Thursday, 29 May 2014

Words of wisdom : Soumya Ranjan Pradhan

By: Jessica Mohapatra

A  very talented alumni of 2013 batch , he had the distinction of being the 'most mischievous boy' in his class. He made  not  only Electrical Engineering  but the whole of CET proud by getting into the prestigious IIM Kozhikode in his very first chance.Since he stays far away,we took an online interview for him.

Q1.First of all congratulations on your success...how is life in IIMK?
Hey... Thanks.......
Life at IIMK.. whoo.. IIMK truly is an awesome place to be in, be it beauty or knowledge both are equally  stuffed in this castle; very charming.,you can take my word for it. One would definitely feel like the Adam of this Eden on first look. The day I reached there and an auto-rickshaw was moving up the IIMK hill in the soft drizzle, I literally fell in love with this place. The life after that day , changed its color; from the mesmerizing beauty to initial hectic days,  (Saare rang udd gaye...!)  Initially it was difficult to get used to the hectic schedule, mid-night submissions, cases, committee tasks…and…then everything fell in  place, again all of us  to fell in love(with this place ofcourse!!!). This pressure cooker can handle and has handled a lot of steam, and at the end of the day you will get used to it. Those weekend parties,  beach trips, waterfall visits; those helped immensely. Truly God’s own Campus,( basically a paid hill station resort stay with awesome facilities for two years).

Q2Being a fresher how difficult it was to get through IIMK?
Frankly speaking, it is harder in the current scenario, as the intake of freshers is declining; also in IIMC, IIMK which were perceived to be fresher friendly, but no more. Basically the most important stage of getting into an IIM, i.e. the interview, we don’t have much to talk about, while nonfreshers have relevant real life ' field experience' and that’s the reason they prefer people with experience.
Still that doesn’t mean end of light. You have to have sound knowledge about economy, market that definitely helps you get through. Yes, struggle is another name for life, you have to...there is no way out..

Q3 What are the chances for a fresher to get through in the first chance at the IIMs?
Look I would again repeat the same thing. If you are good, you have the  potential no one can stop you. And those professors sitting on  the other side of table are not dumb. They know where to look and what to look in  a fresher. Their criterion of selection is set after a lot of introspection on their side. So YES a fresher can easily get into any top B-school in India;  unlikely in universities abroad, which have some stringent criterion. Also from this year onwards the CAT percentile will be given more importance, which I think is a big advantage for freshers who are still in touch with their studies.
Q4.How many hours of hard work did you put in a day?
If I am truly going to answer this question…they will kick me out of here. :-D
Don’t worry, I was still a pukka CETian. ;-)
Q5.What was your study schedule and  your planning to bell the CAT?
Ok, so telling  you the truth, I was not preparing for CAT. I just happen to fill the form. (Parental pressure) Still I managed to score well. Nothing ground breaking. What I felt was  that CAT did  not require that in depth preparation as demanded by XAT in verbal section, MAT and all (that’s why I didn't even dare to apply for them), you just needed to have your basics strong, no rocket science or no mugging up Merriam Webster. Believe me most of my peers here have the same story, that seems unbelievable to everyone I tell.
So to bell the CAT, just keep your basics strong and polished, nothing else. Keep it simple silly!!

Q6.People say that you were very mischievous and you hardly studied .Is it true when did u actually study?
Now I am happy. Finally you asked me about my true other side. Well I leave it to your imagination and your ears. Well, you have to maintain a swagger in the most fragile of equilibriums if you want to impress the public from the off.      #just saying.
You have a lot of idle time. Just utilize a fraction judiciously. You will taste success.

Q7.You were preparing for both CAT and GATE, How did you manage both....which was your focus....how was your GATE?
Well I was preparing for GATE, not that seriously for CAT; and after the  results of CAT I didn’t feel like studying. You know, those Goosebumps you get due to the momentary joy, and you forget the greater goals in your life. Well in my case it didn't proved to be that  fatal. God’s grace, it gradually suffused with IIM calls. And as a result, GATE was not that good, 'disaster' if stated in  appropriate terms.

