Saturday, May 13, 2006

~SOLDIERS for a different cause~

The medical students in the capital have started what promises to be a revolution in the making. The protest against the proposed hike in reservations for so-called backward classes is all set to gain momentum what with the Govt. acting in an irresponsible and despicable manner. The police action on a group of peaceful demonstrators shows that the Govt. is trying to nip this movement in the bud... lending a deaf ear to the voices of the youth of India who believe in Equality, Meritocracy and Excellence.

The police fired tear-gas shells and water-cannons on the group of medical students on a peceful march without as much as a warning. This has prompted the Indian Medical Association to declare a strike in the capital. This agitation is all set to spread like a wild-fire.

A recent report on NDTV showed how easy it is to get an OBC certificate in India. The NDTV correspondent got it made for a mere Rs. 1000 in Amritsar. I agree that the burgeoning vote-bank that the OBCs present is very tempting for the politicians to resort to such pathetic measures which divide the country on the basis of caste and creed, but should we, then, believe that not a single of our leaders refrains from playing dirty politics.

A question that naturally comes to our minds is whether these reservations actually benefit those who need upliftment most. The answer is a plain and emphatic NO. 60 years of reservations in India have done little to remove the inequality from the society. To truly uplift the masses, the Govt. needs to work at grassroots level... universal primary education, aid to the needy and free coaching for the backward class students can be viable alternatives which would not compromise on quality.

Most of the students from backward classes who go for higher education are considerably well-off and need no reservation. The fall in quality of output at the IITs and IIMs would adversely affect India's Brand value as Indian talent is renowned world-over.

It is shameful that our Prime Minister and the President, who are both among the highest-rated intellectuals of India, have chosen to ignore the agitation by the medical students as well as the thousands of mails sent to them in this regard.

We hope that some sense would prevail in the end...

So, what about CAT?

Now that I have made it to the hallowed portals of the IIMs (though not quite in the grand way I wanted), quite expectedly (and annoyingly too!!) people come to me asking for tips, tricks, advices and guidance. And I tell them just what I believe myself---> that there are no magic formulae, no 'Just the right way of belling the CAT'.... in plainspeak, there is no substitute for hardwork. But throw in a bit of common-sense as well for we are humans, not mules. So we don't have to just slog our a**es off. We ought to analyse which are our favourite topics, know which chapter scares us the most, which section are we comfortable with.. and which we are not.

This has to be done at an individual level.... there is no common approach that works for all. The simple reason for this is that I am ME and YOU are, well, YOU. Develop your own strategy, test it time and again, fine-tune it and off you go! But be prepared to discard it the moment you realize that it's not working on the D-day... So much for the introductory gyaan. No, this post is not about CAT-gyaan (I guess you can have enuf of that from the coaching-centres, though I never went to one).

I can still remember my dilemma after CA PE-2 Exam in MAY2005. 'Should I join a coaching institute for CAT preparation?' All my friends (those who intended to take CAT2005) had joined coaching instis long back and were already pros in most of the chapters. My CA results were still not out and I was somewhat apprehensive about them. God forbid, if I flunk in CA then it wud be CA again in Nov... forget CAT-shat. So, I decided no CAT coaching for me. I enrolled for SimCATs with IMS and turned to my friend, philosopher and guide Moinak (aka Mayank Killa) for all the help I needed. Special thanks to you, buddy. In the meanwhile CA results came out. Though my performance was not spectacular, but All India Rank 39 was good enough considering how miserable I had been feeling after the exams...

I had told everybody around me that I was taking CAT just to get the feel of it and would take it again properly next year (after taking coaching et al). So, there was no pressure on me to perform as such other than my inner fire to excel always.

I knew VA and LR were my strengths... the SimCATs had taught me that. And I also realised that to scrape the cut-off in QA was a herculean task for me. I am dead scared of numbers and this fear made me go weak in the knees every time I thought about the D-day.

But slog I did... and like mad too...

That turned out to be good enuf.. 99.45 %ile is not bad.. plus if you have bagged BLACKI... :)

So, what was it that worked for me?

Was the paper tough? Yes

Was it tough only for ME? No

Those who correctly answer the second question will get there all right...:)

So then began the task of preparing for the next round of selection process... no risk-taking this time. Took proper coaching (I needed it 'cuz I am not much of a public speaker). The practice as well as the gyaan by Sandeep Sir did wonders to my personality... Special thanks to the TCC team. I also attended IMS Achievers' Workshop... that was helpful too...

So this is all about CAT that I cam possibly say. As you may have understood already, I am the last person to come to if you need any advice...

Neways, All the best to all those who aspire to make it big.. :)


Sunday, May 07, 2006

Death to Merit, Long live Mediocrity!!!!!

