Hall of PPO #11: Nikunj Rathi, Cummins

Born and brought up in the ‘City of Glasses-Suhag Nagri’ – Firozabad, U.P.- Nikunj Rathi went on to complete his Electronics and Communications Engineering from IIITDM, Jabalpur, M.P., before gaining 2 years of work experience with Infosys Limited at Chandigarh. Exposed to subjects like Supply Chain Management, Quality Management, etc., and a project in Supply Chain during graduation at IIITDM, Jabalpur blossomed his interest in the Operations and Supply Chain field. Furthermore, at Infosys, his project of designing User Interface of a plant for a Global Machine Tools giant drove him to pursue Masters in Business Administration in Operations.

Nikunj interned at Cummins Power Generation Phaltan plant of Cummins India Ltd., listed Indian arm of Cummins Inc. – an American Fortune 500 corporation that designs, manufactures, and distributes engines, filtration, and power generation products. His internship project required him to reduce the lead time of a particular Genset series by 50% and he worked with Material Planning and Control Department. Right from Day 1 of his internship- his Buddy and Mentor focused on structuring the project in a phased manner. He, therefore, started off by drafting a plan keeping in mind the milestones and the strict deadlines that needed to be met during the internship.

After being equipped with past Inventory data, Order Schedules, Supplier Delivery Schedules and numerous other Excel sheets- he decided to put to use his understanding of Inventory Management and extensively used Data Analysis Methodologies to analyze and performed simulations on the data. Further, he went onto carry out a Financial and Operational feasibility study of his recommendations before presenting it to the Senior Management at Cummins. All this was possible because of cross-functional exposure and the support he got from various teams at Cummins which helped him learn the nitty-gritties in a Supply Chain.

He learned the importance of crisp communication with Senior Managers by asking relevant questions to the right people at the right time. According to him, what actually made his internship a great learning experience was the superb guidance from his Buddy and Mentor. Their “No Spoon-feeding” approach allowed him to explore and learn as much as one could , yet, despite their intensely busy schedules they gave him regular feedback and corrected him at critical stages of project. Howbeit, his hard-work and his traits of curiosity and consistency kept him going, which eventually helped him crack a Pre-Placement Offer with Cummins India Ltd..

The aspects he liked about Cummins as a company were “Genuineness of people at Cummins who speak their mind and are Data and approach driven; Focus on Values and Culture that has been sustaining it for the past 99 years”.

Nikunj’s Internship experience, in his own words, “It was nothing less than a Roller-coaster ride: Filled with challenges and tight deadlines, yet an enjoyable and a fulfilling one”.

A hearty congratulations and best wishes from all of us at MPR Team.