Paramita Das, an active table tennis player, credits the game for valuable learnings throughout her life. She has won a bronze medal for India at Indian Junior Open, ITTF World Junior Circuit TT tournament, represented Maharashtra, and won the Nationals at Pondicherry State Table Tennis Association. She has also won several accolades at district, state, and national levels. An NIT Durgapur graduate, Paramita has also won inter NIT tournaments for her college. While reliving her experience, she says, “This sport has brought me immense joy. Although I had to face many difficult situations, being a captain taught me how to be a team player. The crucial moments of the match taught me how to deal with intense situations gracefully.”
After the matches, they needed a place to unwind and regale the tales over a quick bite. Since the college mess closed early, Paramita and her friend identified the need for such a space. Thus, began the midnight café. “We were excited! We transformed our common room with some used beds, which doubled as seats, revamped the space with some fairy lights, and painted glass bottles. We passed leaflets, put up posters, and created promotional events on social media. ‘The Seva Café’ was based on the unique concept of pay as you wish or pay for the next customer, which leveraged the generosity and team spirit. The menu was simple; Maggi, Sandwiches, Omelettes, Tea, Coffee but the ambiance and conversations will always be uniquely memorable,” she said.
Paramita considers ‘Seva Café’ as the igniter of entrepreneurial spirit. “We did this for a period of one-two weeks every few months. The service would be fast-paced; at times, we would run short of groceries and had to repurpose what’s available creatively. Although washing vessels at 1.30 am was taxing, this created a ripple effect, and the forthcoming batches embraced the concept too.” She did not stop there. She founded the TT coaching club for underprivileged children on their campus. She was a member of her college’s official entrepreneurship cell and led a two-tier team of 40 people and successfully conducted professional shows, exhibitions, and talks.
Even as a child, she wanted to understand the business world. She says, “In sixth grade, I was interviewed by a journalist from Times of India after winning a TT tournament, and while questioned about my future goals, I proclaimed that I wanted to be a successful businesswoman.” Paramita had to learn time management at a young age to balance her academics and sports, as scoring good marks was as crucial as winning tournaments.
As a professional, she has worked as a consultant for a financial services software solution company for the past two years. Her career helped her gain technical expertise in the diverse field of financial services and shaping ideas into reality. Her capacity to solve problems, handle pressure, and interpersonal relationship management helped her gain recognition at her workplace.
Paramita started preparing for entrance exams in 2017. She says, “I was working full time, and I had to prepare for CAT in between office hours. My colleagues would question my whereabouts, and I was paranoid that I would be asked to leave the company. During weekends, cafes were my library, and the energy there fueled my quest.”
Her relentless and sincere efforts finally led her to the doors of IIM Rohtak. On a concluding note, she says, “This birthday didn’t just end up being another birthday in the books - this year was extra special because I had another cause for celebration. I never imagined that the countless hours playing table tennis would provide me with skills that have molded me into a better professional. IIM Rohtak is the next stop on this journey, and I cannot wait to be one step closer to making those words in the article from sixth grade come true!”