At a time when the need was to scrap the reservation-system in higher education altogether, the UPA Govt comes up with yet another populist measure with impunity. In higher education, where the most important factor that counts is the 'quality of output', the sole criterion for admission should be merit. Reservation, if at all, should be need-based and not caste-based. It would be stupid to assume that the policy-makers don't understand this. But, for them, Populism is the key.
Needless to say, this measure would spell the end of meritocracy and promote mediocrity, not to mention the resurfacing of the brain-drain bugbear. When half the class has sought admission without fulfilling the criterion of merit, the brand-value of the hallowed portals of higher education in India like the IITs and IIMs would come down drastically.
Further, a backward class person has already benefited from reservation till graduation level... now, if he still needs reservation for higher studies, then for jobs and then for promotions... this effectively means that the reservations till graduation have been fruitless. The Govt. should work towards improving the standards of Primary Education rather than come up with such useless but harmful tactics to win instant support. By doing this, the UPA Govt. is admitting its failure to ensure development at the grassroots level.
And, increasing the number of seats is not going to help. In Institutes like the IITs ans IIMs, there is a dearth of good faculty. If increase in the number of students is forced on them, this would lead to a fall in the quality of education, which would reduce their appeal and the meritorious would be more willing to go abroad.
Further, rather than promoting equality in the society, this move would actually create a rift between youth from different communities. A talented student who has lost a seat just because it was reserved would hate these communities for the rest of his life.
The Govt should give aid to the needy and remove this caste-based resevation system.

I am writing on behalf of all the students of India who don't care as to which caste they belong to, but solely believe in MERIT.

I request all those who are against the move to sign the online petition at~

In addition, you can write directly to the PM at~
and to the President at~



Now, this may sound like the ramblings of a nutter... but I always genuinely thought that I was good... that I would make it..
But just two converts out of seven of the best colleges in India has punctured my vanity rather badly.. I simply can't see what really went wrong..
I could only conclude that any of the following reasons could have acted as a bane:

This is the weirdest explanation that comes to my mind. That I am a fresher and that too from Commerce stream may have acted as a hindrance... Afterall, we all hear the blatant bias that these institutions have towards engineers.

Explanation#2===> IIMs don't attach any importance to an individual's past academic profile...(as said by an IIMC prof in an intrvw) but weightage is given to work-experience. Thus, all the slogging I did for 21 yrs of my existence was of no use..

Explanation#3===> My %ile is 99.45 which cannot be considered to be a pucca convert type.. Thus, in an scenario where importance is being given solely to CAT%ile and GD/PI performances, my performance had to be exemplary, which I feel may not have been the case.

Explanation#4===> People have always told me that I am just too soft-spoken. That my soft-spokenness can be taken to be a lack of confidence. But, I believe that I had worked on it and in my IIM GD/PIs I tried to be assertive... perhaps, that was not good enough.

Explanation#5===> I have almost nil extra-currics... if that matters that much...

Explanation#6===> Meri kismat phooti huyee hain...

Now, ppl tell me that I shud be celebrating for IIMB.. so I will now celebrate.. but will always wonder what is it that I lack???

Best wishes to all,

PS: Not feeling so bad now that have converted IIMK as well.. It surely helps to remove a name from the REJECT's list...:)

PS2: Converted IIMA as well... that makes me Mr Snooty again...:D

4th April--->IIMB---> The Last Laugh!!!

The Big BANG-alore interview

Panel Description:
One middle-aged, cordial prof (Prof1)
One young, smart prof with a laptop (Prof2)

Group Description:
There were 3 groups of 7 members each. In my group, one guy thought he wud rather miss the bus.. so 6 guys in my group.

GD: Not Good

Read:10 mins... Discuss:15 mins... Summarise:15 mins...
It was a case about 'BAT'----> long-lost brother of 'CAT'. Well, it was about IIBs who conduct BAT for entrance into their colleges. A particular non-profit organisation with 25 employees is in charge of conducting the test, processing answers and generating score-cards. Prof Mani, in charge of this body, is in dilemma. He realises that the number of munna-bhais taking the test (B bole to Bio-medicine) is increasing at a healthy rate of 12%. This year 1 lakh applicants took the test. But upgradation of infrastructure required for meeting future demands... two options: small-scale, low-cost OR large-scale, high-cost with automation...? Crap case... had a decent discussion though. On an individual front, did not perform well. not many entries... non-descript performance.
Summarised well though... broke up into paras and wrote a decent summary... (the young prof was continuously typing something on his laptop thruout the GD... and, yes, told that our writing skills wud be tested in the summary!!! )

Interview: Dunno

I was the second last guy to be interviewed.. everybody before me had cool intrvws.. Avg Duration: 20 mins..

