Sumit Ranjan Barik had just one stated expectation from Jaipuria Institute of Management. At the time he joined the institute a couple of years ago, he had informed his interviewers that he wanted to start his career with a ‘No. 1 brand’. Jaipuria Institute of Management found that Sumit could be groomed into an excellent manager, and decided to take on this challenge of grooming and placing him with a ‘No. 1 Brand’.
“The placement season in Jaipuria Institute of Management picked up pace in November. It was exciting, challenging and also quite hectic, as many of my colleagues were getting placed gradually with some company or the other. Very soon, one of my target companies arrived on-campus. Asian Paints, as we know, is No.1 in its industry. It was time to test my abilities and Jaipuria’s grooming against the toughest competition.”
Asian Paints typically goes through a 4-round process –Aptitude Test, followed by a Group Discussion, an HR Interview and the Final Interview. In Sumit’s case, a pool of 70 students from five different management institutes were tested in a bid to shortlist the right fit for the job. Demonstratingthe tough standards that Asian Paints sets, by the time the HR interview was concluded, there were just eight people shortlisted for the final interview.
“The final interview was held after a gap of more than a month, on 1st of February, 2013.This gave me valuable preparatory time with the faculty and the Placement Cell. This interview was at at the main office of Asian Paints in New Delhi.As luck would have it, I was the first interviewee. The interview started off well, and I gave a brief introduction to myself, but very soon I was bombarded with questions. There were the general questions about one’s strength, weakness, why I chose Sales, three qualities of a good salesperson, difficult situations that I’d overcome in life, etc. But in-between, they also tested me on my grasp of theory, like the question on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In the later part, the focus was more on problem-solving through situation-based questions related to dealership.”
When the results finally came out, celebrations broke out at the Jaipuria Institute of Management. Sumit had made it!
“It’s a wonderful feeling when you are the only one who gets selected out of a tough competitive crowd. This is a dream start to any career. A brand like Asian Paints is a golden opportunity. The faculty and Placement cell have helped me with every possible information and support throughout. It is at Jaipuria Institute of Management that I realised that the best way to learn in life is ‘learning by doing’. This is the only way you have fun and view the practical aspect of things at the same time.”
While Sumit’s family members and friends back home in Kendujhar (Orissa) are celebrating his success, Sumit is busy getting a grip on what lies ahead in his new role as Sales Officer, Asian Paints.
“I will be meeting dealers, representatives of institutions, painters, building contractors, interior decorators and architects. I will be expected to explain the Company’s promotional schemes with respect to a product or group of products, as well as collect information about competitors’ sales and promotion schemes. Conducting retail audits to assess market potential, and estimating the sale of competitors’ products with a view to adopting suitable strategies for sale will also be within the purview of my job. The best part is that quite a few faculty members at Jaipuria Institute of Management come from a corporate background, and Marketing at that. I am trying to draw out as much practical, hands-on knowledge from them as I can. This will help me get ahead from the word go.”
Sumit Ranjan Barik advises his juniors at Jaipuria Institute of Management to maintain a positive attitude, smiling face, presence of mind and – if possible – a sense of humour, right through the placement process.