GD PI by Sidharth Balakrishna Discussion group

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Discussions by GD PI expert Sidharth Balakrishna

Sidharth Balakrishna holds an MBA from IIM Calcutta and has worked with the world's largest Management Consulting firms. He has authored 5 best-selling books on CAT and is on the selection panel of several MBA institutes to select students. He has also been a Career guide with Rediff and the Hindustan Times; and has lectured across the world

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CAT 2019 Classes by IIM Calcutta students @Rs.99 Only!

Hi Guys,

We, a group of IIM Calcutta students, are launching a new venture. We will be conducting  topic-wise workshops for CAT. Why pay hefty fees for year long coaching when you can pay only for the topics that you find difficult! 

Interested students, kindly fill this form and we will reach out to you.

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Selling of arun sharma books, arihant books, Erudite full srudy material, gk books, NMAT official guide by gmac, snap, iift, XAT books, past solved papers and online lecture videos. I stay in south kolkata, west bengal.

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Sidharth Balakrishna's GDPI Tip of the Day: Be analytical than just expressing opinions
With CAT 2016 results out on January 9, those with a high percentile have their attention focused towards conquering the next hurdle, which is the Group Discussion and Personal Interview (GDPI) round. Candidates who'll be able to crack this level will finally realise their dream of gaining entry into the country's most prestigious chain of colleges for MBA ---The Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) and other credible MBA institutes. However, clearing this round is no cake walk. It's only natural for candidates at this moment to be nervous—with myriad doubts and questions running through their minds pertaining to the GDPI round. Thus, in its endeavor to solve candidates' doubts and answer their questions, PaGaLGuY brings to you a week-long series, starting today, of important GDPI tips by MBA expert, Sidharth Balakrishna.
An alumnus of IIM Calcutta,Balakrishna has worked for some of the world's leading marketing, management consultancy and energy firms. He has also written a number of books and articles for various reputed publications, and given guest lectures and appeared at seminars across the country. He has also authored books, some of which are:
1.An Introduction to CAT: Tips from an IIM Alumnus •
2. Reading Comprehension for the CAT: A Winning Approach by an IIM Alumnus •
3.Case Studies in Marketing (Pearson Case Book series)
He is also a career counselling expert and a member of the interview panel to select students at various reputed MBA institutes. Additionally, he is a visiting faculty in several MBA and coaching institutes.
The first tip in the series is as follows:
The GDPI Tip for the Day
In GDs, it is very important for the candidate to be analytical, rather than just expressing opinions. This means that the candidate needs to put forth logical arguments in support of his/ her view or be able to justify what he/ she has said with facts and data.
Also, I suggest you read magazines such as the Economist and Frontline. Here is a good article on an important topic for this year -Demonitisation from the Economist:

GDPI Tip 2: Be the first to lay down the structure of the discussion

The candidate must try to speak in the initial few seconds of Group Discussions as those who speak early do get extra points. So how does one start a GD? 

The best way to start is not just to state opinions or even facts, but to first lay down the structure for others to follow or the parameters under which the discussion can proceed. 

for example, supposed your topic is "Which economy is stronger-India or China?". The candidate can first propose certain parameters under which the two countries can be evaluated economically, such as:

* GDP and GDP growth

* Per capita incomes

* Trade balance and BOP situation 

* Level of Forex reserves

* FDI/ FII etc

You can read about how to lay down a structure, how to prepare for GDs and Interviews, sample GDs with proposed structures etc from Sidharth Balakrishna's GD/ PI preparation course that can be purchased from:

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Student Testimonials

Gitanshu Soni | Ex-Consultant, KPMG

“I joined MBA Guru during the 2nd year of my BSc and Mr.Sidharth Balakrishna was one of the guest faculties there. He used to take GD-PI classes and a few sessions on logical reasoning as well. Co-incidentally, he was a guest faculty in the MBA school I got into too, Great Lakes Institute of Management. He has an expertise in Energy Management and taught us there for two trimesters. 

Group discussions are a very important part of getting into a good MBA college. During my MBA days, I used to handle admissions for students and have hence seen both sides of things, as an aspirant and as a committee member... Just getting a good percentile is not enough. Several colleges have varied criteria, but most consider a proportion of marks from GD-PI to finally select a student. So if you do not do well in that, it could be a make or break; because there is tough competition out there. When you are sitting for college  admissions, the truth is there are students very similar to you, with similar marks, who are waiting around you.. So what becomes the differentiator is how well you do in your GD and PI. It is extremely important.

Even after you pass out of college, the learnings remain the same and would come of use anytime; how you are supposed to present yourself in an interview, the body language, what you should be saying, what kind of tone you should be using, etc; the Dos and the Don’ts remain constant...

There was a certain GD during my admission days where the discussion was on black money. I had used one of the perspectives that Mr.Sidharth had given in class, about how black money helped the GDP, and the panel liked the it! It is a very controversial statement to make, yes, but it is a perspective. It should not be looked at with a negative or a positive lens; it is not about whether it is right or wrong. There could be several perspectives and there are a lot of people who look at things differently. And that is the point of a group discussion, right, to bring out all possible perspectives.

To be very honest, I have always looked upto Mr.Sidharth; the way he teaches and how hard he works… A person of his stature, holding a senior position at Cairn, he still likes working as a teacher and shares whatever knowledge and experience he has chanced through the way.I fondly remember two things about him; one, how he used to bring in several perspectives, most of which we would have not thought of normally and two, how easy he used to make it for students to understand and grasp the concepts. ”

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@shubhankar712  ·  0 karma

can you please give me  Mr.Sidharth 's contact number?

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Some important topics for this year's GDs: 

Demonetisation and its impact on the economy

Will demonetisation bring down the inflation rate?

Should subsidies be phased out?

Shouldnt the relatively better off be excluded from subsidies

Less Government is better Government 

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You can post queries here. 


Mr Sidharth Balakrishna holds an MBA from IIM Calcutta and an Economics degree from the Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), Delhi University. He has over 12 years of experience working with the biggest Management Consultancy firms.
Mr Balakrishna has written five books published by Pearson, the world’s largest publishing house, and Tata McGraw Hill on CAT. He is a Visiting Faculty at a number of management institutes in India. He is on the selection panel of various MBA colleges to select students; and has been on the careers panel of and the Hindustan Times. He has presented at a number of international fora in the past including at London, Muscat, Myanmar, Mozambique, Kuwait, New Delhi, Goa, Mumbai etc. 

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