An upended day and a process lined up. Usual last-minute preparation with the students and there comes a question,
An upended day and a process lined up. Usual last-minute preparation with the students and there comes a question,
It was late night and I was just flipping my Facebook notifications and there I spotted a post from one of our management students, S Das (name changed for confidentiality purpose).
It took me back to the year when we were conversing how he wanted to become a photographer and his dad locked up his camera. Rest the only thing I knew about him was that he liked Blue… I mean the color!
Drenched in his fondness for Media he chose to pursue an internship in one of the Top 3 Advertising Firms. I was happy to see him get what he wanted to. But this happiness did last precisely for 8 days.
9th day he ambled his way towards the entry of Floor 2 Board Room and exactly we met there once again.
I was super glad to see him and he looked dismal… A mismatch which took a few minutes to neutralize…
“Hey! S Das, how have you been? How is your internship treating you?
“I don’t want this, I never wanted this profile” “No no no this is not me”
Worried I was though yet tried listening to him at length. All along the chat, the only bit I could think of was not to repeat what happened. Not doubting his rooted interest I thought of profiling him again. I called up an alumnus who worked in a digital start-up and anchored S Das with him. And his Energy story commenced since then. Today he works with one of the Fortune 500 Companies. A superb show of his persistence and travail to gear up.
Ahhh !! how could I forget to quote …so during these 16 months spent on campus, his acquaintanceship grew up with one of my mentees.
Monika Chibber (name veiled) was confident and soon got her first Placement offer from one of the popular companies at 5.99 LPA as fixed. She decided to revoke it. The conviction she boar was loud and out which just had to be understood right. Her demeanour reflected that she was made for a larger win.
Today she works with one of the Top 5 valued companies by recent Forbes rating index.
It’s about living with your mentee each day, not baggage them with your own experience but Observe, Learn, Profile. Repeat
3 Key Takeaways:
1-Know your energy well and channelize it right. Knowing is just..just not enough!
2-Believe you and only You can do it.
3-Upon joining dots, you see this Energy was so contagious to embark it’s way to close group peers too. Stay with the right energies.
Until next ..See you!
Was I Thinking Like Jeff?
I had my tickets to Switzerland early next morning and right now I was standing stranded at the countryside at least 50 Kms away from my familiar spot…
No person around, no language known, only the cover of setting sun…phewwww !! It did not appear to be adventurous at all at this point in time. Possibly I had missed the right bus 15 mins back.
With fear sinking in my eyes I tried reading the timings for the next bus which seemed to be the last of the day. I was pretty nervous and started looking for help around and there I spotted a man who looked like a techie farmer. I called him up using sign language and requested him to read the bus schedule. Of course, he was on his tractor then and looking at my plight comprehended the situation well. “Fantastic is the power of expression mankind has been blessed with…”
So this tall guy with huge built marched towards me crossing the road.
I was relieved when he said the next bus is about to arrive. Ohhh !! the sensations revived and fear on my face dimmed. In no time the bus arrived and I was the only one who boarded the bus, once again with augmented stress.
I had forgotten all the management lessons, risk aversions and contingency leadership learned so far. Before rationality could slip on a numb journey this guy stopped, parked the bus, took his keys and in no time drove off the sight.
Darn! It was worse than scene one. Tears filled my eyes hard pressing the edges to overflow.
It was horrible and I feared all the more. The only people I could see was a lady with a pig and a kid. She had a bus and a tent and possibly ran a circus show it looked like. Though she was just across yet our demographics appeared miles apart.
I was trying to ask for help and she looked cold. What the hell? But I did not stop. The darkness catching up made me restless and desperate for help.
And then came his kid who I thought would sync with my expressions but paused with an understanding that I was helpless. A hiatus and then another car zoomed in.
With all my energy I diverted my rescue request to him. And alas! his language was familiar. This was no less than a miracle to me. In no time he booked a cab for me and went off. The moment he disappeared my phone jerked and it’s battery fell apart. Ohhh Fish!
Was this the domino impact from worse to worst. I somehow tried fixing and figuring the Cab time.
After calling him twice I asked the lady to identify his location. 10 mins went off, 30 mins now and 42 mins slipped. I realized that he won’t come now. In despair, my thoughts stared at me to frighten me all the more. I was reminded of all the kind of losses I am going to bear now.
My skin stitched tighter and my thoughts blackened.
And then I heard the sound of my Taxi which the gentleman booked. My breath picked the beat. I was delighted, with a twinkle in the eye and energies rushing back to pump my heart.
