Her everyday struggle

My IIM KOZHIKODE interview

Well I have converted IIM BANGALORE. But there were many other ordeals that I had to face during my journey πŸ˜…. My intention behind sharing my experiences is to help the aspirants get an idea of how things can go about in an interview. Sometimes even the things that you have come prepared with might escape or hide momentarily from your consciousness, just like what happened with KarΓ€n in Mahabharat πŸ˜…πŸ˜…

IIM Kozhikode experience:

Date: 9th February, Delhi

WAT: Medals in World championship and Olympics are a good measure of a nation’s growth and progress.

Summary of what I wrote: Introduced the various globally accepted indicators to measure the growth and prosperity of a nation like GDP, Gini Coefficient etc. Explained how performance in international events signifies the investment that goes into the development of the individuals, the nature of the priorities within a nation. (Winter Olympics were ongoing, gave India’s example- inspite of snow covered mountains in India, haven’t been able to capitalise as a result of which the Indian participation was outrageous). Also explained how developed countries leave their marks in such events and justify their national progress. On the other hand there are some developed countries who are more into research and not so much into sports. Summarised by saying that it should not be the only measure, but in combination with others can give a satisfactory output.

This was my first interview of the season and I had all the butterflies of the world in my supposedly empty stomach as it was the dawn of the long awaited interview sessions.

Finally I entered the interview room after the WAT/GD/Document verification part was over.

And for the aspirants who are curious to know how can one get a clue to enter the room, there is no mystery, an interviewer will come out and call you. πŸ˜…

So I entered the room, greeted the panelists and occupied the chair.

P1 (checking my form): So Parth, 9.31 pointer.. Were you a topper?
Me (smile on my face): Well No sir, I was not the topper but was amongst the toppers.

P1: Great, so you work in Airtel!
Me: No sir, I left it in September.

P1: Why?
Me ( Even though i had prepared for this question, I was rattled. May be because this was my first interview) : Well sir, I wanted to move from the technical side to the business side. I wanted to learn and pursue higher studies in business field.

P1: or you left it for Cat?
Me: well yes sir, it was one of the reasons but not the most significant one as I had already decided to resign and get myself acquainted with the business field.

P1: Ok, so what should I ask from you! Your profile is very good. Have you heard about ASEAN.
Me (I was not able to understand what he said, hence I begged his pardon and he spelt out ASEAN): Oh yes sir, ASEAN is Association for southeast Asian….

(I was very nervous, trying to recollect N for Nation)
( I may have mispronounced ASEAN as P2 pronounced it again to me)

P1: Nation.
Me: Yes sir Nation.

P1: Ok, so why was it made? What was the purpose?
Me: Sir, It is a intergovernmental organisation of 10 southeast Asian countries, the leaders of which came to India on 26th Jan 2018. I started naming one by one.

P1: Don’t name them, just tell the significance.
Me: Sir, the purpose was to bring unity, trade, movement amongst the members of the bloc, based on the similar idea of European union. One of the purpose was also to maintain peace and integrity in the maritime area and regional cooperation.

P1: So what is the role of India?
Me: Sir India plays a major balancing role. On one side there is China..

P1: yeah China is a neighbour, so what!! Is it our enemy?
Me: Not an enemy sir. But in the recent events when it has been trying to occupy island and set up its bases in the China sea, the ASEAN looks towards India to help them and to balance the power.

P1: ok.. what else to ask to you.. I am done I think, your marks are very good. Mam do you want to ask anything!!
P2: So what is the trade value we have with ASEAN?
Me: 70bn$ approximately with around 10bn$ deficit.

P2: Ok, tell me about India’s trade!
Me: Mam our import is 450bn$+, export is 320bn$ approximately with a trade deficit of around 130bn$+. We import crude oil, jewels,diamond…

P2: Don’t tell me what we import, tell me what brings profit to India.
Me: we primarily export engineering goods and services, 8th larger service exporter of the world. We have hubs in Noida, Bangalore, Gurgaon. We export petroleum products, pharmaceutical…

P2: Pharmaceutical?? What in pharmaceutical, I want to know.
Me( I was flustered by it): No mam, not pharmaceutical.. I mean it exports but it doesn’t come at the top. Service industry is the biggest export item for us.
(Fact: India is the 3rd largest exporter by volume of the generic drugs. I got confused unnecessarily)

P2: Ok, so have you heard about CSR?
Me: Yes mam. Corporate social responsibility.

