Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Lucknow

Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

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Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Lucknow Placement Interview Questions

Updated 12 Feb 2024

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user image Anonymous

posted on 22 Mar 2023

I applied via Campus Placement

4 Interview Rounds

1

HR Round (10 Questions)

2

Case Study Round

Suppose you have a PE firm as your client, looking to invest in a company into packaging business. The client has 2 options.

• Company A: 200Cr in revenues, 15 Cr EBITDA, Growth rate 10%
• Company B: 150 Cr in revenues, 18 Cr EBITDA, Growth rate 15%

You have to assess the options. However, you cannot ask for more than two data points from me/client.
[Please note that I stands for Interviewer and C stands for Candidate]

C: I would ask for the following two data points:

1. Purpose of the investment? I want to understand if the investment has a larger strategic motive or if it is being done purely from an investment perspective.

2. Considering we are looking at EBITDA numbers right now and not the net profit, I would want to know the capital structure of the two companies - debt/equity split and financial costs, if any.

I: The client is PE firm. They are only motive is to maximize their profits. (I do not remember him mentioning that the client was a PE firm initially. If he did, this was a blunder on my part.) Gave me numbers for capital structure, interest costs.

C: Based on the limited information available, Company B appears to be the better option. Do you want me to explore the two options further?

I: Yes, maybe we can dig deeper. What are some other factors that would affect the decision?

C: Listed factors like - revenue current and future, interest burden, volatility of revenue (risks), diversity of revenue streams (to hedge against risks), environmental factors, increasing costs, etc.

I: Asked me to think more. What would be that one piece of information that would change your decision altogether?

C: ROI to the firm (How much would I need to invest to earn x% return) - this should have been mentioned before (ideally) - defended myself by saying that I had asked for the capital structure and as per his reply capital investment was comparable.

I: Gave me feedback. You could have thought about the total capital requirement of the firm. Did not consider whether the companies would need to raise additional capital to grow at the projected rates - apart from the money they would be raising from our client.

3

Case Study Round

Your client is an EPC company (construction business). They work in construction of roads, buildings, water tanks, etc. The client has heard from a friend that there are growing opportunities in water sector. The client has reached out for your help to figure out whether they should pursue this.
[Please note that I stands for Interviewer and C stands for Candidate]

C: Started with CPCC to understand the context. Asked questions on the motives.

I: Gave me facts about the company, competition, market scenario for EPC players.

C: You initially mentioned that the client has a presence in water tanks - you mentioned projects like construction of water tanks. What are these new opportunities that we are exploring now? Are they different from the kind of work we already do?

I: Gave me a detailed description of water sector projects - different categories.

C: Asked a few questions related to each category - customer profiles, market size, growth rates, competition.

C: I believe I have got a good sense of the overall business and the opportunity we are analyzing right now. I would now proceed to analyze the factors that could have an impact on the decision.

Started with PESTLE, Porter's 5 forces. However, he asked me to quickly list all the factors - did not give a lot of information.

I: From our discussion so far, can you list the top 3-4 factors that will be relevant to the decision?

C: Listed 3 factors.

I: Alright. So, let us assume after all the discussion, we have narrowed down on XX opportunity and it requires an investment of INR 1000 Cr. The project would give the client INR 100 Cr in cash inflows for the next 15 years. Should the client go ahead with this?

C: Asked questions about equity/debt split, cost of capital, cost of debt. He gave me the numbers.

I started with the calculation at this point. I was 30-40 seconds into the calculation when he realized that the calculation had become a little complicated (because of the additional information he had just given me).

I: Let us not get into the entire calculation. That may take too much time. Tell me the approach you were following.

C: Explained IRR calculation. IF IRR> Weighted cost of capital - profitable investment. If not, the client should not invest.

4

Guesstimates Round (3 Questions)

  • Q1. 1. Guesstimate on estimating the number of trees in Gurgaon.
  • Q2. 2. Suppose you have $ 1mn to invest and 3-4 stocks to choose from, what are the factors you would consider for selecting any stock?
  • Q3. 3. Suppose your client is establishing a hospital on a highway in India. What are the factors that need to be considered?