(I don't remember the exact sequence of questions asked)

Enter, wish, sit...
Prof2 confirms my ranks and marks... :)
Prof1: You have pretty good score in 10th.. why took commerce, not science?
Me: Hailing from a business family, perhaps inclination towards commerce.. had Book-Keeping in 10th.. enjoyed accounting.
Prof1: Parental Pressure?
Me: No... decision was upto me.
Prof1: So, from early age...took ur own decisions...
I smiled..
Prof1: Yogesh, how wud you rate the performance of the group in the GD as well as your own performance.. rate both on a scale of 1 to 10.
Me: (Oh, how I hate this question.... try to act smart ) Sir, I think the group as a whole performed really well..
Prof1: No, no, first give me ratings.. then justify.. (Prof2 smiles at this)
Me: umm.. I think the group can be given a score of 8 on 10... told why.. as for me, it's really difficult for me to evaluate my own performance.
Prof1: In life, u have to do many difficult things..
Me: Okay, then 4-5 on 10... told that I feel didnt do too well...
Prof1: What are the criteria for evaluation in a GD?
Me: ( Only if I'd known that!!!)... told had to evaluate both group and individual performance.. for group--> Content, group dynamics.. for individuals---> Content, initiative and group behaviour.. elaborated on this..
Prof: Put urself in our shoes.. what wud u analyse first.. group performance or individual performance..
Me: (Oh man, where is this leading..if I were in ur shoes, I wud admit myself!!) Sir, I believe that individual performance is a function of group performance... xplained..
Prof2: Isn't it the other way round?
Me: Sir, individuals may score as regards content but group behaviour is more important..
Prof1: Can it happen that a particular group has a high score than another but a member of second group has higher score than a member of first group? (Gave me paper and said draw a model and explain)
Me: Told... Yes, Possible.. explained with diagram.
Prof1: Can it happen that all members of second group get more than members of first group..Me: As regards content.. possible.. but not in group behaviour.
Prof1: Think again..
Me: Sir, to me it seems unlikely.. however, I'm not sure.

Then Prof2 asked me about not continuing with CA.. handled this well..

Prof1: Do you follow the stock market?
Me: No, sir.

Prof1: Follow general business trends?
Me: Read newspaper..
Prof2: White ones or Pink ones?
Me: (smiling) Sir, white ones.. The Telegraph..
Prof2: You had a project in college on 'Call centers- HR Angle'---> what were ur findings..
Me: Told.. a few follow-up questions on attrition, our group recommedations etc... handled perfectly well. As a matter of fact, wanted to talk on this in all my intrvws (as it's something unique for commerce undergrads) but was quizzed only in IIMI earlier on this...that too not directly on the project.. felt satisfied.

Prof1: How do you analyse a company's financial position?
Me: (It was a very broad question... thought 'ab to poora interview isipe hoga') Gave a very general answer by highlighting diffrent points of view for analysis..gave so many enticements to grill me on.. thought wud be asked to go in details.. but profs did not delve into this..
Prof2: What are ur career goals? Do you have any idea about the type of companies that come for recruitment at IIMB..
Me: Yes, told... considering my background I wud like to get into a financial services company..Then I talked about my objectives... mentioned want to do something for society.. this caught Prof1's attention.
Prof1: What way can you do something for society?
Me: Talked abt adopting villages.. told had read an article on same.. CSR..
Prof1: Isn't that the duty of the Govt?
Me: Yes, but we need to do our bit too..
Prof1: Why wud employees want to do this?
Me: Co. wud pay them as they pay any other employee.. a separate deptt. can be formed for this.. elaborated..
Prof1: Wudn't it be better if we have a central agency for rural upliftment and corporates donate funds..
Me: Talked abt how donations made now too.. but corruption, long bureaucratic channel.. the money is embezzled.. no benefit reached to those for whom it is meant..need for proper implementation. Co. shud actively try to help..
Prof1: Extra burden for Co? No competence in this regard..
Me: Can recruit competent people.. not much burden for big corporates..
Prof1: Ideally, Co. shud donate funds and monitor it's use..
Me: True, but not done so now... I feel active participation by Cos wud give better results.

That's it..
Thank you..

Felt good that Profs went thru my certis proprly and yes, Prof2 was at times doing something on his laptop..

VERDICT: MADE IT!!!! Season ended for me with a BANG....:)

24th March---> IIMA----> The BIG One!!

My Ahmedabad Intrvw

GD: Okay-type.