P2: great, so what is it?
Me: The idea is that the corporates take so much from the society in order to progress, it has an obligatory duty to give something in return.

P2: Ok, so what is the rule?
Me: corporates are supposed to use 2% of the revenue for the society.
(I mistakenly said revenue instead of profit)

P2: revenue, what revenue?
Me: Mam whatever the earnings are, 2% of that.

P2: so is it the revenue or earnings or something else is there?
Me: Mam, it is the earnings.
( I was unable to recall at that moment that it is actually 2% of the avaerage profits for last 3 years, even when she was trying to give hints. The moment I stepped out of the room it hit me in my gut πŸ˜– , pretty hard )

P2: Ok, and which entities should be fulfilling it? I mean the corporate, the firms, retails, (she said 2-3 different things) or any company?
Me: Mam it is corporate social responsibility, so corporate team of any company.

P2: what if they don’t do it?
Me: There is no stringent action, but the corporate body has to submit in written the reason why it was not able to fulfill the responsibilities.

P2: how does Airtel do it?
Me: Mam it has some 237 schools where it gives education to 40k+ students belonging to poor families.

P2: great. So how do you plan to do it?
Me (I took some time to think): Mam, in future when I will be in a corporate, I will try my best that I curb corruption and ethically fulfill the responsibilities that I will be assigned in the future.

P2: good. So you said that we should give back to the society. Have you ever done something?
Me (Again got rattled) : mam during my college, I joined art of living, and I went to a government hospital to give food and supplies to the hospitalized people. It felt really good.

P2: So you haven’t done anything recently?
Me: ( was unable to recall my charity to a cancer patient and the work I did during the Chennai cyclone 2016… So stupid of me to get rattled like this!) Sorry mam, I am unable to recall.

P2: no problem, better to say truth than making up stories. Good to hear. Sir, I am done.
P1: ok Parth , we are done. Any questions?

Me: No sir, thank you.

Both of them: thank you. All the best!

I thanked them again and left the room.. it was some experience ain’t it!! πŸ˜…πŸ˜… I was very nervous throughout, couldn’t recall some facts, even the things that I did for a good cause. Well that’s what nervousness can do to you. Yet I somehow had a nice smile throughout the interview. So try to be calm and think with a cool head always.
But I felt that overall it went fine, the result will tell though.

Status: Awaited

My IIM Bangalore Experience

I would like to share my IIM Bangalore interview experience with a hope that it might help the aspirants seeking to get admission in this prestigious college.

I had put in a lot of hard work and time to get good percentile in CAT (Common Aptitude Test) and it was never easy. I started preparing for Cat in September and had put 10+ hours daily practicing every single day as I had just 2 months for the D-Day.

My profile:-

X – 93.2%

XII – 90.4%

BTech ECE (NIT Allahabad) – 9.31 pointer

Work ex – 27 months

IIM B Interview date – 17th March 2018

Venue – New Delhi

WAT Topic: Digital tech, AI, machine learning can help eradicate farmer’s distress.

Summary of what I wrote: Started with industrial revolution 4 and current farmer’s distress in India. Wrote about GDP contribution of agriculture and population. Upskill is required and movement to other sectors is of prime importance. Improving productivity. These technologies can help in direct linking of the retail markets with farmers, linking with processing industries. AI can help in balancing supply and demand and in scheduling which crop to be sowed and how much, so that there is a fine balance between the supply and the demand of the disparate crops. Tech can help in proper irrigation etc. But educating farmers and upskilling them is the most crucial step.

My IIM Bangalore interview:

My interview panel had 3 interviewers. One of them asked me to put all my documents aside as I won’t be requiring them. So I kept it on the side table.

P1: So Parth you are in Airtel, nice..
Me: Sir actually I left Airtel.

All Ps in cohesion: why? Woo!!! What what!?

I was taken aback by this consonance.πŸ˜…

Me: I wanted to learn about business. While working in Airtel I realised that irrespective of any vertical, all work for customer satisfaction. Thus I wanted to develop a holistic vision and for that doing an MBA was important.

