IIM Kashipur, PGP ’11 Student, Sudarsan Puvvada, shares his summer internship experience at RBI
Life was full of assignments, projects, presentations, surprise quizzes and I was eagerly waiting for some good news to have a short retreat from grinding life in IIM Kashipur. On one fine day, moments to rejoice had come with an internship offer from my dream company, Reserve Bank of India. Congratulations all around with friends started bashing, a common way of congratulating and parents wishing me all the best. Exhilaration subsided to half the levels as I would need to report in RBI, Kanpur rather than in Mumbai office. Being a south Indian, my Hindi speaking skills were very bad (better to say worst) and I had to spend 2 months in core part of Hindi speaking India. However, joy of getting an offer from RBI has allayed all the fears and scepticism.
After taking a week long refreshing break at home, I started on a 26 hour journey to Kanpur. I had to spend first 2 days at my friend’s home as there was a bit of delay in allocation of quarters. First day of internship was an induction program where I was introduced to Regional Director RBI, my mentor and some other employees with whom I had to work. I was very excited after my first meeting with my mentor as he is very inspirational, work oriented and I always looked forward for an interaction with him. Other interns from IIM Lucknow, IIT Kanpur, IT-BHU and other colleges have started joining and we slowly started moving together. Interns were given 2-bed room flats (too big for a person to stay) in RBI officers’ quarters which are located in a plush area in Kanpur. Adding to the comfortable stay, quarters were full of activity with children enjoying summer vacation in the calm and undisturbed surroundings often engaging us in cricket and badminton.
I was part of a team working on a live project to come up with suggestions to bring efficiency in government collections and payments. I had to conduct interviews to various stakeholders involved in the process along with an intern from IIM Lucknow. I enjoyed working with him and we shared views on various issues ranging from Currency system in India to Indian GDP. I got great amount of exposure in RBI as I participated in central level discussions on monetary reviews, gold imports, currency fluctuations which included deputy governors of RBI and other meetings with heads of State Government departments and national banks to discuss progress on financial inclusion and issues with electronic funds. I got a clear idea of how regulator thinks and should think as decisions taken at regulatory level touch all lives and enjoyed this experience in RBI to the fullest.
Three things that I liked most in RBI were library, people and food. RBI’s library is a book lover’s paradise with books ranging from Indian culture to Indian currency in abundance. Employees (with average age of more than 50) were extremely proficient in banking knowledge and always guided me in my project. Hindi was never a problem in office as everyone can communicate in English and I have learnt a bit of Hindi (seriously not an exaggeration). Food in RBI was simply superb with around 12 different types of curries serving all palettes at the cheapest possible cost and lunch time was most awaited by one and all in RBI. Apart from these, never ending chats among interns at quarters, daily visit to rave-3 mall, a movie in a week, outings to Varanasi, Lucknow, Agra and Mathura made my sojourn in Kanpur the most memorable.