It was abt MAHATEX, a four-storeyed saree shop where each floor houses diffrent price-range and diff genres e.g. top floor is for premium designer sarees.. Vivek, the shop mgr employs 20 sales-ppl (boys n girls) who work in two shifts (10 per shift).. r paid Rs. 4000 basic plus 1% commission on value of sales made. Plus, they r given lunch n tea-breaks for 15 mins twice in the day.
Problem arises when for gettin higher commission, the sales-ppl start directing customers towards only premium-quality sarees which are highly-priced. sales go down, and customers are dissatisfied too. plus tea-breaks extend to 45 mins.. all this to be reigned inWhat shud Vivek do?
We came up with points like strict supervision, commission on no. of units sold and not value of sales, floor-wise allocation of personnel, diffrential commission for different sarees, signboards to direct customers to desired floor etc.
5 mins to read the case, 15 mins GD and 5 mins summary in running paragraph format.
It was an HR-case abt a saree-shop (so I expected the only girl in our group to be delighted.. she was wearing a saree too.. but she oozed total indifference).
I guess I was okay.. the group as a whole did extremely well... one of the most peaceful GDs I've ever been to. I came in a few times, gave in some decent points. ...wasn't the best performer though.. the credit goes to the girl and another guy who were both just too good.


All three panellists were very cordial.. made me feel at ease.. no grilling, no stress, no sermons whatsoever...

Enter, wish, sit.
Prof1: So, you are in final year of graduation?
Me: Yes, Sir.
Prof1: Under the Calcutta University?
Me: Yes, Sir.
Prof1: Which college?
Me: St. Xavier's college.
Prof1: Is it an autonomous college?
Then we have a small discussion on how the autonomy would benefit students, college.. etc.
Prof1: Dyou know any other part of India where colleges have been granted autonomous status?
Me: (feeling stupid) No, sir.
Prof1: When dyou have ur grad-finals?
Me: May.. got delayed due to Elections..
Prof1: Yogesh, if I give u the authority to bring changes in the educational system, what wud u do?
Me: (I'd earlier stressed on the need for proper evaluation of answer-scripts.. so..) Sir, there is need for increase in the number of examiners 'cuz they are over-burdened and not paid properly.. result compromise in efficiency. Second, questions should test candidate's understanding rather than his/her memory.. elaborated a bit.
Prof1: all know this.. give me some crazy idea.. like we shud scrap the examination system altogether!
(yes yes, so that u dig my grave abhi ke abhi)
Me: Sir, I also think that there shud be continuous evaluation rather than evaluation at the end of a period.. elaborated.
A bit more discussion on this and then, Prof2 takes over.
Prof2: Doing CA Final?
Me: NO, explained why not...
Prof2: Did u have Cash Flow analysis?
Me: Yes, sir.
Prof2: What is the need for preparing a Cash Flow Statement?
Me: (cuz it's mandatory!!!) Explained the importance from both mgmt. and external point of view. Mentioned liquidity position in answer.
Prof2: Tell me some ratios prepared on the basis of Cash Flow Statement.. to assess cash position.
Now, at this point.. I just cudn't remember any such ratio. Somehow put together an answer by suggesting that we can calculate 'Debt-Coverage ratio' by taking only 'Cash and cash equivalents' in the numerator. That shud suffice..
Prof2: What are the tools of Capital Budgeting?
Me: Explained NPV and IRR.
Prof2: Formula for IRR?
Me: Began explaining the trial and error method of computing IRR..
Prof2: No, no.. mathematical formula..
Me: Dunno.
Prof3 bhi kooda maidan mein..
Prof3: Did u have Statistics?
Me: (almost begging ki bhai rehne do) Yes, sir....
Now, Prof2 reminds that I had statistics in both B.COM and CA.. I agree sheepishly.
Prof3: What is Baye's theorem?
Me: Dunno
Prof3: What are u comfortable in.. in Mathematics..
Me: Sir, u ask anything..
Prof3: No.. no..u tell what all u had..
Me: List down... and he chooses 'Calculus.'
Prof3: What is differentiation?
Me: answered.. but did not articulate well.
Prof3: Any function which has same diff as the function?
Me: e^x
Prof3: formula for differentiation...? (hands me a paper.)
Me tries and writes wrong formula.. he gives cold stare and says I'm totally confused... I think for two seconds and write correct formula.
Prof3: what is the need for differentiation?
Me: tell

Prof2: What is depreciation?
Me: It is the process of allocation of the historical cost of an asset over its useful life, taking into account residual value, if any.
Prof2: What are the methods of charging depn?
Me: tell that the basic ones are SLM and WDV.. then try to tell abt Insurance Policy, Sinking Fund which are built on any of the above two.. but he was not interested.
Prof2: How dyou estimate the useful life of an asset?
Me: Past experience, vendor specifications...
But he was not satisfied..

