[2011-2013] IIMB PGP Essay/PI Experiences

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All the best to everyone for their B interviews and please do post in your experiences.It would be good if we can use an earlier format. For the benefit of everyone concerned, please keep the format like this: *PROFILE:* Acads X %,B...
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X %,Board, year : 97%, TN Board, 2003
XII%, Board, year: 95.75% TN Board, 2005
Undergrad Stream: 84%, BE-ECE, in CEG, Anna University, Chennai


Telecom sector, Tata Communications Ltd, 22 months

CAT (2010):
DI : 96.06
Quant : 98.49
Verbal : 96.46
Aggregate : 99.19
(category if applicable) : NC-OBC
Extra acads : Was Secretary of my dept Association, organized many events in college.

Venue: Mumbai
Date : 25-Feb-2011- 09:00 hrs

Essay: Corporate philanthropy is guilt makeover gesture in irresponsible businesses. (30 mins, they allowed us to manage the time for think & write as we want)

Essay: Good- wrote about Bill gates & Warren Buffet coming to India - for Give India campaign, recent discussion by govt for making 2% of profit of a company for CSR, advantages, gave many examples for CSR and explained importance of it.
Rate your preparation(0-5): 4
Rate your performance(0-5): 4

PI: 25 mins

Two lady professors (I think the name of both profs is Rajalakshmi in mid 40s. They were so kind, and humble and I felt like I m speaking with my close relatives)

They asked about my native Thanjavur and Big temple & its architecture. I explained abt the specialities. They asked Wht do u think abt this that the kings in olden days have spent people money unnecessarily in building these kind of temples? I did not expect this qn at all. Then I told some positive points about building the temples and the development of architecture.

Asked about work, any achievements or awards in work, Told about them. And diff bw 2G and 3G technology.

Then about Nigeria-economy, politics, social condition (As I am working for Nigerian client). Comparison of Nigerian and Indian economic policies. I told some

About Rajnikanth, his personal characters, why people like him, why do you like, and some punch dialogues from his movies.

Your weakness, what skills do you need more to grow more in your life, (indirect qn of Why MBA,)

What do you think about Arabic revolution, reasons? (Recent hot news)

Will you able to cope up with the curriculum in IIM B ? (As I struggled a lot in my communication with many grammar mistakes I did accept that I m poor at communications I told that I ll overcome this I hope they liked my integrity to accept the truth

Rate your preparation(0-5): 3
Rate your performance(0-5): 3

Verdict: Converted
Regards, Velavan S, PGDM - IIM Calcutta (2011-13)
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91.40 % , CBSE
89.60% , CBSE
9.20/10.00 CGPA , NIT Allahabad

30 + months in IT MNC , Senior Developer

CAT (2010-11):
DI - 88+
Quant - 99+
Verbal - 88+
Aggregate - 97.40%
(category if applicable) - General

Extra acads : Decent extracurriculars in school and college

Any other special thing abt u: Every individual is special :lookround:

Interview & Essay

Venue: IIM Bangalore
Date : 4th March , 2011

Essay :
Topic: Should there be a dress code in educational institutions
Number of Ppl present - 9
Time: 9 AM
Brief Snapshot of the attempt: Gave valid points and stressed on a particular side
Time given : 20 mins
Rate your preparation(0-5): 4
Rate your performance(0-5): 3

Panel Members Intro: 2 profs ( P1,P2) and one Alumni (Alum)

P1 - So would you like to have some tea ? They had just started having tea.
Me - Thank you sir but I don't drink tea.

P1 - So , tell me something about yourself
Me - Blah Blah

Alum - Are you an individual contributor or lead role ?
Me - Mostly individual contributor sir.

P1 - Tell me what have you learnt at office or work ?
Me - Gave 2-3 things I have learnt with examples

P1 - What are the problems in our country presently ?
Me - Poverty , Corruption , Illiteracy and so on

P1 - Ok tell me all what are the corruption issues presently ?
Me - I told them how last year was the year of scams and corruption starting from commonwealth , Adarsh , 2G scams etc.

P1 - Explain me 2G scam ?
Me - Gave a thorough explanation from devaluation of spectrum to how Raja preponed the dates of auction to how companies who procured spectrum sold them for higher values afterwards.

