MDI Gurgaon Prefer GD to WAT; Don`t turn GD into fish market: Excerpts from Real GD round

Thursday, January 29 2015, 01:20 AM
MDI Gurgaon Admission process clarifies that there will be GD followed by PI in the final admission round WAT will not be a component in PI round
Had the candidates adhered to the rule, they could have converted the call in MDI as they had excellent academic profile, work experience and other qualities

With MDI Gurgaon shortlist for next stage of admission round declared, the PI round at MDI is all set to begin in February and March 2015 at one of the centers, viz. Bangalore, Gurgaon, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai.

MDI Gurgaon Admission process clarifies that there will be Group Discussion followed by Personal interview in the final admission round. Written Ability Test (WAT) will not be a component in PI round at MDI for admission 2015. However MDI will award 5 minutes to each of the GD participants to write the proceedings of Group Discussion in about 100 words.

To apprise as to what rules should be followed in GD round and guide the prospective candidates, shares below the dramatic presentation of real Group discussion round at MDI Gurgaon campus held after the Holi festival in the month of March 2014.

There were very high CAT percentilers in Group discussion at MDI and one or two of the GD participants turned the session into a fish market. Had the candidates adhered to the rule, they could have converted the call in MDI as they had excellent academic profile, work experience and other qualities but their way of thought expression during GD followed by PI blocked their chances. The two moderators were keen observers and with their rich experience had their best pick from the group.

Documents you need to carry in GD round

GDPI round at MDI campus was scheduled to begin at 2.00 P.M. Candidates were supposed to report at 1.00 P.M. for verification of documents like Marks sheets from class 10 onwards; Certificate to verify Date of Birth (in most cases it was class 10 certificate); experience certificate; special category and caste certificate; Personal detail form (was to be downloaded from the MDI site); 1 photograph.

3 GD Panels each session

Participating candidates were high CAT percentilers between a range of 98+ to 99+. There were three panels of 12 candidates each. One of the panels had two absentees making the total strength to 10 candidates. There was only one female out of the 10 participants.

GD: Seating arrangement

Seating arrangement was in arc form. There were only chairs with no tables before them. Names of the candidates have been changed to protect their identity. There were two moderators who keenly observed the discussion. Participants were allowed 2 minutes to think over the topic before they began to speak. Time allotted for GD round was 12 minutes followed by 5 minutes’ time to write the summary of GD proceedings       


Excerpts from GD round

Moderators - Good morning friends. The topic for Group Discussion is “Prevention of FDI in multi brand retail is political or economic move”. You have two minutes to think before starting the discussion. The observers will neither interfere nor participate in the discussion.

( Immediately after the moderator stops murmurings begin for a few seconds and before the completion of one minute A candidate’s voice coupled with chair pulling noise makes the heads turn to him)

Pratyush ( Pulling the chair forward and blocking half of the view for candidates sitting on left side, begins to speak in a loud and harsh voice) Friends, preventing the FDI in retail is a political move. Politicians don’t want that the retail sector should become organized. Data reveal that Indian farmers at present realize only 1/3rd of the final price paid by the consumer as against the 2/3rd price realized by the farmers in the countries with a greater share of organized retail. FDI will assist in reducing the dominance of value chain by the intermediaries.

Arpit-(sitting two candidates away from Pratyush and looking at the aggressive style of speaking, smiles and begins to speak in a polite but firm voice) There is no economic gain in preventing FDI in multi brand retail although middlemen would like to block its way for their personal gains. There are around 5 cores of middlemen in various retail sectors and all are very affluent. They are putting pressure on the government through various political quarters to prevent the Foreign Direct Investment in Multi Brand retail. With the abolition of middle agencies producers will be able to sell their goods direct to the retailers reaching to consumers.  In a nutshell it is a retail store with a foreign direct Investment selling multiple brands under one roof. So it is the link between the producer/manufacturer and the individual consumer.

Rohit-(interrupting) I am up against the FDI in retail. Indian will not gain anything from it, hence it should be prevented. This FDI is nothing but entry of multiple East India Companies in our country. They aim to kill our small farmers, traders and retailers. In fact, Foreign capital will penetrate in the country and will seek ways to multiply itself with unthinkable application for profit. In long run, given out socio-economic structure, may cast doom and widen the gap between the rich and the poor.

