What kind of work are some of the most niche MBA summer internships of this year offering?
7 Apr, 2012
The Kings XI Punjab IPL team
Smaller Indian industries and niche sectors have become dearer as employment avenues to b-school students in recent years. While interning with the conventional 'big companies' is all about learning how a department or a function works, training in a smaller and niche sector company allows interns to see how the entire business works. Many of these organisations are still at their nascent stages of growth, but projected to take-off in a big way according to industry watchers.
E-commerce in India is still in its infancy with approximately Rs 48,000 crore in market size. Of this, travel related e-commerce alone accounts for Rs 37,000 crore of yearly turnover, while product based e-commerce is very small and is valued at an annual turnover of Rs 3,000 crore. However, keeping in mind the opportunity of growth in the domestic market, we have started to hire from b-schools since last year, said Ravi Vora, vice-president of marketing at Flipkart.com, an online shopping website. The company has made more than 20 offers for internship and final placements across leading b-schools such as SP Jain - Mumbai, FMS - Delhi, a few IIMs and IIFT - Delhi.
What will the interns do at Flipkart? The roles would of course be non-technological and include marketing, business development and even product management. As part of the marketing team, the intern will have to examine the effectiveness of Flipkart campaigns running on various media and work out better media solutions --- essentially do media planning. There will also be research projects about studying and analysing online shopping behaviour of Flipkart's customers.
Other students will be put in the business development department where they will manage product categories and the types of products shown in them on Flipkart.com. They would also decide the pricing and the discount offers on these products," explained Vora.
Similarly, a wedding solutions company, Ultra Rich Weddings which is based out of Ahmedabad has taken 60 students from various b-schools such as IMT Ghaziabad, IMT Nagpur, Goa Institute of Management, TA Pai Management Institute, ICFAI Business School and a couple of Symbiosis b-schools as summer interns.
Saurabh Goswami, one of the founders of the company said that the company will send the interns back to their hometowns for the next two months, from where they will do the internships. Because people generally have access to the best contact databases inside their hometowns, the company wants them to utilise these contacts to market Ultra Rich Wedding in those cities. All interns will have to go to undergraduate colleges in their cities and talk to the students there about the wedding company in a manner similar to what employers do during the placement talks at b-schools, besides organising local contests. Out of the 50 b-school students hired by Ultra Rich Weddings, ten interns will be stationed at the head office in Ahmedabad to supervise the status of marketing activities at the colleges.
The wedding planning market in India is growing at a estimated 25% per annum which indicates a huge potential, said Goswami.
B-school summer trainees have rarely made a beeline for sports companies. But this year, an Indian Premier League (IPL) team --- Kings XI Punjab --- has recruited four MBA students as interns for the ongoing IPL season under the marketing and operations functions. The marketing interns will be working on tasks such as public relations, organising conferences and even selling tickets in the areas assigned to them. Those in the operations team would be working on event management tasks, such as handling the hospitality and logistics on the match days.
Kings XI Punjab has hired from b-schools such as FMS - Delhi and SIBM Bangalore. Team COO Col Arvinder Singh told PaGaLGuY, The IPL is four-season-old now and our core team is in place. Earlier, we had been engaging local students but this time, we thought of taking people from b-schools who were interested in sports marketing and have some theoretical knowledge about marketing and operations.
IIM Bangalore student Kundan Mal Verma is all set to join the Janata Dal (United) --- a political party known best for being led by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar --- for his eight-week summer internship. According to Kundan, I was interested working with a political party and so I wrote an email to them seeking an opportunity for an internship."
Explaining what exactly he would work on in this unique internship, he said, Broadly, I would work on campaigning and improving the partys communication at the grass-roots level and doing public relations and networking for the party. Media planning would also be one part of my job. I would also make suggestions to the party about improving its efficiency at building networks with the public. I also have some agricultural projects in mind in case the party is interested. Janata Dal (United) has a project called System of Rice Intensification, a method aimed at increasing rice production and I would like to be pitching to the government about it, explained Kundan.