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Landmark Group’s Internship Program Essay

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Introduction

To implicate the knowledge that I acquired through studies and classroom lectures, I needed to work in a real business environment. Further, I needed to learn new skills and expertise in the real corporate environment. Hence, I decided to follow an internship in a well-established organization, where I could get all relevant experiences and a congenial environment. My choice for following the internship program was the Landmark Group.

My objective in choosing the Landmark group was to benefit from the prolific work culture of the company. I wanted to facilitate my understanding of the corporate business world and to improve my expertise in the same.

Besides this, I wanted to gain experience and develop new skills that are necessary for working in a real business environment. The reason for choosing the Landmark group for my internship program was that it is one of the leading companies in the region and offers a congenial environment for learning and experiencing the corporate work culture. In my eight weeks internship in LANDMARK, I did assignments that were related mostly to the marketing sector. The reason behind this choice was to enhance my knowledge of the English language and to pursue my interest in the marketing sector. However, I endeavored to gain experience in the jobs related to other departments too.

This report is a short description of my eight weeks internship carried out as a part of my course. The internship was carried out within the organization LANDMARK in the retail business segment in 2014. Since I am interested in marketing; the work was focused on marketing and promotional activities. The internship report consists of the activities that I performed during my eight weeks program in LANDMARK to achieve the stated objectives. It also reflects the effects on my work and the accomplishment of my expectations from this internship program. My experience of the whole internship program is also presented in this report.

Internship Objectives

The learning goals of my internship included:

  • Understanding the working environment of a corporate organization
  • Understanding the working principles of a professional environment
  • Deciding whether or not this type of profession suits my career expectations
  • Utilizing my expertise in the given situation
  • Analyzing my proficiency for the professional environment and look into the areas that needed improvement
  • Enhancing my communication skills
  • Getting experience in organizing a project

My Expectations

My expectations were very high before joining the internship program at the Landmark Group. The group specializes in retail marketing and hospitality business across many countries in the world and is among one of the top leading companies in the MENA region and India. I knew that this internship program would help me in achieving my goal s and facilitating my expertise. I wanted to follow an internship in the marketing field because of my interest in this area.

My interest lied in promoting brands, products, and services through media and advertisement. I wanted to take active participation in making strategies, organizing projects, and doing research in promoting the products and services of the Group. Through this internship program, I wanted to learn to be precise, improve my communication skills, and work effectively as an organizer and strategist. I also wished to improve my communication in English through this internship. The Landmark Group was an apt place for following my internship as it facilitated the utilization of my acquired skills and learning of the new expertise in the desired field. It provided me with the congenial environment and support to fulfill my expectations and achieving my goals through my internship program.

Introduction to the organization

The Landmark Group was founded in 1973 in Bahrain. Micky Jagtiani started the landmark group with one store called Mothercare in Bahrain and since then the group has been excelling in the retail sector for almost 40 years. It has emerged and developed as one of the most prolific and gigantic retail organizations in the Middle East region and India. The company offers various products including apparel, cosmetics and beauty products, interior decoration products, footwear, baby products, and consumer electronics, etc. The company has its presence in 20 countries of the world encompassing various retail and hospitality sectors. It operates directly in 11 like Qatar, India, and UAE, etc., and runs its franchisee stores in other countries (Corporate Profile, Landmark Group, Para 3).

The Landmark Group has a workforce of over 40,000 employees and for sustaining good results, it invests over 136,000 person-hours in training staff. It has a warehouse space of above 6. 82 million square ft. across the Middle East. Landmark is one of the largest retail distributors in the MENA region. In UAE, Landmark Group is one of the leading non-government centers that carry out logistics & re-distribution in Jebel Ali Free Zone and Dubai (3. 1 million sq. ft.). Besides this, it is also the major non-food importer into Jebel Ali Free Zone. It delivers around 63,000 containers in this area every year.

The company has received various awards and honors for its outstanding performances in the Middle East in the past few years. “It was awarded the Most Admired Middle East Retailer of the Year Award 2011 & 2012” ((Landmark Group, Para 5). For Business Excellence &Best Performance in the re-export category, it has been awarded Mohammed Maktoum Business Awards in 2008 &2009. “It has also received the Arabian Business Achievement Awards 2010 as the Best Retail Company of the Year” (Landmark Group, Para 6). The founder and chairman of the group, Micky Jagtiani has been awarded the Retailer of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008. Renuka Jagtiani has received the Outstanding Asian Businesswoman of the Year in 2008.

Corporate Values of the Group

The core values of the group include a passion for excellence, integrity in the actions, fostering capabilities to strive and deliver, and considering the changing needs and demands of the consumers. According to the founder and chairman of the Landmark Group, Micky Jagtiani, “Our statement of purpose is ‘Creating exceptional values for all lives we touch’. The cornerstone of our philosophy is listening, adapting, and delivering exceptional value. What sets us apart at the Landmark Group is a strong and dynamic culture of entrepreneurship” (Landmark Group, Para 1).

