[2012-2014] IIM Lucknow Essay/GD/PI Experiences

All the best to everyone for their IIML interviews and please do post in your experiences. For the benefit of everyone concerned, please keep the format like this: PROFILE: Acads X %,Board, year XII%, Board, year Undergrad St...
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This is very late, but hopefully useful for those appearing for the interview next year.

X - 85.1 %, Maharashtra Board, 1998
XII - 89.5%, Maharashtra Board, 2000
Undergrad - BE Electronics, 66%, 2004, Mumbai University
Grad - MS Electrical and Computer Science, GPA 3.8, 2007, Rutgers University (NJ, USA)

Capital One Auto Finance (USA) - 34 months
IL&FS; Cluster Development Initiative Limited - 15 months (as of interview date)

CAT 2011: 99.57 %ile

Interview & Essay

Venue: Mumbai
Date: 11th Feb

Essay and GD Topic: All exact sciences are dominated by the idea of approximation
Number of Ppl present: 8 (one was absent)
Time for essay: 10 minutes
Time for GD: 12 minutes
Brief Snapshot of the attempt: Essay was fine, but miscalculated the time. Was asked to stop in the middle of a paragraph, which wasn't even the concluding one. In GD, I spoke a couple of times. However, there were a couple of guys who just absolutely refused to let others speak and kept interrupting. Was frustrating.
Rate your preparation(0-5): 4/5
Rate your performance(0-5):3/5

Panel Members Intro: Two professors (P1, who only asked personals, and P2, who asked everything else)


P1: So, Sailesh, walk me through your background.
Me: Described my life from school to graduation, and work-ex in a couple of minutes.
P1: Why did you take three years for your masters? Isn't it too long?
Me: I was also doing research work with a professor there, and such students typically finish in two and half to three years.
P1: Okay, so why do you want to do an MBA now?
Me: Explained why, based on my work-ex and the future path I want to take.
P1: Okay, so you want to specialize in...?
Me: Finance, and again described why finance.
P1: What are your hobbies?
Me: Listening to carnatic classical music.
P1: Why is it called carnatic music?
Me: The name carnatic itself is external, as in southern India, it does not have a specific name. It was given by the Marathas, whose first experience of this form of music was through the musicians in Bijapur from the Karnataka area, and they referred to this as Karnatak music. The British further anglicized it to Carnatic msuic. (Actually there is another explanation which I didnt give - the name "karnataka sangeetam" means ancient music.)
P1: Ok, so are there any similarities with Hindustani music?
Me: Yes, there has always been a lot of exchange between the two forms. Hindustani music itself branched out from carnatic music due to Persian influence in the 12/13 hundreds. Even today, ragas from Hindustani music are used in Carnatic music and vice-versa. For example, Sindhu Bhairavi in Carnatic has been influenced by Bhairavi in Hindustani, and Darbari Kanada has been influenced by the raga of the same name in Hindustani.
P1: (Looks satisfied and motions for P2 to continue the questioning).
P2: Do you know about the Satyam scam?
Me: Yes.
P2: What can we do to prevent such things from happening?
Me: From what I understand, it was an auditing scam, and hence, it should ideally have been caught by the external auditors - Delloitte (actually it was PWC). Hence, they should be held accountable as well. Also, we can look at increased reporting by companies which can be reviewed by the Government to ensure that there is transparency (should have really come up with a better point).
P2: What is CSR?
Me: Do you mean Corporate Social Responsibility?
P2: Yes. Do you agree with this idea?
Me: Yes. The idea is that a company has succeeded due to the society it is in, and CSR is a way for the company to repay the society for supporting it and helping it thrive. It is something akin to giving back to the community. So yes, it is a way of generating goodwill for the company.
P2: Satyam had a very big CSR department, and have also won many awards for it. How could such a company have been involved in so big a scam (or something along those lines)?
Me: Like I said, CSR is a way of generating goodwill, and is a means of creating a good image. This doesn't automatically mean that everything the company does is equally good. We shouldn't treat any company as fair simply based on their CSR activities.
P2: That is true.
Me: Further, it is also probably true that a company with such a big scam cannot be completely clean in all other aspects. If we look at the details of each company, there may be indicators of something going wrong in other smaller ways. For example, trying to illegally influence policy, or something similar. If we identify such companies and pay closer scrunity to their activities, we can stand a better chance of catching onto scams like Satyam.
P2: Okay. The finance minister is worried about the subsidy bill. Suppose you are the finance minister, how will you reduce the bill?
Me: Two ways - one is to reduce the amount of subsidies, the other is to increase revenues. Talking about the first part, there are many subsidies which shouldn't exist in the first place. Ignoring those applicable to the poor who otherwise cannot bear the fluctuations of the economy, we can look at removing subsidies given the middle class. Petroleum subsidy for example.
P2: Do we have subsidies in petroleum?
Me: There is a price mandated by the government, currently at around 70 rupees per litre. Whether oil companies get reimbursed for their costs, or are forced to be at that price, the price fix amounts to a subsidy.
P2: Okay, so what other areas can we target?
Me: Subsidies given to industries. Maybe a case can be made for subsidies given to micro scale industries. But small and medium scale industries are also currently given subsidies, which is equivalent to the government trying to direct the economy, which is not its role and it shouldn't be doing that.
P2: Which industries have subsidies?
Me: Textiles for example. There is a Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme that provides interest and capital subsidy on machinery.
P2: So textiles industry has subsidies available to it?
Me: Yes, like I said, TUFS. It expired last year, but was reintroduced recently.
P2: (As I mentioned this, he was shaking his head as if to imply that I was wrong. I found it strange, since such a scheme did exist at the time of the interview) :shock:
P1: (Cutting me off) Thank you, Sailesh.
Me: Thank you, sir.
P2: Please take a toffee!
Me: Thank you again.

