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.

Internship Insights by IIM Kashipur students: Summer Internship Experience at Puma

It all started with my first interaction with the senior batch. A couple of seniors were describing their internship experiences and that is when a summer internship with Puma became my goal for the year. I had extensive discussions with the seniors who had interned with the organization last year and gained a lot of insights. They helped me prepare not only for the internship interview of the company but also taught me the true meaning of peer to peer learning.

After a few selection rounds and an interview, there it was, my name on the screen. Yes! I managed to make it through. It was all like a dream and there were a lot of expectations. A point came when everything became uncertain, whether the internship will even happen or not but then I received a mail assuring me that the company will be keeping its commitment and the internship will happen virtually.

At first, I thought that there won’t be much of a learning experience, but that thought was soon put to rest. The onboarding team assured that we got a holistic view of the organization with talks from all the vertical heads. The projects were allotted, and I was given a chance to work with the Operations team where the learning experience was incredibly different from what we learn in the classroom.

I was given the task to optimize the current e-commerce operations for the company and develop a sustainable ordering solution for their materials. I was surprised at how well integrated the entire internship experience was and I had never imagined that the largest sports apparel organization in the country would be giving this much time for the development of its interns. The mentors were always available to address any roadblock I faced with regards to the project and the HR team was always ready to support with regards to any cross-team interaction needed during the project.

One thing that the organization embodies is the path towards continuous learning and we were invited to attend a lot of learning sessions on strategy and digital marketing along with the employees. The kind of experience that I gained working with Puma has enriched my way of thinking and approaching problems. Skills like advanced usage of Power BI and applications of advanced excel were added to my skill set and all this is sure to help me in the times ahead and become corporate ready.

Aditya Bharadwaj, Summer Intern, Puma
Class of 2021 | IIM Kashipur

My Internship Experience at Reserve Bank of India

IIM Kashipur, PGP ’11 Student, Sudarsan Puvvada, shares his  summer internship experience at RBI

Life was full of assignments, projects, presentations, surprise quizzes and I was eagerly waiting for some good news to have a short retreat from grinding life in IIM Kashipur. On one fine day, moments to rejoice had come with an internship offer from my dream company, Reserve Bank of India. Congratulations all around with friends started bashing, a common way of congratulating and parents wishing me all the best. Exhilaration subsided to half the levels as I would need to report in RBI, Kanpur rather than in Mumbai office. Being a south Indian, my Hindi speaking skills were very bad (better to say worst) and I had to spend 2 months in core part of Hindi speaking India. However, joy of getting an offer from RBI has allayed all the fears and scepticism.

After taking a week long refreshing break at home, I started on a 26 hour journey to Kanpur. I had to spend first 2 days at my friend’s home as there was a bit of delay in allocation of quarters. First day of internship was an induction program where I was introduced to Regional Director RBI, my mentor and some other employees with whom I had to work. I was very excited after my first meeting with my mentor as he is very inspirational, work oriented and I always looked forward for an interaction with him. Other interns from IIM Lucknow, IIT Kanpur, IT-BHU and other colleges have started joining and we slowly started moving together. Interns were given 2-bed room flats (too big for a person to stay) in RBI officers’ quarters which are located in a plush area in Kanpur. Adding to the comfortable stay, quarters were full of activity with children enjoying summer vacation in the calm and undisturbed surroundings often engaging us in cricket and badminton.

I was part of a team working on a live project to come up with suggestions to bring efficiency in government collections and payments. I had to conduct interviews to various stakeholders involved in the process along with an intern from IIM Lucknow. I enjoyed working with him and we shared views on various issues ranging from Currency system in India to Indian GDP. I got great amount of exposure in RBI as I participated in central level discussions on monetary reviews, gold imports, currency fluctuations which included deputy governors of RBI and other meetings with heads of State Government departments and national banks to discuss progress on financial inclusion and issues with electronic funds. I got a clear idea of how regulator thinks and should think as decisions taken at regulatory level touch all lives and enjoyed this experience in RBI to the fullest.

Three things that I liked most in RBI were library, people and food. RBI’s library is a book lover’s paradise with books ranging from Indian culture to Indian currency in abundance. Employees (with average age of more than 50) were extremely proficient in banking knowledge and always guided me in my project. Hindi was never a problem in office as everyone can communicate in English and I have learnt a bit of Hindi (seriously not an exaggeration). Food in RBI was simply superb with around 12 different types of curries serving all palettes at the cheapest possible cost and lunch time was most awaited by one and all in RBI. Apart from these, never ending chats among interns at quarters, daily visit to rave-3 mall, a movie in a week, outings to Varanasi, Lucknow, Agra and Mathura made my sojourn in Kanpur the most memorable.