Posted on: August 21, 2012
“Whoever has said anything about the non-applicability of theory classes in the real world has clearly never been to KIAMS.”
Shruti Jain, just back at KIAMS after a 2-month internship in Mumbai with real estate giant Kalpataru Group, conveys this message with the confidence of someone who has applied her learning from the classroom at KIAMS – and found that it worked wonders!
“Yes, I gained practical experience in dealing with customers only during my internship; yes, the questionnaire was provided to me by Kalpataru; and yes, it was due to my ability to not let the exhaustion of being at Mumbai one day, Thane the other, and Pune on the third day, that helped me build a huge database. But what good would all this be had I not learnt the market-research process in KIAMS, had I not learnt how to handle ‘big data’ and had I not been taught how to use various statistical tools and the method of analysis of ‘big data’ at KIAMS? If the data, statistics and analysis that I was able to build over a period of 2 months is being used extensively by a real estate conglomerate like Kalpataru to apply for the Confederation of Indian Industries-Exim Bank award (CII-Exim), the credit rests majorly with KIAMS.”
Shruti Jain was placed with the market research department of Kalpataru with the mandate to visit its various sites and interact with a cross-section of the foot-falls. Her research would thereafter be used as input for product development. To the layman, it may seem like a simple job of filling out questionnaires, but it was far more critical than that. As luck would have it, her faculty guide from KIAMS was Prof. E. Anand, the faculty member for statistics at KIAMS, who was available even at the oddest hours if she needed help or advice.
“When you have to talk to so many different people, it’s always challenging. Some are helpful with information, while others simply brush you aside. Some are looking for investment opportunities, while others are end-users. Then there is the big question of what their budget really is. Very often, the sales force at different Kalpataru sites would be wary of me, confusing me with someone assessing their services, rather than the product.”
For a person who was exposed for the first time to an industry where the customer comes to the product – and the concepts, terminologies, and marketing strategies that go with it- Shruti took it all in her stride; and it paid off remarkably well…. in monetary terms as well!
“Money is probably the finest way to show one’s appreciation for the work you’ve done. At the beginning of my internship with Kalpataru, there was no talk of a stipend. When at the end of the 2-month stint, I went to collect my certificate to be submitted at KIAMS from the HR department, I was completely surprised to see the accompanying cheque. Apparently, the market research team was very happy with my performance and felt that I deserved a stipend. It was completely unexpected and a very, very happy moment for me.” With a beginning like this and the strong foundation at KIAMS, Shruti certainly has a bright future ahead of her.