Nikunj Gokulia, a Marketing student from 2018-20 MBA Batch, did his summer internship at Nivea in Mumbai. The work was a mix of sales and go-to-market strategy, covering sales and distribution and preparing an entire blueprint for a new range for Nivea, targeting marathon runners.
The first fifteen days of his internship involved solely field visits. Initially what seemed like a taxing work, came to be a crucial learning experience. He suggests to take field visits seriously because there will be many insights one will get through this process.
He lists the following as his top three learning from being on the field-
First, the understanding of FMCG. His project was around general trade covering about 400 general trade stores and over 50 sports stores all across Mumbai. FMCG offers a margin of 20 to 30 per cent but the same is around 40 per cent for sports channel. There is a weekly beat system in FMCG where a salesman goes to an outlet and takes an order. Sports, on the other hand, is different, but with a little tweak in the system, one can manage and enter the channel.
Second, conducting sampling activity on runners at point of sweat like Marine Drive, where people usually run, asking them to try the sample to which they usually said no. So instead of trying to catch hold of everyone, he looked for head coaches, especially those who organised the marathons.
In the last phase of his internship, he was required to do a pilot project in seven stores for fourteen days across Mumbai. Out of those, five already sold Nivea, but the other two were sports stores which did not sell any FMCG product, which made the job a little difficult because in FMCG when you take a shelf, you have to give them a payout. Since he was not allocated any budget, he had to keep in mind what he shelled out from his pocket was the bare minimum. So the third learning he took from his internship is to negotiate and manage a retailer relationship in the long run.
He recommends the junior batch to learn how to use excel and make a good presentation before joining any company. It is expected of us to know about data crunching, so data management skills will be useful as one may not have the time to learn it from scratch.
In the first week try to understand what the company expects of you. Nivea expected a lot of fieldwork and primary research rather than solely relying on secondary research. So offer them what they are expecting and there is a high chance of getting a PPO.
He wishes the batch luck and asks the juniors to give their best every single day this placement season.
Many congratulations and all the very best, from every one of us at SCMHRD!
- Anubha Mishra, Media and PR Team