Thinking back, it was a chilled out interview. Both P1 and P2 calmly listened to my answers before asking the next question. None of my responses had a follow-up question either.

I don't remember a couple of questions that P1 asked, but they were personals, and pretty straight-forward ones.

Rate your preparation (0-5): 4
Rate your performance (0-5): 4

Verdict: Converted!

Date: 10th February,2012, Morning session

GD topic: A man who won't die for something is not fit to live
The topic wasn't discussed well enough because we covered only a few points..I 'm generally not able to get my words in during GDs but spoke 3-4 times and made 1/2 new points.Thankfully, it wasn't a fish market..I think coaching classes have helped there :D

Interview: Two panelists and as usual, one questioning and one mostly observing. It was a stress interview and by the end of it I was sure I was dumb and wouldn't crack it :D

P1: So you are from Mumbai Uni..you've very less marks in Engg
Now this had been tried on me during a mock interview so I knew that my marks were ok and I said that and stuck to it.
Me: Sir my marks were considered good at the time I graduated and from the University I graduated..I was rank 3 in college and rank 21 in Mumbai University.
P1: But then you're setting a very low benchmark for yourself..you shouldn't compare only with your college..you should see where you stand nationally
Me: But sir there different universities have different systems of grading so I cannot compare myself with everyone..I have to compare with those in a similar situation with me.
P1: The government says all boards are equal
Me: Said something about how a person may have more marks than me but I may still have greater knowledge etc
P1: You should admit if you're marks are less..you should not be defensive.
Me: Sir i know my marks are not the best but I feel they are good..sorry sir, I did not mean to be defensive.
P1: So this company you work for..don;t you think they pay very less?(looked at my reaction)
Me: sir they are definitely not the highest paying but they pay on par with other companies like them(meaning India based MNCs :D)
P1: why do you think that is?
Me: maybe becuz they take more people
P2: No it's becuz they have a learning component
Me: Yes they have many opportunities for L&D..I; have also done sos and so certifications(sly huh :D)
P1: Where is their R&D; lab?
Me: Not sure..Chennai?
P1: No Pune
P1: Do you want to be questioned about work or acads?
Me: work!
P1: What do you at work?
Me: Described my job responsibilities..I worked on a web application and he asked me about the technology and all
P1: Asked my opinion on e-commerce
Me: I didn't know what to say!I didn't know online buying/selling was called that
P1: explained what he meant and then said that online shopping had limitations compared to physically buying things
Me: asked him what problems customers faced
P1: said customers in a shop could more easily buy products acc to features they wanted
Me: Even in online shopping, we have the facility to search for products acc to features we want so it's very convenient
P1: What is your opinion on the current state of Indian economy?
Me: Different sectors are performing differently..
P1: But what about it as a whole
Me: As a whole it is growing
P2: If different sectors are performing differently, what parameters can you use to get a more accurate picture?
Me: couldn't answer
P1: she is not interested in economics also..let us ask her something about politics(pl note that P1 had been quite sarcastic throughout though I don;t remember all his comments)
P1: What is Macmahon line
Me: .....
P1: Where is Gilghit?
Me: ...
P1: Do you even know of such a place?
Me: ...
P2: What is the capital of Sikkim?
P1: I'm sure she doesn't know that also
Me: Gangtok
P1 visibly surprised and P2 laughs :D
P2: How many north-eastern states are there?
I didn't know the count so started listing them out but missed Assam and Manipur!
P2: asked about composition of Government
Me: 250 seats in Rajya Sabha and 552 in Lok Sabha
P2: Are they all elected?
Me: Some are nominated by President
P2: No some are also present in PoK and not used at all
P2: What are your hobbies?
Me: Reading and sketching
P1: Can you name an Indian artist who is famous for his sketches..not a painter
Me: sir RK Laxman
They were not very satisfied with that...I told them that I while sketched, I didn't really follow any famous artists.They seemed to understand that.

