His project essentially consisted of competitor analysis and designing the market activation for a new product launch to gain greater market share, which involved a lot of fieldwork. One of the product categories in Dr. Fixit’s brand wasn’t doing great in the region of West Bengal while their competition was flourishing. For the same, his work was divided into two parts. First, he had to identify and analyze the competition – their margins, techniques for incentivizing the retailers and users or end customers. Second, designing a market activation plan for a new product launch in the same category that would help increase the market share by eliminating the competitors.
For his Internship, Abhinav was placed in the city of Siliguri, West Bengal, where he had to travel about 45km every day as it was a trader’s hub. With retailers being in every nooks and cranny of the city, the project required extensive traveling within the city. As the product was of a unique kind, a liquid rubber product used for specialized waterproofing for say, bathrooms or rooftops, retailers were far off from each other. However, even after doing all the cumbersome traveling, whether he would be able to get relevant data out of the retailers was a gamble. Once Abhinav had secured the data, for it to make sense to his manager, Abhinav had to translate the data & observations into insights and had to triangulate the data to validate its relevance.
The experience the project gave was not entirely new for Abhinav. Having previously worked in Practo Technologies as a Senior Territory Sales Manager, selling SaaS to doctors for clinic management, he was comfortable talking to strangers, traveling far off to meet clients, getting them on board and collecting information. Working for Pidilite was hence very suitable for him as they gave freedom to interns to put their point of view straight away provided you have the stats to back your points.
His mentor during his Internship was very helpful and explained everything from deliverables to objectives, step by step. Even though they talked in detail once a week, Abhinav mailed him the updates almost daily.
A civil engineer from VIT University, Abhinav concentrated on achieving the targets and deliverables, and not wasting his efforts on unnecessary tactics. Thanks to this, being one of the few who were selected for the Pidilite Leadership Presentation, Abhinav was pretty pumped presenting to the CEO of the Construction Chemicals division and CMO of Pidilite.
Avoiding pfaff and being straight forward in his approach while discussing product strategies certainly gave him an edge over others in scoring a PPO. His curiosity, experience and sheer interest in working at Pidilite were just a bonus.
To the next batch of interns, Abhinav suggests talking to all the seniors who have done related work, and to understand their approach to the problem. Even though the approach will differ from industry to industry and firm to firm, the constant support and guidance from your mentor and seniors will help you frame your approach and infer relevant points from the data.
Many congratulations Abhinav, and all the very best, from every one of us at SCMHRD.