GST: The Final Frontier

The following discussion is largely based on the talk and follow up discussion by Mr. K Balamurugan, Indian Revenue Service, Customs & Central Excise. He provided a candid view of GST, its origins, implementation, and challenges. We also discussed about the impacts on the manufacturing sector. This discussion is preceded by the previous interview and would provide a holistic view on where GST stands in the taxation structure of India.

GST: The journey so far

GST is the much-needed fiscal reform needed in the country. Many opponents of GST give the argument that it is a regressive tax, effecting the poor as well as the rich. However, studies have shown that indirect taxes could be the best way to bring tax equality. The split of tax revenue in India is 50-50 between direct and indirect taxes [data]. The long-term aim is to push this more towards the realm of indirect taxes. This step promises to increase the governments tax revenue.

The foundation of GST was laid down in 2007 by Mr. Chidambaram. The initiative had a twofold story the DTC (Direct Taxes Code) & GST (Goods and Services Tax). While the former has died a political death, the latter promises to shine presently.

There is a plethora of indirect taxes in India, there is VAT, customs, central excise, service tax and many more. GST envisions to unify them under one umbrella. It will be a value-added tax, at every point of value addition.

The concept is not new to the world. It dates to 1950’s [data]. In the 1960’s the success of VAT was evangelized by IMF and lead to widespread adoption. Over 150 countries have adopted indirect taxes in one form or the other. There is however a dark side to this story. In every country where GST was introduced, the immediate impact was a dip in growth and political instability. Almost every party which bought out these changes in their respective country, lost power soon after.

Thus, it is a great challenge for the central government to make this shift. This problem is further aggravated by the conflict in interests of different state governments. Take for example Karnataka, a state which has invested heavily into developing manufacturing capabilities and receives tax revenues on business originating from its state. As per GST, all the tax in for of production tax and cross border transport is gone and the state in which the product is sold will be collecting the net taxes.

The major debate on reaching a consensus on this bill is thus the revenue sharing between different states and centre. It has been stipulated that the centre will compensate the state for lost revenue over a period of 5 years to bring them into the boat.

GST: Benefits

Industry Consumers
Multiplicity in tax removed, e.g. octroi Simple tax structure
Double taxation while crossing state borders will be avoided Effective tax lowered (removal of double taxation)
Enhanced mobility of goods leading to common national markets Taxation will occur as the good moves through its supply chain
Simple and uniform tax Uniform prices
Fewer tax exemptions for PSUs and defence manufacturers. Transparency
Greater transparency and equity for the manufacturing sector leading to a level playing field. Increase in employment to support GST implementation

GST: Challenges

Indian constitution 101st amendment act paved the way for implementation of GST under the GST council. It also brings with it a mandated deadline of September 2017 when states will stop receiving tax revenues if they are not through GST. This fact has led to different states and political parties resolving their issues on revenue sharing in the past few months at a fast pace.

The biggest challenge to GST implementation is Invoice matching. As and when a good moves through the supply chain from manufacturer -> warehouse -> wholesaler -> retailer -> end customer; the invoice number will move with the good and will be tracked at each point of value addition. At every point of transaction, the invoices will be matched to enable tax credit transfers which will make evasion difficult.

To perform this humongous task, it calls for a solid IT infrastructure. Introducing GSTN (Goods and Services Tax Network), a 49-51 split organization between Infosys and GOI. Currently, about 60% of the project is complete and work is going on at a fast pace. GSTN network will check and make sure that only after the taxes are paid on a good, that the corresponding tax credits will be passed on to the manufacturer.

This will ensure greater tax discipline among traders and India’s tax to GDP is bound to increase because of this. However, for a section of retailers who were avoiding taxes, this would come as a huge blow and may cause public unrest. It is believed that the GST fiscal reform would take a 10-year stabilization period and would see an initial dip in growth. The burnt will be the highest in the year 2019 and thus, GST has also now become a political bet.

Leading account keeping software vendor, Tally has come up with GST match facility on its systems. In a broad sense, the accounting and tax filing practice will become easier and give a boost to MSMEs by reducing middlemen and improving transparency via automatic returns facilitated by GSTN.

