Home » Coffee With Experts

Coffee With Arpit Agarwal on SJMSOM IIT Bombay

1 November 2008 8 Comments

Hey Guys,

Hope you had a great diwali!! I was damn impressed with the fireworks here in IIMB. I certainly a had time here on diwali with a couple of classes and 1 extra class 🙂

Anyways, today’s guest on Coffee With Sundar was the one who initiated a cracker of an event at NIT Trichy – Pragyan. Its my pleasure to host Arpit Agarwal, 2005 batch NIT Trichy alumni who is now pursuing his MBA at SJMSOM, IIT Bombay. Arpit is going to share information about MBA at IIT Bombay

Coffee With Arpit Agarwal

– Brief introduction about yourself?
I am a NIT Trichy graduate from the class of 2005. I did my entire schooling in Agra (UP) before coming to Trichy. Thereafter, I worked with Ittiam Systems for two years. I then moved to join Shailesh J Mehta School of Management in IIT Bombay. I am currently studying in Second year of MBA.

My life was all about Acads before joining NIT Trichy. In NIT Trichy I learned how large organizations work and we created the platform of Pragyan, the first ever combined technical festival of NIT Trichy. This single event gave me such a grounding in the principles of management that I can now relate to fundamentals of management better than many of my classmates.

Over past three years after NIT Trichy, I have come in touch with several entrepreneurs and startups through NIT Trichy alumni, Barcamp and Mobile Mondays. With this my respect for entrepreneurial passion has increase so much that it has become the ultimate ambition for me.

Entry Criteria:
– What are the entry criteria? What are the exams which one should take? What are the typical scores?
Entry in SJMSOM takes place through IITs’ Joint Management Entrance Test (JMET). JMET gives each candidate a rank. The candidates then apply for various IITs and IISc. Based on this rank, the institutes call candidates for GD/PI round. The entrance criterion for SJMSOM is an engineering degree or a masters in science. It gets tough because only close to top 350 rank-holders are only called in the open category. This means the “gender diversity” is limited too! 😉

– What is the selection process? (GD-PI or essays etc)
The written test has four sections: RC/Verbal, Quant, DI and LR. Some sections are further divided into sub-sections. Some of a sub-section might have mutiple choices correct. Otherwise the test is easier on an average than CAT. However, due to strict negative marking, the cut-offs are lower.

GD/PI are held only in Mumbai (IIT). This is a most typical GD/PI round with more GDs held on a case study basis than not.. The PI is a familiarization process only. No great complexity here. They also ask the candidates to come prepared with a one page SOP.

– What is importance given to workex? What is the average work ex at the university? What is the fees for the course? Are there chances of getting an aid or scholarship?
WorkEx is very important in SJMSOM. This could be guaged from the fact that close to 90% of my batchmates and 95% of my juniors have prior full time workex. The average workex is close to 25 months in both batches, with several people being above 5 years of experience. There is clearly a bias towards people with experience.

– Typical Ranking range of the univeristy (just ranking is not a good idea.. it doesnt convey much)
The latest rankings put us around 8-12 among all Indian B-schools.

– What is the fees for the course? Are there chances of getting an aid or scholarship?
The fees presently is Rs.62,500 per semester + mess + Hostel. There is a small scholarship given to student who score more than 8 (SPI) in a particular semester. But it cannot replace fees. IITB alumni also offers soft loans for students.

Life @ Campus:
– What is the system there? Is it semester or trimester? specialized MBA or general MBA with electives? How does one choose electives?
We have two terms of 5 courses each per semester (total 8 terms). It is general management degree with most courses in first year being core/compulsory and most in second year being electives from your area of choice.

– What is work load there in terms of acads? What are the other activities a student can take part in?
The academic load is significant. There is a 80% attendance rule for appearing in examination. However the load is not so much that it becomes impossible to participate in extra-curricular activities or make friends. The school has its annual business festival “AVENUES 08” this month. We also have six “Continuums” focussed on different streams of management in addition to several industry interaction sessions.

IIT Bombay students are particularly exposed to a very strong entrepreneurship culture in the campus, mostly due to the technology business incubator “SINE” in the campus, where students get a hands-on experience in working of a startup. The E-Cell of IIT Bombay is one of the most successful cells in India. It organized Asia’s largest business plan competition “Eureka” every year in Oct and an Entrepreneurship Summit in Feb.

Apart from these, everyone vouches to visit the campus during Mood Indigo and Techfest. These events have a strong following within the student community. In addition, each department has its own calendar of activities. So does each of the numerous clubs in IITB.

– Is internship a part of curriculum? Is it a must? What are the chances of getting an internship?
Internship is not a part of the curriculum. But it is a must. Everyone in my campus gets placed through the summer placement process.

– How are the students in terms of diversity? What are the various back grounds from which people come from?
SJMSOM does not allow non-engineers to apply. An exception could be a M.Sc. Most students of SJMSOM have work experience with an average work-ex of 25 months. Most students from come from IT industry. Some others come with an experience in manufacturing industry as well.

Exit Options:
– What are the type of job profiles and companies which visit campus?
Finance: Treasury, Investment Banking, Front-End Banking, Equity Research, Credit Rating, Corporate Finance in various sectors
Operations: Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Sourcing, Distribution, Banking Operations
Marketing: Sales, Marketing, Branding in FMCG, IT, Realty, Pharma, BFSI Sectors
IT: Business Analyst, Project Management, Pre-Sales

There is a long list of companies which visit our campus.. I don’t remember all of them. Almost all top Indian firms visit our campus. Some foreign firms also make an offer.

– How many people start company on an average? What are the support available for students to start their own venture if they want to?
If entrepreurship is on your mind, IIT Bombay is the place to be. IITB acts as the hub of all elements that make an ecosystem – there is a strong research, an incubator (SINE) and proximity from market. If your plan is good enough, SINE will be interested in investing in you. Several ex-students have got funding this way.

Other Info:
– Any other information which you would like to share with aspirants?
None that I can think of.

Thanks soo much Arpit for sharing this valuable piece of information.




  • Prashant said:

    An useful post giving insights abt IITB, Management course… Keep going !

  • vivek khandelwal said:

    Nice ..
    Finally the media has arpit

  • Kunal said:

    I know Arpit for close to a year now… He is one of the best organisers i have met till date! People come to respect him instantly… He is down to earth and always ready to help anyone! He is one guy i would want in my team…

  • Amogh Gupta said:

    Hi Arpit Iam an aspirant of JMET 2010, Iam week at analytical reasoning, especially for JMET CAN U SUGGEST ME ANY BOOK OR material which is helpful in preparation for this section.

  • Shiva said:

    Hi Arpit,

    Pretty Useful post thanks!!. I have converted iit B and will be joinin this year. I have a work ex of 3.5 yrs with infy as software developer. I have few questions to ask abt sjmsom placements. Can u please drop me a mail . I ll shoot back wth my queries.. Thanks in advance. mail id is shivateen@gmail.com

  • rahul said:

    dear sir,
    i m rahul final year student of mechanical engg. from ngpur university. sir i have 60% in degree. how can i prepare for jmat. i m poor in english. please guide me sir.

  • arpit said:

    hello sir
    i am arpit second year of eee from jalandar lpu
    there was some consept are not understand
    how to study may different type?