IIFT GD-WAT-PI Experiences

IIFT GD-WAT-PI process was conducted between January-February and the below experiences were shared by IIFT first call getters.

IIFT WAT Topic (20 minutes):
"The highest use of capital is not to make more money, but to make money do more for the betterment of life"

IIFT GD Topic:
GD was a caselet. 5 minutes to think, 1-1.5 minutes to speak (as to when to stop was at the discretion of the panelists) post which the floor was open for discussion for 15 minutes.

Caselet: An FMCG MNC has a strong foothold in the urban Indian market after entering the it three years prior. It wants to penetrate the rural markets as their research has shown that the demand for consumer goods is increasing at twice the rate there as compared to that in the urban areas. Devise a marketing plan for the company to set base in the rural market.

The discussion got a little chaotic as expected but mostly everyone got to speak. No one was asked to summarise/review/conclude. The panelists did not intervene.

IIFT Personal Interview:
Mine was the first and lasted for about 25 minutes.

It started with the classic "Tell me about yourself". From then on, questions followed. Not many technical questions were asked, at least in my case. They were somewhat along the following lines:

  • What books have you read? (As a follow-up question to "tell me about yourself")
  • Any Marathi authors you have read/heard of? (The lady was probably a Maharashtrian who asked me this by virtue of my surname :P)
  • What was P. L. Deshpande famous for? (Based on my response to the previous question)What was the impact of demonetization on Mumbai considering it is the commercial and financial capital of India?
  • What newspapers do you read? What were the headlines today?
  • Was it right for Sasikala to take reigns into her hands without being democratically elected?
  • What do you think about the politics in Maharashtra?
  • Why IIFT? What is so special about IIFT? Have you gone through the courses offered/syllabus?
  • Why are you doing an MBA now in spite of earning a good salary? Is it not a risk?Don't you think it would have been beneficial to do it right after college?
  • Why is Diwali celebrated? (There was a reference to Diwali in my form)
  • What are the side effects of celebrating this festival?
  • How will you prevent it?
  • What is air pollution measured in?
  • You are into Quality Assurance. What are the methodologies used? When are they used?

More capital should not be used to make more money, rather it should make money do more for the betterment of life ~ Henry Ford

IIFT GD was a case discussion: FMCG entered India market with a washing powder 3 years back and is a success. However, it's presence is limited in rural markets. So with rural market growing 2 times the urban market and contributing to 53% of FMCG industry, prepare a plan for the company to penetrate the rural market.

IIFT Personal Interview:

  • Tell me something about your background
  • Then revolved around work ex for 10 minutes what do you do, why do you want to quit that job and do MBA, how MBA will help you
  • Give us 2 bullet points as to why should we select you
  • How do you think was the GD?

Bollywood to Hollywood : Journey of Indian actors

IIFT GD was a Case Discussion:
Singapore govt has implemented a new educational system which tests aptitude of students instead of exams. Data of OECD shows that this change has made Singapore children of 15 years brighter than rest of the world. Also Singapore economy is service based. Their public sector has also scrapped its traditional system of selecting employees based on the qualifications. What are your views on this system? Each candidate had to introduce the topic for one minutes at the start, post which the floor was open for the discussion.

IIFT Personal Interview:

  • What is the reaction of students who just got out of interview. What are they telling about panel?
  • Why IIFT? You mentioned that you like numbers. How can IIFT help you in that regard?
  • You play both cricket and kabaddi.... How can we commercialize kabaddi and make it Olympics sport?
  • You have written that everything can be modelled in mathematics. How can you use numbers to check if demonetization was successful or not? You are from computer background. Can you use big data?
  • If your company wants to expand internationally, what factors will you consider?
  • In the end suggested me to watch a tv series about numbers called "Numbers".

The interview lasted for about 15-20 minutes!

Venue: The Pride, Bengaluru
The process consisted of a Written Ability Test, Case Study based Discussion and finally, a personal interview.
IIFT WAT Topic: 
How can the internet help in boosting the Indian Economy?
We were given 15–20 minutes to write on the topic.
IIFT Case Discussion:
 We were presented with a case which had details about the four famous captions of the Indian Cricket Team- Kapil Dev, Sourav Ganguly, M.S Dhoni and Virat Kohli. We had to look at the data, indulge in a discussion and decide on who the best Indian cricket team captain was.
IIFT CD-Gds work in a semi-structured manner. Everyone gets 2 minutes to speak on the topic, then the floor is thrown open for open discussion for 15 minutes, and finally the people who didn't engage would be asked to summarise or wrap up the discussion.
The topic was on cricket, so predictably, passions ran high. There were approximately ten people in the discussion. I had attended mock GDs so I knew it would be fatal to begin the argument with “I think X is the best captain because…..”. Eight out of ten people began with why they thought a particular person was the best captain instead of first analysing the data, putting things in historical context, hearing arguments or coming up with a criteria to assess the captains. I later learnt that the other person who didn't make the mistake had also attended mock GDs. When the floor was thrown open, the discussion became a hopeless fish market. When everyone shouts, the timing of your argument becomes the deciding factor. So I made it a point to speak immediately after a female as males tend to not cut-in into a girl's argument during a GD ( chivalry). So that went on and someone was asked to wrap up the discussion.
IIFT Personal Interview:
The interview panel was one of the most chilled out interview panels that I have interacted with this season. They were very particular to make me feel comfortable and the mood was very jovial.
There were two male panelists (M1 and M2) and one female panelist(F1)

  • Hello, can you tell us something about yourself?
  • Oh, nice, running your own business eh? Where did you get this idea?


  • So what is your annual turnover, net profit and gross profit?


  • (after going through my interview form) So you have mentioned that you eventually want to ends up in the clean energy business. Why?
  • Are you aware of this company called Tesla?
  • Do you think Tesla cars environment friendly?


  • (visibly impressed) Nice! So, moving on, can you tell us about the science fiction novel that you are currently writing?


  • Good, best of luck with that. Btw how bad was demonetisation for your business?

All right then. Thank you and All the best!
I thanked them and went for the exit.
Result: Selected at IIFT-Delhi

Date: February 6
Venue: The Pride Hotel, Bangalore
"The highest use of capital is not to make more money, but to make money do more for the betterment of life." – Henry Ford
I wrote about how, at the start of the 20th century, there was a huge demand for Ford Model T cars. Apparently, the waiting period for the Model T could extend up to a couple of years. At this point of time, Henry Ford could have sat back and just watched the money pour in but instead, he brought about numerous innovations that changed industrial production forever: he introduced standardized assembly line production, fixed working hours, payment for overtime as well as proper accommodation for all employees. Due to all this, Ford was not perceived as a cut-throat businessman but rather as someone respected in society. It is due to this that Ford is considered to be a reliable and respectable brand. Such brands tend to do well. A similar example in India would be the Tata group. I ended with a quote I picked up somewhere: “The business of business is not just business”.
Unlike in previous years, we weren’t given a conventional topic for the group discussion round. Instead, we were presented with a case and asked to have a discussion around it.
There were 12 of us in the case study. We were given a scenario in which a certain detergent brand named Rose & Rose, was doing well in urban areas but was interested in capturing the rural market since it was growing at a much faster rate than the urban market. We were asked to discuss the strategies and steps that the brand could take.
We were given 5 minutes to prepare and the discussion went on for around 15 minutes after that. (Not very sure about the timings. I don’t usually wear a watch.) The panelists asked all of us to make our opening points within a minute, going around in a clockwise manner. At the end of the discussion, they prompted one of the quieter participants to sum up the important points.
Also, different panels conducted the case study and the personal interview for us.
IIFT Personal Interview:
My panel consisted of two men (M1 and M2) and a lady (L1). They were friendly and cordial, although they did raise their eyebrows occasionally.
M2: Introduce yourself.

  • Your academic grades seem to be on a downward trajectory. Do you have anything to say about it?
  • Tell us whether you think the present Indian government is predominantly capitalistic or socialistic in outlook. Give 3 reasons to substantiate your answer.


  • Why do you want to take up an MBA? (Spoke at length about my interest in marketing)
  • Do you have any companies in mind that you would like to join after your course? (I spoke about having an interest in joining FMCG companies like ITC or Unilever)
  • Do you know where Unilever is headquartered? (London, I replied. They tried to throw me off by asking me if I was sure that it wasn’t in the US. I said I was completely sure that it was in London.)


  • You’re right about London but they have one more HQ. Do you know where that is? (I didn’t know the answer. The answer turned out to be Rotterdam.)
  • The interview then became a rapid fire quiz. Maybe it was because that I’d mentioned in my CV form that quizzing was one of my hobbies. I was asked to name the SAARC countries and their capitals. To differentiate between SAARC and ASEAN. I was asked if I could name a few international trade bodies, and what they did.)


  • Do you know what trade deficit is? Does India have a negative or positive trade deficit? Why do you think it is this way?


  • You’ve mentioned that you do content-writing and that you have your own blog. Can you tell us more about that? (Spoke about my love for reading and how that resulted in me trying my hand at writing. And how it was extremely fulfilling when people read my work and said that they could identify with what I’d expressed.)
  • How about situations where people don’t agree with you? How do you deal with such situations? Can you give us an example of a situation like that?

(After this, they told me that I could leave. I think it didn’t go too badly. Fingers crossed now…)
UPDATE (March 31): Converted IIFT Delhi
UPDATE (July 31): Joined IIFT Delhi. Loving it!!

“A few good points in the GD and an interview full of enthusiasm should help you through”
“Keep abreast with current affairs as most of the questions in the interview and the topics in WAT and GD are based on that”
It began with a WAT. The topic given to our group was about SMART cities and we had 20 minutes to write on the said topic.
This was followed by the Group Discussion.
IIFT Group Discussion
IIFT has a unique GD as they allow all the people to speak for about one minute on the topic given and after all the members have spoke the floor is open for discussion.We were given the following topic-“Can the world economy rely on India for growth?”.There is plenty of time for everyone to speak and if you are not able to speak a lot during the discussion they give people a chance to summarize the discussion.People often are taken by surprise when asked to do so ,so please ,I repeat please keep noting down the good points made during the discussion as it might help you to summarize.
IIFT Personal Interview
As far as the interview is concerned I was tested a lot on general knowledge. A few questions from my work experience as to how I handled stress and displayed team work and while explaining what work you do in your organization please do not use jargon (They hate that) .As GST was a hot topic last year and it still is, I was grilled extensively on that. Please read your form thoroughly as they counter questioned me on a lot of things I had written in my form.

IIFT WAT Topic: 

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

IIFT Case Discussion:  Increasing economic ties with Africa by changing the mindset.
IIFT Personal Interview: 

  • What did you do after passing out from college?
  • What are your interest areas? Do you read newspaper?
  • Then about Tata-Mistry and Infosys fiasco?
  • How wills this management degree with your academic background will be able to help you in your future career?
  • Do you know about listed companies in stock market?
  • Sensex,nifty,BSE,NSE, commodities exchange market?
  • How many companies are there in BSE and how are they chosen?

IIFT WAT Topic: 
The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
IIFT GD Topic: 
Google knows more about you than your mother does. 
IIFT Personal Interview: (Questions based on form)

  • Company turnover
  • Questions based on work experience
  • Samsung Note 7 Crisis
  • Questions around market share of Mobile Phones
  • What is Digital India?
  • Reliance Jio free internet strategy- Profitable or not?
  • One good and one bad thing about work experience in company.
  • CPEC (one thing that will change the face of business question)

Disclaimer: The above IIFT 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.


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