In a city like Bangalore where 30 thousand businesses are registered but only 6 thousand filing their taxes, GST brings a promise of widening the tax net and could potentially lead to lower tax rates in the future. All the data regarding businesses will be stored on the cloud and brings with it data security issues.

It is important to note that many sectors are free from the ambit of GST and it is not so uniform as it was promised to be. Road taxes, real estate stamp duty, liquor taxes and taxes on petroleum products will continue to persist on their own. With the amendment act hanging with the deadline of September 2017 and the recent fiasco of demonetization effecting the economy; it has indeed become a tricky way ahead for GST.

This shift will force firms to change their strategy in terms of distribution. New business agreements will be framed among various parties of the supply chain taking into consideration the implications of GST. The whole exercise was championed by the multi-national companies who wanted simpler tax reforms. Will the investments now rise as we move ahead with GST? Will the supply chain get smarter and integrated and be fuelled by credit growth? Will the honest retailers who pays his taxes on time be incentivized by the manufacturers? Only time will tell.

The Indian Tax Story

The following discussion is largely based on the talk and follow up discussion with Mr. Sibichen K Mathew. He is an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) cadre and working in the Income Tax Department. He is of the belief that the country should abolish all kinds of taxes one day, especially GST which is a regressive tax (i.e. everyone in the population would come under its ambit).

Taxes in India: Case in Point

Taxes originated in the medieval ages with the advent of wars between tribes and nations. To continue their massive war campaigns, every nation used this instrument. Even in India, the origin of tax comes about from the colonial rule and the tradition has continued till date. Historically, it is easy to see why taxes are looked down by the people of the nation as something which is unjust, unfair, and biased.

There are multiple factors as to why we dislike taxes so much. During the British rule, it was a tool of repression. It has been politically and sociologically moulded in the following years leading to its present state.

While in the European nations, taxes have a certain degree of social reciprocity meaning the taxpayer can see the benefit coming back to him. The situation in India is completely different with the general notion on tax being a welfare scheme for the less able. Once you cough out the money, just forget about it. The limited accountability of the government in terms of its expenditure of taxpayer’s money further aggravates this problem.

Once you keep this existing notion in mind and look at tax regulations, it all boils down to simple application of game theory. The penalties are so lax and the chances of getting caught dramatically low, why should one pay taxes. Let’s just follow the norm and evade like a pro.

Income Tax Collection: Now and next

qThe effective tax base of India is pathetically low. The government’s aim to increase tax revenues and is looking at innovations in the taxing process to achieve its aim. Tax payment, in the language of the IT dept., can be treated as a national good. Like any other good, it follows a supply demand curve. Further introspection shows that the tax revenue should follow the Laffer’s curve.

wThe objective is to reach this peak, where tax rates are lower than current but the tax base has widened.

IRS has limited resources and must be selective in perusing cases of tax evasion. An implication of the situation is the plethora of amnesty schemes announced every other year.

Here in lies the challenge and a prospective solution in the form of digital payments. The current regulations which stops cash payments above 3 lakhs give a great boost in this direction. This allows the IT Dept. to create a 360-degree profile of every PAN card holder and use non-intrusive and non-invasive methods to keep defaulters at check. A special mention of the PMO office to push these reforms through.

To illustrate the importance of this step, take the net yearly seizures by the IT dept., a miserly figure of 3000. The limited manpower calls for innovative steps to solve this problem. Digitization not only increases transparency, it also brings down the cost of tax collection. Gone are the days of making rounds of IT office, now you can e-file your returns from the convenience of your home or office. This has an added benefit of bringing down corruption by removing the middlemen from the process.

The nation is ready for a leapfrog in the prevailing tax culture. To further strengthen this move, a low rate of tax (say 5%) should also be applied to agricultural income and religious institutions. This would promote transparency and plug the leaks in the tax net which occur via these activities, i.e. the practice of fund transfers into these instruments to evade taxes.

Counting days, summer placements at IIMB

Day 0

I woke up to a cold weather in Bangalore, awakened by the noises running throughout the hostel corridors. I glanced at my clock, it showed “6:45 a.m.” which is hardcore for a PGP student. All of us were expected to be present at MDC lawn eight in the morning to kick off the summer placement season 2016. I wandered into the odds of me getting placed today. I essentially had zero shortlists for the day except for BNY Mellon, quite a fancy name, don’t you think?1024px-bny_mellon-svg

I was still on the fence with the thought of sacrificing the early morning slumber for the  MDC call. My only hope for the day rested on the infinitesimal probability of getting an extended shortlist. As per seniors, these will be floated around the end of the process and I could potentially get a shot at an interview with the much-coveted consulting firms.

