Milking the best out of an internship!

by Snehrag Raghavan on Saturday 1 September 2012, 12:01 AM | Category: Summer Internship Contest| View: 3928 views

Milking out the best out of an internship!


Chapter One: The Workplace

 All our friends and relatives were peacefully sleeping at some corner of the bed in some corner of the world. But here we are, a bunch of guys who were busy calculating the time to reach a point situated somewhere in a far off place in the outskirts of Mumbai.  This was the first phase of my Summer Internship at Reliance Dairy Foods, Mumbai. 3 30 AM, and the only moving objects we could see were some stray dogs sniffing around and eying some of us curiously and some groups of goons smoking  and howling in some corner.

Kya Truck Hai?
 Doodhwala Truck Hai. This is how my internship at XYZ Dairy Foods started.

It was a dream come true for me like all my batch-mates to join an FMCG company for summer internship. FMCG Company sounds so fancy hain?  However the experience at the moment of truth was altogether unexpected. Interacting with the people at highest positions and utilizing the best out of it. Nothing like this happened.

Being an inseparable part of our daily life including festivals and other holidays, life without milk for Indian's is next to impossible. We had to work on Sunday's as well.

The first three nights, we had to visit the Procurement Plant in Vasai, a distant suburb of Mumbai, and accompany the delivery trucks so that we learn the logistics and transportation part of the milk delivery process. Riding in a truck, sitting next to the driver and listening to pure Bhojpuri songs was something I had never imagined I will experience in my life. The next 3 mornings after delivery of crates I would sip a cutting with the driver at some random place in Mumbai.  The night streets were our ‘Workplace'. 12 A.M to 7 A.M.

After the three adventurous nights, next destination: Pathardi Village, Ahmednagar. We were asked to make a group of four and leave for the place the very next day. We prepared the groups and made sure that we are the first to depart.

Chapter Two: Road To Hell

Travelling in the 'Lal Dabba' turned out to be an awesome experience. After all, we were one of the luckiest who were being sent for field trips outside Mumbai during summers. Destination Ahmednagar reached. The next morning, we packed our bags and left for our next task, the remotest place I had ever seen. We were promised food and other basic facilities, so we carried only limited resources, read money. 4 of us, Vineet, Mahesh, Richard and myself! 4 different personalities with different expectations! We decided to make the most of the trip.

A gruelling 8 hour bus ride and we reach Pathardi. We get down, stretch, and take in the fresh air. Two gentlemen, employees at the plant waited there to welcome us. That's some royalty. What we did not notice was the two rough and tough bikes along with them, only to be told that there was an hour long bike ride next. Not being new to the triple seat rides back home, I was given the charge to ride one of the bikes. It was a huge big responsibility on my shoulders because I had to ride two pillion riders to safety in pitch dark zero visibility environment with only the bike lights for guidance, since the area had no power supply. Luckily, it was a straight road there was not a single soul in vicinity. It was another new experience altogether.

We made a small visit to the plant the moment we reached and understood how the things are really done. Impressed with the rooms given to us we freshened up and the plant in-charge, Mr. Tijori along with his three other colleagues, took us for dinner in the nearest hotel eight kilometres away from the plant. By 1 AM we were back at the Chilling Centre.

By 5 AM the next morning we had to be in the milk collection vans that went up in villages for collecting milk.

As expected none of us woke up on time for which we got a nice lecture.  We again joined the plant workers and started doing a trip inside the premises and noted a number of things which they can improve upon foe bettering the quality of milk. We hadn't eaten anything.

Lunch time and nobody asked us anything and we realised that we will have to arrange the food. Mahesh and Vineet, volunteered to go and get the food. Richard and I decided to take a small nap. We were still tired of the Lal Dabba ride and the dull climate was just adding on to the mood. An hour later the food guys returned completely tanned and drenched in sweat. They had lost their way back. I wondered how they could since it was a straight road with nearly nothing in vicinity and the plant clearly getting visible from at least a kilometre. On further probing, they confessed that they had a few drinks.

Chapter 3: The 35 Rupees Vada Paav

In the evening we accompanied the milk collection vans and studied the How, What and When of the process. Interacting with the villagers was entirely a new experience. It took us around 4 hours to reach back to the plant. We were now thorough with the entire course of action but at some corner of our minds, we were thinking about the dinner. We waited for the plant officials to ask us for dinner but nobody did. The plant in-charge did not answer our calls and other officials in Mumbai said they are not responsible for the same.

We then had nothing for dinner. “Hey, that's a packet of Maggi!”. God bless the man who left the packet in our room. I washed the only utensil available and started cooking. We learnt the value of food and our parents that night.

The next morning the plant in-charge said that we will not be arranging any kind of transport to us. So we had to leave by the only truck available in the afternoon. While our stomachs were empty we silently watched the plant officials enjoying fruits. We wouldn't have cursed anyone like this ever before in our lives. At the Pathardi bus stop, each of us had a premium 35 Rupees Vada Paav. Yes that was costly but we were hungry.

A wait for another 3 hours for the bus to come and in the meanwhile splurged in sugarcane juice and mineral water. What e didn't realise that we had emptied our pockets and were left with exactly the amount available for tickets.  That night we wished we had saved some money sometime in our lives. Luckily, I had an ATM card and little money in my account. So after reaching Pune station, I made sure each one of us had some money to reach home safely.

We reached Dadar station at 2 AM, confused whether to wait for the trains to start or to go in some private vehicle. We chose the second option. Mahesh travelled back home in an ACC cements' truck. Richard and I took a cab. The driver was drunk, but we decided to take our chances as we had no other option. A little while later we realised that the driver had lost his way. We got down and started walking. A 3-4 kilometre walk towards Sion and we got a lift in the BMC garbage truck, better known as the Ghanta Gaadi in Mumbai. Initially reluctant to ask him, we made up our minds and discarded our egos. He agreed us to take us till Vikhroli for free. Yes! There is something known as humanity I realized.


Chapter Four: The End & The Values

I dreamt of interacting with people in official suits, travelling in luxury cars and staying in 3 star hotels. These were shattered but in the chorus I learnt the value of lot of things. But the foremost thing, I could overcome my ego. Every new day was a test for me. But at the end of it all, I gained a lot of patience. It taught me the decorum of labour. I joined my college with the perception that an MBA will directly make me a CEO. But I learnt that nothing comes the easy way to anyone. I feel I have become a lot stronger from within.

I am prepared for the worst but simultaneously hoping for the best!

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