The business segments of the Landmark Group

The Landmark Group has been working in the field of retail business for about 40 years with its 25 owned brands and over 40 international franchise brands. It has around 1800 outlets across the world. The Landmark Group operates its business through big and expanded retail set-ups with anchor stores in big and popular malls. The Landmark Group operates through three main business sectors.

Landmark Retail

This segment includes a large variety of Landmark Group’s popular core retail brands:

Centerpoint This is the umbrella brand of the Landmark Group and was established in the year 2005. It brings together all the other core brands of the company like baby shop, splash, lifestyle, etc. that are offered in 100 stores across 9 countries.
baby shop Established in 1973, this brand offers all basic items for children like apparels, toys, kids’ furniture, and other baby basics. It has about 191 stores across 15 countries.
Splash This brand was established in 1993 and has around 258 stores in 14 countries at present. It offers trendy street fashion in clothing and accessories for men, women, and tweens.
Shoe Mart Landmark Group offers a wide range of reasonable global brands for men, women, and kids through a retail chain of footwear and accessories called SHOE MART in the Middle East region. Landmark initiated this footwear brand in the year 1990 and at present, it has a total of 131 stores across 13 countries.
Lifestyle Established in 1998, Lifestyle is a fashion brand that includes a wider range of home and bath decor, gift items lifestyle products. It has 164 stores in 13 nationalities.
ICONIC The Landmark Group introduced this fashion brand in the year 2010. At present, it has 24 stores in 3 countries. This brand offers stylish wardrobe and lifestyle explanations to fashionable people including men, women, and children.
Sports one Established in 2012 and having 7 stores in two countries, this brand offers genuine sporting material and fitness accessories. It also offers world-class footwear and apparel.
Emax Operating in 5 countries of the world since 2006, Emax is among the top electronics dealer in the Middle East.
Home center Established in 1995, with the brand promise, ‘Find Your Home in Ours’, this brand offers extensive furniture and home furnishings in the Middle East. It has 69 stores across 10 countries.
HomeBox (2013) This brand offers economical modern furniture and home furnishing products.
Max Established in the year2004, it is the leading fashion brand in the Middle East offering apparel, footwear, beauty products, accessories, and household items through 254 stores in 16 countries.
Shoexpress This brand operates in 10 countries with 81 stores offering a wide range of shoes and accessories.
Landmark shops An exclusive online shopping experience including certain core brands like baby shop, Emax and splash.

Landmark Group also runs its retail business through a wide range of clothing and footwear franchises. such as Landmark International, New Look Koton, Reiss, Funkyfish, Lipsy, Shoe Mart International Footwear Division, Ecco, Kurt Giger, stride rite, FABI, valencia, etc.

Landmark Hospitality: The Landmark Group operates this sector through its own and franchisee brands. This segment offers fine and informal dining, centers for family relaxation and entertainment, health clubs and beauty salon, and health spa. Besides this, the group also offers medical centers and budget hotels through its own as well as franchisee brands.

Landmark India: The Landmark Group initiated its retail venture in India in 1999 with the establishment of the Lifestyle Stores. Since then It has expanded its retail and hospitality business in India (Corporate file, Landmark Group, Para 10).

SWOT Analysis of the Landmark Group

Strength The four pillars that provide strength to the Group are its strategically planned business, efficiently carried out operations, ideal logistics, and committed key people for specific operations.
The Landmark Group manages formidable and widespread customer loyalty programs with about 9.5 million members. The company relies on cost-efficient procedures and focuses on the optimum exploitation of resources. The Landmark Group has a centralized strong IT system. It helps in carrying out the functions and processes efficiently (Creating Sustainable Value, para 2).
This ‘ Key Man’ policy has been very effective in the enormous growth and success of the group over the past 40 years. Its people have risen through the ranks to take up the chief positions at present with their passion, perseverance, and hard work for the group. The Landmark Group has about 40,000 employees working in different countries of the world. The association of the Landmark Group with its people plays a significant role in the strategic success of their business. The efficient workforce management, providing role clarity, appropriate infrastructure, and feedback methods for persistent learning and development of the employees are the key factors that lead to the overall growth of the group. There are various initiatives taken by the Group annually, to ensure that the relationship is mutually beneficial like the Hello HR program, long-term incentive plan (LTIP), praise recognition program, Retail Employee Day(RED), etc (Creating Sustainable Value, para 5).
Weaknesses Despite being a strong retailing brand, its knowledge is restricted mainly to the Middle East region. Hard competitions from international brands restrict sits market share growth.
Opportunity To sustain growth amongst the tough competition in the international market, the brand can diversify its retail business into other categories like food and real estate. To make the brand popular in the international market, the group can focus more on the global expansion of its brand.
Threats Ample choices before the consumers in the retail market pose a great threat to the popularity of the brand. FDI in the retail sector could enforce quality standards.

My internship activities in the Landmark Group

I joined the retail sector of the Landmark Group as an intern. It was only for two months. I performed various responsibilities related to marketing and other departments. These activities were related to my goals and expectations from the internship program in the group. Here is the description of the activities that I took up as an intern.

