#25: PPO Chronicles- Kalakuntla Nikhil, Ultratech

Nikhil Kalakuntla, a mechanical engineer from Hyderabad, has a past corporate experience of around 34 months in Infosys Limited working in SAP domain. After that, specializing in Sales and Marketing at SCMHRD secured him an opportunity to intern with India’s leading cement company, Ultratech Cement, a flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group, which eventually led to a Pre-Placement Offer with the same company.

A $ 5.9 billion building solutions powerhouse, UltraTech is the largest manufacturer of grey cement, ready mix concrete (RMC) and white cement in India. It is the third-largest cement producer in the world, excluding China. UltraTech is the only cement company globally (outside of China) to have 100+ MTPA of cement manufacturing capacity in a single country. The Company’s business operations span UAE, Bahrain, Sri Lanka and India.

In the two months of his Internship tenure at Ultratech, Nikhil’s project revolved around non-trade regional key accounts operating in the state of Maharashtra in a region excluding the Mumbai or Bombay region. The project required him to understand the scope of the case by analyzing the Company’s cement demand from upcoming infrastructure projects and strategize plans to increase the market share of UltraTech cement. Nikhil conducted secondary research to gather all the details of future projects further and forecast the region’s cement demand. This was a significant step since he had to interact with the multiple stakeholders involved in the cement, order, procurement, etc. He also collected all theneeds and requirements of regional key accounts hence helping in increasing UltraTech cement’s market share for the Maharashtra region.

To secure a PPO, Nikhil shares his experience by describing how he wasn’t clear about how to proceed with the project in his initial days. Still, later on, with the help of his mentors and sub-mentors, he could depict the project’s expectations. With frequent interactions, Nikhil was able to excel in his project, which made him stand out from the crowd. He adds ups how easily he could volunteer multiple times for additional work, which helped him blend into the Company’s culture and ethics; the kind of warmth he felt there was inexpressible.

While describing his experience at the Company, Nikhil had opportunities to interact with managers at multiple levels while his mentors were also available all around the clock. During the start of his internship, multiple interactive sessions were starting from the first day with industry experts, explaining how the business terminals work at UltraTech Cement which helped him gain a lot of perspectives during the multiple interactions and interactive sessions within the CSR stakeholders, pushed him to cross his boundaries to work for them and showcase 100% effort. Nikhil adds that he never felt like an intern, but he was always welcomed as a part of the team and the organization where his presence and opinions mattered and were respected.

Nikhil’s advice to the junior team states that one should be confident interacting with multiple people and showcase your skills and worthiness for the Company and the project. Keeping a note of every interaction, clearly knowing the expectations from the project, and aligning yourself to those expectations for better results do help in the long run. Always be reachable, and update the project progress to the mentor regularly. Apart from this, one should understand the Company’s values, ethics, and culture and try to inculcate them in their work.

-Swati Chhabira, Media and PR Team

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