Never ever give up! Give 100% even if you have only 1% chance! – Rahul, IIMB Class of 2023

Posted by Sreeni

I am Rahul and I come from Kolkata. I am currently working with ZS Associates as a Business Operations Associate. My role is around creating a roadmap for sales representatives for a fortune 500 Pharmaceutical company. Before working with ZS Associates, I worked with Vodafone Idea Limited, as an Assistant Manager, wherein I was responsible for handling network operations for the western part of Uttar Pradesh. I am an ECE graduate from NIT Durgapur (2017). I was awarded a scholarship amounting to Rs 40,000 from CBSE for undergraduate education. I was awarded a merit certificate for my 10th and 12th performances. I served as School House Captain and was Student Editor for Sanskrit for the Annual Vidyalaya Magazine.

I like to play and watch sports like Cricket, Football, and Volleyball. Recently, I started following Formula 1 as well. Apart from this, I like cooking and traveling. I have been to 16 Indian states as of now and want to explore the remaining ones as well. I like to go on treks and have covered several near Pune. I also like to work towards social causes, recently, I registered myself with Bangalore Medical Services Trust as a potential blood stem cell donor.

X: CGPA 10/10

XII: Science, 480/500 – 96%

Graduation: B.Tech from NIT Durgapur 8.65/10 – 82.5%

Work Ex –  1 Year 8 Months – Vodafone Idea Limited

2 Years 4 Months – ZS Associate


This was my third CAT attempt, failing miserably in the previous two I am elated to start my MBA from IIM Bangalore.


CAT 2018: Beginning of the long journey

I have been associated with career launcher for a long time now. I took a classroom course back in 2018 at Career Launcher, Meerut and my preparations were not up to the mark in the beginning as I was unable to manage my long working hours with CAT preparations. Back then I was working with Vodafone Idea Limited and there were weeks where I used to log 18+ hours in a day, not getting enough sleep messed up my mind. Also, Meerut being a tier 2 city, there weren’t any peers to look upon because the workforce was almost twice my age. It was difficult to blend in at the beginning, but it improved gradually. I remember meeting Arks Sir in CL Noida when I scored 95+ percentile in more than 3 mocks and he taught me how to analyze mocks from that point. It helped me a lot to look upon my weaker areas. VARC section has been my weakest. Fast forward to the D-day, I could not perform well in the VARC section could only manage 70 percentile, overall only 90 percentile. My hopes, dreams, and confidence were shattered. In between all the negativities, I was unable to focus or rather enjoy my work anymore and then decided to switch my career to Business Development roles and joined ZS Associates, Pune.


CAT 2019: Another Setback

2019 was a tough year from multiple fronts as I started my career from scratch in a business development role in Pune. Being a management consulting firm, I used to log an average of 60 hours of work in a week. Took CL test series and used to prepare during the weekends. In Pune, I met peers of my age and was excited to work with young dynamic minds. My sense of business development developed a lot during my stint at ZS. Everything was going smooth, mock scores were boosting my confidence. Two months before CAT I started scoring very low in the VARC section and could not figure out where I was going wrong, a fear struck me, and I was unable to come out of it. Also, just two weeks before CAT 2019, it came to me as a shock when my partner told me she wants to end the relationship with me. I could not take it well after 4 years of being together. Mentally, I was not in a position to appear for an exam like CAT.

I was not expecting a good result in Jan 2020, but was shocked to see a mere 40 percentile in VARC. Overall Percentile 85.


CAT 2020: Comeback

The initial 6 months of 2020 were difficult. My mental health had taken a toll, my office hours were giving me continuous stress, lockdown hit, and was packed in my flat in Pune with a pool of endless thoughts. I started reading self-help books and tried to keep myself motivated every day. It took a couple of months to decide to appear for CAT 2020 or not and if I appear what should I change. I started my preparations in April and shifted my focus completely to the VARC section. Took the CL test series and VARC 1000 series and created a detailed plan for my approach for the pain area. Once India went into the unlocking phase, came home and spent quality time with my family. Slowly started leading a disciplined life. My preparations were going well as I could see a clear increase in the VARC approach and scores. The percentile used to vary from 80 to 98 but I was confident enough towards my approach.

A month before CAT, I met an accident and could not lift my arm and legs for a couple of weeks, I was devastated as I was unable to continue my preparation. I used to watch campus videos of B schools to keep up with my motivation. Fast forward to D-day, traveled 100 km from my home to appear for CAT 2020, the second slot. VARC went smoothly, LRDI was a tough one, it was really difficult to find a single set to solve but in the end, could manage to 8 questions and some random guesses for TITA questions. The quants section was my comfort zone, but I started to panic once it started. I was stuck in an easy SI CI question and just could not let go of my mind. I could not manage that section properly and ended getting a very low percentile in QA.

On 2nd Jan when the results came, I knew that I will score 98+ but was skeptical to score 80+ percentile in QA. All my hard word would have gone in vain if scored <80 in any one of the sections. Thanks to almighty I scored 83 in Quants, 99.9 in VARC and 96.5 in LRDI. Overall percentile 98.41. I was relieved for the first stage. Every day I was just thinking about how I could have managed QA better. My chances of getting calls were very narrow, I was delighted when I saw calls from IIM Bangalore, Indore, and Lucknow-SM. I also got calls from CAP, IIT Bombay and Delhi.

I decided not to leave any stones unturned and joined the CL PDP course. The guidance I received from my mentor was beyond my expectations. The mock interview questions asked by Abhishek and Vibhore Sir were spot on and were exactly the same as were asked in actual interviews. Abhishek Sir helped me brush up my SOP which further helped me build a strong profile for the B School Interviews. I will forever be grateful to all the faculties of CL who played a major role in my journey to IIM Bangalore.

I will forever be thankful to my family and friends who showed continuous support and belief in me throughout my journey. I consider myself blessed to have such an awesome pool of friends.

Converts: IIM Bangalore, Indore (MBA-HR), Lucknow – SM, Baby IIMs, Convertable WL at IIT Delhi

Advice: Never ever give up. Even if you have 1% chance of winning and 99% chance of losing, give everything for that 1%, it’s your dreams you are dealing with.


Thank You, CL                                                                                             Posted by Sreeni