Hope is a powerful force and it just keeps you pushing ahead.

So, with one big breadth I got up and ready, donned the freshly stitched suit and went dashing towards my destination.

The placement cell had made elaborate arrangements at the MDC lawn. It looked like a big fair with multitude of students seated in their respective marked positions, the scene was bought alive by the presence of seniors, moving all around the place and constantly chatting on their walky-talkies. My colleagues seemed anxious but excited at the same time. Many of us have been preparing hard for this occasion and it reflected on their faces.

Soon, the process of interviews started and out came a mix of happy and sad faces. Those who cracked it were pulling out their ties, exhalation on their faces and surrounded by a crowd of buddies congratulating them. Those who lost this battle, buckled up and got ready for their second round as interviews were lined up one after the other. In addition to these two, there was a third group of people who were like me, quite disengaged from the tension of the moment and making merry among themselves. The chances of getting an interview call was going down by the minute. Some of us even had second thoughts about staying at the MDC, and as a result a few left in between.

This sequence repeated till the evening. I found one part of the process very interesting. Those who were placed early were sitting there to support the others.

These guys, the future consultants and VCs; the sharpest minds at IIMB and they had now formed a team to make sure that all of the batch gets placed ASAP.

We were lucky that such a powerful team of people were now backing us up for the days to come.

I reached my room late at night and awaited instructions from the placement committee. But alas, the tiredness of the day put me to an instant sleep.

GD Day

“It’s 6:15, wake up dude.”, shouted my neighbor Nikhil as he knocked hard on my door. Today was going to be the pre-processing day for the companies visiting for placement tomorrow. In a nutshell, the whole day was going to be spent in group tasks and discussions arranged by the firms which you have applied to and have you in their shortlists. I quickly downloaded the list of companies and to my surprise, had 14 such activities planned for today. It was going to be a long day.

I reached the MDC at the designated hour and awaited further instructions from the trackers. This is what followed afterwards:

  1. 1280px-reliance_industries_logo-svg[8:00 AM, Reliance, failed] I entered the room with nine other participants for this session. The discussion was based on a case which presented the Jio story. Essentially, “a firm has setup the infrastructure for their 5G services and want to penetrate the rural school markets using digital education as a driver.” We saw a fierce discussion with participants taking a dig at each other. I was pleasantly surprised by such vigor from the group and was relatively quiet.
  2. 2000px-samsung_logo-svg[9:00 AM, Samsung, failed] This was a repeat of my first GD, with a very generic topic: “Uniform Civil Code”. As expected, there were quite a few enthusiastic speakers. The generic topic didn’t help the process as few members hogged the airtime with their elaborate globing skills. Not much luck in this discussion either.
  3. 640px-procter_and_gamble_logo-svg[10:30 AM, P&G, failed] This was a breath of fresh air. There were three panelists and three candidates in a room. It felt more interactive with ample participation time for all. The panel was actively communicating with all of us. They presented us with a case revolving around “attrition in an organization and how will you solve it in a short time frame.” There were some excellent points raised by my colleagues and we reached a consensus on the solution. This was the first GD of the day which I learned something from; kudos to the P&G team. My losing streak continues, but the other two in the group made it to the next round. All is not lost!
  4. mahindra-logo-f6291b6661-seeklogo-com[1:30 PM, M&M, passed] We eight entered the room with two panelists. This was going to be a chairman GD with a twist. “There were several case scenarios to choose from across various sectors and each scenario had eight characters; one of whom you had to play.” In total, each of us will chair one case and be a member in the seven other cases, playing eight different roles in the process. I had to play roles ranging from an ex-RBI governor, flipkart founder, pro kabaddi league manager, micromax founder, an Olympic coach, a common man, the chief minister of Gujarat and the producer of a big-ticket movie. It was a fun, entertaining and taxing process which also served as a great learning experience. The breadth of topics we brainstormed during that hour was immense and formed some pleasant memories. I passed through this round but eventually did not get a chance to interview with M&M. One of my buddies here also got through and cleared the interviews. Yay! He thanked me later to bring in the fiscal policy discussion when I played the role of Mr. Raghuram Rajan.
  5. aditya_birla_group_logo[3:30 PM, ABG, failed] Another group of 9 people, we were given a case to discuss on. The problem was “to select the best choice of company from a given list for an acquisition into a sector of interest, which in this case was the garment industry”. I don’t know the origin of this behavior but in the GDs of these big conglomerates, candidates try to show their ethical heaviness by bringing out ethics in every possible situation. Anyways, I was brain-dead at this point after my past discussion and contributed little to the discussion. Prior to the discussion, there was also a group task with the members split in teams of two. “It involved crafting origami objects and pitching a business plan associated with it.” Our team quickly split the task and made a lot of puppy dogs, tulips, boats and hearts.
  6. ck_birla_group_logo[4:30 PM, CK Birla, failed] Another generic discussion on the topic –“whether Facebook is good or evil”. Even though I actively contributed to this discussion, couldn’t get noticed.
  7. 08iscbbr_400x400[8:00 PM, Alshaya, failed] Alshaya is a Kuwaiti company with  an international workforce. The panel consisted of a lady of African origin and a gentleman of Saudi origin. The room had been arranged such that we were sitting in a round table fashion. We were given a topic –“Should social network data influence recruitment?” and each of us had to take a stand on the topic and mention it at the start of the GD. After that, we had a discussion spanning around 20 mins on the topic and came to a consensus. I took a minority stand in this and changed my stand on hearing convincing arguments from the proponents of the other view. This could be a reason for my dismissal?
  8. airtel-new-logo-ver[8:30 PM, Airtel, passed] We were presented a case and were to discuss on its solution. The discussion revolved about “relaunch strategy of an already existing deodorant brand”. The discussion saw a few people taking up the role of moderators and delegating the meeting as if they are the chairpersons. I guess, it was the drudgery of the whole day which had forced them into following such tactics to hog the limelight. Anyways, I put forward some concrete arguments and that was it.
  9. 2000px-johnsonandjohnsonlogo-svg[9:00 PM, J&J, passed] This was another fun activity for the day. I was hoping for another boring round of GDs but was in for a pleasant surprise. “Each of us were given few clue cards and a common problem statement”. There were three set of questions and we had to use all the clues to reach to the answers. I was lucky to get relevant cues for the first question, and could solve it as soon as the matching clue was mentioned. The next questions were built on the solutions to the previous ones and we solved them in due time. Finally, we were asked about our solution methodology and what could have been done differently. Kudos to J&J team for keeping it fun!
  10. logo[9:45 PM, Saint Gobain, passed] Another generic GD on the topic “Smart ways for smart cities”. Same old discussion followed by recommendations. One thing bothered me about this was the exceptionally long introduction to the company. I know about it or else won’t be here, we have more GDs to go.
  11. hul-logo-680x382_tcm1255-462595_w680[10:30 PM, HUL, failed] An enthusiastic and witty panel, we were given the topic – “MBA in India just a degree and no skill”. It is ironic that all my fellow grads of this elite institute took a ‘for’ position on this topic and were going about proving that their MBA degrees are worthless. I was the only guy standing on the other side of the fence and fighting for the importance of MBA. Damn!
  12. tatalogoeps[11:00 PM, TAS, failed] At last, the big daddy of GDs. It was a chairman style GD with separate cases for each member of the group. This one went smoothly; I suggested many ideas, most of which were accepted by the chair in their respective cases. I seriously could not understand why I was not selected for the next round. Sigh! Maybe should have put on some ethical drama in my communication mix.
  13. dbs_logo_kasistohomepage_01[12:10 AM, DBS, failed] Again the same old story. I think it was a case or something, too sleepy at this point to remember it and yeah, mostly silent in this one too.

As soon as the process finished, I jolted back to my room grabbing a bite on the way. It was not time to sleep yet, as preference forms were to be floated in an hour and they had to be filled in a half hour window. So, I kept awake till 1:30 AM, filled the form based on my shortlists, set the alarm for 6:30 AM and fell into a slumber hoping to to catch those few sacred hours of sleep.

