Paid Internships in India
Infosys Offers a Wide Range of
From our correspondent in India,
Transitions Abroad offers you a glimpse of paid internship
jobs in India’s dream software company, based in
Bangalore, South India.
4/11/2004, resources updated 4/20/2015
|The workplace at Infosys
Photo courtesy of Infosys Limited.
India, the mystical land! It
continues to be a hot spot not only for backpackers,
but also for luxury tourists. But don’t be fooled
by those stereotypical images of India: a land of snake
charmers and trumpeting elephants, of colorful holy festivals,
of languid Goa and its sun-kissed beaches, of lazing
in houseboats and floating on the backwaters of Kerala,
of the holy temples and bathing-sites along the Ganges
River at Varanasi, of the Taj Mahal at Agra, or Mother
Theresa’s home in Calcutta (now renamed as Kolkata)
and above all of throngs of people—eyeing you unabashedly
Well, you can still experience all
this and much more and believe you me one can never escape
the crowds of teeming people. However, the burgeoning infotech
and software sector is transforming India’s landscape.
The skyline in several cities, especially in Bangalore (referred
to as India’s silicon valley) is dotted with sprawling
units set up by Accenture, Agilent, General Electric, Hewlett-Packard,
IBM, Intel, Oracle, People Soft, Texas Instruments, Sun
Microsystems…You name any company from A to Z and
you are likely to find that it has an outfit in Bangalore.
If the India experience tickles
your taste buds, an opportunity exists to partake not
only of its sights, sounds and smells, but also more
importantly of its changing stratosphere.
Infosys Limited, an ever-growing and
very large home-grown corporation, the first Indian company
to obtain a listing in the United States of America (look
it up as "Infy" on NASDAQ or see www.infosys.com),
aims to be global, not through sheer volumes of exports
(U.S. is the largest market for this company), or by setting
up branches or subsidiaries in other countries, but by ensuring
that its campus environment is truly global. This includes
offering internships to students from other countries.
Other software companies in India also
offer such opportunities, but not on the same scale. Most
companies prefer recruiting students fresh out of foreign
universities rather than offering a stint as an intern.
"In-Step," the internship program launched
by the Infosys Limited in 1999, attracts students
from universities across the world including Harvard, Wharton,
and MIT. Over the years the program has attracted an increasing
number of applications. According to Infosys
Limited the number of interns admitted to this program is
on the rise year after year.
Do you want to learn the nitty-gritty
of managing operations at offshore locations? Then this
could be the best possible opportunity. In-Step interns
primarily work in the corporate headquarters of Infosys
Technologies Limited at Bangalore. At times, there are openings
for an internship in the branches or subsidiaries in other
corners of the globe.
Their exhaustive website is strewn
with testimonials. The alumni list provides the contact
details for its past interns, so you can check out their
experiences first hand. A few interns may be from your own
The Instep program has won many international
awards for excellence over the years. In 2012, Infosys
was "recognized as one of the Achievers 50 Most
Engaged Workplaces™ in the United States." In 2013, "Infosys,
a global consulting and technology leader, has won a
top accolade in the National Council for Work Experience
(NCWE) Awards 2013, marking it as one of the UK’s best
internship providers." A sample of 1,000 employees
in the Infotech/software sector, spread across six cities
of India were asked to name their “Dream Company.” This
was an open-ended question and any company they wished
could be named. Infosys Limited emerged
as the winner, followed by IBM and Microsoft.
Transitions Abroad caught up
with Sanjay Purohit, Associate Vice-President,
Corporate Planning, to seek answers to a host of questions.
Sanjay plays a pivotal role in this internship program.
We even chatted with Bret Kadison, an MBA student from the
University of Chicago Graduate School of Business (GSB),
to get first-hand impressions of the internship program.
Bret Kadison says, “Initially,
I was disturbed by Bangalore. Since it had been portrayed
as an Indian Silicon Valley, the extreme poverty and underdeveloped
infrastructure came as something of a surprise. After a
few days, however, I began to savor the novelties that one
must see to believe — like cows wandering the main
road during rush hour, grazing on the weeds growing in the
Moving on to the first impressions
about Infosys Limited, Bretcontinues, “On
the other hand, my first reaction to Infosys was one of
sheer delight. I had expected the Infosys campus to be somewhat
institutional. However, the sprawling campus had a slew
of brand new buildings with amazing architecture. Its colorful
landscaping and fishponds are what you’d expect from
a botanical garden rather than the corporate campus of an
Indian software firm.”
|The food court on
the campus of Infosys Limited.
Photo courtesy of Infosys Limited.