Prof2: What are the tools in IT for CAs?
ME: tell abt accounting packages and ERP (only name.. )
Accha hua ki nahin poocha ERP kya hain, I didn't know the answer..
Prof1 back in action..
Prof1: Yogesh, u don't have much extra-currics.. are u those studious types?
Me: Mentioned my project in college and inter-school creative writing comps..
Prof1: No, no.. sports?
Me: Explained that I do this and that but very few mention-worthy achievemnts..
Prof1: What u do in spare time?
Me: Read n write... show them my published articles..
Prof1: Do you go out with friends?
Me: Yes, sir..
Prof1: watch movies?
Me: sometimes...
Prof1: TV?
Me: No..
Prof1: don't watch 'Friends', 'the OC'?
Me: I smiled and said no...( I actually don't watch these.. seen a few episodes of 'Friends' but u possibly can't watch 'OC' in front of ur family.. BTW, Marissa is sure pretty)
Prof3: Wht do you read?
Me: told..
Prof3: read Premchand?
Me: No, sir..
Prof3: (rather sternly) and u say reading is ur hobby?
Me: said that looking forward to reading his books.. cudn't lay my hands on many good books till now.. will do in future..
Prof3: Whose writing style do you like the most..
Me: (my most honest reply) JK Rowling's... explained why..
Prof3: Have you read any Indian authors?
Me: Jhumpa Lahiri.. Interpreter Of Maladies.
Prof1: who is ur model writer?
Prof2 chips in with: 'Yogesh Patwari?' Smiles all around.
I give my best smile and look a bit embarassed

Okay.. toffee khao aur fut lo...
Prof: Good luck..
Me: Thank you..
That's it... what can we make out of it?

VERDICT : Waitlisted No 13---> I was shocked that I cudn't make it!!!

EDIT: Eventually did convert IIMA... but went to IIMB still :)

Friday, May 05, 2006

3rd March--->XLRI--->Unfortunately, a true intrvw xperience!!!

Due credits to Salman Khan's movie for inspiring the title of this post..

Okay, first things first... my XAT Score is miserably low..98.5 that is. And to top it there was some problem with my application. The XLRI Admissions Office was of the opinion that I had not applied to XLRI at all and had filled only XAT application form (as if I was loony or something!!!)..I called them up umpteen times, send loads of faxes (Yeah, you guesses right!!! I actually spent all that money).. and came finally the call letter..

XLRI Interview:

I don't know but it seems that they'd already made up their mind that they are NOT TAKING ME IN even before the interview.... And what little chances I had of making it still, I goofed up completely.. Trust me to spoil my own chances..

BTW, sirf main zimmedar nahin.. All my preparation went down the drain.. I'd heard a lot abt XLRI Interviews and prepared to the fullest.. I'd prepared core subs well and had spent two restless days reading every paragraph of the BUDGET and its implication from the ET and the Bus.Std. But No Questions from Acads, no extra-currics, no BUDGET, no hobbies and interests, no why MBA, no time for me even.. it lasted for 7-8 mins in all....They didn't even flip thru my certificates.. this has happened second time with me (earlier in IIMK).. my only strenghth is my academic performance and these guys don't want to notice that even!!!

I was the last one to be interviewed for the day and for this year too.. My Interview time was scheduled to be 3:40 pm but it was all over by 3:00..

There were three profs.. sittin on the other side of a long table.. the table had several documents (pata nahin what papers??) and three saucers full of different toffies..

I don't remember who asked me which question.. since it was so uneventful, it got pretty mixed-up in my head..

Prof: So, you are Yogesh?
Me: Yes, sir...
Prof: From Xavier's?
Me: Yes, sir..
Prof: can you name another Xaverian who has a call from XL..
Me: Did.
Prof: Yogesh, you are the last person that we are going to interview for the session 2006-08 (and laughs for no apparent reason). Sell yourself to us.
Me: blah, blah... abt achievemnts and strengths...and why, God knows why, I had to mention 'softer pursuits of reading and writing' in my speech..I still can't make out why I said that??
Prof: Softer pursuits???
Me: (Mar gaye)Sir, what I meant was..At this, they all started laughing by lookin at each other..
Prof: Yogesh, you have an option - either withdraw that statement or stick to it - Deal or No Deal- Quick..
Me: Sir, I believe to indulge in reading and writing, we need to have a lot of patience and concentration.. so these require development of softer skills in our character. (I know this is crap, but this is what I could come up with given that they were laughing continuously)
Prof:You have completed CA?
Me: No sir, only upto PE-II... explained..

