The Tale of F-Day : Akshay Jindal

My Internship at Bennet Coleman Co. Ltd. – Akshay Jindal MBA 2016-18, NMIMS.

They say, “Job well begun is half done”, and I thought the same before beginning my internship. My internship tale, however, did not have the best of the starts. Narrated below is my internship tale, with its own unexpected twists and turns.

Interning in a media conglomerate like Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. is always an exciting prospect, it is also the first corporate stint for me. I am an HR intern in the RMD department of print media of BCCL in the Mumbai office.

Before joining, I had a brief interaction with the organization mentor, where I was briefed on the project details 4 months in advance. The project was pertaining to performance management of executives our major divisions of BCCL in their CST office (VT office).

Just before joining, I was preparing hard and brushing up various concepts and articles on the relevant concepts so as to have a good first impression on my mentor. I had even prepared a detailed action plan on the analysis and possible implementation options of the project. I had this nervous energy as I left my home early, as soon as I reached the CST station, I could see the iconic Times of India building alongside the heritage BMC headquarters. My nervousness was soon replaced by pure ecstasy.

Unlike the last time when I visited the office 4 months back, this time there were no security hassles, the reception and security staff were expecting me and soon I made my way towards the HR department, glancing on the various milestone photo frames placed elegantly in the hallway walls, depicting BCCL’s more than 175 years of glorious history.

Soon, after I met my mentor, he called me in for a meeting, where he briefed me about the latest developments in the business and how dynamically has the economic environment changed since the last time we interacted. He told me that I would be required to work on a live project in RMD (Results and Market Development, which is primarily concerned with the distribution of Newspapers and Magazines to end consumers) department, where I could demonstrate my HR skills to add value and enrich my learning experience at the same time. The idea of working on a new project was exciting but at the same time, I was a little disheartened that all my prep-work for the previous project would go waste. I was soon introduced to my new mentor who was heading the HR operations of RMD department. My new mentor was very specific with his expectations from the project and he communicated them to me crisply. I was required to do multiple projects in RMD-HR and for that, I would need an overview of the whole RMD business process. Since this was a live project with implementation, I had to start as early as possible.

So, I was sent to Kandivali press to observe print and dispatch operations in various mailrooms. I was also handed a schedule for next 7 days which read as Day 2 Night shift at Kandivali, Day 3- 2nd shift at Airoli press (about 40 Kms from Kandivali) Day 4 Night Shift at Airoli…and so on. After the end of one week, I was to observe the depot (the places where newspapers are unloaded in cities in the early morning and distributed to the vendors) visits and shadow the field sales executives and interact with the area managers. Since the pagination is more and insertion operations (few supplements are inserted in the main edition of newspapers) take place on weekends, I was expected to visit the presses on the weekends. The thought of spending the next Sunday till 4:00 am in a faraway place from the city was not comforting. The dream of working in the air-conditioned iconic VT office was turning out be an elusive one but it was less horrifying than the nightmarish prospect of whiling away time and doing nothing. I was glad that my work if done properly would add value and address the current business challenges.

Today, as I write, I am into the 3rd week of my Internship. Over the last two weeks, I have interacted with a number of managers and head of functions on a daily basis. The experience has been truly inspiring and humbling at the same time. I have been assigned multiple mentors and guides in various functions who always find time out of their busy schedules to guide me. I have also been given a free access to approach any employee for clearing any doubts or any assistance I may require (being an HR intern, believe me it is the biggest boon one can have). At Times Group, new initiatives are encouraged, the managers are always all ears to new ideas. Even though it is a 178-year-old company and people have tried most of the possible measures to increase productivity in the processes, still experimentation takes the centre stage here.
All in all, although I initially thought that the first few days of my internship were testing, but now I realise that they have helped me to go through a steep learning curve and also have set the tone for rest of the internship. It is indeed an enriching and a memorable experience and I am grateful to Times Group and NMIMS for providing me such an amazing opportunity. I hope as this journey continues I am able to gather more such learning experiences that I can leverage upon later when I begin my full-time corporate career. Also, through my summer projects I wish to add a lasting tangible value in my own small way at this great organization that has stood the test of ‘times’.

By Akshay Jindal, MBA 2016-18,
NMIMS, Mumbai
Summer Intern at Bennet Coleman Co. Ltd.

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