IIFT GD-WAT-PI process was conducted between January-February 2016 and the below experiences were shared by IIFT first call getters.
IIFT WAT(Essay) Topic: Concept of smart city
Wrote about: Why do we need smart city, What will be the facilities provided in a smart city, What govt. has to do to build them, What improvements can be made and then concluded. Although gave some wrong facts (gave 23 instead of 20 as the smart cities shortlisted in first round).Still,overall a decent performance.
GD Topic: Can the world economy bank upon India for growth?
Since it was a GD for an institute dealing with foreign trade, I thought of sticking to the foreign trade part of topic and speaking in context with international business as most of the contestants would focus on Indian part. Started with US and USSR and How US dominated afterward and then China. Gave points for need to increase India's share in world trade Once the floor was open, gave points on Why India should agree on WTO's Doha round policy of cutting red tape and giving up subsidy, India's shielding against global recession and making dependency for itself in world trade and need for a robust foreign policy since India was a multi-aligned nation. Pitched in about 4-5 times in the GD. As per the team dynamics, it was not good since the GD was going in a haphazard manner. One person was constantly speaking between others even when he didn't have much to speak. In the end panel stopped abruptly after 20 min and also didn't ask to conclude. Overall an okayish performance group wise and decent performance individualwise.
Interview: I was the second last one to go in.
3 panelists M1, M2 and M3
Cross question from M1 on one hobby.
M2 to M1: Leave that. Don't ask technical from him.
M1(jumping in between):
Interview length: 15 min.
Overall a chilled out experience, they were not putting you under pressure and were happy if you answered precisely and quickly.
Verdict: Converted IIFT-Delhi
IIFT WAT Topic : Developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem in India.
GD Topic: Do brands rule our lives? (25 minutes, out of which 15 minutes were for intro)
Interview: 2 professors, P1 (Male age-50s) P2 (Female age-40s)
IIFT Percentile :99.23
IIFT WAT Topic: Ensuring gender diversity in the Indian workforce.
GD Topic : Professional leagues are doing more harm to Indian sports than gains
Everybody got a minute to speak in the beginning with everybody mainly speaking against the topic.
Interview: Three panelists, two female and one male.
IIFT Score : 51.89
Academic Background : Economics (H) with Sociology
Work Ex : None at all (final year of college)
IIFT WAT Topic: Promoting healthy eating habits in young children
A very general topic. Wrote mostly about the various lifestyle diseases and lack of awareness. How the FMCG has huge investments rolling in its advertising campaign..10-25 their target age group. Children do not know the long term implications of the so called 'junk food'. More social awareness. Other generic stuff and possible solutions.
Another thing which I think a lot of students may have failed to mention are the unhealthy eating habits emerging due to the pressure to look a certain way, fostering bulimia and anorexia. Asking for stricter anti bullying laws. So in case anyone gets this topic, do mention it.
GD Topic: Falling oil prices
I think all of you have a fair idea about this topic. The GD was one of the best I have ever witnessed. EVERYBODY in my group spoke really well. (I was probably in the bottom 4) It was a very cordial experience except maybe one guy who had to counter every single point. But oh well, there is always that one guy.
Interview: It has by far been the coolest interview I have ever witnessed, and I do not know what to make of it.
The panel consisted of a lady in her late 30s or early 40s (L), a really adorable sir in his 60s (M1) and another equally awesome one in early 40s (M2)
Lady: (all smiles) : Please introduce yourself
Lady: Do you want to discuss about any news pertaining to global economy?
Do you realise your thumb is bleeding? Here take a tissue.
Lady: (laughs) Beta Why are you saying sorry! These things happen..just not everyday (panel starts laughing for some reason)
M2: Take care of yourself and all the best. You may leave (smiles)
Student Feedback: The entire thing lasted for not more than 15 minutes. They were really really warm. But on the same day, I heard a lot of students got grilled by the other panels.. so it all depends. I am not very confident about mine since my written score is not that high and the PI just left me even more confused. But still hoping for the best. Just be yourself and KEEP A SMILE ON. It can really drive your interview. Just don't overdo it
Student profile: General /Engineer/ Male.
IIFT score: 58.66 (99.55 %ile)
Work ex: 28 Months (I work for OFSS as a developer)
A published writer and had a startup back in college.
Date: 2nd Feb Afternoon slot, Mumbai.
IIFT WAT Topic: Urgent requirement of a public transport infrastructure in India. (20 Minutes.)
GD: Are the companies in India socially responsible?
