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Apurv Pandit @Apurv
The vitriolic public reaction to Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh's seemingly innocuous comment that "The faculty in Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) is not world-class. It is the students in IITs who are w

Brilliant. Insightful. Well-researched. Serves as the perfect reply to the many who joined the bandwagon against the minister's comments without thinking twice!

It is hard to describe my feelings when I finally write in this thread! Satisfaction? Excitement? Success? I dont know. All I know is that I have been waiting for 2 years for this day!

CAT 2007 season

It all started at a chai shop in Ichchhanath, at NIT Surat, when I was in my third year. I was more than half of an engineer, and the question of future, career etc started raising its head. An IT job? No thanks. A career in electronics(my branch)? Not interested. I confess that I decided to try for CAT after eliminating the various other options!

Like everyone else, I joined IMS and wrote the SIM CATs. In a test or two, I scored high percentiles and suddenly everyone was talking about IIM calls and all. Somewhere, I believed that I had it in me, and prepared now and then. The D Day was nearing.

Come November 15, 2007(think that was the day berfore CAT) and I was on train with my friends to Ahmedabad. It felt like just another tour with my friends! The night before CAT, I had an asthma attack(I am allergic to dust). I could sleep only around 3 am and slept till 5 am. I remember lying in the bed and praying that I fall asleep soon!

On the D-Day, I was more or less ok, but I was tired and in no high spirits. In the exam, I started off with VA(my strongest section) and did well. Attempted 24/25 in an hour. Then DI. It went downhill from there. The very first set, I was stuck. And I was stubborn enough not to let it go. Maybe, the very good VA section contributed to the over confidence. After trying a couple of sets, I tried QA. No success there too. By this time, my confidence had touched an all time low. After the exam, I was sure that it was worse than even my mock tests.

Result- Overall 93.xx, VA-99.xx, QA-85.xx, DI-67.xx

What CAT 2007 taught me

  1. If you are strong in a section, it doesnt mean you have to spend all your time in it.
  2. Dont be stubborn and keep trying a question if you are unsure about the logic. The golden words are.LET GO.
  3. Remember that if you get tense, you have to get back on track asap.

Then I wrote FMS, XAT. Got 95 odd percentile in XAT. By then, I was placed in IBM and BPCL. I decided to join BPCL as a management trainee, as by then, I had decided that I would be doing an MBA, and a managerial post will help in the long run.

CAT 2008 Season

I was too busy with my job to prepare hard for CAT 2008. So I decided I would write only CAT exam and that too just for the sake of attempting it. Lo and behold! Cat 2008 was like a cakewalk(well, almost!) Started with DI (which had let me down the previous year.) Was happy after finishing it in just over 40 mins and proceeded to Verbal. Which was again very good. After that came QA. I attempted those questions for which I knew the logic, and skipped the rest, just like that.

Result- Overall 98.97, VA-96.xx, QA-92.xx, DI-99.xx

After the results were declared, I was happy and sad. Happy because I did this without any preparation. And sad because QA let me down. If I had answered a couple of questions more in QA, I would have got atleast 2 IIM calls.

The day the results were announced was also one of the saddest days in my life. I was working, when I got a call from the TIME manager. He told me I had got a K call. I was ecstatic. I rushed to a caf, and there it wasYou have been selected for GD/PI at IIM K! I was on top of the world, and informed my closest friends, parents and a few relatives. I couldnt concentrate on my work, took a leave, and went back to the caf to see PG and the result once again.

You wont believe me, but this time, I got a regret message. I called up admissions, IIM K and spoke to the professor who was in charge of admissions. He said there might have been some error and confirmed that my name was not in the list. And said something about my name being in the first list of only CAT score people, and when they included work ex, I didnt clear the cutoff.

To say that I was disappointed would be an under statement. I messaged my friends to ignore my earlier message, and told them it was just a MISSED CALL from K! Totop it all, TIME centre had already published my photo with the other call getters, and I had to explain to some that I didnt have a call! The TIME director apologized, but said that he was seeing something like this for the first time in his life. Well, that left me in my company for one more year, and ample time to prepare for CAT 2009.

