I’m writing to share my experiences as an intern. Working a real job is very different from going to school and college. I work at Beltronix Trading (Pvt.) Limited, which is one of the oldest IT companies in Nepal. It has been around for almost three decades. Since I studied marketing, I thought that working in the sales and marketing department would be the best fit for me. I also felt that the job suited my personality and my future life goals. I have produced sections from my daily journal in order to give you a basic idea of my work life. Hope you find it helpful. My sincere thanks to Thames College for giving me the opportunities to develop myself and to my Internship advisor Ashish sir for guiding me and giving me this opportunity to share my experience.
May 2, 2016: My first day at Beltronix
Every morning, a fingerprint scanner marked daily attendance. I was full of emotions and energy. I had been volunteering at CAN Infotech Nepal as their sales representative so I knew some of the staff members already which was nice. I got introduced to the organization’s culture and the rest of the staff.
I got briefed regarding my position. I was then given a brochure of Amaron Batteries and told to find all the information. I was assigned to research facts about the product and discuss my findings with various technical and non-technical staff members. I studied the company closely under a supervisor. They discovered a surprising fact – the company’s dealership ranged from printers, inverters to batteries.
But towards the middle of the day there was literally no work to do. It was quite annoying just to sit on the desk in front of the monitor. But I kept myself busy by reading books or thinking about the things I would do. I enjoyed making a list of product features, advantages and benefits and doing a SWOT analysis since it was what I had studied in the past. I thought that I would put my academic skills into action by developing a marketing plan for selling the product. From tomorrow I will begin my fieldwork to go to various prospects and gather information about them. I usually have a lot of questions to ask my supervisor but can’t think of one now.
“It was quite annoying just to sit on the desk in front of the monitor. But I kept myself busy by reading books or thinking about the things I would do. I enjoyed making a list of product features, advantages and benefits and doing a SWOT analysis since it was what I had studied in the past”.
May 3, 2016: The real-world environment
Today I visited various retailers who were in the battery, inverter, and UPS business. My job was to introduce Amaron Quanta batteries to these retailers after asking various questions and gathering information about other competitors’ industries and their strategies in the market. I went to several shops on my bike in a formal outfit and attempted to explain the product which I was introduced to only yesterday! Most of the firms I visited were selling Exide, Sukam, and Asian batteries. The main competitor of our product is Sipradi Trading which is marketing Exide batteries. My clients seemed pretty interested while I talked. Now I need to go back with a list of rates and follow up. I enjoyed learning about how different companies dealt with the market, offering various discount schemes and bonuses. But the task itself – going to shop after shop and repeating the same speech – was annoying.
“Real world is very different. You have to deal with different people in different ways and sales and marketing is a job where you need to show your professionalism and skills to persuade people. After all it’s about making a sell”.
You don’t always get a friendly smile. But then, on the other hand, visiting new places can be enjoyable as well. This job also connects to what I studied and I can relate the work to some of the academic content. I returned to the office and made a sales register in which I jotted down numbers and locations and wrote short notes about my day that I can send to my supervisor.
May 4, 2016: Market Research
Today my first task was to find out about competitive brands of batteries in the market and their reselling agreement. So I went to Lagankhel to my friend’s place who is in the battery business. There are various competitive brands. As I mentioned before, Sipradi’s Exide is a major one. The companies usually give an extra bonus – 2 to 3% – for reaching the sales target. Now it’s very surprising that companies would give from 30 to 50% discount on MRP for the retailers in the batteries. It felt like a lot. I could not ask my friend for more personal information regarding their sellers.
The office itself has a very friendly environment. I have a meeting with the supervisor everyday where we discuss what I found out in the market and make plans for the next day. The get motivated when I can engage with the retailers and have a good conversation. I feel like I’m learning about various different aspects of a product.
May 5, 2016: Patience
Today I realized that the office environment is very informal but the employees are quite punctual. I started work researching about the companies’ batteries and gaining various pieces of information. Then I went for a field visit. My territory for today was from Tripureshowr to Kalanki. I went to Exide to get some competitor’s information. I was surprised that even though Exide has the same SMF (Maintenance free ) batteries it has not marketed it to its full potential. And many places do not have those.
After a while, I got annoyed by Kathmandu’s dusty roads. The sun made me sweaty. At one place in Kalanki, I was badly grilled by the business owner. I could not answer his questions. He asked me the discount percentage and I said “It starts from 30%.” He returned the price list to me and asked me to leave. I was not sure what had happened. He even showed me his income sheet, revealing that he was a big seller. I just smiled and stood there for sometime and listened. I fully realized my immaturity but told myself that it has only been three days. I remembered reading in college about the traits of a sales person and how one had to deal with the person when one doesn’t know the answer. At the end of the day I learned new things through that rough conversation and could control my emotions too which was nice. Perhaps that dealer wants to buy in bulk later on but I need to be more competitive next time I visit that place.
I am going to conclude my journal here. Real-world is very different. You have to deal with different people in different ways and sales and marketing is a job where you need to show your professionalism and skills to persuade people. After all it’s about making a sell. Nowadays, solution selling is old and traditional. The modern selling is insight selling where you ask a thought-provoking question and give the solution that people don’t even had problems with. Why would a dealer want to keep our product if they do not have a higher margin than other brands? There is cut-throat competition in the market where profit is not always guaranteed. So as an intern, I am learning quite a lot. Each day brings something new and it’s all about one’s attitude and how one faces challenges. Next time you apply for a sales job, you know what to expect. I hope my reflection was enjoyable and helpful. Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you have any feedback or suggestions, please feel free to contact me.