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Sapan Shah is an IIT Bombay alumnus from the batch of 2017, who graduated from the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He has been working at Procter and Gamble ( Bhiwadi Plant, near Gurgaon) for the past 1 year


Apologies if the language sounds vague, I need to maintain a certain control over what I choose to divulge about the company and its operations.

What does your job in P&G typically entail?

Ans: My role is that of a Line Leader. I work at a manufacturing plant, and technicians who operate the machines report to me. I need to plan different shifts to ensure a (right quality) daily target production volume by optimizing the resources (manpower, spares costs, time). Long term projects entail removing inefficiencies from the different machines as well as addition of capacity or safety/quality improvements to the equipment.

Why did you choose FMCG over other sectors?

Ans: One satisfying aspect of my job in the operations sector is that I get to see the results of my work almost immediately. If I do something right today, I get to see better volumes and better quality tomorrow itself. Every day I walk into the plant with either a new improvement to make or a new problem to solve. If I do my job well, my company’s results proportionately and very objectively get better.
This is the only sector I have worked in full-time so far, but this aspect of my job gives keeps me motivated as compared to my internships in the data sector.

What is the lifestyle like?

Ans: There is a good work-life balance, I get a couple of hours to myself on weekdays. The small trade-off is, since the plant runs 24×7, I need to be on call all the time, day or night, weekday or weekend. Although it’s not much to complain about. There are sometimes prolonged periods of high stress. There are almost always multiple priorities and it takes a good deal of focus to get it all done. The learning curve is steep but once you get in the groove you can’t fail.

Does the work get monotonous after a point of time?

Ans: Like I mentioned before, every day is a new challenge to take on. One year in, I haven’t felt the work getting monotonous. The manufacturing scene keeps changing with digitization and automation playing bigger roles, which is why there is always something to look forward to, which would eventually make my work easier. So it keeps me going.

What aout promotions? How fast/slow is the process?

Ans: A typical assignment in Operations is 2.5-3 years long. Once you complete it you are either moved to another assignment at the same level or promoted, based on your performance and of course, a vacancy in a role at the next level. These factors make a promotion very subjective.

What are some exit options? Is switching profiles feasible (i.e from FMCGs to Finance/Consult/Analytics, higher studies etc), and after how long do people leave their jobs at P&G? For what reasons?

Ans: P&G is one company where people typically have long careers (the longest on average, if I’m not wrong on the statistics). However it has a fair share of attrition to the usual suspects – higher studies, entrepreneurship etc. A large number of people in the recent past have moved to Amazon in operations roles, after the latter’s expansion in India. An experience in operations at P&G sets you up for success in various profiles. However how much the job market values it is something I have yet to see.

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