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Marketing, L’Oreal, China, 2008
Working @ Mahindra
I joined Mahindra & Mahindra’s global recruit program in July 2009. In the past year, I have worked on many corporate strategy projects such as market research on two wheeler industry, competitor profiling of international tractor companies, etc. The most interesting among all was a sales force competency development program for Mahindra Farm Equipment Sector’s (FES) joint venture in China. I was given full responsibility of the project despite the fact that I was just a fresh college graduate with little understanding of the industry and no experience in HR strategy. Surely it turned out to be a very challenging task, but the learning was tremendous.
I had the opportunity to study the competency development practices in Mahindra FES India and to spend a few months in China to design the program. The best part of this project was that I got to interact with people across the departments, which really helped me to look at the issue from different perspectives. What surprised me most was that everyone in the company, regardless of their levels and designations, was very approachable and supportive. Such culture of learning and sharing made it a lot easier for fresh graduates like me to take on the challenges.
In the past year, I found it not too difficult to enjoy a good lifestyle with good financial planning. Apart from regular expenses such as transport, grocery and phone bills, I was able to go out with friends frequently, have a gym membership and travel around the country. The city of Mumbai offers a very vibrant and expat-friendly culture. It is a perfect blend of traditional India and modern metropolitan. There is always something fun and exciting going on in the city. Your only problem would simply be not having enough time to enjoy all of them!
It was not accidental that I chose to launch my career in India. Before I went to U Penn, I attended the Mahindra United World College, where I spent two years in India for pre-university education. I was not only introduced to the Indian culture at school, but also traveled extensively to Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, etc. I was fascinated by the richness of Indian architecture, religion, music and cuisine. But what struck me most were the openness and the optimistic attitude of the Indian people. After the 2004 Tsunami, I joined a NGO to help with the earthquake relief in a village in Tamil Nadu. Although we did not speak each other’s languages, it was not difficult at all to make personal connections with the local people. Many of the villagers lost their family members in the earthquake, but I did not see any signs of depression on them. Their positive attitude towards life impressed me greatly.
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