An Internship Experience at Agri-Tech Startup and how it converted to a PPO

PPOs are a major aspect for B-School students in securing a qualified and exclusive offer from companies that they wish to work for in the future. The idea to convert your Summer Internship into a full-fledged Placement Offer is not easy but not impossible too. This article provides a better glimpse of what one needs to keep in mind while looking to secure a PPO.

Agrigator, which is a seed-funded Agri-Tech Startup, is involved in Supply Chain and Logistics stream for providing a B2B Marketplace between the Producers and the Buyers. It was duly catering to HORECA outlets (Hotels, Restaurants, etc.) and FPIs by transporting food grains directly from Farmers and related sources, leading to a reduction in transaction costs, time, efforts, and simplifying the operations of such an unorganized system.

Keeping yourself in such a position, there are a few things that you can follow to slowly chart yourself and the learnings you receive in due course. Firstly, it is important to completely familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the concerned organization and the sector that it functions in. Usual ways include following Annual Reports, Sector-Specific News from verified sources, Online Government Resources and Databases, and interaction with Industry Experts and the employees of the organization themselves. This will build up a robust base for you to understand your line of work for your project

Next, you must continue to interact with your assigned mentor or individuals who work in the same fields/organization to also understand the core competency, relative competition, domain-specific business strategies, and business models. This will ensure you are now settled enough to understand the assigned problem statement for the project and the outcomes/metrics that will measure your performance for the same.

Post this, it is time to directly jump into your project and use your acquired knowledge and resources to design a flowchart of your activities to arrive at a solution. This will involve a preliminary plan to proceed, important parameters to focus upon, following up on previously devised industrial practices, framework analysis, and carefully constructed notes on emerging trends and developments in the industrial market.

To make things easier, communicate with various stakeholders and experts that provide a concise view on the strategic feasibility, implementation, and impacts that a step of approach creates to resolve different issues. Gradually, clarity evolves to choose the optimal way to proceed that provides or maximizes the utility of the defined outcome. Typical meetings or regular brainstorming of ideas can greatly reduce doubts and little hiccups that you encounter on the way. Therefore, don’t rush to obtaining a solution without confirmation and thorough research of facts to avoid last-minute crisis. These little things go a long way to ensure that your final presentation is well received by the majority of stakeholders that reflects the ways and values the company aligns itself to.

Last but not the least, be prepared with anticipated questions and doubts that you are likely to face regarding the work you have done, outcomes achieved and the notes on the Final Presentation you will present to the concerned officials. It is no wonder that your Presentation skills should be excellent with the concise textual matter but supporting visual reports and facts that enforce your views and looks to the proposed solutions concerning various scenarios.
Keep a cool mind and be confident. The rest is on your meticulous way to manage your time and efforts to the fullest.

Getting a PPO depends not only on how well you did, but how well you reflect your skills and knowledge to be part of the company!

About the Author:

Som Samantray, a Chemical Engineer by qualification has pursued MBA (Marketing and Data Analytics) from IIM Kashipur. He has been part of various student bodies like the Econs-Economics Club and TEDxIIMKashipur. He is a fresher and is an ardent reader of books and novels and a blogger. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.

How to ace Summer Internships from the lens of an ICICI PPO holder

The batch of 2020-22 is looking forward to their internships amid all the uncertainties around. Hopefully, this little helping hand from my experience and learnings of my internship with ICICI Bank Ltd. will help you plan your internship better, especially if you are looking to secure a PPO:

1. Understand your deliverables: Be clear with the deliverables and expectations of your project. It is better to know your focus areas in the deliverables.

2. Schedule to finish your SIP deliverables in 6 weeks: If you are on two months SIP, keep the last two weeks for any unforeseen issues, prepare your presentation, practice it and present it to your mentor before your final presentation.

3. Listen to as many employees as possible: You might be new to an industry and organization. It is tough without the experience of people inside to comprehensively complete your deliverables. Hence, listen to as many associated departments and employees as to widen your understanding. 

