The internship opportunity I had with RITES Ltd. in the department of ‘Privatization and Concession’ was a great phase of my MBA journey for learning and professional development in every aspect.
While preparing for an internship, know what you are speaking. It sounds cliché but all the questions are generally aligned along with CV or company profile, so know that well. One point is never to cram and say the company’s profile in interviews. During my interview, I was asked about my work experience, and then about the knowledge relevant to their company which I gained in the first semester. They were more eager to know if I am dedicated to learning new things.
Also, during the internship, they showed immense confidence in their interns by letting us work on a live project and explaining to us how that is going to be implemented. I consider myself very fortunate as I had a chance to be part of such prestigious projects. I am also grateful for having a chance to work with amazing professionals with such deep knowledge about the subject and the way they guided me throughout with such patience to enhance my understanding.
The project assigned required risk analysis that can prevail in the introduction of public-private partnership projects in Indian railways, from the perspective of a private operator. During this study, I learned a lot of technical terms that are being used in the railway sector. Initially, I started the research by understanding public-private partnerships in different infrastructure sectors and the benefits these sectors have to seek after this adoption. Then the study was narrowed down to the railway sector where analysis of PPP adoption in different countries was referred to identify the possible risks. All the risks identified were classified in project-specific and out of the scope of project or country risks. Then these were assessed further based on impact and possibility of occurrence and accordingly assigned to an authority. This allocation takes off some burden from the shoulders of the private operator. The last stage was to figure out basic mitigation techniques to overcome or at least deal with these situations. Also, I had to analyze a draft prepared by NITI Aayog to figure out provisions available in different sections and clauses of the contract acting as a relief for the private operator to handle situations if any of the risk’s situation occurs. Lastly, all the research is combined to come up with a few suggestions/recommendations to refine the contract.
In the second phase, I worked on preparing a concession agreement for the upcoming project of PPP in Heliports in the Indian scenario.
In short, I had a great experience during my internship. This was more than what I could ask for, as out of the major focus areas of my MBA course in Infrastructure development and management which are project management, risk management, contract management, and logistics; I got the opportunity to relate my learnings with these courses and have a better understanding.
The only advice I have for upcoming batches is that understand whatever you are learning and relate it to the real-life situation to know the concept application. Know your stakeholders while working on a project, that is going to be a lot helpful while figuring out the solutions to a problem, or recommendations to any ongoing work.