Day 1

2000px-american_express_logo-svgI had just close my eyes and the alarm started beeping. It was time, judgement day has arrived. I had a few shortlists which I wanted in on. The top three were M&M, Amazon, J&J; not necessarily in this order. It was interesting to see that I got a call from Amex, who knew? Anyways, business as usual as I got ready and jolted to the MDC.

The A-team of our section was getting everything tidy to make it smooth for the rest of us. My mates were sitting in their respective seats and anxiously waiting for the instructions. Soon, my call came and it was for amazon. Let’s go!

td-amazon-smile-logo-01-largeThere were multiple interviews going on for multiple roles at amazon. I went to the designated area and was assigned to an interview room soon after. There were two panelists taking my first round of interviews, which went on for half an hour. After this, I waited for some time and went in for a second round which again went for half an hour. Soon afterwards, I was informed by the volunteers that I have been selected for the program manager intern role. Hooyah! The placement process comes to an end for me. I was elated and rushed down to meet my fellow mates, many of whom were already placed.

The process was over for me but it was far from ending for our batch. The rest of my day was spent moving from person to person, who were still in the process of giving interviews, sharing some fundas and info about the companies to follow, boosting their morale and making sure that they are comfortable.

I saw the true spirit of teamwork on this day with everyone making sure that everyone gets placed. I understand that after a few rounds of unsuccessful interviews, there is a drop in morale for most of us. It is at this point of time that the team pushes you through. When you see someone coming out with a smiling face, the fact that you had helped him a teeny-tiny bit, it makes you feel as if you got placed all over again.

That’s all folks!

 

The best dinner I’ve ever eaten

The thought of best dinner brings to my mind exquisite dishes; chilly chicken, fried rice followed by some great dessert; gulab jamun maybe. However, I can easily recreate such an experience in any hotel. Considering this fact, my mind takes me back to the year 2005 when I had such a dinner which is still fresh in my memory.

vaishno-devi-pathway

At that time, I was on a family trip to the Mata Vaishno Devi Temple; which is located at Katra in Jammu and Kashmir. We started the hike early in the morning, moving through one turn after another, filled with enthusiastic chanting of “Jai Mata Di”. At around sunset, we reached the temple at the peak. After offering our prayers, all of us were pretty hungry and the only source of food at that hilltop was hot steaming rajma-chawal. There I was in the moment, after a long day of walk, up on a chilly hill-top, enjoying my hot dinner. That was the best dinner I’ve ever eaten.

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Humans of IIMB

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Working in the garden near Amphitheatre, are two people Ramesh and Bisla Shetty. They come to campus as early as 5 a.m. and are responsible for keeping our campus green and clean. We may have passed through them in our busy schedule, appreciating the greenery of the campus, seldom realizing about the people responsible for it. Ramesh, who lives around 1 km from the campus, has 3 children and after seeing the students passing through him, wishes that someday his children also walk through this campus. Bisla has four children, all daughters. One of them wants to become an IAS officer and wants to serve the nation. One wants to join the police service and another one wants to become a doctor and treat people. They have aspirations to break through their present state and work for the people. They want support from the government and the institute to meet their aspirations.

My IIMB interview : CAT 2015

*Skip to ACT 2 for the interview experience

ACT 1: Prologue

“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”
― Benjamin Mee, We Bought a Zoo

In 2015, I quit my job in the month of June to get a fresh perspective on life. I had graduated in 2013 with a degree in mechanical engineering and soon after, joined a core company. The following two years just swooshed past me. In the midst of living by myself and work deadlines, the time was just sucked out of my life. The life which we dream as children, to be independent and hard working individuals of the society; didn’t seem so great after all.

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What my core work looked like

Sure, there was a great deal of learning, adventure and excitement in such a venture but I found something missing; it seemed like I am not looking at the big picture. I was foolish enough to think that to change my situation, I have to get out of my current situation first. So, with a pounding heart I called my manager for a meeting and disclosed my intention to leave the company. He was taken aback, this was so sudden and frankly I had no solid reason to quit. But I had made up my mind and said goodbye.

That was the easy part, later I realize that it would have been better to plan an exit strategy; a lesson learned the hard way. First thing I did was to dive in the Indian stock market. It seemed fascinating then and what else I had to do. Hence, for a period of three months I read everything I got my hands on regarding the financial markets and traded actively. I reached a few conclusions from my research (I would like to call it that):

  1. Trading is border-line gambling if you don’t know what you are doing
  2. To make a living with low risk you need loads of capital

Now, there are people who have beaten the odds but they are pretty much countable. So, after all this research I was back to square one. The markets have a simple policy:

“No money, No honey”

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See that royal enfield power!

Next up, I ventured in the field of freelancing. How hard can this be? People are earning six figures via freelancing they say; I can make a small fraction of that (Note to self : Do not make fractional assumptions in the future). The big difference I found between freelancing and working at your office was that your roles and responsibilities explode. In an official work environment, you have a particular job to run and you get pretty good at it. However, in a freelancing work environment you have transformed into a small business entity and will be doing everything from searching for clients, making proposals, negotiating, planning, executing, customer care and finally closing the project. If anyone needs a crash course in business, I seriously advise freelancing once. Suffice to say, it is a good way to progress but then again it takes a lot of time and effort to get the few initial good clients in your club who will stick with your good work and spread the word around. After that, I presume the ride would be joyful (no free lunch here).

freelancer
You get to wear all the caps

Six months have passed in a jiffy since I quit my job and no solid developments yet. I have been gearing up for the CAT exam all along; it could well be the golden ticket. In the month of December, I gave my CAT exam. Fast forward a few months, I had my CAT percentile score: 95.98, not too shabby right? “Wrong”. I was thinking on the lines of maybe I will get admission in some decent college with this score, the top IIMs are out of my league now. One by one all the IIMs started rolling calls for interviews. First comes Kozhikode with “we regret…”, followed by Indore, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Calcutta, Shillong and apparently my CAT score was not good enough to get shortlisted by even the new IIMs. Suddenly, in the middle of all this misery when I had stopped checking status of offers, I receive a mail from IIMB saying “Congratulations …”. Woha! What happened there? Is this a joke? What are the odds?

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I knew from early on that this was a long shot, but an opportunity nonetheless. Now, I must tell you that the form to be filled for application is a big form. They ask for everything you got with proofs. It will include three references from your mentors/ professors/ managers and a detailed statement of purpose (SOP). After filling up all that is needed, I submitted my application and waited for the D-Day. Meanwhile, kept filling other forms cause did I tell you this was a long shot?

ACT 2: The interview

I arrive at Hotel Kenilworth on the morning of D-Day via our dependable local railway transport. All the top IIMs conduct their interview in 5-star hotels, so cool if you visit them the first time. I enter the hallway and find a group of suited fellows, getting their documents verified one by one. After the verification is over, we are seated in a room and given writing pads. It’s time for WAT (Written Ability Test). The topic is handed to you and you get about 20 minutes to put your thoughts on paper. My topic:

“Freedom of art forms should be restricted for maintaining the order of law”

After the WAT, interviews start with multiple panels at work. After chatting for a couple of hours with my friend, my turn arrives. I was the last candidate to be interviewed in that slot.

The panel consisted of three persons. There were two professors one male (M) and one female (F); and one alumni (A), possibly of mechanical background. Everyone has laptops open in front of them where they can access all the data you have filled up in your application, the feedback of you references and the SOP.

F: Hello. Did you interact with the other candidates? The one who left before you?

~ Yes, I did.

F: That was very fast, only been a minute. What did you talk about?

~How did it go and about questions you asked him.

F: Don’t worry. We will not ask the same questions (Laughing). So Abhishek, tell me about yourself?

~Generic response, explained my history

F: So you live in Batanagar?

~ It is my hometown. I have been travelling across India as my father serves in defense forces. Currently stay at Barrackpore.

A: Tell us about your work experience.

~Told, explained my projects and responsibilities.

A: Asked details about projects, my freelance work and internship.

~Explained in detail, A seems satisfied.

M: It is a huge gap you have after quitting your job. What have you been up to?

~Told about freelancing and stock market involvement.

M: How much return did you get? Where did you learn from? What is your take on stock markets?

~Told my returns, explained how I self-studied my way into it and shared my views on the markets.

M: So, if the stock price doesn’t change then we can’t make much money?