P1 - Whats the problem if they were sold for higher value afterwards ?
Me - I told them its a country's resource and since we have high debt and fiscal deficit we should be maximizing revenues. Also added that not necessarily selling spectrum at lower price benefits the common people as 3G spectrum was sold at higher prices but telecom prices remained the same. Also some funda on spectrum auction during 2G cannot be compared during G or 3G.
A bit of cross questioning in this regard.

P2 - Ok tell me your vision ?
Me - I started telling my career vision.

P2 - Ok let me rephrase it , tell me what you would like to do if you had only 2 years of your life ? Alumni steps in and adds to it.
Me - I have deep interest in *** and would like to contribute to it . Some funda and stuff.

Alum - Ok tell me why MBA ?
Me - I has a well prep ans to this. Alum cuts me short.

Alum - What you want to do doesn't require an MBA. You will be wasting your money and MBA is very costly.
Me - I explained how MBA will make me better and gave a few examples of seniors and people I know.

Alum - But you are very fixed in doing that thing only ?
Me - No sir , thats only one of the options I have thought of. Since MBA is a general course I might like something different and hence would like to keep my options open as well.

Alum agrees and says that its true. We should never have a fixed goal before doing MBA. Keep you options open and evaluate what you want to do at the end of the course.

Alum - Ok tell me how do you value your CEO ?
Me - I told him he is a good leader and aggressive in his approach acquisitions etc . He also knows how to select the right people and take the right strategy.

Alum , P1 - Some cross questioning on ethics of CEO ?
Me - Tried to defend and ans in the best way. Ended saying that had I been in the CEO position I would never take an unethical decision.

Maybe missed out on some questions. But was asked a lot of cross questions in the interview. Tried my best to answer those cheerfully.

Rate your preparation(0-5): 4
Rate your performance(0-5): 3.5
Any other relevant detail.

VERDICT : Waitlisted at 49 ( I think my low CAT % did me in here )
There is no formula for success, except perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life & what it brings
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@RMD  ·  0 karma
X 88%,Matriculation, 2003
XII 97.5%, TN State Board, 2005
Undergrad BE,ECE,87%, 2005-09, GCT.

Electrical manufacturing, ABB - 23 months
Marketing and Sales-Vertical management.

CAT (2010-11):
DI 77%ile
Quant 74%ile
Verbal 86%ile
Aggregate 84%ile
Believe in yourself if U have a call! Need not worry about your CAT scores.

(In B selection process, the CAT contribution to the pre-PI scores this time was only 20%, and that will be calculated based on your scores-not based on your percentiles, finally this will result in a difference of maximum 4-5 points between a guy with 85%ile and 99%ile.)

Extra curriculars :
Won International level Drawing and Painting competitions.

Any other special thing abt u: Gold Medalist in college. District Topper in school. Student member in Board of Studies during College.
Black Belt in Karate.

Interview & Essay

Venue: IIM B
Date : 30th March

Essay :
Topic: Listening to music and radio should be banned like talking on mobile phone while Driving
Number of Ppl present: 10 in my batch-for the session 30
Time: 9.00
Brief Snapshot of the attempt: made some valid points on how music will impact Driving within the city limits and on highways.
Time given : 30 mins
Rate your preparation(0-5): 3
Rate your performance(0-5): 4

Panel Members Intro: 2 profs(P1 and P2) and 1 alumini(A). all were perfect professionals.
I went in and wished everybody!