Well one thing that helped me in this interview was I had previously gone through the Govt. of India website...all the states and their capitals and the govt. structure etc. I felt like I had a bad interview but it wasn't bad looks like!

Final Verdict: Converted!
GDPI Experience IIML

P1 announced the topic the search for ooman freedom can never be complete without freedom for oomen and I was aghast. I interpreted both the oomen as human but it made no sense. Then I peeked into the page of girl sitting next to me and she had interpreted both of them as women. I made a cutting and changed human to women but then P1 passed a chit which had the topic the struggle for HUMAN freedom can never be complete without complete freedom for WOMEN.

Hilarious!! :grin::w00t:
PGP, IIM Ahmedabad Class of 2014

GDPI Experience IIML

87.2 ICSE 10th Standard, 2003
80.6 CBSE 12th Standard, 2005
B. Tech Mechanical 7.34, 2009, NIT Hamirpur
Automobile 31 months
CAT 2011
Quant 99.8
Verbal 87.6
Overall 99.4
Category General
Extra acads nothing spectacular

Date: 5th March, 2012
GD Experience: the panel called in 13 candidates and seated them in a room which could barely accommodate even 5. Professor 1 (jovial kinds) announced that the essay would be of 15 minutes followed by a gd of 15 minutes on the same topic. No notes are to be taken for gd and gd will start once the essays have been collected. P1 announced the topic the search for ooman freedom can never be complete without freedom for oomen and I was aghast. I interpreted both the oomen as human but it made no sense. Then I peeked into the page of girl sitting next to me and she had interpreted both of them as women. I made a cutting and changed human to women but then P1 passed a chit which had the topic the struggle for HUMAN freedom can never be complete without complete freedom for WOMEN. I wrote an essay and finished off around 4 minutes early. I started preparing for my start. The professors collected answer sheets precisely at 15 minutes and the GD commenced. It was horrendous. Around 10-11 people were speaking at the same time.

