Saturday, March 05, 2011

The SP Jain GD/GI experience-2

We were 6 of us in the 9:00 am session. After a small wait outside the room, we were summoned in.
There were 4 gentlemen on the panel. The one on the extreme left (P1) was a old man in his 60s, the 2nd man (P2) a much younger guy seemed very much like an almunus, the 3rd man (P3) had a swagger about him and the 4th man looked like an a intellectual.

"Good morning to you all" said P3 as we greeted him back.

"So guys, lets have a GD just to break the ice. Are you ready?" (What ice? GDs are potential ice-makers, not breakers!)

" So your topic for the GD is - " Development and Corruption go hand-in-hand ".
You get a minuted to put down ur points in the sheet of paper."

1 min over, i started off very briskly with points on development, industry, forms of corruption till I realized after the first 2 min that not one was interrupting me. Fast running out of ideas, I gave a momentary pause. One of them took it as a window of opportunity to enter the discussion. I thanked him silently. We ensured that each of us got a decent chance to put forward our points without making it a fish-market and we succeded in doing it and utilizing the full time. Good group dynamics!
I made an entry 2 more times in a big way by quoting examples of the RTI activists being murdered, the builder-bureaucrat-politician nexus, recent stats etc. After about 10 minutes, we were asked to stop. No one was asked to summarize. It did turn out to be a ice-breaker of sorts!

It was evident by now, P3 would do all the talking. He looked the kind who liked to talk. I wasnt wrong.
Each of us had to take turns telling about ourselves, our background, our acads, schooling, work, grad, work, interests/passions etc. 2 in our group were freshers who were still in grad.
P3 took it upon himself to provide some entertainment by indulging in some serious leg-pulling, mainly the 2 freshers. One of them was asked about his favourite subjects. He fumbled when he was asked to define thermodynamics and some other subject. He had kised adios to his chances, in the first 5 min of his interview. The poor guy had a horrid look after his turn. The more confident fresher, a mechanical engineer, was grilled on stock market terminologies when they were told that he wanted to do finance because he liked the sensex (thats called "digging your own grave"). Finally, they (P3)had made him look more foolish.

Then came my turn. P3 at it again. I had to ensure that he dint get a chance to smother me like 3 others before me.

P3: So, "Vishwanath" or is it "Hariharan"?
Me: Its Vishwanath

P3: Lets stick to vishy. Ya, so..vishy tell us who you are?
Me: Spoke about the usual stuff in a free-flowing manner, as if I had mugged it up.

P3: (After listening to a 2-min intro)so how is the auto industry and how do you the prospects in india 5 yrs hence?
Me: Talked about recent auto stuff & launches, threw nos & stats at him, random mention of JVs & acquisitions in india, talked about expansion plans, india growth story etc

P3: do u compare the Indian & Japanese auto-makers?
Me: (Excellent..thats my domain u r in,dude!)Spoke about competencies in design, process, suppliers, discipline, culture, jugaad etc

P3: (With a chuckle)So how many years will it take for us to be on par with the Japanese?
Me: Reasoned out how Indians are up there with the global quality stds and work in-process. It may not be long when Indian brands will be preferred to others.

The other 3 panelists till then had just been sitting dummies. P3 , after occupying a lion's share of the questioning time, went cold and P1 took up with a little help from P1.

P2 asked each of us " Why MBA?" in 6 different styles.

I gave him the very carefully rehearsed answer (true answer!)about building a better skill set, more decision making scope, higher responsibilites..

P2: "How a better skill set?"
Me: More flexibility. more diverse opportunities, more value addition..( more gyaan)

P2:" You r the only person here who has a techno-commercial profile. Why not continue in it and take more responsibilities?"
Me: (I thought my "Why MBA?" answer would suffice. It dint) Told him how my 'metallurgy' tag was acting as an impediment to further challenging roles.

P4: (Making a late entry) " Did u take metallurgy by chance or choice?"
Me: Sir, by choice. I dint want to get into any circuit/IT related field of engg.

All 4 of them looked at each other and nodded their heads in affirmation with a polite" We are done. thank you."

We thanked them and walked out after a 40-min group interview.

After a 15 min break , we were told that only 3 of us had got through and I was one of them.

We then found ourselves in a similar-looking room for our 2nd group interview. There were 6 of us and 2 on the panel. One of them had impeccable english and had a Parsi twang to it. Some of the questions they asked were from the psychometric test we has to take before our 1st group interview.

We were asked about :
our whims & fancies,
our contribution to the society,
our achievements at college & work
"what animal/bird do u identify urself with?",
" What kind of job do u see urself in after u pass out?"
"Where do u see urself 10 years from now?"

Some food for thought! It was a forum to be clear about waht you wanted, your goals, projecting oneself (telling the truth and not bluffing..they did pull up one of the guys because he gave "Miss India" like answers.)

After a 15-min interaction we were through with it.

Final Verdict: "Converted"



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