Sunday, July 13, 2008

P&G Business Challenge 2008!!!!!

Upon graduating from Uni, I have the intention of venturing into the marketing field. You'll probably wonder why since I did accounting and finance before...... Well, I've decided to pursue my career based on my interest instead of always playing safe. Yes, although I'm pretty sure if I go back into accounting or finance it wouldn't be difficult getting a job, but the satisfaction isn't there. Have been thinking about it for quite sometime before I make this decision but I think I should still be open to various options. Will apply to FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) companies first, but if all fails I guess I'll have to resort to the safe path again. So I applied to Procter and Gamble (P&G), the leading FMCG company via their website and sat for the online test. I passed it and was asked to go to the office to sit for another test, namely the Problem Solving Test. I was nervous at that time because I didn't think I did well but to my delight I was informed that I passed it on the same day itself, talk about efficient management!!!!!!

Anyways the position I applied for was the Assistant Brand Manager (ABM) under brand management (duh'). There should be 3 more rounds of interviews coming but fortunately they invited me for a Business Challenge which comprised of a 4D3N event at Impiana Hotel, KLCC. Before confirming me as a participant, I was interviewed for screening purposes and I'm so so so so glad I was chosen! No regrets! Seriously!!!

We gathered at the hotel around 8.30 a.m and was placed in a room for briefing and introduction. It was then I met all the other participants, eager to know them and have great fun together!!! When everyone arrived, we had a ice breaking session; a game which needed the group members to stand on a piece of newspaper which will be folded into half after every round. It was really effective if you ask me.... everyone seem to cooperate and bonded really well after the session. The next itinerary was a talk on the different division of the company. Mr. Anhul shared his knowledge on Marketing in P&G and I was really really superrrr enthralled. Product management, brand equity and long term customer focus all seem so interesting. The next talk was on finance by Mr. Vikas and similarly I thought it was really impressive seeing how the company breaks the different part of finance; country finance, sales finance, marketing finance and etc. We then went for lunch at the hotel cafe and I personally felt there were a huge array of food.... from Asian to Western..... and boy was I filled to the brim!!! So full I was already feeling sleepy.... oink oink! hahaha!! After lunch it was time for the case study. We were given about a 8-10 page case study analyzing an real life scenario on a Hugo Boss perfume. From it, we were expected to present based on different perspectives including marketing, product supply, customer business management and etc... We were pressured because of the time constraint and many queries. My task was to present the product pricing and the most appropriate volume (milliliters) perfume based on the given sensitivity analysis. Our main struggle was to balance all the needs of different department but I guess this is the reality of an FMCG company. We ended up with a loss in the cash flow in the first year but justified it with long term gains.

After the case study we went back to our hotel rooms....... and was it gooooood............................ I'll just let the pics speak for themselves....






-They even have a pillow menu O.O-

After having a relaxing shower we gathered to go for dinner. Again another impressive makan session, and the place speaks for itself.....Delicious Cafe (Ms Read)... I had spaghetti carbonara with ice lemon tea and a chocolate brownie. Full Full Full and super satisfied!!!!!!!!



-so delicious it makes you go ga-ga-

After dinner everyone went back to the hotel and were supposed to rest................ but......... we ended up going for another mamak session... wahahaha.... berbonding-bonding ma~~~~~ The people were soooooooo nice and friendly. Don't know why but it doesn't feel like we just knew one another. We were already teasing, calling each other best friends and etc.... maybe we're all the same kind; the tak-tau-malu kind... hahaha!!!!

The next day was exciting! Started off with breakfast and then exposed to more divisions in P&G. Today we learnt about the Product Supply (PS) and Customer Business Development (CBD) Division. The PS talk was conducted by Mr. Avry, giving us insight on the customer team logistic, fiscal distribution services, market planning and customer services. It was really fun and applicable to me because I could somehow relate what I learnt in Advanced Management Accounting to it. Efficiency monitoring and contingency planning sounds challenging but I guess it's how it is... the satisfaction gained would definitely be on par as well!! CBD was presented by Mr. Rizal. It was the most interesting and funniest talk I ever attended!! He's extremely good in presenting and I sincerely admire his talent in it! I have to learn and improve myself too!!! CBD was more on the customer relation function which deals will distributors and stores; i.e. open trade and modern retail. What I really took from this talk was the understanding of the business planning process which incorporates customer and shopper understandings and joint business plans.