(The room was too cold and wen I gave my file to one of the profs in the centre, I messed up the whole table by pushing a few bottles down)
P1: Its not a new thing for you to sit in front and answer right??
Me: Yes sir, last evnin also I was at Chennai for a technical discussion and finalisation with my customer.
A: Being a girl what are you doing in marketing and sales??
Me: there is nothin like being a girl or a guy in marketing,at the end of the day,its the order booking that matters sir!
P1: Oh! sorry. we would rather make it this way, despite being a girl what are doing in sales and marketing??
Me: (explained in detail my job profile)
P1: Gave me a few situations and asked me how i handled them!
Me: (thank God for puttin me in all those situations,I gave him the real time examples and explained)
P1: how many were recruited from ur college at ABB in your batch?
me: Only me.
P2: why only u?? when der were soo many EEE and Guys?? Why a girl from ECE?
me: My achievements and establishments at GCT, a government coll helped me get thru! gettin things done in a govt institute is not that easy. but wen i was the hostel representative,i got certain things done for my college from the PWD. may b by looking at the way, i handle govt issues, i must have been recruited to handle govt customers.
A: tel us somethin about ur social services initiatives.
Me:told(mentioned this in the SOP)
P1: how many cat attempts?
me: first sir!
P1:with such good academics, why dint u give it aftr coll?
me: told him the truth here!
P2: so you mean to say that there are external pressures which kept you from takin it up!
Me: yes sir!
P1: how are people at ur home feeling abt this interview call?
Me: Extremely happy! A call from IIM B sir!
P2: So what are you hobbies??
me: told evrything
P1: you dont read books?
Me: yes sir. not completed even a single book till date.
P1: "my experiments with truth" by gandhiji-havent you read?
me: no sir!
P2: wen you come here,you will have to read loads and loads, how will you manage??
Me: Sir, I will read text books and thise related to my academics.
P2 to P1: if u give her "my exp with truth" covered n labelled as text book,she will finish it!
ME: yes sir. surely.
P1: for the first time,i am seeing someone who says will not read books.
Me:(tensed) started defending myself.
P2: nobody is telli you to defend.cultivate the habit atleast hereaftr. dis is nt reqd in engg bt here highly reqd.
Me: sure sir,i will.
P2: ok! we believe you will do that. i want to know onething.ABB being a bad paymaster..
Me: started defending me and ABB, even befor he completed his question.
after i completed my answer- P2: u did not let me complete my question!
Me: sorry sir.
P2: why cant u negotiate with ur competitors n get a gud pay,coz a pgp at iimb is expensive. there is opportunity cost in it. wat makes u do this?
Me: answered!
P2: Wats ur notice period that you have to serve,if u r gettin selected??:
Me: One month sir.
P1: Really?
Me: sir, its usually 3 months, since the span will be short and since i have told my manager that I have an interview call, they have agreed for a months notice.
P1: So, they are waiting to throw you out is it??
Me: Surely not sir!
P1: okie, we are done. any ques for us??
Me: No sir.

Got back my file which I gave them and wished them all a good day,thanked them and left the room.

Rate your preparation(0-5): 5
Rate your performance(0-5): 3
all related to SOP only and nothing els!
B TRUE to yourself. Dont make up things there!

Joining B!!
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Finally the Results are out. Having Converted my most important call, I would like to post here my experience for future reference of others

My profile-
Xth (Maha Board) = 91.2%
XIIth (Maha Board) = 91.17%
Electronics Engg. (SVNIT, Surat) = 8.67/10
34 Months Work-ex in Financial Services (22 months as a Derivatives Trader and 12 as a Business Analyst in Algo Trading Domain)

Here goes my experience-

30 mins Essay on Environmental Activism - Whether it is a Hindrance to industrialization or not

1. How man is self and then evolution of industrialization
2. ill-effects of industrialization
3. Examples where activism really brought about accountability
4. Kyoto Protocol, Copenhagen Summit, Global warming, Lavasa
5. But everything should not be in the hands of an absolute authority
6. Example of faulty report of IPCC
7. Finally said, environmental activists are whistle-blowers have brought in responsibility, but we should be vary of political mileage or brand name driven biases.

Was last in the Panel, Interview time around 25-30 mins.

P1 = Rajluxmi Murthy (Quantitative methods and Information systems)
P2 = Mr. Seshkaria (Industry Professional or Alumni)
P3 = Rajlaxmi Kamath (Public Policy)

P3 came to call me at the door. Pleasantries exchanged.

P1 = So, you are the last person in the panel. What feedback did you get from others?
Me = They said that interviews didnt include technical questions or current affairs, it was more on a case to case basis.
P1 = Is it good or bad that we are not asking Technical questions?
Me = I think mam that part of the assessment has already been tested through our profile and this interview is always open to assessment on technical areas.
P1 = So what according to you are we looking at?
Me = One,I think it would be Our compatibility to the course with regards to our career goals. Secondly, clarity of thought with regards to why we do we want to do an MBA?
P1 = So are you clear why do you want to do an MBA?
Me = Yes man
P1 = Ok. Then tell me why do you want an MBA and dont give me a prepared answer?
Me = Right mam. I would tell exactly what I feel. Gave the prepared answer of why MBA, stressed on the practical learnings and how I would get to my career goal.
P1 = So, what is your career goal?
Me = Told about fund manager at the age of 40 or so.
P1 = Why at 40, why not early?
Me = I think mam firstly, the fund manager is supposed to be well-versed with all aspects of the industry with regards to research, investments etc, so there is a defined process. secondly, there would be a finite time before people would actually start trusting me before investing money in my fund and would want me to prove it to them
P1 = So in India are all fund managers above 40?
Me = yes mam, majority of them are nearing 50 and surely above 45