What CAT 2008 taught me

1.A major part of success in CAT depends on how cool you are on the D Day.
2.If you attempt only a few questions in one section, probe further, until you are sure about clearing the sectional cut off.
3.The last and most important, Dont be let down by failures. If you have a missed call from K one year, aim for an A call next year and convert it!!

CAT 2009 Season

I had sufficient time to prepare, and I utilized it well in the initial days(March-June). Then enthusiasm levels dropped, and work started getting more hectic. I wrote the online mock CATs of TIME and my scores were good. But I failed to perform consistently in all the sections. However, VA continued to be my strongest section.
Another important thing happened. My GF!!! She was the one inspiration and motivation, who never failed to encourage me. Most importantly, she believed in me and used to be angry when I was pessimistic at times. Some stressful days at work and some mock CATs later, I was ready to bell the CAT.

On the day of CAT, I had no strategy in mind. The idea was to remain cool and maximize the attempts, as the word was that online CAT 2009 was a cakewalk.
I was surprised to find that the exam was not as easy as it was hyped to be. DI was pretty doable. QA required logic and quick thinking, and was in no way a breeze. And the surprise was..VA was quite tough! My slot had the privilege of getting 3 abstract passages for RC, out of a total of 3 passages. And, the sentence correction and everything else was not easy, to say the least. In as much as 10 questions, I had to choose between 2 options, both of which seemed likely.

After CAT, I knew that my entire chances depended on VA. If I had done it well, I was through. Otherwise, it would be another year for the next CAT! The results were declared after a huge delay and I was disappointed when I saw this:

Result : Overall:98.82 QA:92.50 VA :94.50 DI:99.25

There, I thought, another year down the drain. I was sure that I would not get any IIM call, as last year, I had OA 98.97. Here again, it was my GF who was somehow sure that I would get atleast a lone call!! IIM A,B,C. No call. As expected. IIM L..SurpriseI couldnt believe my eyes! My registration number was there in the list. I was on top of the world! IIM KAgain..CALL!! IIM I.. No call. Oh, and a call from SP Jain too, after the CAT scores were declared(Second list)

After the initial days of frenzy and celebration, I realized I had to prepare for the interview. I decided to follow the current affairs closely, as it was my weak point. I also assured myself that I am already good, and PI depends on what you have been doing till now, and not only on the last few days before the PI! The only coaching I took was a GD/PI workshop in Bangalore conducted by TIME. The mock PI there was the worst PI in my life, and I thought I had no chance unless I drastically changed myself! Here goes my PI experiences at IIM K and IIM L.
Finally.. Both IIM L and K converted. SP Jain reject. Joining hel(L)!!!!!!

More than anything, I am relieved that I am finally chasing my dream. And I learnt many important lessons in the 3 years before I finally made it! The most important one is Dont succumb to failures, and try hard till the goal is achieved.

X : 93%, ICSE Board
XII: 94.5%, ICSE Board
Undergrad : B.Tech Electronics, 77.6%, NIT Surat, 2008 passout

Work-Ex: 22 months till date, BPCL

CAT (2009-10):
DI : 99.4%
Quant : 92.5%
Verbal : 94.5%
Aggregate : 98.82
(category GEN)

Extra acads : Co - Secretary of college newsletter

Interview & Essay

Venue: Monarch Luxur, Bangalore
Date : 07.04.09

Essay :
Topic: It is sometimes necessary to go to war to ensure peace.
Number of Ppl present : 9
Time: 16.5 mins
GD on the same topic immediately after GD was completed.
GD was quite decent. No fish market. I started the GD and faltered after about 20 secs. I said things like, we will let each speaker speak and such crap! But eventually made up by contributing some good points.
My performance 6/10


Old Guy(O), Young guy(Y), Me(Me)

