The Field Immersion Module (FIM) at IIMN is a 3-week long module that allows PGP students to get first-hand experience of how small and medium scale enterprise function, before taking up managerial roles in larger organizations, through summer internship and final placement. These enterprises are from different sectors like manufacturing, agribusiness, government and infrastructure and rural development, and are based in different regions of Maharashtra such as Nagpur, Aurangabad and Nashik. They are either for-profit or not-for-profit organizations. Students are given a chance beforehand to choose their areas of interest. This programme is quite helpful, not only for inexperienced students but also for experienced students who get the opportunity to work in an entirely new domain.
My partner and I started our FIM with NICE Imports, which is a partnership firm and a subsidiary of NICE Software Solutions, located in IT Park, Nagpur. NICE Imports acts as a third party helping in the smooth import process of different grades of waste paper from suppliers outside India to paper mills in India. Since it was a new experience, it was quite surreal for me but on the other hand, I was excited about the new experience.
Before FIM officially started, my partner and I visited the partner organization to learn about our problem statements and discuss their expectations from us. Subsequent to that, we divided our three-week schedule in such a way that we devoted the first few days to understanding the business process followed by the organization. In the next two days, we initiated one-on-one interactions with all the employees to understand the bottlenecks they faced in the current process. The second week was completely dedicated to gaining hands-on experience by working on their software platform and getting a thorough understanding of the documentation they deal with on a daily basis. The last week was much more invested in working out all possible options to remove the bottlenecks we explored through primary and secondary research, and preparation of our final presentations.
While most of us have worked in organizations prior to joining IIMN, obtaining an insider’s perspective into the working of small and medium enterprises was a new learning, that we got from the FIM. It allowed me to apply the knowledge I had gained in the first two terms, to real-life scenarios, and enabled me to draw valuable learnings from it.