Saturday, January 16, 2010

The road to Tech-Mahindra

The story starts from 11th December 2009, Anjan that’s me came afresh after giving CAT exams and was trying to concentrate on my last semester.
One of my hostel mate came running to me and said Anjan do you have the R.S Agarwal aptitude book?
Me: Why? CAT is over I suppose!
Friend: Tech-Mahindra is coming for campus selection 0n 9th January in KITS Ramtek, so I want to prepare for that do you have the book please give it to me.
Me: I don’t have the book, have you searched the library?
Friend: yes I have there were more then 100 books but none are available now I guess everyone is preparing for this. Are you going for the campus recruitment process?
Me: what’s wrong in going at least I will get the experience!
The complete hostel scenario was changed as if it was the university exams approaching and not any company. Everyone was busy solving aptitude and other books. I was very casual with my preparation as I thought there are many greats in hostel who would do much better then me so there is no chance for my placement. For the entire period from 11th December to 7th January I was meagre with books. Few of my friends would come to me and say why are you not preparing for Tech-Mahindra if you try you can get through have confidence in your self. I would change the topic and say I have never been to Ramtek, I have heard there are more then 100 temples there I would like to visit some of those & I want to do MBA I don’t want job now.
There were around 200 students who were eligible for the campus recruitment process from my college. I along with 6 of my friend decided to go to Ramtek on 8th January itself as the reporting time in Ramtek was 8’o clock & Ramtek was 155 kms from Gondia as it was a new place to me & my friends and we had to go there and search for lodge and all.
We reached Ramtek by around 11:30 in the morning of 8th January. We booked the cheapest lodge available there as we had to stay only for that night. In the evening everyone in my room was busy with books and had no time for anything else. I decided to see the market place so I took my ex room mate with me as he wasn’t in mood for any studies at the last moment. I used to think that gondia is a village, my initial view of Ramtek “my god what a place is this how can people live here its rural then even gondia “the only distinct feature of Ramtek was that here and there temples were built for eg. On the top of the hill, on the road, between plateaus everywhere you can see temples!!!
In the morning we woke at 5 in the morning and we all got dressed up in familiar interview dress and went to the college where many of my friends hope was in stake. We reached there before 8’o clock. There was no such indications when will the placement procedure start. The building where the interview was supposed to be held was slowly filling up with M.I.E.T students. They were all discussing about KITS Ramtek and were comparing this to our college. I was glad to hear that almost everybody commented that KITS was far better in campussing then our college. We were loitering in the campus and it was 11’o clock when the delegates of Tech-Mahindra appeared. They started with a movie clip of Tech-Mahindra. After the clip they asked "what did you like the most in the clip." One of the student replied “salsa” sir! I thought the delegate would give some rude comment but he went on with it and asked can you tell me the music that was being played at the background? Some of the students replied but I didn’t pay any heed to it. I was impressed by the clip as it wasn’t only focused on work and there was room for personal development, fulfilling your hobbies, interests etc
We were then divided into groups and were sent to the computer lab were each one of the candidate was assigned a computer were the aptitude was to be held. It was an online test were 100 questions had to be solved within 60 minutes. The aptitude questions were divided into 6 sections 3 of them based on English, One each of quant (basic maths), logical reasoning and data interpretation. The 3 sections of English comprise of more then 60 questions so I decided to start from the English section. Within 15 minutes I had solved all the 3 verbal (English) based questions. I had around 45 minutes in which I had to solve the rest 3 sections I did it comfortably infact I did it with 15 minutes sparing. For me the questions were very easy because I didn’t prepare enough but could solve the questions. When I came out everyone was happy they all were hoping that at least they would clear the aptitude round. Students who cleared aptitude was announced shortly only 13 out of nearly 200 students from M.I.E.T could clear the aptitude. I was amazed not because I was among those who cleared but because only 13 could clear the aptitude were almost everybody was pretty sure of their selection.
After the aptitude all 13 MIETIENS were asked to fill up the Tech-Mahindra form. Next was the technical interview, clearing the aptitude didn’t give any confidence as rest of the 12 people were either from IT,CTECH OR EC. I was the only one from the electronics department. Tech-Mahindra is basically a software company which provides IT solutions & telecommunication. Being related with electronics I had no knowledge about C++ and other communication related subjects like mobile and networking. I was pretty sure I will be eliminated in the next round. Technical interview would start from 3 pm and it was around 1:30 pm so I decided to have lunch and visit the campus. My friends along with whom I came to Ramtek had left as they couldn’t clear the aptitude. And I heard that they were packing for going back to gondia. I was sad because they were not with me. Suddenly I saw somebody & I thought I recognize him yes I recognized him he was Raju my school friend (class 10th) from holy cross school. I was happy seeing him after a long time. Raju told me that few friends from our school are studying in KITS Ramtek. Then I met pradeep another class 10th friend. I thought at least now I won’t be bored as my old friends are here. I heard raju was placed in AMCO (a company exclusively for mechanical). I was introduced to 2 more of their friends there who later told me that I shouldn’t get worried about technical as I am from holy cross. There is a big reputation of holy cross students here. Then he showed the list of candidates who were recruited in AMCO the first name was of Raju. I was happy on his behalf but still I was little worried for the technical interview.
It was around 4:00 clock when I was called for my technical interview. I was bit nervous but I didn’t show it from my face mainly because even if I would be rejected it won’t affect me because my dream is MBA.