Interview Preparation Tips

Interview preparation tips for other job seekers - it is important to have a strong understanding of the industry and its key players, trends, and challenges. Be sure to research the company's clients and recent projects, as well as stay up to date with the latest developments in the industry.
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Intern interview

user image InsideIIM - Konversations

posted on 16 Feb 2022

 · MBA/PGDM
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user image Anonymous

posted on 27 Mar 2023

I applied via Campus Placement

5 Interview Rounds

1

HR Round (5 Questions)

2

Case Study Round

Mastercard wants to launch a loyalty product for an e-commerce player. Tell me how you would go about it and how we can select the partner.
[Please note that I stands for Interviewer and C stands for Candidate]

C: Could you give me details about what kind of loyalty product do you have in your mind?

I: This is like Smart Buy which HDFC and Mastercard have launched. (She also told me about the portal and the card's benefits.)

C: (I basically thought of going by 4P approach and wrote down some factors to be considered for each head. communicated this to the interviewer.) Do you want me to evaluate the benefits of launching the loyalty card and what forms of benefits could be provided?

I: No, That's fine. Let us just focus on how you will select the e-commerce partner and which one.

C: I would like to focus on the current offerings on different platforms and then comparing them with some benefits that we could provide. There are some other factors that we need to consider like Flipkart having its own loyalty program- super coins and said that this would cause difficulty in partnering with them.

I: Why are you looking only at Flipkart or Amazon. Do you know what an e-commerce platform means?

C: There are different aggregators in various categories like transport, food, and others, giving examples.

I: Right. Let us pick one and then see why that would be beneficial for us.

C: Let us start with Swiggy. Zomato has a premium membership while Swiggy did not which made it a good partner.

I: That's fine we can close the case here. That will be all from my side.

3

Guesstimates Round (1 Question)

4

Guesstimates Round (1 Question)

5

Case Study Round

Let us quickly do a short case as we are short on time. ICICI bank has 1000 customers who use their commercial credit cards. These cards are of 2 types -

1) Purchase cards,
2) Travel & expense cards.

I want you to give me factors to look into by which we can identify which customers (companies) spend less using our cards and which have the potential for more.
[Please note that I stands for Interviewer and C stands for Candidate]

C: We can look into the cash flow and income statements of all 1000 companies and then compare them.

I: That's exactly right. But it is difficult to get this data as all companies might not be listed. Tell me how we can go ahead with the internal data itself.

C: I just wanted to clarify that the internal data referred to spending by different companies or not.

I: Yeah, that is right. We also can get a proxy of revenue for our clients.

C: Then what we can do is take out the ratio of revenue to expenditure for all our clients and further the percentage of their expenses that are made through our cards. We can then benchmark our clients against some high spending companies within our portfolio.

I: That's great Abhishek. That is the right way to go about it. So now ICICI has identified 200 such clients which have the potential to increase their spends. Tell me how we can come up with a strategy to target them.

C: We can further divide the expenses into various heads and then see which company is spending less where and come up with an appropriate pitch for that client.

Interview Preparation Tips

Interview preparation tips for other job seekers - 1. It is important to think out aloud; more so in a virtual setup as the interviewer cannot see what you are doing on the paper.

2. Always explain your reasoning behind assumptions.

3. It is also advisable to know when to ask for numbers and when to have your numbers validated from the interviewer.
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user image Anonymous

posted on 22 Mar 2023

I applied via Campus Placement

4 Interview Rounds

1

HR Round (4 Questions)

2

Case Study Round

Suppose you are a consultant at A&M and your client is the Mumbai International Airport Authority. The CEO has approached you to suggest ways to increase earnings per passenger.
[Please note that I stands for Interviewer and C stands for Candidate]

C: I would like to start by splitting the revenue into aero and non-aero revenue. Would you like me to focus on any particular revenue stream first?

I: Yes, let us focus on non-aero revenue sources only.

C: I would like to map the customer journey here and identify key factors impacting the non-aero revenue. Passenger Mix, Placement of Retail outlets and Retail Mix are the three critical parameters.

At this point, data for Retail spend per passenger, Retail Area and Passenger Mix (International: Domestic) was provided.

C: Calculated the current numbers and what incremental revenue would the airport be able to generate through changes at various steps.

I: Could you please go ahead and compare these parameters with four major airports - Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Bangalore?

C: Differentiated the airports based on available data. Provided final recommendations for increasing the revenue.