Pratyush (turns the GD into a fish market where nothing can be heard and instead of addressing the group, makes it one to one with Rohit and begins presenting historical data followed by loud speaking)- FDI in multibrand retail is different from the investment in corporate, manufacturing, or infrastructure sectors. Retail can be single or multi brand and may be described as a sale to the ultimate consumer at a margin of profit. Foreign investment in food based retailing would ensure adequate flow of capital into the country and its productive use, multiplying the same. I visualize that It will promote the welfare of farmers by agriculture growth and thereby increasing their income level instead of any harm caused to them.

Rachna (the only female candidate interrupts) You are not allowing anybody to speak and placing only irrelevant data in support of your argument (Pratyush feels offended but continues to speak, Rachna begins to speak simultaneously) In fact, FDI is not the solution to all the problems. There are certain economic issues which need to be looked into before allowing FDI in multi brand retail. The fear is rampant on the existence of small Enterprises with the introduction of FDI in India.  They will lose their existence. India needs more time for such ventures. Those sitting in the Government do not understand the plight of common people.(While Rachna is speaking Pratyush begins to speak in a loud voice to which other candidates object and speak altogether creating a fish market like scene)

Vikas (grabbing the opportunity, raises his voice which brings a momentary silence)- No one has told us what in the God’s name is FDI in multi brand retail. First we should understand it. It refers to capital inflows from abroad that is invested to enhance the production capacity of the economy. There are economic issues which warrant FDI to remain away from multibrand retail. (Finding more interruptions hurries to speak)  India lives in villages.  The rural India is the true reflection of its diversity. Low Income group and Rural people depend on Public Distribution system for their foodgrain needs. The present PDS (Public Distribution System) on which a larger urban and rural population depends will receive a set back and it will be difficult to procure and redistribute the material, once the dependence on FDI increases. I do not favour it.

Pratyush-(jumps in with a shouting voice) why shouldn’t you favour it? Only the people who have middlemen type of mentality and do not like India develop don’t favour it. (Vikas replies which is not heard in the din)

Arpit (Makes second entry, finding the opportunity) Friends if we go by the experience, whichever sector got competition, it improved not only in quality but also in prices whether it is in Airline services, banks, Insurance, automobiles etc.  On the other hand, role of Intermediaries,  known with different names in different parts of the country, will be minimized.  They flout the business ethics…

(Pratyush interrupts and moves in again raising the pitch of his loud voice to make himself heard, while number of candidates are making it a one to one discussion, with no reaction from observers)

Pratyush- Yes, FDI will improve the overall economic scenario.  It will serve as an antidote to inflation. The data supports it, look….

Srinath (who has been watching the aggressive attitude of Pratyush, interrupts)- The question is whether it is being prevented on political ground or there is some substance on economic ground also. It is immature to remain confined to the local area during the era of globalization.  We are talking about the world economy but wish to oppose the FDI.  It is irony of the situation. In fact, Foreign Direct Investment in retail sector will spur competition as the current scenario is of low competition and poor productivity. India will flourish in terms of quality standards and consumer expectations.

Manoj (afraid that he wouldn’t get time to speak, begins to speak) There is no need of FDI in multibrand retail. In fact it is a myth. The unorganized retail sector, which is being criticized so much over here, is the largest source of employment after agriculture and has deep penetration in rural India. It generates more than 10% GDP of India. There is all probability that there will be a great job loss in this sector. The worst affected would be the rural youth.
(Before Pratyush off loads some data which he is about to fire, Ashish begins to speak

Ashish- FDI in multibrand retail should be opposed on political as well as economic grounds. It will make adverse impact on already crumbling indigenous cottage industries. I do not agree and oppose the FDI.  Country like America wants its citizens to be American and buy American, the President of USA Mr. Barack Obama has made his policy clear that he doesn’t favour outsourcing and would make all out efforts to stop outsourcing.  When such developed countries are afraid of slowdown in their economy, why shouldn’t we? Are we more developed than America?  Do we have higher GDP growth, higher per capita income or have abolished poverty from the country?  None of it.  Why then – are we thinking on such lines that we can’t afford? Who will ensure that the foreign big guns like WalMart coming with huge investment, may not procure material from the domestic producers and might import the same from international market. This will add to the woes of already crumbling Indian producers.
(Pratyush looks at Ashish and tries to share some data, at this point Akshay moves in)

