February 7, 2011

So Why Raavan Was Flop!!

"Amit?" called out professor one, P1. "That's me" I replied. "Lets go".

And I followed P1 to the interview room, where another professor, P2, was going through my profile file. After exchanging pleasantries P1 asked about my job profile and responsibilities. I told them that I take care of all aspect of project management.

P1 - "How would you explain project management to a lay man?"
I started to explain taking example of going to a movie and building a building. While doing so I must have used couple of project management jargon. P2 interrupted and asked if I am a PMP? I answered in affirmative. He went on to ask couple of questions from project management , like that of Gantt chart, PERT etc.. He then asked me to draw a network diagram. I managed to answer them satisfactorily. P2 then said he was done and asked if P1 had any question.

P1 - "In your essays you have mentioned that you read books. Which book have you read recently?"
Me - "Simply Fly".
P1 - "But that's a management book. What other books have you read?"
I mentioned books of other genre which I had read. One of them being Harry Potter.

P1 - "So you follow Harry Potter. What is the name of the sport he plays?"

P1 - "And how it is played?"
I explained based on what ever little I remembered about the sport.

P1 - "You have written that you are a movie buff. Which is the movie you have seen?"
I told him whatever the movie was and went on to explain the storyline of the movie. P2, who was just observing me all this while, asked if I have seen Raavan? I said yes. "So what do you think why was Raavan flop?" his next question. "Ouch, let me think" I thought. Then I went on to explain what I thought could be the reason of that movie being a flop.

After that they said that they were done and asked if I had any question. I asked them something, wondering if that was all. There wasn't any regular interview question like why MBA? why now? short term , long term goal, no quants questions. They didn't even check my certificates as is norm with IIM C. Yeah, they did ask if offered an admission what kind of accommodation I'd prefer, another norm in IIM C interview.

And so I came out of the interview not knowing what to expect. Because of my fickle mindedness by the time I started application for IIM C I had only 3 weeks left before the deadline. I wrote the essays thinking these essays could be used as working draft for other IIMs and ISB application. But even then I wrote with full conviction and being true to myself. 

Only with the final admission offer I understood that it indeed is one's overall profile , consisting academic performance, GMAT score, professional career, leadership potential, essays & recommendations and interview, which gets you in.

Now I am looking forward for one great year ahead.

February 3, 2011

The impatient generation!!

We? Nah. In face we are the transition generation. As teenagers we stood in the queues to pay electricity bill, to get cash from the bank, to get reservation in the train, to buy ticket for movie and what not. By the way in those days not many houses used to have a telephone connection.

At the turn of new century things changed drastically for us. As adults, with the advents of credit cards and internet, we hardly needed to stand in queues for things, especially things mentioned as above. Along with these there have been influx of quite a many private service providers for things affecting our daily lives. You just give a call to customer care and someone comes down to collect cheque for the payment. Businesses now have facility to remind consumer of their due payments or car servicing and things like that. 

So far so good. We are now used to fast and efficient services and rightly so. But looks like things need further improvement if I go by my experience today.

With financial year closing there are quite a few investment policies for which due date is nearing and I thought of paying dues for all of them today. I chose to go offline mode for this.

I started with Bajaj Allianz. To pay the premium all I had to do was to give the cashier my policy no. and then make payment by the credit card. The whole process took not more than 10 min. including waiting time. In fact I always have same good experience with them. 

Next in line was Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual. With places directory app on my android phone I searched for nearest centre of Kotak. Though the listing has a phone no. also , phone was constantly busy. Anyway, based on the addressed I got in the places directory I reached the centre in no time. Shock no. one, they don't issue receipt the same day if the payment is made by cheque or dd (I wonder who makes dd for this purpose) and the bigger shock, they dont accept payment by card. What the hell? A bank as big as Kotak Mahindra does not accept credit card because they don't have the machine. I thought of paying by cash, but there system was down. OMG. #fail. By the way I tried to pay online also, but their system says no due.

Next was ICICI Pru. All these years I have been handing over the cheque for premium to the agent and he has been very good in his services. This year has been different. Again the places directory came handy in finding the office location of ICICI Pru. Once there they asked me to fill a form for making payment by credit card. There way is little different. Even they don't have credit card swiping machine but they can facilitate offline. After taking necessary details they gave me the acknowledgement.

So if big banks like Kotak and icici still don't accept payment by credit card I don't have patience to go and withdraw money from bank and make payment. I am better off using on line mode of payment. I just did for LIC :)