I: Assume that there is an option to place a Subway or an Apparel shop near the boarding gates. What would you recommend?

C: Calculated the monthly revenue for both options using footfalls and average bill value, splitting into the peak, non-peak, non-operational hours and came up with a final recommendation.

3

Case Study Round

Our client is a PE firm, looking to invest in a mid-market player in the Cement industry. How would you form a view on its pricing growth?
[Please note that I stands for Interviewer and C stands for Candidate]

C: Before I move on to pricing, I would like to understand a bit more about the cement company, its customers and current competition in the market.

I: Interviewer provides details of the company.

C: I now have a fair understanding of the company and would now like to move on to the macroeconomic factors impacting the industry and then would like to understand the cement industry scenario in terms of buyer, suppliers, and competition.

I: Interviewer provides details on the questions asked. How do you now approach the pricing growth?

C: Discussed the three main ways of pricing - Cost, Competition and Value based.

I: Talked about relevant concepts including asset turnover and RoI.

4

Guesstimates Round (3 Questions)

Interview Preparation Tips

Interview preparation tips for other job seekers - 1. Candidates must practice a lot of guestimates and have a basic understanding of financial ratios.

2. Cases on Profitability, Pricing and Market Entry are important. Sector importance - Consumer, Logistics and Healthcare.

3. Keep conversing with the interviewer, to know whether you are on the right track and what more is expected.
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user image Anonymous

posted on 19 Mar 2023

I applied via Campus Placement

4 Interview Rounds

1

HR Round (10 Questions)

  • Q1. Please introduce yourself.
  • Q2. Can you please explain me your job profile at Mercedes-Benz?
  • Q3. Why IIM Lucknow after having worked in Mercedes-Benz?
  • Q4. Why Accenture Strategy?
  • Q5. If you had an option to work for world's most innovative auto OEM, which would that be?
  • Q6. What are the upcoming trends in auto industry - globally and in India?
  • Q7. 3 use-cases of AI in auto industry.
  • Q8. Discussion on currently prevalent themes in automotive industry - Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electric mobility.
  • Q9. Use-cases of AI in R&D in automotive industry.
  • Q10. General advice to CEO to improve their auto R&D capability.
2

Case Study Round

An automotive OEM wants to enter Indian Market. What are the factors it should consider while deciding its location strategy?
[Please note that I stands for Interviewer and C stands for Candidate]

C: What is the objective of the client for entering Indian market?

I: Capturing the new potential market.

C: What stages of supply chain does it want to enter in Indian market?

I: All stages. (manufacturing to selling)

C: Does the client have a sister concern in India or is willing to collaborate with existing players?

I: No for both.

C: I will consider the following factors while considering location strategy:

- Macroeconomic (Favorable Govt. policy for certain locations, tax exemptions, credit incentives, cluster development areas identified for auto industry),

- Industry (Existing auto OEMs location distribution,
supplier’s distribution, Human Resource availability),

- Company level decision factors (Geographical market in focus, vehicle segment in focus, distribution strategy, favorable terms with local governments).

I: That is exhaustive. Can you tell me more about the factors you will consider for distribution strategy in particular?

C: I will look for location (company locations, geographical suitability), Available transportation modes, taxation regime for transportation from location A to location.

3

Guesstimates Round (1 Question)

  • Q1. Estimate the annual number of travelers visiting to Delhi Airport. (domestic + international)
4

Other Round

Interview Preparation Tips

Interview preparation tips for other job seekers - 1. Be thorough with your previous work experience industry, if applicable - Major discussion revolved around the same.

2. Give equal focus on delivery of CV/HR answers along with case interview.

3. Be prepared with future trends in technology, digital and business.

4. Showcase your research/prior conversations with others regarding Accenture Strategy in your answers during the interview and in the questions, you get to interviewers.

Top skills recommended for Accenture Consultant interview

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user image Anonymous

posted on 17 Mar 2023

I applied via Campus Placement

4 Interview Rounds

1

HR Round (7 Questions)

  • Q1. How has your day been?
  • Q2. Tell me something about yourself which is not on your CV?
  • Q3. How are you? Where are you from?
  • Q4. What did you like about BCG and when was the time when you felt like leaving the organization / work that you were doing?
  • Q5. Tell me some instances when you shared your ideas and if they were implemented by the case team?
  • Q6. Would you like to work with Bain?
  • Q7. Do you have any issues in that?
2

Case Study Round

You are working with online retailer focusing on the fashion industry. Their private label business is 200mn USD. How will you further grow this?
[Please note that I stands for Interviewer and C stands for Candidate]

C: Reiterated the problem and said that we can assume this to be Myntra to start with.

