Taraana Talwar | IIM Ahmedabad Interview Experience

Updated: May 4


  • 10th: 93.5%

  • 12th: 92.8%

  • Grad: 76.41% B. Com (Hons), CA - 69%

  • CAT'17: 99.4 percentile

  • Work-ex: 1.5 years at KPMG (M&A Tax)

Venue: India Habitat Centre

Date: 24 February 2018

Academic Writing Test:-

Government spends a lot of money on donation to IITs. However, engineers end up wasting their skills and take up finance jobs. Hence, government does not get reasonable return on investment.

The above was followed by the usual four questions.

Identify claim. Reasoning behind the claim. Whether the claim is weak or strong. Give reasons.


Two members. (P1 and P2). Lasted around 25 minutes.

Part 1 – HR Questions

P2: So, Taraana. You’re from LSR. Is Lady Shri Ram same as Shri Ram College of Commerce?

TT: No sir, both the colleges are by the same founder. However, they are two independent colleges.

P2: And which is better?

TT: Sir, few rankings may suggest SRCC is better equipped to teach commerce but I believe LSR is the finest institution when it comes to personality grooming and extra-curricular activities. Hence, in my personal opinion, LSR is better.

P2: Don’t you think LSR was restrictive since we talk so much about diversity?

TT: No sir, there were a lot of opportunities bestowed on us during fests and competitions, to interact with the opposite gender. Also, every form of institution imparts teachings in its own way. So after passing out from Delhi Public School, Mathura Road – A Co-ed Institution, LSR was definitely a welcome change. However, I re-iterate, we interacted with the opposite gender on a number of occasions.

P2: Okay, Tell me about yourself.

TT: Spoke about academic achievements, Extra-Curriculars and Social Service.

P2: Okay, good.

P2: So Taraana. As you know, Enron and PNB happened. What is the reason behind it?

TT: Gave my opinion. Not posting it here for obvious reasons. Spoke about various aspects.

P2: What are the types of audits that a bank goes through?

TT: Spoke about Statutory Audit, Tax Audit, Internal Audit, Concurrent Audit, Forensic Audit, Performance Audit, Reportings to RBI, RBI Inspection, in some cases – Audit by RBI

P2: What can be done to prevent all this?

TT: Suggested measures such as implementation of NFRA, bodies similar to PCAOB in the USA, reduced role of existing regulatory bodies in the independently constituted body, increased role of RBI and a couple of others that I don’t remember now.

P2: Do you think India isn’t vigilant enough? Do you feel regulatory bodies don’t play their part?

TT: Spoke about the difference between lack of vigilance and deliberate collusion. Spoke about how certain bodies like RBI aren’t given enough power and how that should change. Also spoke about the loopholes in certain systems that may allow the existence of collusion/fraud (if any, ever committed:-P )

(So far so good. Now comes the analytical part)

Part 2 – Financial Accounting

P2: Do you think iGAAP stops a business entrant from coming in? How?

TT: No sir, iGAAP does not directly prohibit an entrant from entering the market.

P2: What are you saying? I am asking, what are the loopholes in iGAAP that prevent a new entrant from entering the market?

TT: (Didn’t want to say – I don’t know)

Spoke about transition of Indian Accounting systems from iGaap to Ind AS and the reasons that demanded such transition, such as alignment with international standards, more transparency and disclosures etc different accounting treatments.

P2: That doesn’t mean an entrant will be prohibited. I am asking you how he will be prohibited.

TT: (Thinking – Okay I have to say something meaningful now).

Sir, there are certain industries like infrastructure industry, wherein the work is granted by the Government on the basis of work experience. A new competitor will not have enough work experience reflecting in his books. Then, in certain cases, customers buy a product/service basis the financial health of the company. Example: Mutual funds/real estate. So, since a new entrant is not booking profits, he will find it difficult to find customers.

P1: (Nods in agreement, or so I felt)

Part 3 – Management Accounting/Cost Accounting

P2: Okay. How will you find out the cost of a bottle of water?

TT: Told various components including overheads.

P2: So you said overheads. You know who Henry Ford is?

TT: Yes sir. The founder of Ford Motors.

P2: Suppose he was to find costing of his cars. How will he allocate overheads?

TT: Told him that it depends on what the objective of the management is.

P2: What if one focusses on speed and other focusses on cost. Just like you would study different books for CA and Medicine, there would be some difference here too, right?

TT: Yes, sir. I am saying the company can produce various cost reports depending on its current requirements. Example: A company that focusses on cost, might allocate cost on the basis of wear and tear (or time consumed) by each car for a particular machine.

P2 smiles at P1 and says I am done.

Now P1 enters.

Part 4 – Regulatory Laws/Economics

P1: Okay. So, what are Anti-Trust laws? Why do they exist?

TT: Spoke about Competition Act and Google’s recent case of abuse of dominant position. How such cases give rise to the need for such laws.

(During my answer, I used the word “Collusion”)

P1: You said collusion. Why is collusion bad?

TT: Told about impact on quality of goods, price of goods, inflation in the economy not backed by value, restriction on entry of new competitors

P1: Which is better for an economy – Monopoly or Two firm economy?

TT: Two firm economy.

P1: Reason your choice.

TT: Again spoke about quality of goods, price, inflation etc.

P1: Which economy sells more and is priced higher out of the above two?

TT: Monopoly sells less and price is higher.

P1: What is dead weight loss?

TT: Told about the impact of Government subsidy on the economy.

Part 5 – Strategic Financial Management

P1: Pricing of a bond. If cash flow is Rs.100 each year after two years. Show in geometric mean formula.

TT: Did what he asked.

P1: Can you derive geometric mean formula.

TT: I’ve never done it but I will definitely try.

P1: (Smiles) No No, that’s fine. Leave it.

Now P2 enters again.

Part 6 – General Knowledge

P2: Which of Trump’s family members are involved with him in politics?

TT: Spoke about Ivanka and her role.

P2: What about his son.

TT: I am not aware (I didn’t read about his son coming to India recently. Damn my luck.)

P2: Where is Trump Tower?

TT: New York. (I didn’t read about his son wanting to build one in New Delhi. Damn my luck, again).

P2: Which celebrity recently started a political party?

TT: Kamal Hassan started MNM. The full form is quite a tongue twister.

P1: Okay we are done. Thank you.

(No toffees offered).


This answer has been reproduced from Quora with Taraana's permission. She wished all the non-engineers good luck for their upcoming interview rounds and hoped that this could benefit them.

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