Venue: Mangalam Business Centre, Kolkata
Time: 12:30 p.m.
The venue was close to where I was living in Kolkata. It was a 15-minute walk. Kolkata’s too hot right now, I was drenched with sweat by the time I reached the venue.
The WAT started on time and we were given two topics, and we had to choose one of the two topics.
1. How has internet been affecting our personal and business life?
2. Has India ‘developed’ over the past 5 years?
I was confident in writing about the development of India over the years as I had sound knowledge of the technical and the agricultural advances that India has made over the past years. We were given 20 minutes to finish the essay.
I reserved the first 5 minutes to formulate the structure and the thought process. However, I was a bit biased on the advances in the agriculture aspect and was questioned on it later in my interview.
There were two male professors. I must say that they were very friendly. I did not feel that they were conducting an interview, rather it was a discussion. They also gave their view points on the questions that they had asked.
Q1. Development leads to deforestation. Can we even this if we start planting saplings now?
Sir, I do agree that development leads to deforestation, but every aspect has its pros and cons. Development also means an increase in the efficiency of the work process. If we choose one, there will be a consequence. I do not think that if we start planting saplings from now, we will even out all the destruction that we have done. Consider a tree whose age is 100 years. If we plant a sapling right now, we have to wait 100 more years; also consider the number of trees that we would be cutting.
Q2. Can we educate the tribes of Andaman and Nicobar islands? We would be in a much better position. What do you think?
Sir, first of all, we cannot force someone to follow the footsteps of ours. We should leave them as it is. Their parents, grandparents have been living this way. If we try to alter their culture, we would be destroying their habitat. (Gave examples on how the Sentinelese tribe killed the US visitor).
Q3. The agricultural economy of India.
(I was well prepared for this answer, gave all the facts and figures).
Q4. Why are the farmers committing suicide?
Sir, the farmers have loans to pay. The Government promises to buy a certain amount of crops from the farmers, but at the last moment, they fail to fulfill their promise. As a result, the farmers are forced to sell their farm-products at nose-diving prices.
Q5. Who are to be blamed?
(I was about to get carried away by the question. I thought for 10 seconds before answering). Sir, we cannot directly blame anyone. First of all, the government needs to devise proper schemes and not just come up with temporary solutions. The farmers need to be educated. They are not fully utilizing the technologies that we possess. The blame is on everybody.
Q6. Has the government been looking at our farmers?
(This question can be answered in two ways: Yes and No, but I decided to say ‘yes’ as I did not want to go into the details) Sir to validate my answers, I would like to name a few schemes:
1. Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme.
2. Kisan Credit Card.
3. Sinchayee Yojana.
4. Pradhan Mantri Vikas Yojana.
(Gave a brief explanation, and concluded it with a “YES”)
Q7. Every parent wants his or her children to study and do well in life. What does your parent want? (was shocked by this question)
Sir, like every parent, my parents want the same for me. They want to see me succeed in life. (Wasn’t ready for this question, couldn’t answer much)
The first professor was done with his questions, the second one joins in.
Q8. Why do you want to be an entrepreneur?
(Gave a prepared answer on how entrepreneurship is linked with my family).
Q9. Do you think an MBA will help you achieve that? Why not join a specialized entrepreneur course? That will be much more oriented towards your goal right?
Sir, being an entrepreneur is my long term goal. After passing out of a B-School, I would like to gain some corporate experience in agriculture-related companies, but I am open to other organizations as well.
Q10. Why not be a teacher? You seem to explain well.
Sir, I haven’t given much thought about it. As of now, my aim is to convert the calls that I have.
So that was it. If you’re reading this, you might see it as a grilling interview, but trust me it wasn’t. They were also giving me insights on what they think, on how they proceeded with their lives etc. It was a healthy discussion to be honest.