P2 = Ok so you were working as a Derivatives Trader?
Me = Told about Futures First, how does it work etc
P2 = And how it is different in your Present Job?
Me = here its a client interaction is a major aspect in my profile, set hierarchy , deadlines, prioritisation of work etc. while as a trader it was an entrepreneurial set-up, on the job learnings etc.
(they were happy to listen)
so told about the entire business flow at FT how is our line of business etc.- collaboration with Progress USA, trading platform etc, designing and implementation of strategies.
Then my acquaintance with algorithmic trading at Futures First. then my decision to change job and get into a diverse culture and MBA prep in mind
P1 = What is an Algorithm in simple terms?
Me = If I were to explain it to a layman, I would say its a set of rules that I write and which are evaluated with the prices in the markets and depending on that I punch in orders into the exchanges
P2 = Is algorithm necessary?
Me = Sir, it gives you the flexibility of customization of your core business and the best available technology.
broadly classifying trading into 2 categories. First are real time strategies where manual traders are very helpful in analyzing while algorithms are cumbersome but some conditions in the markets may prevail for 2-3 times a day and only for a split second, that is the time algorithms are powerful.
P1 = So can they go wrong?
Me = ( I thought she was doubting the software, but then i realized that she meant was what if the strategy goes wrong) The strategies are customizable, explained with a example of a Strategy which P2 knew, so explained to them how we test in various conditions and advise our clients for best results.
P1 = So does it utilise previous Data?
Me = yes mam, trading is based on technical indicators that is past data which is stored in our databases and other is on fundamental basis, for which we design complex rules which are continuously evaluated
(P1 looked satisfied)

P3 = So tell me about kyoto Protocol?
Me = It is with regards to an accord signed by countries around the world to reduce emission by 2020 and bring in accountability etc
P3 = Do you know why I m asking this to you?
Me = May be because of the Essay where I had mentioned about it.
P3 = Ok so what do you think was about the topic?
Me = re-iterated about my points in the essay.
P3 = So was Kyoto a Success or a Failure?
Me = Not much idea about the exact the outcome in terms of it being a success or a failure.
P3 = What are your Hobbies?
Me = Travelling, Cooking and Sports - following cricket, tennis and football
(No questions further, P2 takes centre stage)

(Now is the part where P1 and P3 are silent and P2 just tries to turn on the screws by trying to prove I dont need an MBA and also that Mutual Fund industry is not a good place to work right now)

P2 = Why do you want to chuck such a great money making career and get into this industry?
Me = Talked how enriching my experience has been but finally it all about thinking in the long term and about my goal.
P2 = So you are good at Trading etc, so take a straight path ahead into Finance itself. Anyways its the same sector. Why an MBA then?
Me = Sir, I would again like to stress that my experience in finance was entirely a practical one, an MBA gives me the a strong base of concepts, theory etc in Finance while also allowing to gain various other competencies like marketing, hr etc and I think which is necessary for a Fund manager
P2 = I think Finance can be learnt, an MBA is not needed. why dont you do a Master course in Finance?
Me = I think only looking towards a finance based course would be a very narrow minded approach because an MBA is more about the personality transformation, adding an all-round perspective to your thinking etc. Its about interacting with peers from diverse schools of thoughts, knowledgeable professors , a flow of ideas etc
P2 = But where would a Fund Manager use Marketing skills. they are no use to him.
Me = Its not the case sir, when I meet prospective customers as a Fund managers, i have to markets my fund, my strategies, my ideas etc. I have to manage different teams bringing in my people skills so as such its never an isolated job totally biased towards finance etc
P2 = Why a Fund manager then?
Me = Sir, the market is India is nascent and has lot of potential. There is scope for diversification to other instruments other than the conservative or traditional ones, so lot of unexplored territory. Lack of emphasis on investment in Fixed income, commodities etc I would like to apply my skills in this area.