PI experience:
Me: may I come in sir ?
P1: yes have a seat. So you have been working for the past 2 years ?
Me: yes sir.
P1: which company?
P1: so then why are you thinking of pursuing MBA ?
Me: sir before I answer this question I would like to set a context here. I have been working as a trainer for the past two years and have realized that there is a lot more that I can do to this profession and myself if I were to do it on my own.
P1: (surprised) so you want to be an entrepreneur?
Me: yes sir.
P2: so what is EDI?
Me: I dont know sir.
P2: (aghast) you want to be an entrepreneur and you dont know what EDI is
Me: no sir.
P2: ever heard of colleges which promote entrepreneurship courses?
Me: sir I have heard about SINE at IITB
P1: (cuts in) so what are your hobbies?
P2: hand me your file
Me: handed
Me: (answering to P1) sir I like photography and have been pursuing it for a very long time now.
P1: (visibly disinterested) other than photography ?
Me: sir I like riding my bike. I am an avid biker and it relaxes me.
P2: (astonished) dont you think this hobby of yours has serious implications for the society at large
Me: sir as in ?
P2: what bike do you own?
Me: sir Karizma ZMR
P1: what is the cc of your bike ?
Me: sir 223 cc
P2: what is the average ?
Me sir: 45-50 (although I knew it is way less than that but he had already set a trap and I didnt want to fall in)
P2: (surprised) is it so ?
Me: yes sir
P2: are you sure ?
Me: yes sir, it is a fuel injected bike and has that averge according to arai certification.
P1: we are not asking for what arai certifies (laughing)
Me: no sir according to my experience as well it is around 45 (smile)
P1: so did you fill up ABM ?
Me: yes sir
P2: (closes my file midway and sits in attention as if he is ready to tear me up now) so what are your reasons for joining ABM
Me: sir I dont have an ABM call
P2: (visibly sad) (looks at my profile sheet to confirm) then why fill it in the first place?
Me: sir to be very honest when I was filling up the form I didnt quite know what ABM was all about.
P1: so name some prominent Indian photographers
Me: (surprised) (where did that come from all of a sudden) sir the people that I know
P1: (laughing) I dont want to know the names of your friends
Me: (smiling) sir they are not friends just some people I know. Sir xxxx is a famous fashion photographer and told some others.
P2: so what does your father do?
Me: he is a bank manager
P2: so what is bank rate?
Me: sir as far as my understanding goes bank rate is..
P1: (laughing) we dont want your understanding we want exact definition
Me: in that case sir I dont know
P2 so what is repo rate and how is it different from bank rate
Me: told repo rate and said bank rate is the rate at which bank lends to customers
P2: are you sure on bank rate?
Me: no sir like I said I dont know what is bank rate
P2: is repo rate applicable to all the transactions including overnight and .. (some banking terms that made no sense to me)
Me: everything
P2 : are you sure ?
Me: no sir
P2: which areas of economy do you like?
Me: sir I have a very surface knowledge of the economy
P2: name two movies which were themed on the 2008 crisis.
Me: dont know sir. I am not into movies.
P2: (surprised) why ?
Me: sir frankly I dont find it a good investment to sit in front of a screen for three hours and do nothing.
P2: (quite happy) so you think movies are a waste of time
Me: yes sir !
P2: what is inflation and how is it measured?
Me: told about the basket of goods but was cut in between
P2: what is the basket called ?
Me: sir if there is a particular name for it then I am not aware of it.
P2: so what are WPI and CPI?
Me: told
P2: okie GOOD !!!
That GOOD had some mystery attached to it. It wasnt the normal hello how are you feeling? answer good. I can actually run out of words and time but still not explain the subtleness of that GOOD.
Me: (got up said thank you and went outside)

Verdict: Convert \m/ (0_0) \m/
Some Gyan:
Although the interview was good but my GD was terrible. I have been to a lot of mock GDs at TIME and to some real ones at IITB, IITD, MDI, and IMT and when I say the GD was horrendous this expression barely even tries to describe the ruckus remotely. All in all, in my humble opinion GDs are not for selection, they are for rejection. Please dont ever loose calm even if things go haywire. Your interview will play a decisive role. Inspite of the bad gd one more guy, I know made it from the same group.

hauntedpriest Says
Then when can we expect the second list to be released?

It should be out latest by May 15th
PGP27 IIM Lucknow - Batch of 2013
canudeep Says
It just means u r not selected for the time-being. There wont be any w/l released by L. It just releases list of ppl selected. U will have to wait till the 2nd list.

Then when can we expect the second list to be released?

Posting my experience for future batches.. Sorry couldnt post earlier.

Xth: 87.67% ICSE
XIIth: 91.33%, Goa State board
Grad: MIT, Manipal, ECE, 9.74/10 CGPA

CAT 2011:
SEC 1: 99.63
SEC 2: 98.72
Overall: 99.82

Work ex: 18 months at Cisco Systems.

