I am Harshmander Rastogi, a proud student of Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur, C.G., pursuing B.A.LL.B (Batch of 2018).
I underwent a summer internship at Tata DOCOMO (formally known as Tata Teleservices Limited), Near Permali Wallace Compound, Hoshangabad Road, Bhopal, M.P.
Though the total strength of the organization is about 100, the department I directly worked under (Legal Department) consisted of 3 employees.
About the Office
The building in Permali Wallace compound consists of the various branches of TATA group and consists of TTSL; Tata Religare Insurance etc. 2nd and 3rd floor of the building is reserved for TTSL.
The splendid office, with all its 3 floors gives a real feeling of a corporate firm. One will find separate desks for each department along with well furnished cabins for the head of each department in this fully air conditioned office. Various department of TTSL like Legal, HR, Sales, Finance etc. work under the same roof. There is a cafeteria on the top floor for the refreshments.
Talking about the department I worked in, it is the only Legal Department of Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh Circle of TTSL which controls TATA DOCOMO, TATA INDICOM and VIRGIN MOBILE network, thereby covering the huge area of jurisdiction under it. Only 2 or 3(max) persons are entitled for summer internship in this office every year.
TTSL is very strict in maintaining and securing its confidentiality and hence use of personal computers is prohibited. If an intern wants to use his/her own laptop, he/she has to take permission from the IT department. Interns also don’t have any access to internet (which causes a lot of sulking!)
Duration of Internship
May 5th, 2014 – May 26th, 2014
A mail has to be sent to Vipin.firstname.lastname@example.org well in advance to get your internship reserved as there is tough competition.
Working Hours and Duration
5 days a week is the work policy which is being followed by TTSL which is similar to other MNCs. Usually, interns are never asked to come to office on Saturday; but employees can be seen(their hard luck).
You can enjoy your weekends to chill yourselves out (Bhopal is a nice place to roam around) or you can utilize it to fulfil your sleeping quota. On weekdays 10 am is the timing to report to the office but Interns are given some flexibility and they can come by 10:30 am.
Usually the starting hour of work is somewhat free as employees are busy in their work but it catches pace by 11:30 am. In meanwhile you can read newspaper, books or sometimes the cases filed by/on TTSL on/by the customers (cases are very interesting as you can see your pain as customer on the paper as an appellant , also the demands/decisions of the cases may shock you).
You will be done by 6-7 pm daily, however it totally depends on the amount and type of work on the particular day.
First day can be kind of boring and you can get into a serious problem of what to do in office (if you’re a novice like me). Since I was just done with my 1st year of B.A.LL.B and joined the internship, I was not well aware about many laws and acts and all the work I came through just went over my head.
But in 3-4 days, I was able to cope up and things started to become smooth. On the first day you are required to meet the Legal head of the department, Mr. Yogesh Lodha, he is a very cool and intelligent guy and will ask you many humorous questions, in the meanwhile he will also grill you about your subject area which doesn’t allow you to forget that you are here to learn.
You are also required to bring with you your CV and letter of recommendation from your college and submit it on the very first day. Since it’s a corporate firm, you will be expected to be in formals; however Friday is unofficially declared as casual day (in terms of dress code, not in terms of workload).
Your area of jurisdiction (Your work) @ TTSL
For me it was very different from what I studied in my past year.
The acts that I had to deal with were Prevention of Damage to Public property Act , Telegraph Act , Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act , Negotiable Instrument Act , TRAI Act and much more and all these acts are generally not included in our course (at least not in 1st and 2nd year).
The main task that was assigned to us was due diligences of various retailers and shopkeepers who have entered into an agreement with TTSL. Due diligence is the process in which we have to go through each and every aspect of agreements and to pick out any discrepancies if it they exist in the documents provided.
We need to go through the various agreements like channel partner agreements , New service provider agreement & new distributor appointment agreement (retail agreements), lease deeds/agreement , leave and license agreements , addendum (for continuation) and amendment (for changes) agreement , full and final(F&F) agreement etc.
In these agreements, I had to check whether all documents required in these agreements are in place and in correct order or not. Some of the required documents include – schedule C, affidavit, declaration, bank statements, ACT letter etc. If any of the documents are incomplete, I had to mark it as discrepancy and report it. In addition to this we were required to go through various cases that had been filed by/against TTSL. These cases are very interesting as lots of unexpected things happen with the customers.
Also the decisions from the courts and the compensation asked and provided to customer may sometime shock you. Like for instance in one of the case the compensation of Rs. 12 lakhs was demanded from TTSL as compensation due to negligence on their part, however it was decided in the judgement that TTSL was only liable to pay Rs. 4000 as compensation.