Prof: Do you go to your father's medicine shop?
Me: No sir.
Prof: Do you plan to join it later?
Me: No, Sir... no scope for expansion..
Prof: So many medicine shops are coming up, how compete?
Me: Gave some gyaan about customer-satisfaction..
Prof: Other factors?
Me: Inventory..explained
Prof: Wouldn't location play a role?
Me: (Shit) Yessir.. but to a limited extent.. explained
Prof: Decor?
Me: (Not sure) It may influence some people..
Prof: Should medicine shops stock toffees?
Me: (stole a glance at the toffees lying on the table and decided as to which one I'd pick up at the end of the interview) Sir, if the candy is of medicinal value like Vicks, then yes, else no.
Prof: cosmetics?
Me: Sir, if some skin cream or shampoo is prescribed by a dermatologist, then yes, else no.
Prof: Are you aware of any pharmacists' association?
Me: No.
Prof: Tell me Yogesh, when we go to a medicine shop, they get just take out the medicine that u want in a second? How remember so many medicines???
Me: Explained abt order of stocking.. alphabetical, based on composition...
Prof: Ok, Yogesh, you may leave now..What??? Leave!!! Arey kucch bhi to nahin poocha.... aur toffee bhi nahin offer kiya.. Maybe they don't want to waste their toffee on me..
So, this is it... not satisfying at all..

VERDICT: Not at all surprised that I was kicked... and I wasted all that money... train fare, application fees, phone bills, e-mails and faxes....huh???

16th March---> IIMC---> Humpty Dumpty had a great fall!!!

My Calcutta Interview!!!

GD: Good

we were 10 of us (9 guys and 1 girl). Lots of familiar faces...I was a bit apprehensive as I'd got reports of the girl being a fiery speaker. Fortunately, it turned out to be a rumour (she was unusually calm during the GD).. neways, we had a good discussion on the topic - "The bulk of the population has not benefited from recent economic reforms".3 mins to think, 10 for the GD, and then a minute each for summarizing or adding a new point..I came in a number of times and tried to give a direction to the GD by putting in points like... we must first understand the composition of the population, why benefits are not trickling down to the lower sections of the society, need for proper implementation... bureaucratic reforms, agricultural reforms etc. Overall, I guess I put in a decent performance. I must thank the group for being supportive.. unusual for me to do well in a GD.

Interview: Dunno

The panel was pretty chilled out... Though I was the last person to be intrvwd, the panel seemed to be in a jovial mood... three profs... all very cool and friendly..

I messed up at a couple of places.. but felt that the panel was somehow satisfied...

Prof: Mr. Patwari, please take a seat..
Me: Thank you, sir.
Prof: So, you are from St. Xavier's?
Me: Yes sir...
Prof: Do you watch cricket, Mr. Patwari?
Me: No, Sir. I'm not fond of cricket..At this they said 'good' and started laughing..
Prof: Probably, u got to know from other candidates who were intrvwd earlier that the panel is not fond of cricket...(smiled)
Me: (smiled back).. Sir, I'm really not interested in cricket..
Prof: So, wht r u doing together with Graduation? I see that u r doing CA...
Me: Yessir, explained that I'd completed PE-II..
Prof: So, r u doin articleship?
Me: No, sir.. explained why not...
Prof: So, why not continue with CA? (obvious question!!!)
Me: gave the 'rata-rataya' answr..
Prof: (citing my ranks in CA) But I feel that the CA profession wud lose out if guys like u come for MBA..
Me: Again justified my stand...
Prof: What is ur relative position in ur college?
Me: sir, I'm among the top ten students of my college...
Prof: (visibly impressed) And, how much dyou expect to score in Part-II?
Me: Sir, I'd try to get at least 75%..
Prof: good..Prof: Did u apply for campus placements in college.. I hear they have been good this year..
Me: No, sir.. I'd not applied... but yes they have been good..
Prof: What do you think abt autonomy granted to Xavier's?
Me: good.. for students, college.., earlier outdated syllabus... blah, blah.

Prof: Did u study abt Stock market in CA?
Me: No. sir.. we did not have any paper on Stock Market.. (heaved a sigh of relief)
Prof: very vaguely asked me something abt Present Value... I explained that.. then he asked me what was to be taken as 'Discounting Factor'.. By mistake, told cost of capital.. later rectified my mistake by saying sorry and mentioned 'expected rate of return'.

Prof: What are ur hobbies?
Me: sir, reading and writing..
Prof: Recent books?
Me: Monk&ferrari, alchemist...And we had a small chat on 'Alchemist'

Prof: I'll revert back to the 'Discounting Factor'.. let's say the company now approaches a bank for a loan.. what wud the bank look at?
Me: Past performance.. actual rate of return as against expected rate of return..
Prof: And..
Me: Risk..
Prof: What about debt-equity ratio?
Me: (shit.. I shud've mentioned that first) Yes sir, in fact, this wud be more important..

Prof: Yogesh, give me a 30 second lecture on Budget from a CA's point of view..
Me: sir, as in how it wud affect the CA profession?
Prof: No, just CA's point of view..
I messed up here.. didn't know what is CA's point of view...spoke abt Service Tax.. how budget was low on reforms...
Prof: interrupted and said shud have spoken abt MAT and FBT...I acknowledged that...
Prof asked me abt %ile and calls...