I: Sure. Go ahead.

C: Please share more details about the company and about their business.

I: The company is 7-8 years old, based out of India and is in apparel & accessories segment. No major customer segments. The company holds 25% market share and is among top 4 players in ecommerce, and top 2 in fashion.

C: Asked if there is enough demand in the market. Given it is in the India market, said there must be enough demand.

I: Yes, there is. We can focus on how to cater to the demand.

C: So, we can expand in 2 ways- B2B and B2C. Gave example of B2B – like giving clothes to big bazaar.

I: We need to make our brand name, so focus on B2C.

C: Sure, so in that case we have multiple options – (1) selling through own website, (2) selling through third party websites, (3) from own new stores or (4) from third party stores.

Asked Interviewer of what she wanted me to focus on and how to proceed ahead.

I: Please size the market for each of these options after 3 years.

C: Sure. Started taking numbers on overall market size, growth and estimated percentage that can be made from it.

I: Let us assume Amazon to present 1 bn USD opportunity with growth rate 20% and amazon has 5000 brands.

C: Calculated market size - 1.7 bn in 3 years. Assumed top 60% sales from major brands, 20% from Private labels and 20% from others. Given 100 brands in private label, calculated 3.4 MN USD opportunity from Website.

(Similarly got information for other 3 ways and calculated market for each of them. Tried to catch on hints like own website growth would be more than that on Amazon, and how to push own product on our website without losing customers.)

3

Case Study Round

You are working with IT service company and the profits are less than those of the competitors. Identify the issues and also suggest possible solutions.
[Please note that I stands for Interviewer and C stands for Candidate]

C: Tried to ask about the company and what all it does.

I: Sure, so company is like Wipro etc. who work across multiple industries like consumer, Industrial goods etc. These company get projects from the industry and work on it. Do you know about Hunter, Farmers, New logo, win rate and close rate?

C: No, since I am new to this industry, it will be great if you can help me with these.

I: Sure. Hunters are sales team members, farmers are accountants. New logo referred to new companies that were clients within the past 1 year. Win rate is clients hat got converted divided by total companies approached by hunters. While close rate was total potential of the converted clients divided by total available pool. Next, tell me why are new logos important?

C: It is because these are essentially clients that can will give us lot of work in the future and have lot of potential.

I: Absolutely correct. So, our win rate is same as other companies, but close rate is lower. Can you figure out the reason?

C: Sure, so it is important to understand this from a hunter’s perspective. Broke the problem into 2 parts- if the hunters were willingly doing this or not. Gave justification of willingness as motivation could be less because of fixed pay or pay in terms of number of deals.

I: No, so they are paid 2% of the deal amount.

C: There could be a few cases here, if the hunters themselves selected these pools of people and did not realize the potential or they were given a set of people.

I: They themselves choose to select the people.

C: Hence that means they were not strategically approaching these people and that is leading to the issue of lower profits and revenue eventually.

I: Correct, but how will you solve this issue?

C: Figured out multiple ways like – salary basis client size, fixing the clients to interact, better training for good conversion rates, allocating clients basis capabilities.

I: Yes, one more way is to pay more for bigger clients like 6-7% for bigger clients in terms of opportunities, and 2% of deal for smaller clients.

4

Guesstimates Round (1 Question)

Interview Preparation Tips

Interview preparation tips for other job seekers - 1. Be confident and have a logical reason behind all the thoughts and communication.

2.The interviewer is looking for a good 15-20 minutes, hence important to keep it interactive and ensure the interviewer enjoys the conversation.

3. In the online setup, comminating the structure, thoughts and staying confident will be the key.

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user image Anonymous

posted on 28 Mar 2023

I applied via Campus Placement

4 Interview Rounds

1

HR Round (5 Questions)

2

Case Study Round

Sales, marketing, distribution strategy for low-cost water purifier. This statement was related to my CV, had mentioned a water purification project as part of social initiatives in CV.
[Please note that I stands for Interviewer and C stands for Candidate]

I: Sales, marketing, distribution strategy for low-cost water purifier.