As for the next case study, we were to market the Mach 3 range of the Gillette product. It was interesting to see the information exposed to us. For example the market penetration rate and market share of the product. Also with a budget given, we have to design a marketing strategy to boost sales and awareness of the product! Our task was to hand in our marketing proposal by the next day.. so off we went to our respective rooms to continue the discussion. We had dinner at a club called Borneo Baruk Club where we had catered food and a live band to listen to! It was nice since we also get to meet the PR country manager of P&G. He shared his experiences and also the glamor of meeting superstars like Siti Nurhaliza. Jealousnya.......... wahahhaa.... After the dinner we went back to the hotel and resumed our marketing proposal.... we slept at 4.30 a.m that night... i mean morning... haha...


-4.30 a.m also wanna take pic....we're obviously stressed out lol-

There isn't anything to update on the third day since there will be full-day interview sessions .... everyone was nervous and tensed. My session was alright as it was similar to the first interview, focusing on leadership and problem solving skills. My only concern was the time which only took around 55 minutes as compared to the first interview of 1.5 hours. Many have similar interview time duration so I guess there's nothing to worry about. I've gave my best and that's all that matters!

Dinner was at a restaurant named Top Hat which served fusion food. It was alright but the highlight of the night was the next place. We went to Skybar as a form to de-stress ourselves haha. It was nice as we talk and socialized, played drinking games and had tonnes of fun!!! I was very surprised with this arrangement as I didn't expect the management to extend its employee welfare to this extent. This is the kind of corporate culture we all would loveeeeeee to have!!!!!!





The last day was an outdoor activity day. We visited the Gillette Centre, P&G Distribution centre and a tour in the P&G office. Interesting as it is, we all were exposed to the processes and informed on its unique characteristics. As all good things have to come to an end, we parted at the office..... It was an awesome experience!!! Getting to know new people and learning new things!!! And it's all sponsored by the company as well! What more can I ask??? I'm also really touched by the friendship bonded among the participants. Only one day has passed and we're already setting up yumcha sessions!!! *btw i'm so sorry guys for missing both sessions.. I'll make sure I attend the third one* Also thank God for Facebook!!!!!!!!! We've all became fb freaks due to keeping in touch! hahahaha. Finally I wanna express my deepest gratitude to Mr. Ridzuan, Ms. Zuraida and the other members of the organizing team for making this happen!!!!! It was a splendid job done and I'm 100% glad I participated! I'm so gonna miss each and every one of you guys................................


-P&G Business Challenge 2008-

6 comments:

June said...

Wow shaun im impressed! You made the right choice by applying for P&G. How s the progress been this far? Lots of lucks k!!! =)


p.s did u received my reply, i text u when i was in HK, just got back yesterday.. we shall meet up soon when bin gets back

binbin said...

they pay for EVERYTHING???i mean the dinner and food etc??? woah....damn shiok...

KhaiShing said...

Nice write up!! Very detailed yo...nice pics too!! Didn't realised you takin' any pics though..hehe!! Going for the gathering this Sunday??

Shaun said...

hahaha...most of the pics are taken from facebook.... my room pics taken by me... and I had the food pics all along haha... went there before... :D
should be going this sunday but won't be staying long... coz it's my bro's bday...

Je Mein said...

I only saw "Upon graduating from Uni...." and...*scroll down* " I'm so gonna miss each and every one of you guys............................". HAHA! Must have been one hell of a story. The pics are GREAT though.

Shaun said...

hahaha, yea i gotta admit it's blardy long.... kinda got a bit ah ma when describing......