Thank you..I got up when one of the profs said.."Yogesh, I suggest that u continue with CA.."
I said - "Sir, I'd prefer to do an MBA.."they laughed and said 'All the Best'..I said 'Thank You' and came out..

Don't know how it went.. I felt good after the intrvw but can't forget that at least twice they had to give me the correct answers..Everyone else had similar inters...

VERDICT : Wailisted No. 16..... it hurt, Ouch!!

1st March---> IIMK---> Sweet Nothings

My Kozhikode experience


It was one of those GDs where everyone talks and no-one listens.. uspe itna raddi topic :'Moon mission is a wastage of resources for a resource-starved nation like India'. Think for 2 mins and then GD for 10 mins (only!!). GD was total chaos. I don't think any of us (there were eight) could hog the limelight for more than 15 seconds... I came in a few times,but performance was pretty non-descript.

Interview: GOOD

there were two profs.. both very cordial and polite..
Prof1: So you are studying in St. Xavier's?
Me: Yes, sir.
Prof1: what r the subjects that u have in ur final year?
Me: Blah..
Prof1: Financial Statement Analysis? (I'd mentioned FSA as a sub) What is it abt..?
Me: Blah..
P1: So, what use is FSA in Mergers and Acquisitions?
Me: (M&A??? u expect me to know this??? ) Sir...
P1: I mean.. there was this recent merger of airlines..
Me: Yes sir, Jet took over Air Sahara .. (gettin the Question).. Oh, from Jet's point of view.. analysis of Sahara's Fin. St... assets & liabilities...blah..
P1: So which assets do you think would influence Jet to take over Sahara?
Me: I think infrastructure...(explained a bit)
P1: Okay, is it always possible to get correct info from FSA?
Me: Sir?? P1: I mean, can this info be misleading?
Me: said improbable.. mentioned audit of Fin. St...
P1: No, let's take audited Fin. St., can complete info be derived.. correct value of all assets?
Me: Sir, actual values of some fixed assets may be different from book values.. explained..
P1: So, should Jet redraw Sahara's Fin St.?
Me: Not possible.. constraint of information..
P1: So, what way out?
Me: Sir, if Jet feels that a particular asset is not valued correctly, it can, based on its experience, revalue that particular asset.. since both Jet and Sahara operate in the same field, Jet should be able to carry out valuation...
P1: Okay... Does this 'Present Value' come into the picture?
Me: Yes sir, ... explained abt discountin of future returns and feasibility and profitability analysis...

P1: Did u have Economics? (this reminded me of My Lucknow ka Interview.. however, I'd brushed up on Eco)
Me: Yes, sir..
P1: What is oligopoly?
Me: Blah...
P1: Explain market dynamics in oligopoly..
Me: Explained in details with the help of a graph..
P1: Can u name a market which is an oligopoly..
Me: Sir, I'm not sure, but I think Pharmaceutical mkt..
P1: But.. in Pharma, do customers have a choice? They buy whatever doctors prescribe..
Me: Yes sir, in this case the marketing is directed at the doctors and not final consumer... explained..
P1: Okay..

At this stage.. passes the baton to Prof2..
P2: So, what is a geometric progression?
Me: Blah..
P2: What is the formula for summation of a GP?
Me: Told..
P2: Can u derive that formula..
Me: Can try... tried but failed.. said sorry..

P1 again takes over..
P1: Yogesh, wht dyou do in spare time..
Me: Read, write short stories and poems..
P1: Write???
Me: Yessir.. showed them some stuff..
P1: Recite one of your poems..
Me: Did...

P2: So, how were ur L & I interviews?
Me: (shocked) Sir, Good... (lie of the millennium)
P2: When is Ahmd?
Me: Told..
P1&P2: Okay Yogesh, best of Luck..
Me: Thank you, sirs...

almost everybody else had chilled interviews too.. maybe profiles would matter.. wanted them to notice my Ranks in CA but they didn't even look at my certificates...

VERDICT: K Kicked me...It was a nasty surprise though.... Probably the GD did me in... PI was fantabulous!!!

Edit: Eventually converted IIMK.. a bit surprising as I hadn't even been waitlisted initially.. but good to know that my best PI ever didn't go in vain..

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

13th Feb--->IIMI--->Back on track!!!

Mera Indore Interview:

GD was a plain case-study (in which the solution was pretty obvious). I felt I did a good job.. They made us write a summary in the end.

Interview: It was far from being interesting or exciting, lucky for me.
Two profs.. very polite and very cordial.. They were so nice people I felt like givin them a hug...
They began with Accounting Standards:
1. How many ASs are there?
2. Why was AS-8 scrapped?
3. Depreciation Accounting... Methods, Taxation...
4. Revenue Recognition - types
5. Contingent Liability - def., when to record?
6. Types of expenses recorded in the Revenue Account - I couldn't answer this one.. I went on with direct expenses and overheads but they shook their heads.
7. What are subsidiary Ledger accounts? I again fumbled here... I'd heard of Subsidiary books but Ledger???