C: I asked clarifying questions on the company, the geography the client is planning to launch in, the cost of the purifier, competition in market, and any target customers. I then understood about the functioning of the purifier to check on constraints like the need of electricity etc.

I: There is 1 competitor in the market. Which all customers will you target?

C: I kept access to electricity and lower income group while deciding target audience to come up with distribution strategy involving government, NGOs etc. Then, I identified promotional strategy, included CSR initiatives for villages.

3

Case Study Round

Sales for a candy company has dropped in past 4-5 months. Help the client with the same.
[Please note that I stands for Interviewer and C stands for Candidate]

C: I began with clarifying the problem statement and asked questions around the company, candy variants, price, competition etc. I also included the distribution channel in my scoping questions.

I: The distribution channel is from company to wholesale to retail shops. Regarding competition, 1 competitor is gaining market share.

C: I talked about how candies are commoditized. The next step was to structure the problem into supply-demand and identified the issue from the demand side. Through probing questions identified, that the distributors are the same for various candy companies. Enquired about distributor margins etc. They were the same. I then mapped the customer journey and identified retail shop owner as the major decision maker while handing candies to customers. As next step, I asked questions about the margins for retailers and figured out that the competitor was offering double the margin as the client.

4

Case Study Round

If I want to introduce calligraphy as a course in Delhi University, what factors should be considered? Had mentioned Calligraphy as a hobby.
Enrollment in a course can depend on - future job options, nearby institutes/academies offering such courses.

I mentioned that in DU course fees are less, but the total cost incurred in terms of materials etc. should be factored in.

Interview Preparation Tips

Interview preparation tips for other job seekers - Prepare some thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer about the company and the position, demonstrating your interest and enthusiasm.

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user image Anonymous

posted on 27 Mar 2023

I applied via Campus Placement

4 Interview Rounds

1

HR Round (1 Question)

2

Case Study Round

Guesstimate the number of table tennis balls you can fit into an airplane.
I started with estimated the volume of one table tennis ball and then estimated the volume of a plane.

(Considered the plane to be made of a cylinder and two conical structures at the two ends; I simplified the streamlined body).

Then I estimated the luggage space using the estimate of number of passengers and their 15kg
luggage allocation.

I further added a threshold for the extra luggage that is allowed after payment. I also accounted for engines, wings, seats, upper cabin luggage, washroom etc.

3

Case Study Round

Your client is a mall chain owner in Singapore. They have been facing a decline in profits lately. You have been asked to identify the problem and recommend solutions.
[Please note that I stands for Interviewer and C stands for Candidate] 

C: I would like to know a little bit more about the client. How many malls do they own? Are these typical malls like we have Phoenix Malls in India?

I: Yes, similar to Phoenix malls in India. They have 3 malls in Singapore.

C: Is the problem with all the three malls or any one in specific? If all, is the competition also facing a similar issue?

I: Just one mall and the competition are not facing the issue.

C: Okay. Digging deeper into the profitability issue, is it because of the declining revenues or increasing costs or a combination of both?

I: It's a combination. I would like you to explore revenues first.

C: Okay. Broadly I can divide the revenue streams for the mall into rent and commissions from shops, advertisements inside and outside the mall and parking fees.

I: Let's look at commissions.

C: Okay. The shops can further be divided into premium and normal. For each there will be food, apparels, shoes, accessories, and shops like lifestyle, pantaloons in India where you find everything (except for food).

I: Correct. Let's look at these shops where you can find everything. This is where our commissions have been declining. Can you suggest any solutions?

C: Sure. Customers visit these shops because they can find all the brands at one location though the collection is limited for each brand. They also get discounts in these shops.

The staff can be better trained at handling the customers and identifying what they are looking for exactly.

The mannequins should be carefully displayed as they play a crucial role in converting a sale for a window shopper. (This is coming from personal experience)

4

HR Round (5 Questions)

Interview Preparation Tips

Interview preparation tips for other job seekers - Go through the interview experiences in the CSC Casebook to get an idea of what to expect.