P3 = Any Idol fund manager?
Me = Not one in particular mam, but I respect couple of them Prashant Jain of HDFC and Kenneth Andrade of Stan Chard. Particularly Kenneth Andrade, because of this clear investment policy, he accepts invetsments only in SIP rather than bulk deals. So he is losing out on major chunk of investments but he says his fund is only for people in the long term. I respect him for his straight forwardness and transparency.
P3 = What are the qualities a Fund Manager should posses?
Me = Primarily the ability to analyse and predict outcomes and secondly a large risk appetite.
P3 = So do you have those qualities you lack in?
Me = Sir, I would say I am a conservative person by nature with regards to my risk taking ability, but as a Trader I have bettered it etc
P3 = So how you do develop it?
Me = By greater practice through personal investments in the stock markets. May be I would say earlier while taking a decision, out of 5 points that I m evaluating, I would go ahead with the decision if 4 or more factors are giving out a positive signal. Now, I back myself to go ahead even with 3 factors in my favor. I have made mistakes but it is getting better and more importantly I am learning. It is also sometimes governed by a gut feeling.

P2 = Talking about the financial industry in India. Which is more traded futures or options?
Me = In India, Futures are definitely traded more than Options. But if you compare with markets world-wide the number is far less even for futures. In India, in futures contracts maximum 2 contracts of nearing expiries are traded but in Europe and US, more than 8 contracts are heavily traded.
P2 = And why is that so? why are options traded less?
Me = It is more to do with the lack of knowledge among market participants regarding option contracts. A lot of firms and financial institutions are not well-versed with the concept of option pricing and option writing.
P2 = Is it because of the European and American Options?
Me = ( First Explained both Option type) then said that is not the case because the European option market which uses the same kinda options are heavily traded. It has also got to do with the strict regulatory structure in India.

P2 = So what kind of industry you are looking to get in?
Me = Mutual Funds or Even a hedge fund.
P2 = But I dont think they invest through algorithm trading?
Me = Sir, as I mentioned a lot of unexplored territory remains and that is where I want to want to explore such things.
P2 = Are you aware about any problems that hit the MF industry in the past 12-18 months?
Me = Talked about the FII inflow. It was on the regulatory side.
P2 = No no a particular problem.
Me = No sir I am not updated with this sir.
P2 = So do I infer that you are under-prepared for the sector you want to join into?
Me = Sir, I apologize for my lack of knowledge here, but I think I still have time to get in sync and gain all the knowledge in the 2 years of my MBA.
P2 = But you the MF industry is not good, it may face problems in the future.
Me = Sir, but these things are external things and shouldnt affect my decision about my long terms career.
P2 = It may get difficult to get in even.
Me = ( All through out P2 had a stern to neutralish look, but as I uttered the 1st sentence here, a smile appeared on his face. It was not at all sarsactic, sort of one that he was convinced about my answer) Sir, but eventually will. and that why call it my passion sir and want to become a fund manager.

P2, P1 and P3 said they were done. I wished them and left.

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KartheekThumaty Says
its official news.. PGP 2011-13 GDPI 'FINAL Results' on April 18th...

ya.. I just checked now..great news.. 10 more days..
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its official news.. PGP 2011-13 GDPI 'FINAL Results' on April 18th...
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In B,C,K interview it was solely based on CAT serial number..
but for me, in L it was the reverse order of the CAT serial number.. .. however i dont see a 'hard n fast' rule for this..
but why waste time in analysing all this ??..
firstly panel are not aware of ur score in CAT.. unless they check ur score-card.. hence from the panel members view there is no such thing as a pre-PI rank.. also pre-PI rank has nothing to do with your performance in PI..

instead of analysing the order of PI call.. better to prepare hard for the PI..

sid2089 Says
No, it wasn't. I remember that clearly; in fact, we had a discussion on it.

pratikjpr Says
As far as I remember it was based on your CAT reg. no. (serially)

Is the order in which the candidates are called in the PI room for the interview indicative of the pre-PI ranks?

As in, does the candidate called in at No. 1 have the best pre-PI rank among the group?
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pratikjpr Says
As far as I remember it was based on your CAT reg. no. (serially)

No, it wasn't. I remember that clearly; in fact, we had a discussion on it.
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As far as I remember it was based on your CAT reg. no. (serially)

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Is the order in which the candidates are called in the PI room for the interview indicative of the pre-PI ranks?

As in, does the candidate called in at No. 1 have the best pre-PI rank among the group?

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