After taking a seat and introductions:

Y : Give me your file.
M : (Gave)
O : So you work in an OMC
M : Yes sir
O : The fuel that we buy in petrol pumps, how do we know that it is not adulterated??
M : Sir, there are quality checks and surprise audits. Done by a team of all the 3 OMCs. So there is no chance to cheat. Moreover, the customer can demand to test the quality of fuel anytime, as per the new govt order.(explained about density test and filter paper test)...was cut short by O
O : But then, the dealer will definitely cheat if he wants profit. Moreover, the machines can easily be tampered with.
M : It is not the case. A dealer can make a decent profit(explained the figures) And the machines are modern ones, unlike the old mechanical pumps, so they cannot be tampered with.
O : But this is India, and anything people can come up with anything to cheat.
M : mumbled something, dont remember.

(All this time, Y was looking at my file)

Y : How do you rate the interviewer?
O : Imagine I am not here.
M : Pretty good.
Y : Why?
M : He made me comfortable by asking me work related qns. And touched the crux of the matter by asking about the profit that a dealer makes, which is the real issue.
Y : So, if someone makes you comfortable, you will rate him as good?
M : Not like that sir, but yes when I have no other interaction with him, it does matter.
Y : Ok, in your work, you would have people reporting to you rt?
M : Yes, one technician
Y : If I were to ask your technician about you, what would be the first thing he would say?
M : That I would not leave an issue till it is resolved completely. Maybe, he will call me a little strict.
Y : Hmm...Did you go to any coaching classes?
(At this point, I knew PI was going downhill. I knew he asked this question because I started the GD and faltered, and acted like a 'leader' by saying things like we will let every one speak etc)
M : No sir, I didnt get time, as my work is tight. But I attended one mock GD PI workshop in Bangalore(Which is the truth btw)
Y : If I were to tell you that your interview has been terrible till now, what will be your reaction?
M : (was taken aback, still managed to hide my feelings ) I think it was good. But if you feel so, I will definitely try to improve.
O : Describe yourself in 3 words.
M : (after thinking for 15 seconds) Honest, Hardworking, Enjoys Responsibilities(Thats 4 words i know!!)
O : Dont you think you shouldnt have thought this much for such a simple question??
M : (Smiles, Seriously didnt know what to say! )

Y : Ok, we are done. Do you have any questions ??

M : (hadn't prepared for this one.) Is there the option of choosing to specialize in multiple streams in the second year?

O : Yea, all IIMs have that(He was like...what a stupid qn). Why, where else do you have calls from? Dont they allow that?

M : SPJIMR. I opted for finance there.
O : Why is it that all guys opt for finance? Is it for the money?
M : No sir, I was interested in finance. I managed the finance part of my college newsletter. Moreover, I read articles about finance, like inflation etc.
O : What have you read??
M : That RBI is controlling inflation through CRR. But it is not working because in India, banking is not inclusive. RBI is trying to tackle inflation by just seeing the demand side of it. But I feel they should look at the supply side also, and provide funds for infrastructure, agriculture etc, thus increasing supply.

Y : Ok, nice meeting you. You can leave now.
O : Wait a minute, why havent you filled anything in the 'job responsibilities' row in the data form? (shows me the form)

M : Sorry sir, will fill it now.

After I filled it up, I said thank you and left.

Any other relevant detail.: There was a negative feeling throughout the interview. As in, it seemed as if they werent convinced with my answers. And they tried to stress me out at a few points. Now, I feel that I was confident with my answers and that made the difference.

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My SP interview was the best among IIM L, K and SP. Atleast i felt positive vibes and was confident throughout. The PI experience is something i will cherish for some time to come. Couldnt get a call in second list or W/L in finance, and was dejected till the L convert. Congos to all the SP call getters! Others, dont lose hope!

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What are the work ex documents required at the time of registration? Will the first and last salary slips along with the appointment letter suffice or is there any format for the same? Sorry if this has already been answered!!

