Raveesh Kalra is a 5th year student in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Read on as he recounts his experience of working with Reckitt Benckiser, Gurgaon during the summers of 2016.
As a chemical engineer in IIT Roorkee, interested in finding a core intern, your options can get pretty limited. Either you let the department do the work for you and land an intern at some refinery (which would add nothing to your resume as you probably won’t be working on a project there) or you get the option of 5-6 companies to apply through the TPO (ITC, Shell, RB, Reliance, Schlum, Shree Cement). ITC was the first of these companies visiting the campus and I forgot applying for it, RB was the next one. RB was visiting IITR for the first time and me, probably like everybody else, had absolutely no idea about the company but the generous stipend that they offered seemed to generate all the interest they needed. A simple google search will tell you that it is no small company though, with brands like Dettol, Harpic, Lysol, Mortein, Airwick and Durex under their belt.
RB opens for Chemical(B.Tech and Dual) and Biotechnology for their internship program does a basic resume shortlisting (There is no CG cutoff but a 7.5+ CG with a decent resume seems to do the trick). The CG stops playing any part after this as there were interns with 7.6 to 8.9 CG from other IITs. This is followed by a Group Discussion which usually involves discussions on new product development under their already existing brands. A thorough read of the presentation that they provide with the shortlist is preparation enough for the GD.
The only other round after the GD is the personal interview, the interview is a mix of HR and technical. Some preparation on any particular core topic (both Chemical and BT) does help in moving the discussion in the right direction. In my case the discussion moved to a previous intern. The fact that that intern was also in an FMCG (ITC) did help my case. The HR part of the interview involves discussion on what your expectations from the company are. Some knowledge of RB’s brands can help you a lot here as well.
PS: Although RB did not select any intern from BT in 2016, they do have openings for them.
Location: Summer interns from IITs are sent to the Gurgaon R&D facility. This is among only 7 global R&D category centres for RB handling R&D for a 8.8 Billion GBP company so trust me when I say this that work here does make a lot of difference.
Aim of the internship: All the interns are given market relevant projects and have full freedom to use the facilities available to shape the project. I personally got the opportunity to work on Dettol original handwash and Harpic. My projects involved staying in the lab and making batches of the hand wash with variations in the formulation and making a demonstration to show the efficacy of Harpic. Although the projects I had did not warrant a lot of work outside of R&D, some interns did have projects which involved meetings with marketing and/or the manufacturing or the sales teams which provides a broader understanding of the FMCG companies.
Work Culture: As one of my co-interns very aptly put it during one of the team meetings, nobody seems to be in a rush at RB. The work hours are 9AM- 5PM and nobody expects you to stay or work beyond that, which is pretty comfortable considering how much some other companies expect an intern to work. People are pretty relaxed and as long as you achieve your deliverables, nobody would put any pressure on you. If anything, there are days when it gets a little too relaxed and you have absolutely nothing to do as your batches are under study. RB has a future leadership program(FLP) through which they have been hiring engineers in the last few years, which means you will easily find 1-2 years seniors from IITs which eases your opening up with the other senior members of the team.
There are only two things you need to know about Gurgaon, Cyber Hub and the Sector 29 market. Oh and there is this wonderful market behind sector 29 which has some amazing food trucks. Aaand unlike Delhi, pubs in Gurgaon can sell freshly brewed material!
RB is a pretty good company to do an intern, especially if you are targeting FMCG companies. At 45k it offers a great stipend for a non-coding company. Being a multinational brand, it looks absolutely amazing on your resume. The work of interns is mostly limited to R&D and they do not take interns for operations or supply chain.
Tips for people interested:
If you have an internship experience you’d like to share, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org