Bret accidentally stumbled on the In-Step
link, while doing research about Infosys. He describes the
reason for submitting an application. “As I began
doing my first year as an MBA student last fall, it occurred
to me that my summer internship would probably be the last
chance I had to spend summer doing something truly unusual.
When looking over my resume, I realized that my previous
career experience did not adequately demonstrate my interest
in international business, emerging economies and adventurous
The internship assignment ranges from
of 8-24 weeks and during this time interns are given
the opportunity to work on real projects, from application
development to business consulting, in practices that include
Corporate Planning, Education & Research, Enterprise
Solutions and Software Engineering & Technology Laboratories
(SETLabs). The application forms are available online.
Sanjay Purohit says, “In-Step
program has interns from various backgrounds. This includes,
liberal arts, technical disciplines such as computer science
and management studies. The program is open to undergraduate,
postgraduate, and even PhD students. We have had interns
who are in the first year of their course, and we have also
had interns who have been vice presidents at multinational
corporations, but are now pursuing management studies.”
According to Infosys Limited,
the selection is based on the profile preferred for the
projects currently available. Academic excellence is neither
the only nor the primary ground for selection. Sanjay adds, “Interns
are selected based on the alignment between their profiles
and the internship projects available at Infosys. So, even
though an applicant may have an excellent academic record,
if she or he does not fit the preferred profiles, we may
not be able to shortlist such applicant for an internship
position. We believe this is essential for the development
of the intern and for the successful completion of the assigned
What next? Once the short-listing of
applicants is over a detailed telephone interview is conducted
with the short listed applicants. Bret says, “The
selection process was the simplest of any major company
with whom I’ve interviewed. I got an email from the
recruiting coordinator asking if I could do a phone interview
with the head of corporate planning. The interview lasted
only fourteen minutes, at the end of which I had a job.” Was
it smooth sailing then? Bret quips, “The only nightmarish
part was that I had to get up a 6 a.m. on a Friday morning
to do the phone interview.”
The names of all selected candidates
are subsequently put up on the Selections board, and are
available on-line on the web page.
Sample Projects for Undergraduates
Please see the website for details,
as the list
of projects varies every year.
Projects in areas such as Algorithms,
Big Data Analytics, Cloud Computing, Coding, Finance, Human
Resources, or for that matter Life Sciences are open to
those pursuing higher studies in these specialized areas.
Bret is engaged in the ERM space. His
project involves developing an Enterprise Risk Management
framework, which enables Infosys to track and monitor all
kinds of potential risks that they face across the organization
throughout the world.
Sanjay says, “While the interns
gain from exposure to a new business and culture, Infosys
and Infoscions (the people at Infosys) benefit from the
interactions with some of the world’s brightest young
minds. As a rule, the interns work on real projects and
assignments and their competencies and outlook have been
a greater benefit for the company. Most of the work done
by the interns is used as a basis for further refinement
and implementation in the company.”
Before applying, it is best to check
in detail the projects that are currently open and zoom
on to those that would suit you best.
You really don’t have to sweat
it out here, day and night. The work times are from 8 am
to 5.15 pm in the head office at Electronic City , Bangalore.
These may slightly vary in other offices, leaving the evenings
free to get acquainted with life in Bangalore or for that
scrumptious dinner at the residence of your new colleague.
Weekends are off and statutory holidays are also available
Observance of strict ethics is a must
both at the campus and the guesthouse, and the company takes
this very seriously. The set code of conduct is required
to be observed at all times. Needless to add, a non-disclosure
and confidentiality agreement is mandatory.
You may have umpteen questions to ask,
thus to help you settle in, a student is assigned a buddy.
She/he is the one-point person contact for issues other
than those related to the project. The project mentor guides
you through the project and arranges for you to make a presentation
to a group of senior managers at the end of the project.
Such a presentation is a must and you cannot wriggle out
of it. If required by your University, this group would
also grade your project.
To put it in a nutshell, you work on
a real project and also get a chance to interact with the
top management. A number of workshops are conducted throughout
the term of the internships. This facilitates a more
comprehensive interaction with heads of business units.
Well respected, and highly visible in the Indian media,
not only for the achievements made by the company, but for
their activities in social upliftment, Narayana Murthy (Chairman
and Chief Mentor of the company) and Nandan Nilekani (Managing
Director, President and Chief Executive Officer of the company)
were voted Fortune Asia’s Businessmen of the Year
2003. Both of them are actively involved and fully support
the In-Step program.
Interns receive a student allowance
monthly during the entire internship duration. Sanjay
explains, “The monthly
stipends are not related to the project but to the educational
profile of the intern and also the country in which they
are working in, for the project. The stipend is definitely
linked to the cost of living in that particular country.”
Interns working in India are required
to open a bank account in India for this purpose. The student
mentor helps in this regard. And remember, Infosys
Limited pays for most other expenses!
Sanjay adds, “Infosys bears the
visa fees, airfare expenditure, both from their home country
to an international airport in India , and thereon to Bangalore,
the cost of local transport, and boarding and lodging expenses.
Facilities available on the campus to Infoscions be it the
library or recreational facilities are thrown open to interns.”
In effect, the stipend can be used
for shopping, entertainment, and travel. And in case there
is a balance left, you can even repatriate it back home.
An airport pick up is provided and
you are driven straight to the guesthouse. Bangalore does
not have as yet, an international airport. Hence your first
stop could be one of India’s metros such as Mumbai
or Chennai. From there, you would catch a domestic flight
Infosys Limited provides
accommodation in a service apartment. A modest two-bedroom
flat, it comes equipped with housekeeping service. The apartment
block also has a swimming pool and indoor gym. A catering
arrangement can be availed of, or else there is an option
for ordering take-away from restaurants.
And as far as traveling to work is
concerned, a bus service is provided or you can adopt the
most popular means of transport, the three-wheeler contraption
called an auto.
You cannot travel on a student visa.
An employment visa is a must. All interns are required to
obtain a visa that is valid for six months. Applications
can be made to the Indian Consulate in your jurisdiction.
In addition to the documents normally
required in any visa application, the following are a must:
- Proof of the contract/employment/engagement
with Infosys Limited;
- Proof of Infosys Limited
being a registered company as per Indian regulatory requirements.
Infosys Technologies will make the
above documents available to you, upon your selection as
an intern. It is also advisable to obtain an endorsement
on the visa, seeking exclusion from a separate registration
in India. This facility would be available at the Indian
Consulate in the U. S. Otherwise, any stay of more than
14 days in India requires a separate registration at the
Vaccination and Medical Facilities
No specific vaccinations are required
for visiting India. However, visitors to India from or through
yellow fever infected areas are required to be in possession
of a valid certificate of vaccination against yellow fever.
However, it is best to check up with your local clinic regarding
vaccination requirements. The most modern medical facilities
are available in Bangalore. While Infosys Limited
would pick up the tab during your internship, it is best
to be equipped with a medical insurance while traveling
to India, for after all, you would just want to explore
it on your own, after the internship is over.
On weekends there are a many, many
things to do. Bangalore is known as India ’s pub city.
But, if pub hopping is not your style there are things to
see in Bangalore and near Bangalore. MG Road, Brigade Road,
and Commercial Street are the shopper’s paradise.
If you want to tickle your taste buds, take a tour of Church
Street and Castle Street for a variety of cuisine ranging
from the fiery Andhra cuisine (from the neighboring state
of Andhra Pradesh) to the Indo-Chinese fusion, or kebabs
cooked in the traditional Mughlai style. Bannerghatta National
Park, a wildlife park within the city, may help you spot
a tiger. Other attractions include, the Lal Baugh gardens,
Cubbon Park, Nandi Hills, and The Big Banyan Tree (all of
them are popular picnic spots). For a whiff of culture,
visit Nrityagram Dance Village on the outskirts of Bangalore
which hosts occasional classical dance shows. And if history
is more to your liking, Tipu’s palace in the old district
of Bangalore dating back to 1791 or the gigantic Bull Temple,
which houses a monolithic Bull may be more your style.
A variety of options are available.
A few hill stations are scattered around. Coorg and Ooty
being by far the most popular. Pondicherry is
another favorite haunt if you want to take a spiritual trip
and also take a sip of French wine (yes the French culture
still prevails, in this quaint seaside resort, famous for
its Aurobindo Ghose Ashram). The Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary,
not too far away, is a must for wildlife lovers, the tiger
may remain elusive, but you are bound to chance upon herds
of majestic elephants. State government owned and operated
Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation runs comfortable
buses to these places.
Pick up a local Bangalore guide, available
free at major supermarkets, and make the most of your weekend.
As Bret sums up, “An internship
in India helps one gain a better understanding of the ways
to mitigate the challenges and extract benefits of doing
business in less developed countries; an appreciation of
Indian culture and cuisine, both of which are far more flavorful
than what one finds at home, and lots of bootlegged DVDs.”
Infosys Limited welcomes
any further questions regarding its InStep program.
Further details of the In-Step program can be found on
Instep section of their website. Applications can
be made online.