Social Media initiative: My responsibility was to assist the marketing department with social media engagement by helping manage Landmark Group’s social channels. Moreover, I was also involved in drafting and editing copy for social channels. I also had the responsibility of monitoring social media web analytics on a weekly basis such as facebook followers or page views etc. and present reports for growth and other activities.

I prepared a marketing plan for the sale promotions of the brand products. I used the social media strategy for developing the marketing plan progressively. My activities included linking-social media tools to websites with the help of blog articles, videos, etc. The objective was to attract consumers to visit the websites of the brand and increase their followers. We also tried to track the social media tools for obtaining feedback for our efforts.

Marketing and advertising activities: The marketing team of the Landmark Group has diversified roles and responsibilities. Different departments of the company have explicit roles for different consumers. I engaged with the marketing teams constantly to suggest fresh and innovative ideas for marketing and social media campaigns. Besides this, I was assisting the marketing team with preparing marketing reports, collecting relative data, and maintaining a record of these reports and data. I was also working for specific programs related to marketing and advertising such as the end of season sale offers, festive season sale offers like special promotions during Ramadan.

As Landmark is a very big group, it has all different departments and each department has its own buying and marketing group so each department targets a different kind of consumers. I was actively associated with this work to target a different kinds of consumers. Normally, the policy for giving the discounts is that it starts before the season ends so next season has a new fresh start. The offers like fitness first are given to the companies.

For doing advertisements, big banners are installed on main roads and highways like Sheikh Zayed Road. It was very interesting for me to know how a company thinks and works on its various programs. I got a chance to promote my company’s products in Oasis Mall where we had to compete with various competitors. We presented the loyalty card policy. I also got a chance to communicate with various nationalities and learned that women are more interactive while doing any sale and offers.

I was involved in making marketing strategies and plans to improve the company’s position in the market. My goal was to promote the brand’s products. I performed this activity by observing and analyzing and coming up with fresh and fruitful ideas that could help in attracting the consumers and target groups.

General responsibilities and traits: Other than the above-mentioned responsibilities, I also performed some general activities like researching product reviews on industry specific sites including blogs, forums, customer comments, etc. I also looked into the relevant marketing information on social media and maintained marketing program files. Besides this, I assisted the marketing team in making effective policies and schemes to convince people to buy the company products.

I learned that punctuality is key for any achievement. Punctuality is an important attribute which not only improves a person’s social life but also his career course.

During this internship, I learned that to be respectful is always good with everyone without giving importance to whom we are talking to. I also learned that one should not be afraid of making mistakes since one learns from his own mistakes in a better way.

Another lesson for me during this internship was to do as much work hard as was possible. No work is small and unimportant. Hard work helps to build ethics and improves a person’s activities.

In any department, it is very important to work in a team. To work together and help each other in the team is very important for any department’s success. Teamwork is a vital aspect of running any successful company and I have learned through my internships how to do teamwork on a business level. My confidence level has increased. I now believe in myself and my abilities to perform any task.

This internship has developed many skills in me. Since I was involved in drafting and editing copy for social channels, I learned how to do these techniques. I also had the responsibility of monitoring social media web analytics on a weekly basis such as facebook followers or page views etc. and present reports for growth and other activities. In this way, I learned how to think about social media not only in a personal way but also from the perspective of the business. As I prepared a marketing plan for the sale promotions of the brand products, I learned how to use the social media strategy for developing the marketing plan step by step. I learned how to write blogs. I also learned how to analyze the outcomes of our efforts through social media tools.

I learned how to deal with time pressure and how to prioritize work. After settling down in the internship, I started completing the tasks and projects given to me. I even started to create an account of my company on social media sites to promote things. My company gave me space to do things and I accommodated myself very well in the marketing system of the company. Whenever I got any compliments from my officers in the company, I felt a great deal of pride. Even any small comment on my blogs gave me a boost and encouraged me to perform in a better way. Having a moment full of pride is an unforgettable time.

Reflections

The Landmark Group has consistently performed well in every market situation and has demonstrated great significance for its customers all over the world. Working with this large and prolific group for two months gave me an insight into the strengths and weaknesses of its business and operations. I further tried to identify certain opportunities that the group can avail for its growth in the global arena and threats that can hamper its success. The idea of considering people as their strongest asset is the key contributor to the success of the Landmark Group. However, it needs to focus on promoting its brand at a global level.

The learning process during my internship has been excellent. I was occupied with the marketing teams constantly to suggest fresh and innovative ideas for marketing and social media campaigns. Besides this, I was assisting the marketing team with preparing marketing reports, collecting relative data, and maintaining a record of these reports and data. It has not only developed my whole personality but also it has increased my confidence level to do something exclusive in the field of marketing and I am proud of that.

Works Cited

Corporate Profile, Landmark Group. 2013

“Creating Sustainable Value”, 2014. CSR Report 2012-2013. Web.

Landmark Group, 2014. Web.

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