Then they came to General Qs:
Since u r from Rajasthan, tell me what are the major problems that Rajasthan is facing..
I'd also done a project in college on
1. What is Human Resource?
2. HRM Vs HRD..
3. Hrd Minister of India? Why was he in news lately? Then it was all IIMB and Singapore...
4. hrd min. of WB? I couldn't ans this one.
5. How many IIMs are there? Name them with the states in which they are located.

Thank You...

It lasted for 10 mins in all.. (this is bugging me from then.. kyonki.. others in my slot were quizzed for nearly half an hr each... pata nahin what did I do to offend them)

VERDICT: Made it!!! Will surely hug them now, if ever meet them that is!!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

7th Feb--->IIML--->A damp beginning!!!

My Lucknow Interview:

GD: 'Politicians are the same everywhere. They promise to build bridges even when there's no river.'Pehle an essay on the same topic. 5 mins.Good Discussion. 15 mins. I could begin the discussion but could enter only twice. In the end, they asked me to summarise (God knows why? 'cuz there was another girl who had spoken very little). I didn't do a great job there.

Interview was bad: I'm lying there... it was actually a NIGHTMARE..

Two Profs..One Prof was speaking in a soft, slow tone.. (meethi churi)The other Prof was probably being purposely somewhat rude..

1. Introduce Yourself.

Then it was all acads.. I handled these well...
1. What is a cost-sheet? Take me through the format of a cost-sheet.
2. What is the need for working capital management?
3. Working capital cycle..
4. Cash cycle..

Then Goals and ambitions..They got me on this one.. grilled for nearly 5 mins..Contribution to society? How... Then somehow ITC came into the picture.. Coaching centers also chipped in. I was trying to defend but it was useless...It all ended with me feeling very low. But the worst was yet to come.

Xavier's(my college) couldn't lag behind...How many students does Xavier's have? How many sections? Then they argued among themselves about a silly calculation (70 X 21 = ?). I kept mum, looking sagely from one to the other.

Then..Yogesh, why don't u continue with CA?.. I blurted an answer..

What r ur strenghts?

What is globalisation? Do you support it?... blah blah...

Then came the final blow...Who taught you Economics in college? Which books did you follow? ..I smelt danger and quickly added that Economics was a 'pass' paper (only Kolkattans would understand what that is!!!) and that I was not very confident in it.
But they went ahead nevertheless..
1. What is a monopoly? (Okay...)
2. Monopolistic and oligopoly.. (Okay...)
3. Equilibrium in a perfect competition.. monopolistic?? (Band baj gayi..)
4. Total amount of money in the economy? How is it calculated? (Will have to ask FM..)
I bungled with these... Eco-not my cup of tea? Told them so.. but they retorted that I was supposed to know these...Then came a long sermon on my lack of knowledge about my own subjects... I was called bookworm and an expert at mugging-up with no conceptual understanding. Then they listed down what they felt about me.. NOT FIT TO BE AN MBA...

It was my first real interview yaar.. aur uspe itna sab kuch..I was shattered.. my mind went totally blank...
Then came two bad deliveries.. but I was already retired-hurt..

1. What is P/E ratio?
2. what is money market?

Thank you...

I came out after being burnt in Hell for nearly 25 mins...
So.. hindsight... OK GD, Bad PI.. though it wasn't exactly a stress-interview, it wasn't a cordial one either... Only positive thing abt my intrvw was that I was impeccably polite thruout and even when I argued I did so with a lot of politeness..

VERDICT: Kicked hard..... not even waitlisted!!!

It Began Thus...

One could easily take me to be one of those studious types of 'uncool' guys. I look very much like a bookworm and I daresay, I actually am. I have an army of friends, though, and we always have a gala time together. I am one of those who are shy to the point of being taken as indifferent. I love chatting with ppl but am unlikely to make the first move..

Did schooling from 'Andhra Association School' and 'St. Lawrence High School', both in Kolkata. About to graduate in Commerce from 'St. Xavier's College', Kolkata in June'06. Took CAT'05 and bagged BLACKI...

Needless to say, more than anything else, CAT-Calls ;) acted as a big lucky break for me. Much of how my life takes shape in the future has been decided by this single most important event of my life.I'll put down my bitter-sweet GD/PI experiences at the IIMs and also XLRI here in my Blog.. as these from indelible parts of my memory...Happy Reading!!!

BTW, I must add... Me an avid HARRY POTTER fan :-)

Thanks for visiting my blog :-)
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