How I got rescued to catch up with my Swiss journey was a remarkable experience.
Today When I sit back and mull over it seems what I was a part of, the universe too painted the right vibes for me. My gut was cavernous. I looked forward determined and by no chance to be mislaid.
As quoted in CNBC, Dec 13, 2018, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos says ‘ you have to realize decision making isn’t one size fits all, some decisions must be made with the gut’
‘To know the difference, ask yourself two simple questions:
What are the consequences of this decision? And Is this decision reversible?’
And exactly the story I said here picked up its roots from the gut. I just love to revisit myself many a time to reconfirm my decisive thoughts.
Till then See you!
How to earn a Pre Placement Offer (PPO)
An article from Economic Times, 2011 quotes 6 steps to land into a pre-placement after internship which are as follows:
Look like a professional: Swap sneakers for oxfords and denim for a suit.
Talk: Break ice with your colleagues. Plan ahead for your project
Brush up: On Excel and PowerPoint skills, a must for the corporate world
Take a Lead: But don’t go overboard. Preserve, do not pester
Know Your Company: Keep their vision in mind while working
Don’t be invisible: Be seen and heard. Let your work do the talking
Beat your Deadlines: Finish early to make a perfect presentation
Post looking at Quora, where many IIM and similar pedigree candidates have deliberated on clinching the PPO, here is the summary captured:
1-PPO is not dependent on a single factor. Apart from the work quality, several factors at play are:
-Vacancy: Signing up with the right kind of an internship will alleviate this issue though
-Market conditions: E.g. Telecom in bad shape may have least possibility of fetching a PPO
2-Deciding in the beginning the kind of output an intern needs to stamp from moderate to excellent will be a key drive for achieving a PPO. The following may be kept in mind to build a strong case for PPO.
a) Cover all the points given to you in the project brief. During presentation each point should be covered with details.
b) Collect information from market about the customers, stake holders, product, gap in the need satisfaction, identify opportunity to create a business opportunity.
c) How will you leverage the gap to build sustainable business for the company. Collect images from market, video interviews taken from stake holders to show that you have really put efforts, you have tried to go into deep to understand a problem, develop a solution for it.
d) Be entrepreneurial in approach, talk to other people in the same industry, visit plants, distributors, retailers, customers, prepare questionnaire, get feedback from customers. Present this data, support your recommendations with proper data & research. Give clear recommendations not more than three.
3- For consulting internships in particular and others as well, below needs to be kept in mind.
-Own your project: Once you are assigned a project, it is completely your responsibility. You need to own your project. This means that you live, eat and sleep with your project.
-Finish your project on time: Divide your project into smaller parts, and make a timeline for the entire project. Always ensure that you leave enough flexibility in the timeline to incorporate any unseen circumstances which are not in your control. It is extremely important to finish your project on time, and no excuse is acceptable.
-Keep your deck updated even the slightest of change must reflect to be at par
-Ensure that your mentor is always looped in.
-Be sincere: Right from respecting time to the culture of the company
-Be a part of the team and learn to bond well
-Don’t shy away from voicing your opinions: Nobody likes a person who just nods at whatever their seniors say. And nobody likes someone who does not have any opinion at all.
Also the below link from Mint Jun 17, 2017 profoundly explains how Amazon India converts 60 % of their interns into regular hires.
‘We are happy to bring interns for a longer period, not just two months… bring in professors who can co- create work with us. That is something we are focused on’, says Amazon India’s HR head Raj Raghavan
The Internet today ties more than two billion people world across. Also it has an immense bearing on the global economy, contributing an estimated $1.7 trillion, of the global GDP in 2010. Yet half the numbers of Internet users live outside the advanced economies, often in countries that are quickly developing, have significant economic potential and are socially and culturally diverse. India has about 120 million people online today which offers an arresting example of the Internet’s growth potential. The major players are eyeing to gulp a larger pie of India’s $3.1 billion (excluding travel) e-commerce market (Business Standard 23 May 2014). India is adopting the Internet at a much more rapid pace than advanced economies and even many developing economies, yet 90 percent of its population is currently not connected.