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user image Anonymous

posted on 23 Mar 2023

I applied via Campus Placement

5 Interview Rounds

1

HR Round (2 Questions)

2

Case Study Round

Have you ever visited rural parts of Maharashtra? (My family owns a mango farm). We had a discussion on how mangoes are cultivated after which I was given the case statement. You have been approached by Maharashtra Government to help bring reforms in mango farming on 3 aspects: Finance, growth in agricultural produce and increasing people connect.
Type of mangoes: Alphonso (different mangoes have a different cultivation process).

Location: Ratnagiri.

Need to bring reform: Government wants to increase export of mangoes.

Weather conditions: as seen in rural Maharashtra. Sometimes unforeseen rains spoil the produce.

I divided it in 2 buckets: (a) steps that can be taken by farmers and

(b) steps that can be taken by government.

A. Farmers: Divided it by months as follows:

July: January (Manure, Water: rains, rainwater harvesting, ground water, Organic Farming, Insecticide);

January: March (Pre-Harvesting: water, covering the ground with leaves to ensure that fruits hanging near the ground don’t get spoilt because of excess heat); April: June (Harvesting (right time to harvest), Theft, Inventory).

B. Government: Financial incentive and support, purchase of excess produce, cutting out the middlemen.

The interviewer cut me off. He asked me if I am passionate about farming. Recommendation
from interviewer: I missed to ask the needs of the farmers: main stakeholders to get affected by the reforms.

3

Case Study Round

Which industries have you worked in before?
Picked hotel industry. Case: A hotel chain (say ITC) wants to grow its business. Assume covid cases are reducing and the government is allowing international travel.

Number of hotels: around 30.

Market share: 10%

Operations: PAN India.

Services offered: as seen in any luxury hotel.

Buckets: Covid safety precautions and services offered: current and additional.

Covid safety precautions: stated all the government and WHO regulated precautions.

Service Offerings: took an example of Goa:

I gave examples basis my own past hotel experiences on what I liked and what I disliked.

4

HR Round (3 Questions)

5

Case Study Round

Estimate the market size of high-speed internet line for home connections in 2030.
About the new internet line: 1 GBPS, fixed line, cost: Rs.300: 400

About the existing internet line: 100-200 MBPS, optic fiber, cost: Rs. 2,500: 3,000

Will require a completely new infrastructure.

Target consumers: home connections (OTT users)

He asked me not to start with the population of India (was looking for a non-conventional approach) and he did not want numbers, rather just the approach.

I started with income group and number of OTT users.

In which city between Mumbai and Jaipur would it make more sense to launch the service and why?
As the population density and the target audience of the high-income group is higher in Mumbai, it would be idea to launch the service in Mumbai.

Interview Preparation Tips

Interview preparation tips for other job seekers - Be confident.

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user image Anonymous

posted on 23 Mar 2023

I applied via Campus Placement

4 Interview Rounds

1

HR Round (7 Questions)

  • Q1. Introduce yourself.
  • Q2. Why do you want to do consulting?
  • Q3. What does a consultant need to do so that a client can really see their value?
  • Q4. What are you good at? (Data crunching, presenting, or talking to client) What are the sectors you like to track?
  • Q5. How do you approach projects under a deadline?
  • Q6. When do you perform the best (under pressure or in a well-planned assignment)?
  • Q7. How would you deal with situations when you are in a completely new environment/region and have to accomplish a task?
2

Case Study Round

[Some questions from Round 1 were asked again followed by a case:]


Foreign auto manufacturer made an entry in the mid-level segment (5-7 lacs) cars with Maruti Suzuki Swift as the main competitor. Swift sells 50k cars a month but the client is only selling 4k cars a month. The client has very deep pockets and has 2 years to take the sales from 4k cars per month to 10k cars per month. The client sells their car at 10lac in India, while Swift is 5-7 lacs. The customers like the client’s car but due to the price, they buy Swift. How would you try and help the client achieve their goal?
[Please note that I stands for Interviewer and C stands for Candidate]

C: Looking at the case facts, the customers like our client's car but they are not willing to pay such a high price for a car. We could try to use our client's deep pockets to undercut prices, but it may not be a sustainable approach. I think that our client's costs may be too high which is pushing the price up. If we can manage to lower our costs, we may be able to lower prices. I would like to ask about our client's supply chain and business model. Do they import any parts? Where is the manufacturing/assembling units located? Where does our client sell cars in India?

