About the Author: Rohan Bharaj, a student from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Bengaluru (SIBM), takes us through his ‘holistic learning experience’ of interning at Emami Ltd.
Ever since I started reading about marketing as a possible career option, it became my dream to someday be a part of a fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company. It was so fascinating to read about the strategies that these companies adopted to make their brand stand apart from the rest. When I joined SIBM Bengaluru in June 2015, I definitely wanted to get my internship in an FMCG Company. I was eager to experience how these fascinating companies operated. Initially, I even turned down a few offers only for an FMCG company to come my way. Finally, I received a mail from my Placement Committee one evening. It notified me about Emami Ltd’s campus recruitment for Marketing and Sales, which was scheduled after two days. I was on cloud nine! But, I also knew that I would have to prepare really hard. Many of my friends were planning to apply to Emami as it was one of the most prestigious companies that visited our campus. The first thing I did was to read all the information regarding the company on Google. Next, I downloaded Emami’s annual report for the previous three years and went through all the financials and statements, issued by their management. I read articles about Emami’s rural strategy and their acquisition of Kesh King Hair Oil. I extensively worked on all the details on my CV, apart from brushing up the marketing models and concepts that were taught in class.
Two days later, it was time for the verdict. Our first round was the resume screening, which I successfully cleared. Now, I had to go for the interview, for which I was slightly nervous. I had worked hard and the interview went really well. The interviewer made me feel really comfortable; he asked me about my background, past experiences, hobbies etc. This was followed by some technical questions about Above The Line(ATL) and Below The Line(BTL) activities. Stepping out, I was confident that I would make it.
Finally, I got the internship. On my first day, I met my mentor and the HR manager. My project was on the topic – ‘Assessment and Evaluation of the success of Zandu Pure Honey (ZPH), three months after its launch in the Mumbai market.” I had to give recommendations regarding how ZPH could be promoted on the basis of the market and competition analysis. I was quite excited as this project required a lot of travelling across the length and breadth of Mumbai, meeting retailers and wholesalers to find out how ZPH was faring against brands like Dabur, Patanjali, and Phondaghat.
On a typical day of my internship, I used to reach the designated area to be covered on that day by 10am. I was accompanied by Emami’s salesman who used to take orders from the retailers. We would visit the store and while the salesman would take the order, I would start talking to the retailer about the honey sales at his shop. I had also prepared a survey sheet that was to be filled by him. This way, we would cover around 40 shops in a particular area. Walking 4-5 kms every day in the scorching Mumbai heat was tough. But the learning was immense and made it worth the effort! I gained a lot of knowledge about the honey market in Mumbai. Over time, I learnt a lot about one should talk to the retailers. I got an insight about how distribution and pricing work for an FMCG company.
All in all, it was a holistic learning experience with Emami Ltd. It has reassured me that FMCG is the industry I want to build my career in.
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