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GISMA offers internship in the "Silicon Valley" of India09.07.2007 - (idw) GISMA Business School
This year's full-time MBA class of GISMA Business School in Hannover, Germany, had the opportunity of spending an internship at the TVS Motor Company in Bangalore, which is known as India's "Silicon Valley". A total of 15 students from GISMA and their partner university, Purdue, USA, spent three weeks working on projects for TVS, whose owner and president is a Purdue graduate, himself. Under the supervision of mentors from various departments of this motorcycle manufacturing company, participating MBA students were assigned to projects of current relevance in groups of two or three, based on individual interests stated beforehand.
Christian Driemel (GISMA MBA class of 2007) teamed up with a fellow student from India on a marketing project. "For me, it was extremely gratifying to discover that what we had been learning at GISMA in just four short months could already be applied to real-world challenges. Even without prior business training, I was able to make proposals that ended up benefiting the company. It was also great to see that it's possible to work anywhere in the world."
Speaking about his work, Christian explained: "Even though my project partner had studied at Purdue, we acted on the same knowledge base and built a strong team, working very well together. Our project examined the use of marketing tools and their effects on the brand and the standing of TVS."
Dmitry Kokorin (GISMA MBA class of 2007) also took part in a marketing project. His team's task was to conduct a survey for TVS among buyers and potential buyers of their premium products. Individual interviews were done with 40 respondents consisting of existing and potential customers, as well as customers of the competition's. The objective was to find out which features were liked best by customers, and what factors had influenced their decision to buy a TVS motorcycle or a competing model.
In Dmitry's words: "We drove around the region and interviewed customers on location. The interviews were partly conducted in English, and in other cases only by my Indian project partner". By way of preparation, the MBA students had visited TVS showrooms to acquaint themselves with models and features. They also produced the questionnaire and recorded the interviews. "Having a camera running did tend to make our interviewees feel a bit uneasy, but it
gave us a firm foundation on which to base our subsequent analysis," continued Dmitry. "In view of the fact that our survey was not on standard, run-of-the-mill motorbikes, and customers tended to have a rather emotional relationship with 'their' model, they were happy to speak with us, and any tension always disappeared quickly." Following quantitative analysis, the student team gave TVS a recommendation on how to improve its target-group marketing.
Cultural immersion included
During their three-week stay, the students lived in apartments near the company, with full room and board. Nevertheless, they had close contact with fellow staff members and customers, and thus also had ample occasion to get to know a bit about Indian culture and the Indian way of life. "One thing I found interesting," pointed out Christian, "is that although India is a country of social contrasts, all people were extremely friendly and I felt comfortable immediately." Summing up his experience, Dmitry commented: "It was great for me to be in such close touch with Indian customers and to experience a way of communicating which is far less direct than in Russia or Germany."
At the end of the internship, students had time for a side-trip to New Delhi and the Taj Mahal before flying back to Hannover for the start of the new module of the MBA program.
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