4. Let your guide keep track: Most of the time, your mentors might also be busy with their routine work. You must update your day-to-day work to them. You can share a tracker sheet where you can update your work regularly. Also, it is good practice to share your weekly reports and presentation.

5. Maintain your relations: While you connect to many employees in the organization, your approach, behavior, and people management are widely noticed and sometimes regarded above your work. Hence, maintain good relations with people around, especially with your guide and manager.

6. Keep your references handy: During your story creation, back your thought process with your research reference. It adds credibility to your ideas, highlights your understanding, and shows your work.

7. Focus on Story Line: During your final presentation, focus on your story and inferences along with relevant data. Try not to pack your presentation slides with data. Also, mention your challenges and learnings from your internship towards the end of your presentation.

With these tips, I wish good luck with your SIP to the whole of the bright minds of batch 20-22. Hope to see you all on the other side with a PPO.

About the Author:

Vineeth Rao Sudhati is a student of MBA, batch of 2019 -21 from IIM Kashipur with majors in Operations and Marketing. He is a part of various student bodies like the Alumni Relations Committee and Prep Cell. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.

Acquiring PPO in Flipkart by acing Flipkart Wired 4.0

Corporate competitions had always been a key area of focus in my MBA journey as they gave me a platform to take my classroom knowledge to the real world. Having worked in a fortune 500 organization I was always fascinated with the use of technology to elevate the human experience and hence E-Commerce was a domain of my interest. When Flipkart launched its flagship B-School competition Wired I pounced on the opportunity to apply my acquired management knowledge backed up with my technical skills to solve challenges faced by a giant like Flipkart. Since I was preparing for this competition for a long time (and well yes, the chance of scoring a PPO made it more lucrative), I was closely following the developments in the E-Commerce supply chain industry regularly. After understanding that how crucial E-Commerce had become to an average Indian in the times of COVID-induced lockdown, I wanted to dive deep into the sector and develop models on how E-Commerce can penetrate in a challenging country like ours.

The case competition required us to develop a model using which Flipkart could cater to the Tier 2 Indian customers with their day-to-day purchase needs. Understanding the importance of this problem statement in the context of Flipkart’s business situation and the national lockdown scenario, our team’s objective was to design an easy to implement supply chain model that could be easily replicated across the country within a time frame of 1 year. After clearing a series of rounds our team had the absolute delight to reach the national semifinals of this coveted competition. The very fact that this competition provided me with a platform to present my solutions and ideas to the top leadership of a dynamic organization like Flipkart tremendously added to my learning curve.

Having missed a chance to be a part of the National Finals, I was overwhelmed when I was called up for an interview with Flipkart in the form of a pre-placement interview (PPI). Well as Flipkart rightly claims “Ab har wish hogi poori” they certainly fulfilled my wish by providing me a chance to kick start my career with an organization like theirs. The interview process which had three rounds (a general aptitude test followed by 2 rounds of interviews) gave me enough opportunities to understand how I as an individual could contribute to Flipkart (technically and behaviorally). The interviewers were very keen on understanding what skill sets I bring to the table and what do I look for in terms of growth and opportunity. After those three rounds of virtual interactions, I finally got to experience that most sought-after day of MBA life when finally Flipkart offered me THE job!

The entire experience of participating in corporate competitions, learning bit by bit in each of them is a continuous journey. A journey that I believe is different for every individual. I cannot be thankful enough to be a part of an institute like IIM Kashipur where the entire atmosphere focuses on making you ready for real-world challenges. With competitions taking the center stage of academic focus it was my institute that played the pivotal role in grabbing my dream job opportunity.

About the author :
Pranav Bhardwaj is currently pursuing MBA from IIM Kashipur, with majors in Analytics and Marketing. He is a part of various student bodies like the The Consulting & Strategy Club, TEDx IIM Kashipur and Prep Cell. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.