Tale of the F-Day
By: Prateek Tarani
It was 6:30 am, and at the first alarm bell, I stood on my knees. On that day, the snooze button disappeared for me. I shaved again to ensure that I look best, put on the coat and reached at the company gate well exactly on time beating the Bengaluru traffic. To my surprise, I got to know that I was dropped at the wrong location by auto. I hurriedly went to another nearby but actual location and found that the waiting room was already filled with interns. I took a wisp of breath, wiped the perspiration off my face and entered inside. Twelve other blazer-clad interns, from other reputed institutes, such as IIM Trichy, IIM Kozhikode, SIBM, and GIM, exchanged their gaze with me. I took a seat; somehow ice got broke and then started the first round of networking. We got to know each other like our profiles, native places and assigned departments. In the next 2 hours, our HR formalities got over, and we were handed our badges. Our HR then informed us about the basic but critical rules of the organisation, namely, Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions Private Limited (RBEI) and finally, asked us to report to our mentors.
I had already checked my mentor’s profile on LinkedIn and got to know that he is the man of sheer brilliance – a school topper, BIT Mesra pass out and represented top 5% of FMS Delhi, 2012 batch. Above all, before joining Bosch India, he had worked in Operations and Strategy, the area where I wish to see my career in. I did my homework well in advance i.e. read about the company and its on-going projects so that I may have something relevant to talk with my mentor and prove my seriousness towards my candidature. For the next half-an-hour, he briefed me about the company, the projects relevant to my profile that Bosch is undertaking, what are his expectations and asked me to read some assigned material like an annual report, in the coming days.
I was assigned the department of ‘Business Development’ and what came to my amazement was that my project would be in Bosch DNA Startup Accelerator Program. This is the division of RBEI that is responsible for incubating external startups and also looks after internal startups(new innovative businesses fully developed by management of Bosch).
Now comes the question: “What’s there to be amazed?”. Bosch DNA Startup Accelerator Program doesn’t function like any other corporate department but boasts of the startup culture including informal environment setting from colourful walls to funky chairs, work focussed on the result rather than timings, embracing uncertainty and daily dealing with myriad problems from go-to-market strategy, shipment issues, operational problems among others. Bosch India is a corporate behemoth that is governed by top-down culture, but such a department produces the stark contrast and calls for the appreciation.
When I got introduced to my team, who will eventually become my actual mentors, I came to know that three out five members are from JMP i.e. a coveted Junior Managers Program that only takes students from premier B-schools. One of the other two team members has more than 13 years and holds a senior executive position, while another one is a young engineering graduate who holds extensive sales experience. Their profiles gave me a brief hint that what I how much hard work would be required from my side that I was ready to put in.
The five team members eventually gathered and asked for a 2 minutes introduction of mine, including something unique, so that they remember me. I talked about my experience, hobbies but highlighted about my passion of public-speaking and a brief stint at being a Radio Jockey. This introduction made them being remembered me by the name of RJ Prateek. Post introduction, I was given a lovely coffee mug as a memento. In this introduction, they also gauged the interest of mine as well of three other interns assigned to the same department.
After some time, I was taken inside a conference room. I was briefly informed my project that it would revolve around business strategy formulation for Blockchain Center of Excellence in RBEI; creating an action plan for its deployment in a department associated with material management (exact name cannot be revealed because of confidentiality) and promoting the technology via conducting workshops and internal communications. I was also given a brief hint above the upcoming event for which I have to assist them in planning about Blockchain itself. So, this project is mainly about understanding the operational aspects of the technology, coordinating with the development team, learning about the functioning of the department that forms the core of operations management and developing plan and process for integrating both.
In a nutshell, if I rewind the day backwards then I find that it was filled with all sorts of emotions, expectations, potential opportunities to prove myself and keep the integrity of my institution. That being said, I wish to end the article on a positive note with a quote.
“Be more dedicated to making solid achievements than in the running after swift but synthetic happiness.” – A.P.J Abdul Kalam