , which explains that , if you provide a great first impression to your bosses you are working with, then there would be good rapport and confidence built between both of them. So in order to impress him, I started to revise the notes I had prepared about the company and the product I was going to work on. I also checked their share price, balance sheet and profits for that quarter, so that I have to keep up the image of an IIM student and I was the first intern from IIM Udaipur who was recruited by Ramco.
After 20 minutes, the phone in the conference room rung with a loud tone and 40 faces turned and stared at me, so to handle that, I picked up the call. The conversation went like this “Hello Saleem, I’m Chalapathy (Senior Manager) speaking, Could you please come to the conference room in 6th Floor ASAP??? I replied “Sure sir”, The next sentence gave me heart break “Saleem, Hope you are familiar with the NPV, IRR and evaluation concepts as part of Corporate finance, we would need your assistance in explaining to our Chartered Accounts team who are gathered here. Hope you do well and have a great time. Meet you after the discussion”.
In a low voice I replied, “Ok sir”. Once I kept the phone, it was like a cardiac arrest and slowly I climbed up the floor and reached near the conference room. Peeping from outside I found there were 30 people with laptops in front of them and the notice board had Equity, Wacc, CAPEX and financial terms written. I thought it’s going to be a nightmare, but once I entered the room, the lights went off and the music was on and all resources started shouting, “Welcome to the Team Saleemmmm, “. This was the best prank I have ever been part of and later they told me to introduce myself and made me comfortable by asking questions about my college and hobbies.
This was the start I got and it was an amazing feeling which I experienced that day. At the end of the gathering my mentor took me to his cabin and explained me about the project and the objective behind it. The assignment involved marketing and strategy , unlike other firms who doesn’t give much importance to interns and their projects, Ramco was completely opposite and they gave real time projects which could be implemented in their systems.
So I got a very interesting project to create a framework for requirements prioritization and it involved extensive research (Primary and Secondary) on market analysis, segmentation and competitors. My mentor send me a detailed mail at the end of second day, highlighting the expectations from the project, schedules for mid and end reviews with DU leads and other team point of contacts. He told me to contact 2 of my colleagues for queries related to the project work.
The work culture was awesome and every resource was very friendly. Irrespective of their hectic schedule, they cleared my queries and all the process followed was very stream lined. Ramco HR team ensured that employee engagement is taken seriously, they spend decent budget for birthday bashes and other parties. They also provide monetary recognition for high performers and on the spot awards were frequently provided to motivate the resources.
They had brought few work place policies which was exciting and awesome. The one which I liked was, the infrastructure team designed the bay floor with normal cubicles at one end and the other end had beam bags, couches and comfortable sofas for people to work. This was designed to make the employees move around while working instead of just sitting in a chair for 8 hours. This ensured the employees didn’t cultivate back ache and other issues based on ergonomics.
Ramco managers weren’t focused on time log, staying late and other traditional practices. They were inclined towards the final deliverables and they didn’t care as to how you do it and where you do it. Deadlines are followed very strictly and meeting invites were taken seriously. As people had freedom and flexibility, they were highly motivated and the productivity was very high for each employee. The team didn’t allow me to work after 6 PM and they used to push me out saying “This is your Honey moon period and you are performing some analysis“.
I was able to complete the project ahead of the schedule and that was due to the proper guidance of my mentor and other colleagues who helped me to get the right info from the right team. My final presentation with the Senior Managers went well and they approved my framework after telling me to make few changes.
It was a great learning for me and Ramco gave me a good exposure on how a product based firm operates. Most importantly I was able to understand the roles & responsibilities of a Pre-sales consultant which was my career aspiration. I had a lovely farewell from the team and we are still in touch through social media. So as a whole I had a great internship experience with Ramco systems with a wonderful work life balance which is also very important.
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