BY: Sunil Rana
Today I will be sharing my experience for the 15 days live project with a luxury automobile company. At our college after completing two terms, every student has to go through a two week live project. The goal is to incorporate the teachings of the classroom in a real working environment. Me and my friend Tushar were to work with one of Delhi's prestigious automotive dealerships of BMW cars called Bird automotive. The brand comes under the bird group, a conglomerate which has luxurious hotels like Roseate, chartered airline services and many other luxury services under them.
We both were very excited and nervous at the same time because we were about to work in a very premium car sector. But when we went to the office for the 1st day and we met Mr. Naveen Kumar, the head of sales and CRM of the bird automotive, and our mentor for the internship all our nervousness turned into a positive feeling. I must say he is a very interesting person with deep knowledge about the sector. During the introductory session, he gave us a warm welcome and made us so comfortable that we got highly motivated for the rest of our internship. The task was to come up with growth strategies for the bird automotive in a harsh competitive environment. The task was challenging because none of us have ever worked in automotive sector before. But we were motivated and filled with enthusiasm. As soon as he imparted us the task we started thinking of the basics. We came up with an idea that we must understand our brand first and then the competition because then only we can do any comparison. So we did a SWOT analysis of the bird automotive and the next day presented to Mr. Naveen. He was very impressed with our agility and gave us more insights about the bird automotive. Next we analyzed the working of the sales floor. As sales are considered a backbone of any retail industry, so it was very important for us to understand it in a deeper level. Without wasting any time we went there and started ouranalysis. We asked questions from the sales associate about how they deliver a wow service to their clients and we checked factors like the visual merchandising of the store, the neatness, the product placement, the in-store signage.
After getting an insight of our brand, our next move was to do mystery shopping in the competitor stores and understand how they are working. There are 2 more dealers of BMW in Delhi NCR region. Due to time constraints, we mystery shopped only one of them named Libra Autohaus which is situated in Rajouri Garden. After the mystery shopping we came to know that our brand has a lot of advantages in terms of front end customer service, but our brand provides less discount as compared to Libra Autohaus.
TWe shared the same with our boss and he was quite happy with the results that we showed to him, which further boosted our confidence that we were going on the right track. After that we analyzed the online complaint forums and saw what were the problems that customers are facing and noted them down and tried to find a better way to deal with them. We also proposed a loyalty program for the customers of the bird automotive.
I am very thankful for my college for giving me an opportunity to work with such a reputed brand. After the completion of the live project I have taken down a few learning's that I think are very necessary while working in a luxury industry. A luxury professional must dress sharp because dressing dapper not only attracts the customer’s eyes, but gives the person a boost of confidence. A luxury professional must be punctual and must deliver what he has promised to his clients. I also learned that one must be good in making connections and if one is weak in networking skills, he/she must start polishing them because networking is very important aspect of the industry. I also learned that interpersonal skills are very important, like verbal and nonverbal communication, working in a team environment; have a problem solving attitude and self learning skill.
In the end, I would say that it was a very fruitful experience for me because I got to apply all my theoretical learning from the college into a practical form. I was very happy that even the task was very challenging; I and Tushar were able to complete it well on time as most of the things were taught in our classes and we could easily relate to them and were able to better resolve them. Now, I feel more confident and I have firm confidence that I can get a successful career in the luxury industry if I keep learning this way and keep working hard with firm determination.