Karan Kokane

Karan completed schooling from Symbiosis Secondary School, Pune with 89.23% in the 10th standard and 92% in 12th standard. With no gap in studies Karan scored a 192 out 200 in the MHT CET 2009 (Engg entrance) exam in the same year and got 69th rank in the whole state of Maharashtra.

Karan opted for computer engineering from College of Engineering, Pune (COEP), and secured a CGPA of 8.6 on a scale of 10 in COEP and was amongst the top 15% in a class of 90 students. Along with maintaining his academics, Karan was active in extracurricular activities. He was the Event head of the event Circuit-Fixer in Mindspark’11 and a sponsorship coordinator in Mindspark’10. Mindspark is COEP’s national level technical festival.

After completing graduation in Electronics and Telecommunication engineering, Karan Kokane got  placed in HARMAN International India Pvt. Ltd. as a software programmer and worked with them for 20 months. Karan was awarded the HARMAN Superior Performance award for contributions to the project, and for his performance and potential. Karan was also one of the few employees to get a four star rating in the yearly assessment review.

With a percentile score of 99.993 in the MAH MBA CET exam Karan stood among the three toppers.

Topper image
Topper exams

Exam:

Exam Score
96.42 percentile
Exam year
2014
Exam experience

For the benefit of MBA aspirants, MBAUniverse.com asked Karan Kokane about his preparation strategy and advice to do well in MBA entrance exams. Details follow

Q. What was your strategy in testing room to attempt the questions from different sections: Quantitative Ability & DI, Verbal Ability & LR? 
A. I would always start with my strongest section. Also, I would solve the easiest questions first. This ensures that I not only solved many questions quickly in the beginning without wasting time but also I gained confidence. Confidence is an important ingredient while taking exams. Once all the easy questions from the strongest section were done, I would move on to the difficult questions in that section. In this way, I would move from the easiest question from my strongest section to the most difficult section from my weakest section. For me this used to be in the order Quantitative Ability, Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning and Verbal Ability.

Q. Which all exams did you write? How did you prepare for them? What score did you get?
A. I appeared for various exams such as CAT, NMAT, XAT and MAH MBA CET. Most of the exams have around 80-90% of their topics in common with each other. I focused on these common topics first. Once I was comfortable with these topics, then when an exam neared, I would concentrate on the rest 20% of the questions that would be different and specific to that exam. For example, it is important to be good at Algebra, TSD or Geometry no matter which exam is next. But when exams such as XAT or CET neared, I would do Decision making or Visual Reasoning to improve at those specific topics. I got 98.763 percentile in NMAT; 96.42 percentile in CAT; 98.25 percentile in XAT and 99.993 percentile in MAH MBA CET.

Q. The institutes that offered you admission?
A. SPJAIN- Fin, JBIMS, new IIMs except Rohtak and NMIMS 

Q.What advice and tips you would like to share with the candidates preparing for CAT? 
A.1. It is important to start early to achieve better results. 
2. Keep in touch with all topics on a daily basis.
3. In the midst of all this preparation, it is important to not lose contact with one’s hobbies and interests. Do things that interests you on a daily basis to relax and recuperate. 
4. While giving the exam, stay calm and focused.
5. Take mocks seriously, but don’t take the percentiles seriously.
   
Q. Your message to future MBA aspirants.

A.Never give up. Keep grinding, keep fighting and keep believing. Dreams are meant to come true. Also know that an MBA is not the be all and end all in life.

Exam:

Exam Score
99.99 percentile
Exam year
2015
Exam experience

For the benefit of MBA aspirants, MBAUniverse.com asked Karan Kokane about his preparation strategy and advice to do well in MBA entrance exams. Details follow

Q.What was your preparation strategy? Please share some key do’s and don’ts

A.Do’s

  • Take as many mocks as possible. Mocks helps one to ascertain one’s preparation levels and where one stands when compared to other people who are going to participate in the exam season that year.
  • Start early. To cover all topics and have sufficient practice, it is necessary to start at least 5-6 months before the exam.
  • Sit for as many competitive exams as possible as it helps one get used to any exam setting.
  • Cover all the topics, Quantitative Ability, Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning, Verbal Ability every day or at least as a combination of two per day.

Don’ts

  • Concentrate on a single, favorite topic and overlook others which you find difficult
  • Take more than 2 mocks per day
  • Biggest mistake once can do is to forget to analyse mocks once taken
  • Think that you can’t achieve a high score

Q.What was your strategy in testing room to attempt the questions from different sections

A.I would always start with my strongest section. Also, I would solve the easiest questions first. This ensures that I not only solved many questions quickly in the beginning without wasting time but also I gained confidence. Confidence is an important ingredient while taking exams. Once all the easy questions from the strongest section were done, I would move on to the difficult questions in that section. In this way, I would move from the easiest question from my strongest section to the most difficult section from my weakest section. For me this used to be in the order Quantitative Ability, Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning and Verbal Ability.

Q.Which all exams did you write? How did you prepare for them? What score did you get?

A.I appeared for various exams such as MAH MBA CET, CAT, NMAT, XAT. Most of the exams have around 80-90% of their topics in common with each other. I focused on these common topics first. Once I was comfortable with these topics, then when an exam neared, I would concentrate on the rest 20% of the questions that would be different and specific to that exam. For example, it is important to be good at Algebra, TSD or Geometry no matter which exam is next. But when exams such as MAH CET neared, I would do decision making or Visual Reasoning to improve at those specific topics. I got 99.993 percentile in MAH MBA CET; 98.763 percentile in NMAT; 96.42 percentile in CAT and 98.25 percentile in XAT.

