Featured Internship Story | “My internship taught me the functioning of a...

Featured Internship Story | “My internship taught me the functioning of a start-up and the work culture that comes with it.” – Hariharan Arumugam, intern, IIT Madras Research Park.


Founded by IIT alumni, Lema Labs was started under the able guidance of the faculty members of IIT, Madras to provide students with a comprehensive 2 year program to teach students about emerging technologies, ranging from basic robotics and machine learning to computer vision, controls theory and more.

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I found about about their internship opportunity through Letsintern and joined them full-time, and even  part-time on a few occasions, where I worked in robotic educational services space on development of content and educational robotic prototypes. I was the part of the team that organised sessions on robotics in various Chennai based engineering institute to demonstrate the working of various robots.

My job also included brainstorming new ideas to improve the business, social media marketing, documentation and report preparation of the robots we were working on, reading books like Art of Selling by Alec Baldwin and The Lean Startup by Eric Reis, and watching Shark Tank, the american reality TV show, where entrepreneurs came up with business proposals in front of a panel of investors. (No kidding!)

My time at Lema Labs taught me the functioning of a startup and the work culture that comes with it, especially the absence of hierarchy, that enabled anyone in the company to pinpoint any mistakes made by their colleagues, and be appreciated for it.

I learnt how start-ups encourage individual growth just as much as the organization growth, and hence we owned up when we didn’t give our best at something, instead of creating a scene. We called each other by names, and there was no customary Sir/ Madam involved in our conversations.

Kedar Kulkarni, CEO, Lema Labs, always had our backs in case we fall and was the first one to give credit when we rose. Nivas Ravichandran, Business Development Executive at Lema Labs, was entrusted with my training, and happened to be more like a father figure to me, who’d correct me upfront when I went wrong, and stood by me, helping me up my performance level.

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Apart from this, I got to network with big shots, while I supported my team in implementing new business modules. I even got selected for the Campus Ambassador Program in IIT, Kharagpur, where I served as a link between the entrepreneur cell at IIT- KGP and my college. During this time, the head of the department, of my college, gifted me a book by Brain Spacey, which is something I am grateful for and will never forget.

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I was not a top scorer in my college. I was not part of any sports team. I wasn’t much of an extra-curricular person, either. This internship changed everything for me, as people started seeing me in a completely new light.

For the first time in my life, I felt like I had finally found something I was the best at.

Hariharan Arumugam is pursuing his Bachelors in Engineering in Electronics and Instrumentation from Thangavelu Engineering College, Chennai.

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Read more internship stories:
“Microsoft is definitely a ‘do more’ company and the energy slowly catches upto you.” – Chirag Takker, Intern, Microsoft SMSG.

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