Everybody speaks one by one for two minutes each, and then the floor is open for 10 minutes to be summarized in the end by 1-3 people.
We were 11 people, I was the last guy. Everybody chipped in a few points, but it got quite repetitive with everybody mentioning How Tata, Infosys and Reliance are using the CSR to do social activities. I mentioned the work by MSMEs and startups, and How CSR shouldn't be the only parameter. The floor was open for around 10 minutes where everybody contributed. The moderator didn't really look very impressed with the points. He asked 2 people to summarize, I felt like the 2 summaries didn't really capture the whole thing so I requested for a chance and summarized it myself.
Once again I was the last guy to be interviewed. The students were divided into three batches. The panel taking the GD wasn't the one that took the interview.
The interview process started around 3.10 after a short coffee break. As expected, the interviews were quite chilled out with no candidate being grilled too much. They were asking questions on current affairs, academics and the interview form; nothing too deep. Most candidates were free within 10-15 minutes. My turn came at 5.30.
As I entered the room, I was asked to sit down and explain the things I did in the waiting period of two hours. I said I took a walk, had a coffee, asked others a bit about their interview. They asked me if that helped, I said it didn't. Both the interviewers were quite jolly. They asked me to entertain them, since they are tired after so many interviews.
I told them that I have some experience in Radio Jockeying and I could do a bit for them. They were surprised, and asked me to go ahead. I did something like What we hear on radios, and included them in the things I said, even played a song for them. They started laughing.
Now comes the part where they ask me the question that nobody could ever ignore, WHY THE LOW CGPA!!? And I started defending it with my usual answer. But they told me not to defend my cgpa, as the extra currics are more than making up for it. I still said that I could have done better.
They asked me What I do in OFSS, Why I want to go for an MBA and if selected, which field would I choose to go for. I answered it all. Then I was asked my CAT and XAT score, and on hearing that I have other calls, they asked me What if IIML also selects me. That's where I probably screwed up, and instead of defending one institute, I started criticizing the IIM admission policy. Although the interviewers took that too casually and started discussing What should be the criteria in my opinion, where I supported the way IIFT and XLRI select candidates.
Student Feedback: In short, the interview was quite relaxing, with no academic questions or even current affairs/Finance for that matter. It was over in 10 minutes, give or take two. I'm sure the upcoming interviews are going to be very different from this.
Not expecting anything yet. But I guess it was a good start to the season.
IIFT interview experience
IIFT WAT Topic - Disaster management is important for urban society.
GD Topic- Was the action against nestle for Maggie justified?
WAT lasted for 20 mins exactly, gd for 25-30 mins and interview for about 10 mins.
The environment was friendly, they tried to make sure that the applicants keep calm.
Slot - 12th Feb , Afternoon
Had an average WAT,GD and a below average PI .
IIFT WAT Topic: Making India tourist friendly.
GD Topic : Exemptions in odd-even rule.
Interview : 2 professors
GD Topic: Professional leagues are doing more harm to Indian sports than gains with 10 candidates and two moderators which went on for a good 40 minutes.
Everyone was given a chance to speak for a minute on the topic and then the discussion was open for all. 2-3 guys were extremely aggressive and vocal and were making it very hard for others to speak. The moderator had to intervene twice before the discussion turned civil.
There were two panelists- an early 40s lady and a late 50s Sir.
The first thing the lady asked me as soon as I sat was if I've lived all my life in Jodhpur and am in my final year of engineering with no work ex, won't this degree make more sense a couple of years from now with a little work ex under my belt.
I said something along the lines of that I'm young and fresh with ideas and am like a sponge and the IIFT experience will mold me and the no work ex shouldn't be a problem. Then she asked me Why the MBA at IIFT is different from others, which specializations do they offer which I answered.
Then the Sir pitched in started asking about What's the status of Indian economy right now, globally which economies aren't doing that well, How is the devaluation of Yuan affecting other countries, What's the deal with oil prices right now, if I want to set up a business in a foreign country What steps will I have to follow and a couple more along these lines. Then the madam started asking if I've traveled a lot and if I've done a lot of travelling. Then she went on to ask if after doing MBA I'd be averse to doing a lot of travelling. Then she asked me my CAT percentile and asked me to name the colleges I've received calls for. Then she asked if I'd written XAT and got the XLRI.
Disclaimer: The above IIFT 2016-18 GD-WAT-PI experiences have been compiled with the help of primary and secondary sources for reference purpose only. The names of the candidates have been removed/changed for privacy purposes.