Internship @ WIPRO Ltd., Bangalore [1st Prize Winner]: Life actually pauses to take a look around in Bangalore

Duration

9th June, 2014 to 9th July, 2014.

While picking up my laptop, I discovered two of the most annoying things of working at an MNC; entry to every point requires you to swap your access card, and secondly to get anything done, you need to cross a number of unnecessary protocol based hurdles that only serve to reduce efficiency in the name of keeping inventory.

Ecstasy

The call came through while I was in Delhi, having just concluded a round of mooting at Campus Law Centre, Delhi University. My classmate & I had been selected for an Internship with Wipro Limited, one of world’s largest MNCs with a favourable record of producing quality work, having high employee satisfaction and being a stickler for CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility).

As any budding law student would, at the chance of such an excellent opportunity, I was ecstatic.

After all I had to sit through two rounds of telephonic Interviews and had contested with a number of my peers for the valued slot. Moreover, Bangalore, where Wipro’s main office is located is also home to my eldest cousin and my sister-in-law, two of the most understanding, accommodating & fun persons I know.

I was looking forward to a month of bliss, enjoyment and a good professional as well as personal experience.

The internship was arranged by the Campus Committee for Recruitments of my batch. However if anyone in interested in applying personally they may send a mail to <[email protected]>. She is in-charge of recruiting and handling internship related communications.

The 2 rounds of interviews!

For an internship at Wipro you need to sit for two rounds of telephonic interview.

The first interview is based on general HR questions revolving around your strengths and weaknesses, your aspirations, you dreams, and whether you see yourself working as an in-house counsel followed by technical interview on your field of interest in law and other related technical questions.

For instance in my situation, I had mentioned my field of interest as being competition law and I was asked questions on abuse of dominance, bid-rigging, combinations and my general work experience pursuant to competition law. One of my interviewers was my alumni from college and was aware of my ‘geek’ nature and familiarity with programming languages.

He asked me to differentiate between Open source software and freewares. He was looking for the definition under the IT Act, 2000, but I was able to provide sufficient technical information about the two to enable a layman to differentiate between them.

After you are shortlisted for the second round, your interview is based chiefly on your CV regarding the work that you have done and how much you are versed with your paper presentations, moot scenarios and publications.

My interviewer was very accommodating, he agreed to reschedule my interview for a later date as I was caught up with a moot competition at Delhi. Soon after, within 36 hours my friend & I got the confirmation that we had been selected for the interview starting in June, 2014.

I reported to Wipro’s main office at Sarjapur, Bangalore, on 9th June, 2014. The first thing that struck me, other than Bangalore’s excellent climatic conditions, was the absence of tension and dread in the eyes of the employees at Wipro, (No wonder employees can avail of low premium amounts on health insurance).

Life actually pauses to take a look around in Bangalore.

As you enter through the big gates that spell out “WIPRO: Applying Thought” you enter a place of zen, a pocket universe where nobody is in a hurry to pass you by in the race of life but will walk with you at equal pace to guide you.

Having said that, it is pertinent to mention that Wipro has quite a strict security ensuring procedure. A black Scorpio belonging to the Quick Response Team of the police force, always stands vigilant at the main gates of the building.

For the first few days, the interns were only allowed to enter on Guest Passes with an escort, till Access cards are issued within a week of joining. As you enter, you are directed by your escort to the HR department for, what is termed as Initiation and Orientation.

The HR department is an office where the hassled HR manager directs you to produce the required records for “Processing” so that you may join office and start working.

This usually takes around 2-3 hours depending how promptly you are able to produce the required documents. Wipro uses a lot of fashionable terms for different purposes, and as I completed my processing, I was introduced to my SPOC (Single Point of Contact, not the Vulcan Science Officer on the Starship Enterprise).

I was coached in the basics of contract review and contract negotiation and handed an individual laptop with a personalised mail id for my work purposes.

I had just journeyed from Delhi to Bangalore for 38 hours and was exhausted, hence subsequently took the day off.

The logistics

Each intern at Wipro is allotted a team, or an immediate mentor to whom he/she reports, who guides and coaches him/her. They use the term Vertical to indicate hierarchy in the office. I was fortunate to be handed over to an extremely helpful, experienced and patient mentor. Unfortunately a week into working with her, she took severely ill and had to take some time off work.

This made me lose out on valuable face-time (another term used in corporate India to denote personal interactions) and I failed to obtain her necessary and invaluable updates when I was making my presentation.

Oh yeah, at the end of his/her internship, the intern is supposed to make a presentation on a topic he/she may choose but which is ideally provided by the mentor. The presentation subject deals with any topic that might be relevant to Wipro’s business, and which might be a potential landmine or a magnet for lawsuits if the Legal team is not made aware of it. Anyway, I digress, I will be coming back to this point later.

2 most annoying things of interning at an MNC

While picking up my laptop, I discovered two of the most annoying things of working at an MNC; entry to every point requires you to swap your access card, and secondly to get anything done, you need to cross a number of unnecessary protocol based hurdles that only serve to reduce efficiency in the name of keeping inventory.

The access card situation led to a number of awkward situations where often I found myself locked out of my office, waiting for sympathetic individuals to come along, utter the magic words and grant me access to the Lost City of R’lyeh. But eventually, you are enabled to enter such places using your own personalised access cards.

The laptop situation was probably worse. It baffles me still, as to how an IT company still manages to hand out antique and senile computers to its employees when the world has moved onto systems supporting more advanced hardware. My laptop had the annoying habit of shutting down whimsically.

