Mamta Bhatia, MBA student at Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune, served as an intern at Coca-Cola India. She is the native of Mumbai and is pursuing a MBA degree in Marketing. Her enthusiasm and worldview helped her stand out from the other applicants. She demonstrated a strong belief in the power of brand, and possessed a thirst for knowledge.

Mamta recently wrapped up a two months internship, where she worked on VIO digital marketing project. We asked her to share what her experience was like.

Tell us a bit about what you’ve worked on during your internship.

I arrived at Coca-Cola in utter anticipation and with the excitement of meeting new people, proving myself and giving the project my best. When the project titles were disbursed, I found myself assigned to the Liquid Foods division. I was given the opportunity to work with the brand managers who were responsible for launching Coca-Cola’s latest product innovation, marking its entry into the dairy segment. It was only when I worked with the team that I understood the relevance and importance of VIO flavoured milk in Coca-Cola’s portfolio.

In marketing and consumer service, they say, one must change with the changing needs of the consumer. Those who do not develop over time lose the chance to make the most of the new opportunities – aka Marketing Myopia. The beverage landscape is evolving globally in reflection to changing consumer habits. Coca-Cola’s attempt to cater to the changing needs of the new generation is the reason for VIO’s existence in the market today. And it was my privilege to be involved in one of the most exciting phases of VIO’s development as a brand.

Before starting your internship, was there any special preparation that you did?

It was around January when our brand management professor told us about Coca-Cola’s venture into the dairy segment with a new product called VIO. The class was startled by the news, with questions bubbling all over. It was not long before I saw the said new product in the multipurpose store on campus. While I knew I would be interning at Coca-Cola come summer, I had no idea whatsoever about the project I was going to be given. So in an attempt to understand consumer responses to the new product, I started with random trials of VIO. I bought the product and went around asking people for their opinion out of curiosity. Acting as a consumer tasting the product, I could not fathom the reason why Coca-Cola India chose to walk into a new direction so entirely unexpected. Little did I know that I would get all my answers in two months ‘time.

What are your core passions?

One of my biggest passions is reading. I love reading novels, articles, fiction and non-fiction. The more I read, the more I feel humbled by the power of knowledge. It is one of the reasons I want to be a student forever. I also am very passionate about cooking. It brings me immense pleasure to create a dish from scratch and look at my family and friends savour it with glee.

What have you enjoyed most about this experience?

Coca-Cola helped me ‘Taste the Feeling’ of being a brand manager. I lived the experience of a lifetime. Brand management is a subject which cannot be learned from textbooks. It requires hands-on experience and learning from some of world’s best brands and their managers was an excellent opportunity. This exposure to brand management is the rare gift I received while interning at Coca-Cola. It is the learning that counts, and learning shall form the basis of my marketing career.