InternXperience @UltraTech Cement Ltd.- by Shardul Thorat #23

“Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and feed him for a lifetime!”

I’m Shardul Thorat from SCMHRD, Pune. This past year of MBA has been nothing short of a roller-coaster ride.

From peers to mentors to professors to industry professionals, every person has had a hand in shaping me with the new qualities that I learned from each of them. Academics paved a way to understand the various theories only to be used during the various corporate competitions my team was a part of. Cognitive thinking and Teamwork are a few of the traits that I could imbibe in myself.

Experiential learning has always been the course’s bed-stone. By way of presentations and research papers and the various interactive assignments, MBA has helped improve me to scales un-hitherto. Another way of applying all the learnings is by participating in various corporate or inter-college, case study competitions. This is a good way of getting a first-hand experience of the competition “out there”. My team and I participated in UltraTech’s India Next Campus Round 2019, where we provided a working redevelopment model for the Dharavi slum settlement. We completed both its preliminary rounds and were shortlisted for the finals. We had the honor of representing our college on a national level. Although we didn’t win the competition, the day of the finals will always be a part of my most cherished memories. The learnings through this process were immense. The best outcome of this process has been the Summer PPO offer extended by the good folks at UTCL. So, this is how a few sleepless nights and grinding can turn your life around for good.

The actual internship program, named as the “Ulchemies” which was supposed to begin in April was postponed to May on account of the Covid-19 outbreak. The nature of the internship was also shifted to virtual. I was assigned the project “e-Bidding Process Rollout” which was a new initiative taken by the company. E-Bidding is the process by which UTCL will conduct an online bidding process among transporters to get the lowest freight bids for its transportation requirement of moving cement and clinker from its plants. Unlike traditional bidding that occurs at physical locations, e-Bidding will be accessed online, through web browsers, via specific links. I got to work on the project during the pilot phase and under accomplished mentors and mentor buddies.

I was part of the Central Logistics Cell from where the team oversaw the expansion of the project to all the zones. The stint deliverables included recommendations from analysis and learnings of pilot, trend analysis, cost benefit analysis, to help design final product document, subsequent changes in current tool for finalization and implementation on multiple plants post pilot phase. I was tasked with analysing weekly data and coming up with insights to make the process more efficient.

Throughout the 2 months of internship every day was a learning opportunity which cumulatively can be sorted under Technical & Behavioural learnings. Technical learnings included the integration of various tools used in cement logistics, the end-to-end bidding process and the various methods of analysis along with project management. The behavioural learnings should be given more weightage according to me as I learned the deeper intricacies of team work and working inter-departmental synergy, self-development while handling complex situations and positive interpersonal communication.

 This 2-month virtual internship came with its share of problems owing to the medium of communication. Nonetheless, the learnings and the experience from the exposure to working in the field of supply chain and logistics with the leader in cement manufacturing across India were phenomenal. This has been a wholesome learning experience for me.

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