Atharva Srivastava of Jaipuria Institute of Management, Lucknow’s a story that needs to be told, re-told and learnt from. For ones who thought they are kings in handling last-minute disappointments, got to meet Atharva. With 5 days away from joining Capital First Ltd. at a commendable package, we had the young and amazing man share his stumbling blocks and how he conquered them.
1. Atharva, pre-placement period is one of the most stressful days for students in B-school. What were your highs and lows?
Wow! Am thrilled you asked this question. It all started from September, 2017.
- ITC was the first company I tried. I got selected and made it to the Business Management round. There, I was tested twice while others were tested once. As the results came, I was informed- waitlisted.
- My birthday is on 24th November and Pantaloons came on campus on the same day. 99 students applied for it from four campuses, I was among the top 6. Our final round was in Gurugram and we were informed- it is not an elimination round. Happy and cheerful, I arrived there along with another colleague of mine from Lucknow campus who was selected too. After rounds and rounds, we were informed- two of us weren’t selected. Destiny! It was not even supposed to be an elimination round, isn’t it?
- Then came Fed Ex in the month of December, 2018. Out of entire B-school, I was the only one selected. My offer letter arrived. Joining was from January 12 at their Haridwar office. My joy knew no bounds! I had some paper formalities due on December 19. I was preparing my documents and was almost about to leave my room to courier the documents to Fed Ex and there came an email stating-
We regret to inform you, the position at the Haridwar office has been put on hold for sometime. Please don’t send the documents right away.
2. My goodness, you were “almost there” for three top companies. How did you manage to stay positive amidst all of it?
It has been one phenomenal ride! Had I not been through the drill, I would not have known the virtue of patience and importance of friendship. From my classmates, to even the cafeteria bhaiyyas, each one of them had me going in whatever ways they could. While faculty stood as mountains in the journey, the classroom lessons, the daily peer interactions, the encouragement from family- not a single person failed me. To top it all, I kept the saying of our famous Hindi writer in my mind- “aggar kuch haasil karna ho, toh lakshya hamesha Arjun ki tarah saadho. Sirf machli ki aankh, bas aur kuch bhi nahi.” [If you want to achieve something really in life, learn to focus on like Arjun. Look at the eye of the fish, nothing else.] I just went on training myself a bit more, with each failure!
3. Capital First, how does it feel?
It is strange how destiny works! No, seriously. I wanted to join a FMCG company simply because I have not been very confident about finance as a subject. I had a strong passion for Sales and Marketing since day one into my PGDM. Naturally, a company like Capital First- why would they really hire me? The position offered to me is Sales, but still, I will be selling financial products at the end of the day, so why shall they hire me? Yet, they did! At a package which neither ITC, nor Fed Ex was offering. I believe they saw something in me and I would like to stick to this assumption.
4. Well said! So how prepared do you feel for the position offered to you at Capital First?
Oh, well enough! Let me tell you one embarrassing moment. At my first day in the finance class at Jaipuria Institute of Management, Lucknow, Professor asked me the difference between Credit and Debit. I was blank. Absolutely blank! Imagine the embarrassment in front of a classroom full of peers! Since then, I did not leave a single stone unturned to grasp finance well. And now I shall be joining one of the reputed financial Institutions in India providing debt financing to small entrepreneurs, MSMEs and Indian consumers. I have been offered the position of Sales Manager Two Wheeler at the company and I am confident, I will outperform.
5. Between a good human being, and a famous professional- how do you want Atharva to be remembered by his friends and colleagues?
Both, to be honest. Jaipuria Institute of Management taught me to be an “ethical professional.” Ethics and success in professional sphere- both are equally important and close to my heart.
6. What do you mean to do with your first salary Atharva?
I am going to spend some money in charity and buy gifts for my close ones.