~Told about writing options and how most of the money is made in this way. Also added why barrier to entry is high in option writing; being a capital intensive process but has lower risk associated. M seems satisfied.

“In my view, derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction, carrying dangers that, while now latent, are potentially lethal.”

-Warren Buffett

F: What are your hobbies?

~Talked about martial arts and how I trained in Shaolin Temple India.

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Shifu Kanishka in action

F: What can we learn from martial arts that can be applied to the business world?

~ Timing of action and thorough in your attack to take down opponent, lesson learned from sparring sessions.

F: So you will be violent in your business dealings?

~It is all about self-defense and maintaining peace. However, if the occasion arises then I would say offence is the best defense. Elaborated on this point. F seems satisfied.

M: No half-measures (chuckles). So what will you do if you don’t get selected here?

~I have applied to other colleges. However, this is my only IIM call.

M: What if you don’t get selected for MBA this season?

~I will be applying for jobs. Also would be giving my SSB exams for joining Air Force.

M: Suppose you get in both, what will you choose?

~I will join the forces. (Unfortunately, didn’t work out as I was conference out, twice)

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Sukhoi Su-30MKI ~ftw

F: Okay Abhishek, that is all. Do you have any questions for us?

~No.

M: You may leave now.

~Thank you all

ACT 3: Epilogue

The result day approaches and I receive a mail from PGP IIMB saying “Congratulations , …” and I was like “Hell yeah!”. Parents are happy and proud; after accommodating me for a full year at home they seem really satisfied. I have indeed received a great opportunity; will make the most out of it. I will be joining IIMB in June of 2016, one full year since I quit my job.

offer

The fee for this flagship course is exorbitant but students get good deals on loans. At this point, it has become a bit like game of loans. Let’s figure out what the hype is all about.

My background info for future aspirants

Gender: Male

Degree: Mechanical Engineer (IIT Ropar)

Category: General

X/XII/grad: 93/92/89

Work exp: 25 months (core FEA Analysis @TimetoothTechnologies)

CAT 2015: 95.98

PS-A loud shout out to that special someone who kept my spirits up that day all the way till the interview. I wouldn’t be in the same state of mind if it were not for your company.

Beetel 450TC2: Reliance Broadband Setup

I recently got the 2 Mbps broadband plan from reliance to upgrade my existing Airtel Broadband connection. The setup was all smooth until the wi-fi issue crept in. The reliance guys provided me with this netis wired router:

IMG_20141026_144138897

which is of no good use for a wi-fi setup (essential). I had the old beetel 450TC2 modem+ router supplied with Airtel connection on me and asked the guy to configure it instead. He started asking money for this shit. The beetel router I am working on is shown below.

IMG_20141026_143953854

So I said, fuck this shit and went on setting it up myself. (Fuck this broadband war b/w reliance & airtel).


Here is a step by step guide on how to do it yourself:

Assumptions : You have a working internet connection established on the good for nothing netis router and your beetel router is supplied by airtel (had a working internet connection established). Also, save this firmware file on your PC before starting the setup: firmware

  1. Reset the beetel router: Switch on the router. Press the reset button on the back side of the router with a needle/toothpick and keep it pressed for about a minute.
  2. Connect to PC: Connect the reset router to your PC via  an Ethernet cable. Open your browser and type into your address bar “192.168.1.1“.Login using id: “admin” , password: “password“. You should be inside the router interface.
  3. Upgrade firmware on beetel router: Time to use the earlier saved firmware file. Go to the maintenance tab and click on Firmware sub tab. Click the choose file for uploading firmware and select the earlier saved file. Press the button below to upgrade firmware. It will take a  few minutes.
  4. Reset the beetel again: After the upgrade, perform another reset as mentioned in step 1 ( or through the router software interface ).
  5. Setup the beetel: Login  to the router using  id: “admin” , password: “admin“. Go to the quick start tab and run the startup wizard. Set your time zone to GMT +05:30 and click next , select your ip connection as dynamic ip and click next , change the vpi to 0 and vci to 35 (leave everything else unchanged) and click next, set your ssid and password for the wi-fi connection and click next. DONE!
  6. Enjoy: Connect the broadband DSL wire to the router and type : “reliancebroadband.co.in” . Enter your credentials and you are good to go. Connect to wi-fi with another device.

That’s it folks!