Moreover from the case you will be able to know your various rights as Telecom Customer, like it is the obligation on the part of service provider to inform the customer if his/her data pack is used more than 80% and then only the service provider can deduct the charges from main balance (enlightening, right!
Now I am so much aware and confident of my rights as telecom customer that no service provider can deduct my money unfairly). Also, one the most interesting part of your work includes sending of Legal Notices to the defaulters prepared by the employees under whom you work. I myself have sent one legal notice to one of my friend because he didn’t pay his post-paid dues and believe me it was a memorable moment for me (but not for my friend :D).
Preparation of show cause notice was also included in the work list. The most boring and non-beneficial work which you can be asked to do is arrangement of various files and records in Record room. You have to check every file and then have to arrange them into sequence. Other than this you are also asked to prepare a report on any topic related to telecom sector.
This is the most important task as this is the only thing which will be mentioned in your certificate. This report will be the deciding factor of your research skills. All these experiences were very much new and beneficial for me and I don’t think that I will ever learn any of these tasks in any law school.
Though the overall environment was energetic and positive, but since each department has their own schedule and don’t require much help of other departments, there is no such interaction which takes place between the employees. However, legal department forms its own family and interact within themselves whenever they get time.
Cracking of jokes (which included legal jargons too) may make you go crazy. Employees under whom we worked were young and intellectual minds who graduated a few years back so it was easy for us to open up with them. We were also allowed to take short breaks in free time, we roamed around the office explore it, sometimes we sit in lobby area to just relax and read various business magazines.
Quite a few beverages (non-alcoholic of course) were also provided to us time to time which helped us to keep ourselves refreshed. Also once a week we were given a small evening treat by our Legal head in order to appreciate our work, which was a proud moment. Lunch time of 1 hour from 2 pm to 3 pm is provided to all employees and this time proved very crucial to us.
Most of the employees (including the heads of various department) gather together in Cafeteria and this is the only time you get to interact with employees of other departments, to know them and to make contact with them. The timings of lunch were liberal and good enough to explore the nearby places too. Since the Cafeteria food was not so tasty, many times we went outside to take our lunch.
You can enjoy your food in DB Mall or can also check the delicacy of Baapu Ki Kutia or Manohar Restaurant, or can even go to enjoy the momos on the lakeside of Shahpura Lake. Even though my office experience was average, on the last day I found myself fortunate enough that I have been assigned to couple of intellectuals and energetic persons who really took good care of me and I felt extremely amazing to work and to learn from them.
The PROs and the CONs
It is a gratifying and fulfilling feeling to be interning at one the biggest MNC of India that is under TATA group. It includes a new type of work experience which has lots of things to do and learn from. I was wholly exposed to a new world of work which I never thought of and because of that today I am well aware of that field now.
The working environment and the employees under which I worked helped me a lot to develop my unknown skills. It was a great learning experience.
The first disadvantage that I felt was that the Certificate provided to Internees was not up to the mark, it only mentions the period of your Internship and the project report that you have submitted, nothing else including the work done is mentioned there.
No stipend , very limited number of Interns , sometimes there is no work to do , no permission of use of laptop and internet in office, sequencing of files & also not much interaction with the Legal Head or any other department employees can be considered as the not so good things about this internship.
Bhopal – The City of Lakes
As I was living at my relative’s house, there was no difficulty of accommodation for me; however there are many PGs available for boys and girls in nearby places in Saket nagar, Chetak Bridge etc. and charges are about Rs. 2000-3000 per month.
Public Transport system of Bhopal is awesome and cheap, which makes commuting within the city a smooth affair. Bhopal is the Capital of Madhya Pradesh, also known as the City of Lakes.
Weather is decent and lush greenery of the city can make you fall in love with it. Upper Lake, Lower Lake, Shahpura lake, Kaliyasaut Dam, Kolar Dam are some of the marvellous water bodies present in Bhopal which you should must see if you ever visit to Bhopal. Havelli and Mahals of Nawab’s of Bhopal and other historic monuments are enrapturing.
Other than this, Bhojpur, Sanchi, Ram – Tekri and various Mosques and Temples of Bhopal are also areas of great interest. Law students may also find it interesting to visit NLIU which is one of the India’s finest NLU campuses.
Talking about the food delicacy – Bhopal is a bliss for non-veg lovers; Chatori gali in old Bhopal is very famous for its non-veg dishes. For veggies, Sagar gaire, Manohar and Top N Town Ice-Cream parlour is considered to be a paradise.