INTERVIEWER: Anjan you are from M.I.E.T Gondia?
ME: yes sir.
INTERVIEWER: how much do you think you have scored in your aptitude?
ME: sir, around 75
INTERVIEWER: how can you be so accurate? Who told you?
ME: sir I am not from this college who would tell me. It was just a guess.
INTERVIEWER: quite impressive. Your BE results are quite good what’s your aggregate?
ME: 69.65
INTERVIEWER: very good. I don’t think Nagpur university students get these marks so easily. Are you the topper of you college?
ME: no sir I am 5th from electronics department of my college.
INTERVIEWER: where are the toppers?
ME: sir none of them are eligible because of the criteria.
INTERVIEWER: which criteria?
ME: sir Tech-Mahindra is asking for minimum 60% marks in 10th and 12th with a maximum of 1 year gap between any 2 courses. They are not fulfilling either any of these criteria or both so they are not eligible.
INTERVIEWER: ok. So tell me what is class?
ME: I don’t know sir. It’s related with C++ and being an electronics engineer I don’t have any knowledge about it.
INTERVIEWER: what are your hobbies?
ME: playing cricket, writing short stories, quotations etc.
INTERVIEWER: cricket!! So who is your favorite cricketer?
ME: sourav ganguly.
INTERVIEWER: so why do you like him?
ME: basically he is left handed like me and belongs from Kolkata my home town. But the thing I like the most in him that he never bogs down in difficult circumstances he has always silenced his critics not from his speech but from his bat. When I was a child I wanted to be like him.
INTERVIEWER: so who is your idol?
ME: I don’t have any idol as such I want to establish myself.
INTERVIEWER: what are your strengths?
ME: I never give up in difficult situations, I am always smiling even when odds are against me, I am a good team member.
INTERVIEWER: can you give an example of not giving up in difficult time?
ME: when I was in 1st year a disease named chickengonia was spreading everywhere and I got viral flu. All my tests showed symptoms of that disease. Many people had died in the neighboring areas. I was shifted from hostel to a separate room. I couldn’t even lift my limbs. I was on complete medical dose and I was given 15 days of complete bed rest. I didn’t want to miss my classes so from the fourth day onwards I started going for my classes. Everybody advised me to have rest but I opted to do classes and it was my attitude of never giving up in hard times I was cured within 7 days. Even doctors were amazed with my recovery.
INTERVIEWER: what did you like in the Tech-Mahindra clip?
ME: sir personality development. Tech-Mahindra is not only focused on work but also gives time for the fulfillment of one’s hobbies etc.
INTERVIEWER: why do you want to join an IT company?
ME: it doesn’t matter whether it’s an IT company the place where I can use my skills and brain for the development of company. I am interested to work in a place which gives more emphasis on personality development.
INTERVIEWER: what do you know about Tech-Mahindra?
ME: Tech-Mahindra is basically a software company which deals with telecommunication sector.
INTERVIEWER: does any of your relative work in Tech-MAHINDRA?
ME: no sir.
INTERVIEWER: so you want to apply you brains ok let me take your test.
ME: yes sir.
INTERVIEWER: suppose you work 3 times as fast as your colleague and you do the work in 60 days. In how much time will you both complete the work?
ME: sir can I have the pen and paper.
INTERVIEWER: yes sure.
ME: (after few minutes) sir 45 days.
INTERVIEWER: suppose 3 people are working together and they complete their work individually in 24, 12 and 6 days?
ME: (after few minutes) sir 3.4 days.
INTERVIEWER: if a=10 and b=7 swap the numbers without using 3rd variable
ME: (after few minutes) a=a-b; b=a+b; a=b-a
INTERVIEWER: can you solve by any other method?
ME: (after few minutes) a=a+b; b=a-b; a=a-b
INTERVIEWER: you are quite intelligent why you want to go for MBA after your engineering. Work for 2-3 years your work experience will help you lot for your MBA afterward.
INTERVIEWER: tell about your weakness?
ME: I am emotional and sentimental.
INTERVIEWER: everybody is emotional even I am emotional. Can you explain?
ME: sir I went to see 3 idiots along with my friends. After the movie everyone one was happy after the movie but tears were rolling down my eyes.
INTERVIEWER: where do you want to be placed?
ME: anywhere in INDIA I am comfortable.
INTERVIEWER: any specific region?
ME: I am from Kolkata so I would be happy if I am placed in Kolkata.
INTERVIEWER: do you have any questions?
ME: no sir!
INTERVIEWER: Best of luck. you can go now.
My interview was for around 45 minutes. I was happy as there was not much technical in my technical interview.
ALL technical interview were over by around 6:30 pm. Many of them also had their PI ROUND.
5 people including me were called for the Personal Interview (HR) ROUND. We were seated in a semicircular arrangement. I was at the center.
HR told that there will be a group discussion and asked us to give some topics. Everybody gave their topic. I gave “reservations in education system”.
HR thought for a while and said I am giving you all a topic if you are ready then we will continue with it. The topic was “DOES THE EDUCATION SYSTEM REALLY MAKING US A BETTER CITIZEN?” Everybody except me supported the notion I went against. My basic query was there was no education required by the ministers and they are the ones who sit in higher posts and make all the laws. Many of the highly qualified IAS and IPS officers had to work under those ministers who probably can’t even write his name. So the current education system isn’t really helping us to be a better citizen.
Every body gave their views. At the end the HR asked one common question to everybody “if you are made the principal of M.I.E.T Gondia what changes will you bring about in education system?”
Everybody said what they had to when it was my turn I spoke “I would go for quality education instead of Quantity education. Whatever we are studying theoretically we should apply it practically then only we can grow as an engineer.” I ended with the 3 idiot dialogue “we should go for knowledge success would come automatically.”
The GD finished at around 7:30 pm. The delegates told that the list of selected candidates would be announced shortly. At around 8: oo pm the announcement was done and the rest is history!

