I, Bhanu Pratap Singh Tanwar, BPST, to be precise, worked as a Marketing Executive in TinyOwl during the summers of 2014. With two undergraduate years beneath my wings, I was the tiniest owl at TinyOwl. Here is an abridged version of my experience of working in a uber-cool start-up.
What is TinyOwl?
Hoot. Hoot. TinyOwl brings you food!
TinyOwl, founded by IITB grads, is a mobile application which digitizes the menu of restaurants around, enabling you to order food from your smartphone, sans those long calls to the restaurant. For example, you can choose whether to add jalapenos, onion sauce, mayonnaise in your sub or not, without making the pilgrimage to the nearest Subway. Tap to order and get the food delivered at your doorstep.
TinyOwl is divided in five divisions: Tech, Marketing, Business Development (which again is an umbrella department for categorisation, logistics and operations) and Customer Care.
How did I get the internship?
TinyOwl called for applications via SPO. From the numerous profiles that were listed, I applied for Content Writing and reluctantly for Marketing. I was shortlisted for Marketing profile (luck!) after which there was a Skype interview.
What is Marketing?
Marketing is the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers, for the purpose of selling that product or service. The aim was simple, devise new methods and strategies to grab popular attention! (and obviously convert this attention into user base).
What did we do at TinyOwl?
TinyOwl, in its infancy, used to operate in Powai. Thus, we focussed on on-field/office campaigns on weekends and brochure distribution during weekdays. We used to analyse effectiveness of different campaigns and modify future strategies accordingly.
As the field of flight started growing, the successful campaigns were replicated across new locations. When my internship was about to end, we had spread our operations to more than half of Mumbai.
The team also looked after the popularity of the Owl via brochures and fliers. The content creation was done by the Marketing team; creatives as well as the text. As the operations expanded, the focus increased on social media platforms and you can see the cool illustrations synonymous with TinyOwl these days.
‘Customer is King’, is taken pretty seriously here and feedback collection used to be the last task before calling it a day. After roaming around in apartments of Hiranadani and Nahar, in a short span of time, I became well-versed with the real estate prices.
Simply put, the parent task was “to get things done”. I remember the trips to South Bombay , to seal the deal for the umbrellas for the referral campaign, the cancellation of order by the vendor and placing the order with another vendor on the penultimate day of internship. Similarly, we organised a very low-cost “Chai” campaign. I remember organising a Chai campaign for Social Scribblers at three times the cost. Apart from working smart, I learnt how to work cheap!
The only thing which gave me nightmares was thinking one-liners. Something like, ‘Hoot Hoot! TinyOwl fetches you delicious food’. Meh.
How are the other Owls?
Awesome. The founder used to flaunt his IPhO tee in the office: Goyal, a silver medallist. Someone made a switch to entrepreneurship after Investment Banking: Shikhar, a former DB intern. Then there was this epic duo of Less is More, Manish and Avik. Shahbaz is the cost cutting expert, who helped to buy this domain at half the price.
Oh….wait… Parul is also awesome! (TIP: Never forget to keep the HR in good humour!!)
Internship Experience in one line?
‘Being Street Smart 101’
Mumbai and random musings!
Almost everyone encounters ‘frust’ moments during internships. I think they are a part and parcel of life which are easily diluted by the joy of accomplishing the task at hand. So, Keep Calm. The start-up enthusiasts should definitely give a shot to internships in start-ups to gain hands-on experience because you can take immense initiatives and work in a close-knit environment.
All in all, Mumbai’14 was bliss, especially how Vox Populi happened. That’s another chapter about which I will write at length someday. The hospitality of Mumbai was remarkable. The food. Bus No. AS422. Local. H13’s night canteen. Theobroma. Subway. 322/9-IITB.
Written by Bhanu Pratap Singh Tanwar
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