Q8.What was your motivation?
Well, my motivation was the my father's struggle . That motivated me to appear for CAT, as it was his dream and I had to live it. I thought to do so later in life, but due to God’s grace I got the chance to do it now.
Q9.What was your strongest point, which chapters? 
My strength was my technical knowledge, related to electrical, automobile, physics, economics, market knowledge; that helped me sail through the interview rigour with ease. My project on solar energy helped me a lot to discuss in interviews.
Q10.How did you manage both semesters and MBA preparation & in your case GATE together?
I have already answered for CAT  and  GATE.
For semesters  you can ask any CETian. He/she will give you hell lot of points. Time needed for preparing for semesters are negligible, all thanks to BPUT. Even mere 1 day preparation before the exams were more than sufficient.
Q11.Is being an engineer a disadvantage for getting through good IIMS?
No I would not think of it as a disadvantage, rather I would  say that B.A., B.Com. Students have an edge, just an edge. They know economics better than us which is sole differentiating point in interview. Rest all are same. Moreover the panellists ask different questions to people with different backgrounds, to match their needs.
Yes, it’s true that they are given some extra points while admissions, so as to balance the diverse type of students in campus, which is essential for classrooms here. As we need different perspective from different fields ,its help improving the quality of discussion.
Q12 How many Qs did u attempt in the exam and what was your percentile?
I barely remember the exact figures. But in quant section around 21, logical 25 odd. Don’t remember exact figures. My percentile was 98.50.

Q13.What was your sectional percentile, and how were the sectional cut-offs in your time?
Sectional cut-offs, that too I don’t remember. Actually I was not bothered about my sectionals as my first call was from Lucknow, then next day Calcutta. So I didn’t bothered to know about cut-offs.
Q14.For the present third years, placements just months away....how should they remain focussed on CAT?
Look, everyone including me was and is worried about placements, which is natural. And remember that it is the easiest option available for you to get a job. Other means are way lot difficult. So concentrate and get a job and I know all CETians have potential to get good jobs. Just it’s the matter how you respect the chance given to you. Present scenario of placements are improving, so try your best to thrive for best opportunity available. Then prepare for as many exams you would like to give CAT, GATE, XAT. Backup is always good, it does no harm to you.
Q15.Considering the PI, how good should a person's technical be.....what depth of technical knowledge is required.?
I would say, may be a MBA interview, but your technical knowledge takes you a long way in the process. It was my strength and gave me a lot of freedom to drive the interview according to my need. If at all it’s not in that great shape, try to gain as much basic knowledge as possible, and good projects will help you go easily through PI.
Moreover you need basic clarity in thought about basic matters of society, economy; good analytic, cognitive, logical skills.

Q16.What Questions were asked to you in your PI?
It was random. In K interview, it was 25 mins grilling on Caste, reservation system; believe me literally the best professor of IIMK, Mr. A. F. Matthew grilled me. He is a sociologist. Thankfully I had a view in line with his, and later I understood its importance, the affirmative action, how it is essential in countries like India, Brazil etc. And rest about leadership, team work examples. Other prof asked about my solar project. Total 40 mins interview.
In C, it was about various scams, their solutions in my view. (All scams they explored..!) Mathematics is a must for C. That too was for 45 mins.
In L, 15 mins HR interview. Why MBA, IIML…etc.
In I, 40 mins, entirely electrical, hard-core physics. I loved this interview.
In IITB, entrepreneurship viewpoint on solar project. How to incubate this idea…etc. 40 mins
Other interviews were quite similar.
Q17.The vitality of good CGPA? What was yours and how did it help?
Hell yeah, it is important. Mine was 8.8. So it looks good on CV, cut-offs are also there. Creates good impression, and being an engineer you are sometimes saved from your lack of knowledge about economics. Maintain a decent CGPA. Don’t be among stragglers, else it might pan out.
Q18.Any tips for our present CAT aspirants??
Good would follow bad, day would follow night, and spring would follow winter unless global warming really messes it up. :-D
All CETians have suffered their part of bad luck during admissions, as no one had aspired to be here, but in IITs, NITs. So you have seen your part of bad days. It is  time to snatch the opportunity that you have lost then.
Remember, No one, no one; but You are the architect of your own future.
Keep your cool. Work hard on your basics. You can conquer anything. CAT toh choti moti cheez hai.


Thank you Soumya Ranjan Pradhan for such a wonderful and encouraging interview ,you meaningful words will definitely motivate a lot of youngsters in CET..Team CET Rising would like to thank you for giving us your vital time.


  1. Best Wishes Soumya Pradhan !

  2. Remember, No one, no one; but You are the architect of your own future.!!
    Best part..:D