P1 cutting me off: You left to prepare for Cat right!?
Me: well yes it was one of the reasons.

P2: you know what impression you are making, that you can’t multitask.
Me: (started feeling nervous, but I held onto my nerves) Well sir, CAT is not an ordinary exam. To do justice to it and to secure a good percentile I realised that it was essential for me to contribute my full time to it. I was giving it more than 10 hours daily. It wouldn’t have been possible to do it along with a job that demanded 12+ hours of work. And I felt it wasn’t ethical for me to scrimshank my job responsibilities.

P2: I am highly unethical. It doesn’t matter to me. You are still not able to justify that why u left. P1: yeah, we are not convinced. Wasn’t it a risk that you left a high paid job for it?
Me: (started again) Certainly sir, it was a risk that was worth it and that is the reason I am sitting in front of you all for this esteemed interview.

P1: What if you would have got a higher percentile while working!!

Me: Sir, it was a part of the risk. I couldn’t have known it but I was sure that if I put my all to the preparation, I will be able to achieve it and thankfully I did.

P2: you remember my first question that what impression you are making!? It shows you can’t run multiple projects in a corporate.

Me: Well sir, I have run a lot of projects throughout my 27 months of work experience and I have been awarded as well.

P2: you scored 9.31 in UG. Was there only 1 subject that you studied? How many subject were there per semester?
Me: Sir 6 subjects.

P3: Right.. See, you can manage 6 subjects then why not job and cat preparation!?
Me: (By this time I was really nervous, I felt it wasn’t going right 😣). Yes sir, I did it in my graduation. But this time it was about setting priorities and working to achieve the set target. And for me this was my priority and I didn’t want to take it for granted.

P1: Tell me about your job role.
Me: My role was to improve the 3G and 4G network experience of the customer. I was able to improve the throughput of 4G network by 33% for which I was awarded by the CEO.

P1: what is the global 4g throughput average?
Me: 20 Mbps

P1: Then, how much did u achieve?
Me: Well sir, in 4G we have TDD and FDD. In FDD it was 10+ Mbps and in TDD, more than 30+Mbps. Thus effectively more than 20 Mbps.

P1: what was the team size?
Me: Airtel works on outsourcing model. Airtel team had 3 members and Ericsson had 10.

P1: So what was your role in improving throughput?
Me: Sir I studied about equipments and features in depth, analysed drive results and was able to suggest and implement features that improved the throughput.

P1: This should have been done by Ericsson right? Why you?
Me: Well sir, when I joined Airtel, 4G was the new technology and not many people had experience. I used it as an opportunity and did my best to understand it and read about the equipment and this helped a lot in achieving the result.

P1: can u give one example
Me: I gave an example of one of the features that were implemented.(was technical so no further questions)

P1: what are your interests? What do u do these days.
Me: (Felling happy and relaxed😝) Sir I write poems in english and hindi and I have a blog on WordPress where I share them.

P1: what is the id?
Me: told

(He checked it on his laptop)

P2: which languages did you say you write in?
Me: sir, english and hindi. I have brought my poems with me too, in case you would like me to recite it to you.

P1: yeah sure
Me: sir which language would you like me to recite in.

P1-P3: any, just make it fast.
Me: in hurry, I recited them a short hindi poem.

P2: Was it Spanish, I couldn’t even understand a word.

(I was like wtf!! Apparently, he didn’t know hindi which he said later.)

P3: It was marvelous, loved it..
Me: with my eyes on P2, Sir would you like me to recite something in english. You would like it.

P2,P3 : no thank you. It’s done. Do you have any question?
Me: Yes sir.

P2: Make it quick.
Me: I inquired how to be a part of the placement cell.

P1 was going to answer but P2 interrupted and said it is a student activity and the students do it.
Me: Ok sir, thank you.

P1: Thank you, all the best!
Me: Thank you sir.

I felt really weird. But I had to leave as it was over. One thing I realised from this experience is that we should never try to judge if the interview went good or bad. And we should not let it affect the imminent interviews.

  • As long as you are convinced, you can make everyone convince.
  • There is nothing secondary to hard work.
  • So start the hard work guys and with sheer consistency you will achieve what you want!
  • Believe in what you do !!!

Status: Converted

I really thank God for it was not possible without his grace and blessings. Thank you God.