On top of that it was running Windows 7 on a 1 GB RAM processor, which, any kid from primary school will tell you, is insufficient to run such an advanced operating system (compared to the hardware). As a result I had a coughing, wheezing, spluttering laptop, using which felt like asking an individual with absolute low stamina to run a marathon.

However after the initial grumbling and complaints I grew accustomed to working with my new workstation.

As you enter through the big gates that spell out “WIPRO: Applying Thought” you enter a place of zen, a pocket universe where nobody is in a hurry to pass you by in the race of life but will walk with you at equal pace to guide you.

The Work

At Wipro I was working with the International Contracts Team and supporting the Manufacturing and Business Verticals.

Over the course of my work I reviewed and analyzed Non-Disclosure Agreements, Master Services Agreements, Implementation Agreements and Technology Sharing Agreements, prepared Post Implementation Audits, researched on Indian Contracts Act, Patents Act and Competition Act, and other miscellaneous work that was dropped off on me from time to time.

There are two offices out of which Wipro’s legal team works; the main office at Sarjapur, and the other office at Electronic City, 25 kilometres away. I was tasked with supporting the team at the Electronic City office. I personally found it helpful as I got a chance to work with my mentor with a front row view regarding how the legal team functioned at Wipro.

The legal team’s work is divided into three parts, Compliance, Contracts and Arbitration. Our job was to read the rules, okay them, and then handover the game to the other departments to interact with. Moreover my mentor turned out to be quite a food enthusiast and hence work was punctuated with snack breaks throughout the day.

The World Cup @ Work

Work at the office was quite enjoyable. The World cup had just started and being an avid follower of Football, I started following the tournament religiously. A day’s work in the office was followed by watching late night football matches with my brother cheering for team we were betting on (figuratively) to win the tournament, which was incidentally Netherlands.

The office had a wide variety of football enthusiasts ranging from supporters of the regulars such as Brazil & Germany to supporters of under dogs such as Colombia & France. Riveting matches were followed by animated discussions the next day in the office.

The biggest disappointment of the world cup, Spain’s thrashing at the hands of Netherlands was the topic of discussion in the Office and on social media. My mentor started to become quite concerned as I kept appearing at the office with dishevelled hair and bags under my eyelids after a late night match.

The Presentation

At the conclusion of my internship, I was asked to make a presentation on “Most Favoured Customer” Clause, which is a clause that is often included in Work Agreements that enables one party to exact unfair benefits from the other party and leads to anti-competitive practices in the market.

I made an analysis of the MFC clause, the various jurisprudences, such as USA and the EU that had dealt with it and the potentiality of such a clause in Indian contracts attracting legal action.

The presentation has to be ideally of 20-25 slides and must be concluded in 10 minutes. The Presentation is presided over by the immediate head of the Legal Department at Sarjapur, an elderly Tamilian gentleman, fondly called Paddy. He asked me a few questions based on my presentation and theorized a couple of probable scenarios and how such a clause would impact the outcome of that event.

Bye bye, bye bye

On 9th July, 2014, my internship ended and I made my way back to college. We soon expected to see our stipend cheques which were each, of a sizeable amount.

Herein lay the third problem with the internship. I am using the present tense as this is a problem that has not resolved itself even after three months of completion of the Internship. As on this day that I write, my co-interns and I have still failed to receive our stipend amounts.

Whenever we have followed up, we were met with the reply that either some re-structuring is going on at the office that has been delaying the process or the HR department has failed to process the stipend and it will soon be handed over to us.

But we were informed later that payments have been made often as late as six months to the interns previously and are, hence, still optimistic.

What did I learn

Despite the dissatisfactions, I did get to learn a lot from this Internship:

1) Understanding Contracts better- reading the fine print carefully and using logic to determine the viability of agreeing to the terms of the contract drafted by the other party. As one of my seniors at Wipro said, “Now you realise that the Indian Contracts Act is quite useless.”

2) Building personal relationships is as important the quality of work that you do. Wipro has a closely knit legal team that functions well due to the trusting nature of co-workers

3) Learn to take things more lightly. Wipro is not a place where you will have people breathing down you neck with an avalanche of work and limited time. It is an easy going place where your seniors are more concerned about the quality of work you do rather than the amount.

4) Investing in CSR is as important as running a successful business. As one of my seniors mentioned, Wipro was already fully compliant with the CSR requirements even before the Companies Regulations, 2013, came out. This is quite heartening to see in such a widely recognised and respected organization doing business with an aim to give something back to society.

I am still ambivalent regarding calling this a good internship or an unsatisfactory internship. On the one hand I encountered the aforementioned problems including lack of face time with my mentor which I personally feel led to my underperforming at work.

On the other hand I made acquaintance of one of the prettiest co-interns I have ever met with a keen interest in football, whom I could annoy all day with Spain’s humiliation by the Netherlands (She being a fan of Spain). I hope this internship experience has been informative and useful and may help future internship candidates make an informed choice.

The entry won the 1st prize in the Summer Internship Experience Writing Competition organized by LexisNexis and Lawctopus. MyLaw.net was the learning partner for the competition.

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Comments Till Now

  1. Karan Valecha says:

    Can you provide with the contact details of the person who had this experience as i am currently working for the same organisation.

  2. Dhruv Sharma says:

    My name is Dhruv Sharma. I am a student of I.M.E law college ( CCS University ) .
    Currently i am pursuing my 5th semester(BA.LLB.) passed with 1st devision marks in last semesters, I really want to join your team to share my views on this.

    So please tell me asap that how to apply for this internship and am really interested.
    email id- [email protected]
    contact no. 8527318880

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