14 Dec 2016 19:41 IST

Working with perseverance to achieve the best

Showing good leadership skills at critical times is important to succeed

Summertime is a linchpin to every aspiring MBA student so it’s only natural when summer requiem latches on to them. As for me, after the tribulations of the summer placement process, when I got an internship with Pidilite, I could recount every second that went into getting me there. And looking back at those two momentous months of my internship, I am hit by a wave of nostalgia.

Dream come true

When I arrived at the headquarters of Pidilite it seemed a dream come true. The initial few days were set aside for an induction programme wherein all the summer interns were briefed about the organisation. We came to know the vastness of Pidilite’s offerings and its wide international presence. All the interns were briefed by the presidents of each business division and the Chief Marketing Officer, Vivek Sharma. Vivek Sharma also walked us through the iconic Fevicol advertising campaigns that have stayed with us since childhood. He showed us how the company comes up with new ads while building a firm brand salience in the minds of the consumers. Later in the week we were asked to do a field visit with territory sales in charge of the on-ground understanding of the market.

Market research

My summer internship project involved doing a market research to find the feasibility of two new adhesive products which were specifically designed for carpenters and I was expected to design the detailed communication and promotion strategy for their market launch.

It was a core marketing project wherein I went to almost 150 stores in two months and interacted with 600 carpenters across Jaipur and Delhi. The most satisfying parts of the experience were exploring the largest furniture market in Asia, Delhi’s Kriti Nagar and Jaipur’s various furniture clusters. The samples of my product had arrived from Turkey and as part of the project, I had to conduct application trials at the furniture units and reap insights from the carpenters to implement the same in the Indian market.

Based on my secondary research on similar adhesives in foreign markets, I recommended many packaging and composition changes to the product. I also conducted a product improvement survey to recommend the various fine changes that would enhance the user experience. I also suggested an altogether different variant of the product (which made use of a pen dryer instead of a spray drying agent that was a part of the intended product) to make it more customer friendly.

I also extended the scope of my project and estimated the market potential of the two products after interacting with all the stakeholders (carpenters, wholesalers and Fevicol dealers) and conducted a price point analysis to estimate the price sensitivity of the two products. I designed concept cards and application modules of the two products to ensure that my target segments had a better understanding of its usage.

Throughout, I ensured that I captured videos and images of various application trials and maintained a constant stream of communication with my mentors through weekly status reports.

Final days

Towards the end, my colleagues and bosses helped me structure design the flow and content of the final presentation. The most satisfying part of the journey was when, during the dry run of the presentation, my mentor told me that my hard work was evident in the presentation itself. In the final review, the VP of Fevicol told me that I had showed good leadership skills in handling such a critical project which made the journey all the more rewarding.

Every inch of hard work seemed worth it when Pidilite offered me a pre-placement offer based on my work and an opportunity to be part of their flagship Young Leadership Programme. In the process I realised that it is one’s undying perseverance and a constant pursuit for solving crucial user problems that shapes up a marketer’s journey.