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I know it's late...but..YIPPEEEE!!!! Converted the L call!!

After a reject from SP Jain, the call made my day!!

Looking forward to hel(L)!!!

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I have talked to friends and others, and their strong opinion is that SP Jain is to be preferred over MDI and NITIE, whatever the specialization may be. Regarding IIMs, I know people who have chosen SP Jain over I and K, but that again depends on the location preferred/individual reasons etc.

That said, comparison of B Schools is not encouraged on PG, so let us not talk about which is better over the other!!

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Hey everyone!!

had my gd/pi at IIM K itself, on 22.03.10, 2 pm. Oh, the campus is awesome!!

wonder why no one has posted so far. anyways, here goes.......



work ex- 20 months(oil industry)

cat %ile : 98.82

essay topic : "an eye for an eye makes the whole world go blind. otherwise only I will be blind"
15 mins. and you have to complete it within the time frame, thats the whole game here.

gd topic : an article about leadership. how leaders are different in the past and present. how a leader like gandhi was, and how today's leaders seem to just quote our old leaders and give more importance to fame.

gd - was "almost" a fish market. though everyone got to spoke i guess. and focus was on politicians and media. narendra modi, rahul gandhi, etc came up. at some points, more than one person spoke, but the panel didnt intervene.



P1 - IT/Systems guy
P2 - Operations guy

As i entered the room, P2 left.

P1-Introduce yourself
me-blah blah....ending with me directing a short film that won a prize and about hobbies(watching movies).
P1- asked about my short film, contradicted me, and in the end neither of us reached a conclusion.
P1- so do u watch foreign movies?
me- coz they represent a different culture(named a few foreign movies), and movies in india are not able to focus on some issues, and even if they do, they dont get a release due to the censor board(gave the examples of black friday, fire)
P1- so you think fire should have been released in india in all theatres?
P1- so you want all the people to start believing in lesbianism?
me- no that is not the point. the movie's focus was on oppression of women, and not on lesbians. it is due to the oppression that they turned to lesbianism.
P1-but i think the people of india will see lesbianism before they see any other element in the movie.
me-deep mehta was ready to delete the obscene scenes and release the movie(Dont know whether this is true!!) then also, it didnt get a release, so the focus on the larger issue of oppression of women was forgotten..blah blah blah..

by this time, P2 has come back and intervenes

P2- tell me about your work
me-blah blah and said something about 'network'
P2 corrected me on the word network, and i agreed. (seems network has some technical definition in operations)

P2- so you have implemented this business model?(it was mentioned in the data form)
me- yes, blah blah....
P2-(contradicting me)- this model cannot work. it does not give any special improvement to sales
me-maintained my stand, tried to convince him it is not so.

in the end, he smiled and asked me to sign, and said i can go.

i couldnt believe it was such a short interview; signed quickly and left.


So, I am in the dark now as to how my interview went! Whether they saw me as confident or aggressive or stubborn is upto them!!

All the best to all the others! and comments welcome

Update : Verdict -----> CONVERTED!!!

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glad and relieved like many puys that i made it...first call of the whole season!!

oa - 98.82
quant- 99.24
verbal - 94.67
di - 99.24

class x - 93
class xii - 94.5
grad - 78

work ex- 14 months(aug 09)

general category

was almost giving up hopes when this happened!!

cheers and best wishes to all call getters!

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avinashjohri Says
frst of all my humble thanks to the starter of dis thread.............n plz add my name also in the list of guys who got dere result completely different especially on 30thjan slot ......after gvng my eggjam i checked it out wid CL n got my percentile 78 n the real result is only n only 21.52% killing all the options for me to apply to cat-allied colls, now will dese IIMs going to return my 1yr or will dey make me admitted to sum gud coll.........

dude.. do u have any idea what you are telling? how did you check the answers with CL, when no one knows the questions and answers, even now? remember that you are posting on a public forum.
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