Akhshay-(Smiles and begins to speak in a clear voice) – FDI in multibrand retail will make our economy strong and transparent. Retail Prices in small towns of India lack transparency, due share of farmer is not paid to him.  Despite the development of Regulated markets in key areas like Delhi Vegetable, fruit growers have to face the monopolistic character of such markets.

Arpit-(speaks with more confidence)- In accordance to the provisions made, any FDI going for 51% partnership in retail, shall have to tie up with a local partner. This will improve the income levels of all concerned and will make economy flourish with quality branded products at a lower price. With higher competition and abolition of middlemen it will be a win-win situation for both the producer and consumer. Besides, as per the provisions, the foreign direct investor will have to invest half of the profit amount in the infrastructure sector in India.

(Pratyush speaks very loud and further moves his chair forward, blocking the view of half of the candidates in the arc.)

Pratyush- Besides, the producer will get direct payment from the retailer and the same will be higher than what he was getting earlier due to the foul play by the intermediaries. 

Sharabh (was waiting to speak, now probably has gathered some material, so speaks without waiting for anyone)  There is more the political pressure and no economic ground to prevent FDI in multibrand retail. It will improve the investment in logistics of the retail chain leading to an efficient market mechanism. India is one of the biggest producers of fruits and vegetables with about 180 million MT, it does not have a strong integrated cold-chain infrastructure with only around 5400 cold storages which have total capacity of about 24 million MT. The irony is that 80% of the capacity is used only for preservation of potatoes. The perishable horticultural commodities find it difficult to link to distant markets, including overseas market. FDI will become catalyst in avoiding this distress sale and erosion & wastage in quality and quantity of the produce.

Pratyush-This is what I wanted to emphasize but nobody is listening to me properly. The situation is more politically motivated and………..

(Everyone else begins placing volley of questions to Pratyush, to which he becomes somewhat defensive, with this Arpit finds opportunity to speak again)

Arpit- FDI is not a disease. In fact, allowing FDI in multi brand retail would bring about supply chain improvement, investment in technology, manpower and skill development, upgradation in agriculture sector, benefits to government through greater GDP, tax income. The organized sector would also emphasise to produce more and thus shall generate more employment in production as well as retail industry.

Moderators give the sign that time is over-Thank you friends, time for discussion is up. You have 5 minutes to write proceedings of GD

Expert Feedback – The discussion saw more interruptions from some of the candidates. While some were very good some became more aggressive. One or two candidates made some irrelevant talks. This reduced the time for discussion.

1. Pratyush – Began to speak taking the lead but had more irrelevant data. Remained aggressive, disturbed the seating arrangement. Although he has knowledge and skill, he is a poor listener. Rated 3rd in the group.

2. Arpit – Presented well organized thoughts made four entries, have good knowledge. Recommended with top ranking.

3. Rohit – Although presented some logical thought but spoke without any concrete idea. No clear understanding of the topic is observed. Rated 9th in the group

4.  Rachna- She has some knowledge but could present very little and spoke for the sake of speaking.  Could do better.  Rated 8th in the group

5. Vikas- Has good knowledge and grasp on the topic, flow of ideas is also good and can express effectively. Rated 4th in the group.

6. Srinath- Has some knowledge tried to make his point with different idea, could have spoken better. Rated 6th in the group

7. Manoj – Has some point to make, some data is also shared emphasising prevention on economic ground. Rated 7th in the group

8. Ashish- more emotional than fact based still made some good observations. the quality to penetrate and the expression of ideas make practical approach. Rated 5th in the group.

9. Akshay- repeats others, nothing new has been presented. Probably this was the reason that he spoke so late. Rated last in the group

10. Sharabh- spoke well and on different point, no interruption was there when he spoke. Rated 2nd in the group.

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