01 Mar 2019 20:10 IST

IFMR student wins BLoC-Kaybase Internship Project contest

Contest winners Komal Goel (seated, right) and Vibesh KV, with (standing, from left) the three jury members Kavita Ganesan, Asst VP-Marketing, Sterling Holidays; K Shravan, Brand Manager, Saint Gobain India; and S Sundar, former Associate Professor, BIM; BusinessLine Editor R Srinivasan and Kaybase CEO Ashok Sankethi.

Komal Goel’s project was for an appliance maker; Vibesh KV bagged 2nd prize for project at paints major

Komal Goel, a second-year MBA student from IFMR Graduate School of Business, Krea University, won the second edition of the BusinessLine on Campus-Kaybase Summer Internship Project Contest held here earlier this week. Vibesh KV, a second-year MBA at Bharathidasan Institute of Management (BIM), Tiruchi, bagged the second prize.

Describing her internship project with a major appliances manufacturer, Komal took the jury and audience along a consumer’s journey of deciding which mixie-grinder to buy. Her presentation showcased a meticulous and orderly mapping of this journey, factoring in an impressive set of parameters — ranging from the basis of the purchase decision and role of influencers, to the way consumers compare products and brands, which appliance is bought the most, what channel they prefer, and other decision criteria.

She concluded that the reasons for buying were almost equally divided between impulse buys and considered decisions. While 45 per cent of buyers shopped online, the rest bought from the store, with older customers preferring the latter route. Recommendations of friends and family were more valued than online reviews, and a longer warranty and service assurance were important factors in the brand choice. Outlining her methodology, Komal admitted it was difficult to get consumers to respond to her survey, and involved considerable effort and patience.

Brand awareness

An area-wise analysis of the patterns of purchase of a paint major’s enamel and distemper products across four regions in Gujarat formed the basis of Vibesh’s internship report, which looked into the factors affecting the purchase decision, role of contractors as influencers, top of mind awareness of the brand, and the price and profitability issues for dealers.

The other finalists were Nishant Kothari, second-year MBA at TAPMI, Manipal; and Jobin John and Jassica Joy, both in second-year MBA at IBS Hyderabad. Nishant analysed the use of a software player’s ERP and accounting solution in the Dakshina Kannada region, especially among apparel and pharmacy retailers, and identified the optimal price points preferred by the micro retailers. Jobin studied the distribution network of the market leader in milk products in parts of Telangana and Karnataka, in order to generate and convert leads to widen the market. And Jassica’s project for an entrance test prep service provider assessed the key factors in parents’ decision to enrol their wards in the company’s programme vis-à-vis the competition.

The students benefited from some keen questioning and sharp observations by the jury, which comprised Prof S Sundar, former Associate Professor, Dept of Marketing, BIM; K Shravan, Brand Manager, Saint Gobain India; and Kavita Ganesan, Assistant VP-Marketing, Sterling Holidays.

Value of internships

Speaking before the student presentations, BusinessLine Editor R Srinivasan said: “Internships are a valuable part of the academic learning process, and the better structured an internship is, the greater the learnings and gains for everyone — interns and companies.” He added that: “Given the average management student’s heavy workload, a newspaper such as BusinessLine plays an important role, both in providing the first-cut business information as well as deeper analysis and insights.”

The internship project contest, jointly organised by BusinessLine on Campus and Kaybase, he said, will help students interact meaningfully with corporate leaders and make them better prepared for the business world.

“Internships are important as they build a student’s confidence,” said Poornima Bhaskaran, Director, Kaybase, adding that “they play a key role in students’ understanding of where their interests lie, evoke curiosity about how a business works, and how retailers and consumers think.”

Announcing the winners, Prof Sundar said that while all the project reports had value and showed a sound understanding of the respective businesses, the winner’s presentation was marked by a keen attention to detail and focused conclusions, while that of the runner-up was comprehensive in scope.

R Srinivasan gave away awards and certificates to the winners.