I: Okay, we import our parts from Europe and assemble those parts in India. Our plant is located on the outskirts of Bombay. We sell our cars pan India.

C: We could try to reduce some of these costs. In terms of importing, can we try and change our import source to a cheaper country, maybe China?

I: That would lead to quality issues. Our factory is located on the outskirts of Bombay, near the Bombay Pune belt.

C: Yes, the costs in that region might be high. We can also look to shift our manufacturing locations where labor and rent are cheaper.

I: Alright fair enough. Can you think of some promotion strategies (ATL/BTL) that our client may use?

C: We could also try to target a different market segment or promote our car as a premium and prestigious model highlighting its quality and safety to differentiate from Swift.

I: Okay. Are there any sectors that you like to track?

C: Answered with a sector (Follow up question on that sector).

3

Case Study Round

Guesstimate: Estimate the number of footballs required for a tournament at IIML?
[Please note that I stands for Interviewer and C stands for Candidate]

I: Since you like football, can you estimate the number of footballs you would need for a tournament at IIML? You can only order once, and you have 15-20 minutes to decide. I want you to give me a number.

C: I would like to ask some questions before I jump into the calculations. How many teams are participating and what is the tournament format? How many pitches are available for a match (since we may be able to reuse some footballs if matches are held sequentially)? What is the number of balls used per match?

I: The tournament has a group stage, followed by the semifinals and finals. There are two groups with five teams per group. Each team plays one match with the other in their own group. The top two teams advance. Two fresh balls are used per match.

C: Alright, that means there are 23 total matches and 46 balls required. We would also need to order extra balls in case a ball is lost or becomes unusable.

I: How would you decide the number of extra balls?

C: We could set a limit to the minutes in play every ball can be used for before replacement.

I: You have 5 minutes remaining and you need to quickly give a number.

C: We could take a rough estimate of the average number of balls that are lost in matches.

I: How would you get that number; it will be difficult to calculate. Is there someone you can ask?

C: We can ask someone who has done this kind of tournament before and adjust the number of balls required.

I: Good. Now tell me how do you separate a needle from a haystack?

C: We can use a magnet.

I: What else?

C: We can put the haystack in water and the needle would sink.

I: Okay, what else? Think about the chemical properties of the two.

C: If we do not need the haystack later, we can burn it.

4

Case Study Round

Walk me through your CV.
Gave my intro with a focus on describing some of the CV sections.

Cement prices fell during lockdown but have rebounded. We are building a pricing model for rupees/tonne for the manufacturer. What are the factors you would consider for that model? Think from a general industry independent perspective (what would affect the price charged by someone).
[Please note that I stands for Interviewer and C stands for Candidate]

C: I would evaluate the demand for cement and the supply of the raw materials required for producing cement.

I: Forget cement. I and my competitor sell a pen. Our product is exactly the same with the same cost per pen. I charge Rs10 from my customer while the competitor charges Rs. 8 and the cost per pen is Rs. 5. My competitor enjoys a much larger market share than me. Should I reduce my price to Rs8? Think from a considerably basic financial perspective. What are the questions that you would ask me?

C: What is the increase in quantity sold if we drop the price by 2 rupees? It may not make sense to drop the price if an increase in quantity sold is not sufficient to sustain revenues.

I: Think from your finance courses at MBA. There is an equation you can use.

C: Is our pen more premium than the competitors?

I: No, they are in the same segment. Think from a layman's perspective. Tell me what does a company need to do business?

C: Capital?

I: Yes, now you are on the right track. Can you ask me the right question now?

C: What are the debt and equity levels of the firm?

I: You should ask about return on capital, should you not?

C: Yes, ROCE should be more than returns on alternate investments for the manufacturer or it may not make sense to be in this business.

Interview Preparation Tips

Interview preparation tips for other job seekers - 1. Be clear in your communication.

2. Be confident and enthusiastic.

3. Be logical (do not try to force a framework but use them to guide your approach).

4. Refer to case books and practice cases well in advance.

5. Some interviews may be tough, and it is important to keep calm.

Top skills recommended for Alvarez & Marsal Consultant interview

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