Hence the pertinent question rises – What makes India’s online retail sector under perform despite of country being the third largest Internet base in the World after China and the US? Of $500 billion organized retail sector, the online segment contribution is less than 0.50%. (ET New Delhi 10 Feb 2014). India’s e-commerce market is valued at $3.1 billion by CLSA (HT New Delhi 21 May 2014) and is sensed to be highly competitive. Are we all projecting it to “can’t touch, won’t buy” outlook? Or smartphones will flush in torrid patterns in shopping behavior of the consumers in forthcoming years? Are we restricting the uprising to the surface or e tailing will cut the ice to deeper levels? This study attempts to understand the ways to improve satisfaction levels considering visual merchandizing factors impacting intention to buy of online apparel shoppers in India based on empirical research and will also try answering if higher satisfaction is indicative of repeat buying.
Internet invasion along with secure gateways, prompt deliveries and returns, price bargains and convenience have accounted for high affinity among the time starved and impatient generation. Indian consumers have exhibited remarkable rise in online shopping from 65% recorded last year to 85% in 2013 as revealed by ASOCHAM study. Electronics, apparels, jewelry, baby food and lifestyle accessories like watches, books, perfumes and beauty products have witnessed the roar. India’s e-commerce market has progressed from $2.5 billion in 2009 to$6.3 billion in 2011 to $16 billion in 2013 and is estimated to hit $56 billion by 2023 (ASSOCHAM 2013)
Of course the need of the hour dictates how e commerce will gradually creep in to connect people at a click. The way developed nations hinge upon internet shopping, developing nations are not far off in the league. The lower percentage of internet shopping in our country despite of being the third largest internet base is the world may be shouldered upon myriad factors as viewed by “Indian consumer”.
A lot of worldwide research has already been conducted to bring forth various antecedents which are involved in online shopping process. Right from consumer attitude to strategic practices have been examined in past to reveal high involvement factors leading towards an intention to buy. But the visual appeals impacting intention to buy apparels online in a country like India with such a diverse mix necessitates a gaze to comprehend the masses and in turn aid apparel e merchants develop lucrative online visual merchandizing practices.
As larger Indian population gradually becomes acclimatized to online shopping lot many studies conducted talk about mitigating risk factors, thereby enhancing credibility to shop more. Hence, though largely studied in the context of brick-and-mortar stores, Visual Merchandizing (VMD) in the online perspective has gained lot of attention from researchers. VMD is defined as the strategic display of a store and its merchandize in a way that will captivate the attention of potential customers and stimulate them to buy (Diamond & Diamond, 2007). Therefore presentation must be curated with a sharp eye of trending fashion that ultimately yields higher profitability.VMD embraces both visual and marketing functions of the store environment, including store design, merchandise presentation, window dressing, mannequins, props and materials, graphics, lighting and signage (Diamond & Diamond, 2007). Earlier studies establish that site design and merchandising pull customers and impact their satisfaction with Internet shopping (Szymanski & Hise, 2000). Extensive and higher-quality product information affects consumers’ contentment in Internet shopping (Lin, 2007). Also more striking and pleasurable site stimuli may influence consumers’ behavioral intention (Wu, Cheng, & Yen, 2008).
Fashion marketing flags VMD as an absolute vital strategic tool (Lea-Greenwood, 1998), and apparel is a significant fashion category that is frequently purchased online (Burns, 2006). Year 2006 marks the popularity of apparel and apparel-related products purchased online, excluding travel (Corcoran, 2007); online sales of apparel and accessories in the U.S. increased 31% as compared to the previous year (Emarketer, 2007) almost reaching $12.4 billion, which accounted for 12.2% of total sales in 2007 (Brohan, 2008). This was one of the reasons for choosing apparels as the target product in this research.
In the traditional retail locale, consumers search apparel products using visual and tactile senses. However, due to the nature of the online purchase process, Internet shoppers rely on visual information available on the screen (e.g., verbal descriptions and product images). Since apparel cannot be physically experienced online, ambiguity about color, fabric, and fit makes online apparel shopping risky. Previous research suggests that provision of sufficient visual and verbal product-related information may influence consumer attitudes and enhance buying intentions (Kim & Lennon, 2008).
Hence the study aims to identify the different factors associated with visual merchandizing which may impact the buying intention of the customer. The research will be based on customer perceptions about the various aspects of visual merchandising and hence will also study the customer traits and the possible influence it may have on the buying intentions. It is assumed for the purpose of this study that customer demographics, their purchasing power, their previous shopping experience, their trust and the place of residence will impact their online buying behavior.
The importance of the study lies in the fact that there has been a surge in technology and also a shift in the buying modes of people in India. Indians are now showing interest in purchasing from the comforts of their home and are giving up the traditional mode of buying apparels.