Shantanu Tewari is currently a fourth year undergrad student in IIT Kanpur. He interned with ITC during the summers of 2015. Read on as he recounts his experience.
It was in August, 2014, that my experience with ITC started, when I decided to try and compete for their KITES Internship program. After a Group Discussion and two rounds of interviews: one technical and the other HR-related, in which I was mainly asked about my previous projects and some basic technical questions, I was selected as one of the five ITC KITES interns from our campus.
The first step of the process started when all the interns were called for a three-day orientation in Bangalore in April’15. The fun part was the awesome accommodation at one of ITC’s luxurious hotels and the great time spent with all the interns from the other institutes. The orientation consisted of sessions to make us familiar with ITC as a company and its internship program, KITES. During the orientation we were also explained the expectations, the company had from us and how we could get the most out of the internship opportunity.
In a few days we got our project briefs and I got a project in ITC’s Tobacco division at Bengaluru factory (you could be going to any one of their factories which are scattered all over the country) and flew there in May for a two month project. We were provided company accommodation for a week after which we arranged a PG. The usual working hours were 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Saturday was a half day till 1:30 p.m.).
From the first day itself I realized the importance of my project for ITC and the independence that was given to us. My project was to improve the capability of a particular process in cigarette manufacturing, by reducing its variability. The project had aspects of electrical as well as of mechanical engineering and operations which made it ‘techno-managerial’. They didn’t expect any prior knowledge in a specific field due to the complex and varied nature of different projects though the usual courses may be of help for some. The people at the factory, from the branch manager to all the machine operators, were very supportive and friendly, patiently guiding me at every step and with any system in the factory.
Due to the broad nature of the problem, I got a chance to learn about several systems and processes which are in place in a factory. I was also encouraged to experiment with the systems and to implement changes in them to achieve the desired improvement. The managerial part of the project comes into play when one is required to interact with the people in the factory, the vendors and other companies as a part of the implementations and the experiments. The impact that we can have by directly improving upon the current standard systems of the factory was one thing that appealed to me the most with some of my recommendations already implemented in the factory. The project concluded with a chance to present my work to the highly placed people at the company headquarters.
Apart from work, I got to know Bengaluru well enough although I did miss out on wonderful places in the southern states due to shorter weekends. But again, it was real fun – exploring the city, trying out all the tasty dishes we had heard and not heard about and partying a couple of times. Another perk for some could be having the project in a cigarette factory itself though it is not much of a benefit for non-smokers like me.
Overall it was a great learning and enriching experience.
Written by Shantanu Tewari and edited by Vaidehi Menon and Nishit Asnani.