MORAL: The story isn’t to show how I fared at the campus interview. It’s about how we should approach an interview. Many would feel I was lucky because I never prepared for the aptitude but my friends I had prepared a lot for the CAT (the result of this preparation would be visible only by the 3rd week of February when the CAT results would be declared) by the way the aptitude questions doesn't require deep mathematical concepts. There was no need of any deep mathematical or verbal knowledge. It was just an application of common knowledge. Many of my friends would go for books including mathematical concepts. But the thing that was necessary was your ability to think simpler things. Many of us try too hard and in the process get tensed and nervous. We have to keep in mind that we can be at our best when we are relaxed. Many give extra effort then what they require we have to keep in mind that even if we are not selected there is experience which we gain from these interview it’s not our last hope. If we broaden our view and take things as it comes we can be what others can’t. I would tell everyone that you should be simple straightforward and show what you are….these are the basic things that can lead you from bottom to top.
So I wish all the best to all those who couldn’t qualify their interviews. Don’t loose hope and do prepare for basic things instead of the depths.



  1. ur confidence is really awesome ..

    u did a gr8 job...

  2. congrats! u deserved it. :)

  3. congrats for the job n wonderful writing style...

  4. great yaar......u are just awesome
    i like ur confidence level

  5. That's a gr8 account...and similar story goes with me...i got rejected for infosys as i was tensed and later got selected for HCL because i was relaxed...more of 'jo hoga, dekhi jayegi' type....:)
    anyway congrats...u got a long way to go :-)

  6. Hope your words come true...if it doesn't ...i would be looking at the wrong side of the road... :)


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