Essay and GD topic: Related to inflation (something related to the fact that inflation mugs people, and is like a killer for the common man)
GD: Pretty decent. No fish market at all. Everyone spoke well. No conclusion or summary.
Essay: Wrote decently. Couldn't conclude it in 15 minutes since I didnt keep track of time. So started off well, but couldnt finish..

(I opted out of ABM. Told this to the interviewers the first thing when I entered)

2 professors. Both male. P1 and P2.
P1: Please give us your file.
Handed it.
P1: While we go thru it, why dont you introduce yourself.
Me: Sure. (I introduce myself. No prepared answer as such, but i knew what i had to say..)

The next few questions were based on my work at Cisco. I wont post it here since it wont help you much. Questions were based completely on networking, with commonly used port numbers, TCP/IP handhsake, UDP protocol, OSI layer, etc. This was the best part of my interview since I answered all questions except one.

P2: What do you read?
Me: Fiction and a bit of non fiction.
P2: Business?
Me: Not much..
P2: But we want to know what you read in the business sphere. This is a management school na..
Me: Yes sir.. but i dont read a lot of business magazines. Just read the newspaper regularly.
P2: Can you please tell me the vodafone issue that has been in the news recently.
Me: did. Quite decent..
P2: Ok. What else do you do related to business?
Me: Sir, i follow a bit of the stock markets..
P2: Ok. So why did the stock market fall in the last few days?
ME: (Was completely blank. I had prepared well for this qn.. I dunno what happened.. couldnt utter a single word for 10 seconds) (The real reason for the stock market drop was the increase in oil prices due to the Iran cordoning off and the fact that the SBI had had a bad debt with Kingfisher Airlines and SBI is a major contributor to the BSE Sensex.. so the markets fell)
P2: U should be knowing this..
Me: Yes sir, but at this point of time, I cannot think of a reason.. i just cant seem to recollect..
P2: Anyways, what are the companies in the Sensex.
Me: (thankfully, recovered myself and named about 10 companies)
A discussion followed about a few companies. Did well here. Made up for my blunder earlier.

P2: What other calls?
Me: All IIMs.
P2: Good. All the best. We are done.
Me: Thank you sirs..

It was a pretty decent interview. Although I made that blunder in between, I kinda made up for it later. Not much of acads. A lot of computer networking was asked in the beginning. But that is also related to my work.

Verdict: Converted. But joining IIM A.

ATB for everyone!!

  • 1 Like  
PGP, IIM Ahmedabad Class of 2014
Congrats to all those who got selected.
In my case it says "Sorry, Your Name is not in the IIML Ist Selection list."

Does it mean that i am out of the waitlist as well ,if not then when will they release the waitlist?

It just means u r not selected for the time-being. There wont be any w/l released by L. It just releases list of ppl selected. U will have to wait till the 2nd list.
PGP27 IIM Lucknow - Batch of 2013

From bangalore,
Interview location: Lucknow

Point to note: wasn't wearing belt or a tie

1. Reservation on education (I am OBC cat)
2. How aircraft fly in lay man language. (I am Aero engineer)
3. Work ex. Then why MBA.

preparation: shit scared for not waring tie or belt
performance: compensated with being 100% honnest

Verdict: Converted

(Hope this post helps those who will face IIM Lucknow ABM interviews in the years to come)
X: 92% CBSE
XII: 96% TN state board
B.E (EEE): 84% (college affiliated to Anna University)
Work exp: 5 months as on the day of interview (Date: 26.2.2012)
Venue: Bangalore
CAT 2011:
OA-98.4, Sec1-95.7, Sec2-98.3

Essay: Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom. (15 min)
Preparation: 3/5
performance: 4/5
GD: 4 attended out of 12. Hence, 6 min on same topic
Preparation: 4/5
performance: 4.5/5

Two male professors. I do not remember who asked which questions. So Please see the attached image for the interview questions.
Preparation: 3.5/5
Performance: 3/5

Result: Converted IIM Lucknow ABM!

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