Q.The institutes that offered you admission?

A.JBIMS, SPJAIN- Fin, JBIMS, new IIMs, NMIMS

Q.Which is the institute that you have decided to take admission and why? 

A.I have taken admission in Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS). It is one of the top 10 MBA institutes in India. Also, being established in the year 1965, it is one of the oldest B-schools in India. It has produced, over the years, many business stalwarts such as Mr. Harish Manwani, Ms. Chanda Kochhar, Mr. Uday Kotak, Mr. Noshir Kaka, Ms. Vinita Bali, Mr. Nitin Paranjape, to name a few, spearheading companies across industries. There is little wonder that it is called as the CEO Factory. The core and visiting faculty at the institute is one of the best in the country. The alumni base is large and like a close knit family. JBIMS has recently acquired autonomy. The admission process was changed this year and slowly, many changes are bound to come in that will completely transform the institute. A new campus is also on the horizon.

Q. Why did you want to do MBA?

A.After working for 20 months in HARMAN International India Pvt. Ltd., a product based company, I understood the importance of the role of management in an organization. The job of pointing a company in the right direction is done by the management. To do this, one has to have a wholesome knowledge of all processes involved. I was then working as a software engineer. My role was limited to delivering quality products to the organization. But how did one decide whether developing the product in the first place would be a profitable venture? How did one raise funds to create the product? How did one decide who will be the target audience for the product? How did one market the product to them? These are decisions that management has to take based on their knowledge regarding the finances of the company, the economic facts, the marketing strategy etc. Having understood the quality product development cycle, I believed that if I had to propel myself towards positions of greater responsibility I needed to have knowledge of management subjects such as FRA, Corporate Finance, Marketing Management etc. to make such decisions. An MBA would have not only helped me gain knowledge but also would have helped me be a better contributor to my organization. Thus to excel professionally and to have a wholesome view of any business, I believed that it was imperative to do an MBA.

Q.Would you like to share any motivational story experienced by you in your journey from being a MAHCET aspirant to a successful topper?

A.When I was an aspirant, I would frequently visit different websites and look at the stories of toppers. I would read about the adversities that these toppers had to face and how they overcame them to achieve what they always wanted. Reading all these stories would motivate me a lot. However, at the back of my mind, I would always think whether I would get the opportunity to write a story myself. Today, answering these questions brings back memories of all those days. I feel I have gone a full circle and my time has come to motivate others to achieve their dreams. It’s important to note that anyone can make their dreams a reality; they just have to set their mind to it.

GD experience

GD Experience 1:

For MDI, my GD topic was “Is theoretical knowledge sufficient for managers today?”

I took part in a lot of interviews to prepare for the second stage. I had around 4-5 friends who were preparing along with me. All of us were shortlisted in different institutes. We would sit together and discuss a lot of different topics to expand our knowledge and form opinions. After the GD, we would ask each other for tips to improve on our shortcomings. GDs are basically of two types, abstract and real. It is necessary to practice both types of Group Discussions because the thinking and structuring process is different for both types. To improve at Group Discussions, it is important to read as much news as possible during the second stage preparation process. It is also important to practice speaking in a crisp and clear manner.

GD Experience 2:

For JBIMS, we had to discuss strategies for a Chinese soft drinks manufacturer to enter the Indian market

I was shortlisted by many top Colleges like SPJAIN-Fin, new IIMs, MDI, NMIMS, JBIMS. JBIMS Mumbai did not take part in DTE CAP then and conducted its own admission process. To prepare for GD, I had around 4-5 friends who were preparing along with me. All of us were shortlisted in different institutes. We would sit together and discuss a lot of different topics to expand our knowledge and form opinions. After the GD, we would ask each other for tips to improve on our shortcomings.

To improve at Group Discussions, it is important to read as much news as possible during the second stage preparation process. It is also important to practice speaking in a crisp and clear manner

 

PI experience

PI Experience 1:

I was shortlisted for the second stage process by new IIMs, MDI, NMIMS. There were only group interviews for SPJAIN. New IIMs have an interview after the WAT.

Few questions that were asked to me during the Interview round were:-

-- Why MBA?
-- Why a particular specialization?
-- What is Investment Banking?
-- What is micro- finance?
-- If CFA, why MBA? (I have cleared the CFA level 1 exam)
-- What is the difference between a Spanish Guitar and a Hawaiian Guitar (playing the guitar was a hobby)

PI Experience 2:

Few questions that were asked to me during PI round are-

--3 differences between Pune and Bangalore (I am from Pune and was working in Bangalore)
-- Three things my company does to separate itself from its competitors and three things it can do differently
-- Situation based questions such as “How would to act in a particular situation?” (say an employee comes late everyday, what would be your approach)
-- My hobbies and how I pursue them during the course of a regular day

There were only group interviews for SPJAIN

WAT Experience

WAT Experience 1:

The WAT for new IIMs was a good experience although I don’t remember the topic. Anything under the Sun can form the WAT topic.

WAT Experience 2:

For NMIMS, we were given a case wherein we had to decide whether the pharmaceutical companies should continue to produce drugs that fetched them a higher margin and ignore others that were low margin drugs.

Location:

Final calls
JBIMS Mumbai: Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies
MDI Gurgaon: Management Development Institute
SPJIMR Mumbai: SP Jain Institute of Management & Research
NMIMS Mumbai: School of Business Management, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies - SBM
Topper Admission
JBIMS Mumbai: Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies