Internship Report, 2004, 16 Pages
2. The Company Net Solutions
3. Online Marketing and Business Development
3.2.1 Organising Work Tasks
3.2.2 Identification of Market Rates
3.2.3 Market Research on Competitors and General Situation
3.2.4 Marketing Conception
3.2.6 Search Engine Marketing
3.2.7 Direct Mail Marketing
3.2.8 Handling Clients
3.3 Open Problems
4. ISO 9000 Certification
4.2.1 General Activities
4.2.2 Software Development Lifecycle
4.3 Open Problems
5. Miscellaneous Tasks
Last year I made the decision to do an internship abroad and not in Germany. My aim was to get insights into another work and living culture. To do an internship abroad lots of preparation was necessary. I was supported in getting my job by the international student exchange organisation AIESEC. I chose India for my internship, as it is an emerging nation concerning IT business and a popular outsourcing destination.I applied for a job in the field of marketing. I had to do an Internet based interview in order to get the job at Net Solutions. AIESEC intermediated between the company and me before starting the traineeship and as well after I arrived in India.
This document gives a comprehensive insight into my work in Net Solutions. First I introduce the company and country-specific particularities. Afterwards I explain my two major tasks, Marketing and Business Development as well as ISO 9000 certification before I conclude this report.
Net Solutions is a medium sized IT company having around 50 employees. It is located in Chandigarh in North India, which is the capital of the states Punjab and Haryana as well as the capital of the Union Territory of Chandigarh.Chandigarh is going to be one of India’s main IT cities, as others like Bangalore, Chennai (Madras), Mumbai (Bombay), Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune (Poona), Baroda (Vadodara) or Ahmedabad. Net Solutions focuses on web design, web development, software applications, graphic design and multimedia design.It has developed complete Internet presences, Internet applications, Content Management Systems, shopping carts, banners, logos and several other graphic and multimedia designs. The company is an offshore outsourcing provider for several IT companies in North America, Australia and Europe, mainly in the United Kingdom. It is the goal of the company to acquire more long-term clients not only in English speaking countries but to provide the same services to companies in German and French speaking countries - mainly Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland.
The organisational structure of the company is basically flat and based on teams. There are several project managers who take responsibility towards the clients for different projects. The project managers have varying groups of programmers, designers and quality assurance employees in their teams that work together to fulfil the given tasks. All business processes are being directed and supervised by the CEO of the company. I have been working in the Business Development Department and was directly responsible to the CEO. To have a better control over business processes and to manage quality the company decided to become a candidate for ISO 9000:2000 certification. This came up when I was already involved in the company. Later I joined the ISO team and was especially responsible for ISO preparing activities and documentation concerning the Software Development Lifecycle process.
The company office is located on the campus of the Punjab Engineering College and is sharing a building together with other small and medium sized IT companies in the Software Technology Park of India. Each employee has its own workstation with LAN and Internet access as well as an internal and external mail address.
The communication in the company is done by email and by informal personal communication, but it is preferred to communicate important issues by email to have proof of the communication. Phone was basically used to communicate with external clients, but occasionally also used for internal coordination. The language used for external communication was English, internal mail traffic was always done in English as well. English is a very common language in India and is used for commercial purposes.Besides it is a lingua franca for communication between different Indian language groups, as Hindi, the Indian national language, is only common in North India. Since there were no employees from South India or any foreign countries (except for myself), everyone’s native language was either Hindi or the regional language Punjabi. Thus the majority of the informal internal communication was done in Hindi and Punjabi what made it sometimes difficult for me to be involved. Nevertheless I was always able to communicate with every employee in English if necessary. The English accent in India is quite different form British or American accents, so I experienced some difficulties in the beginning, which resolved later.
The workstations were mostly running under the Windows Operating Systems, only few were using Linux. I found that the use of Microsoft Software was much more common than in Europe, especially for servers and Internet programming. Lots of the development was done under ASP and .NET though PHP was used, too. HTML and Internet were done with Macromedia Dreamweaver, multimedia design with Macromedia Flash. The program mainly used for graphic design was Adobe Photoshop. Common office applications and e-mail clients were the Microsoft ones.
Since the company wants to target new clients in German and French speaking countries it was necessary to develop marketing strategies and concepts how to achieve this. After developing these, my task was to realise the strategies. My unique abilities in the company were my language skills in German and French and also my knowledge of European culture. Thus it was my task to communicate with those German or French speaking clients and to intermediate between them and the project managers and the CEO of Net Solutions. The company already had an existing German version of their Internet presence, but I found it to be not properly translated and the content was to old and not equivalent to the English version of the company homepage. A French version of the homepage did not exist, but it was also not intended to create one.
To do successful marketing it was necessary to develop a marketing conception based on definition of goals and on market research. I roughly estimated all the things to do to create a marketing conception, which would involve price calculation, knowledge of product and service features, possible marketing instruments, research on competitors and the general situation of the target market.
My work was unstructured and I had to find ways how to organise my work. As I was supposed to handle clients and to develop the concepts for marketing on my own, I was given own responsibility and did not work in any team. To organise myself my work I have created a road map of my tasks to do, including a schedule with deadlines. It included interdependence of several tasks and gave myself a guide how to proceed my work. It was also a guideline for my supervisor when to expect certain results of my work and to have a rough idea about the concrete work I was doing.
CIO Magazine, Offshore Destination Map: http://188.8.131.52/offshoremap/, requested 2004-03-19
Chandigarh City Profile, http://www.chandigarh.nic.in/frcity.htm, requested 2004-03-09
Indo-Asian News Service: Chandigarh becoming popular destination for IT majors, http://www.apnic.net/mailing-lists/s-asia-it/archive/2001/07/msg00058.html, requested 2004-03-09
Homepage of Net Solutions, http://www.netsolutionsindia.com/, requested 2004-03-09
Indian Embassy in Hungary: India’s Economy, http://www.indianembassy.hu/econ.html, requested 2004-03-09
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