Disclaimer: Previously published in Kathan – Annual HR Magazine of IIM Udaipur
In a nutshell, my internship was one of a kind, never imagined experience. I was placed at Bajaj Auto as a Sales and Marketing Intern, and I could not have asked for a better place to be. Then COVID pandemic occurred and to be working as a Sales and Marketing Intern in WFH Mode, I had my apprehensions about whether I will be able to do justice to my project, whether I will be able to communicate effectively, whether I will be able to connect with people and present the best version of me and what not. Moreover, at most of the b-schools, internships were getting cancelled or job offers were getting rescinded.
In such a gloomy scenario, a mail from the company saying “Bajaj Auto is NOT revoking any internship offers at any MBA campus” was the only silver lining. When you are a fresher and a Sales Intern, you will always prefer onsite internship to be your first corporate exposure. On the same page, the company offering this internship will also prefer onsite to provide the best experience to the interns and to judge them in the most effective manner. Bajaj Auto tried its best to facilitate this, postponing the internship 3 times. The internship finally started on 15th May, in Virtual Mode of course.
However, during the delay period, we never felt bored or left out. We were continuously engaged in Magazine Making Competition and Quiz Competitions. The quiz competitions were held every week. For the magazine part, we were distributed in eight teams. Initially, each team came up with their mascot, name, and tagline. After 3 weeks of hard work and thorough unleashing of creative talent, my team, AutoM8s came up with the magazine which went on to win the competition.
The internship flagged off with 3 days of Virtual induction and Leadership Talks formed a key part of this. It allowed us to converse with the top brass of different functions and business Units, allowing us to understand THE WORLD’S FAVOURITE INDIAN in more detail. We cleared all our doubts, understood what the company expected of us and I personally was able to appreciate the real world business challenges a company of this magnitude faces.
I was interning with the Intracity Business Unit under Service function. My Project was to do an in-depth analysis of the Dealer Management system used by Bajaj Auto. After this, I was supposed to benchmark Bajaj’s DMS with the DMSs used by competition. The better practices at competition were to be highlighted so that Bajaj can identify their feasibility and implement them into its own system.
The initial weeks were challenging as with the lockdown going on, I was supposed to understand the CDMS (Bajaj’s DMS). However, the BAL staff as well as the dealership staff was incredibly supportive. I connected with them on call or via video call, sometimes at odd hours to understand the Process. The result of these meetings was an immensely detailed Process Mapping, covering all Service types. Then I assigned a severity ranking to each element in the process and figured out the important party (Bajaj, Dealer or Customer) for each process element.
In this process mapping, I fitted the existing CDMS interface and functions. This allowed me to distinguish between manual vs non manual processes. Discussions with Work Managers also helped me in identifying and differentiating between irritants and possible improvements. Further steps in the project were virtual meetings with ASMs from competition to understand their servicing process and again fit their processes on my existing process mapping to identify gaps and differences. Once these dissimilarities were identified, I proposed 18 key practices which can be improved in the process. I also recommended 18 key corrections which can be made in the existing system to make data capturing easier and faster and I hope that by using all these suggestions, a wider range of data will be accessible. Online mode limited the peer interaction to a great extent. To counter this, Pictionary was organised using a Jam board. We were also encouraged to keep in touch with peers and be updated on how others are approaching their projects.
This really helped as I was able to think of alternative ways of doing things and choose the best possible option. The reviews were especially helpful. I was able to gain insights on the objective of the company behind this project, what kind of suggestions were not needed, who would be better competitors for benchmarking and how can I convey more detailed information via my presentation. At the end, I would like to say that all the inputs by various stakeholders at various points of time allowed me to own the project and stay true to my desired approach. It was really a great opportunity to work on such an exciting project. The help provided by everyone in Bajaj Auto ensured that I was able to reinforce the more critical project aspects in my reviews and to be on the correct path throughout my internship. Working on this daunting yet exhilarating project made me push my boundaries, broaden my horizons and to gain invaluable experiences.
About the Author
Shraddhey is an MBA 21 student at IIM Udaipur. He completed his graduation in commerce from Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi and has volunteered with United Nations in the past. An optimist at heart, he is always open to new opportunities, learnings and experiences. A Finance Majors, Shraddhey likes to spend his free time with the share markets. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.