CD-PI Experience At NMIMS – Conundrum Addressed – Shridhar Chilka

The moment of exhilaration has arrived for many after having seen the hard work for multiple MBA entrance exams pay-off, though the celebration of good marks needs to be postponed for a while as it is this moment of perseverance which could just be the icing on the cake for many who wish to pursue their next two years in management education from premier b-schools. The anxiety level must be high, so must be the expectations from parents to get over with the process with flying colours. Amidst such a scenario, it is a watershed moment for every candidate to realise that CD-PI process is a very important milestone in the process for converting into a prestigious b-school. Having sounded cautious till now, CD-PI is also one of the most scoring opportunities to capitalise on. Let me share the experience for my CD-PI process at NMIMS.

Having received the call for the CD-PI process for two of the prestigious programmes – MBA-HR and MBA-Core, offered by School of Business Management (SBM), NMIMS at its Mumbai campus, the preparation started immediately without showing any complacency of relying on the good marks in NMAT. The day started on time in the morning as I was scheduled for the CD-PI process of both the programmes on the same day. It is this day that marvelled me about the NMIMS, Mumbai campus. The entry to the campus i.e. the atrium was full of enthusiasm which reinvigorated me for the rest of the day.

The best part of having two CD-PI sessions in a single day is that it allows making any course correction to face the either the CD or PI, if you feel, so that you end up giving a great shot when it mattered the most. On my arrival, we were made to sit in a classroom, from where we were being called in batches by turns firstly for the CD process followed by the PI. The CD process started with the topic for the discussion written on a piece of paper kept on the table. With regard to the CD process topics, my experience was, that the range of topics was similar for both HR and Core programmes. However, I had prepared for the HR CD process with the topics that revolved around the Human Resource Management aspects like employee engagement from my previous work experience. Some tips I followed were:

  • To open a Case Discussion dialogue is a brownie point, but it could backfire if you were the one who was in a hurry to start, so was not able to gather enough points to speak or rather happen to start on a theme which is starkly different from what is intended in the topic description note. You could mislead the conversation and thereafter you may be bogged down for the rest of the discussion. So go for it, only if you are sure that you have a clear and precise understanding of the topic and have gathered enough talking points.
  • In the introduction part, one should try to broadly define the various aspects for discussion ahead that helps others to think on the line that you are thinking.
  • Don’t look/glance at the evaluator while the discussion is on. You should strictly have a conversation only with the group members.
  • A hygiene factor would be to allow everyone to speak in the group. Don’t be argumentative in nature, in a sense that being rigid doesn’t help. While building on other’s point in the discussion, acknowledge that person and move on.
  • Overspeaking doesn’t help. Make an entry into the discussion when you have a valid and a strong point on the subject.
  • The subjects you could well prepare for the CD process would be mostly on Current Affairs which should cover diverse subjects ranging from economy to international affairs to politics to popular government schemes.

Post CD process immediately happens the PI for the respective programme. It is one of those rounds which enable the B-school to know you better and find out whether you are a good fit for their course. It is an important round to showcase your strengths and be candid about your weaknesses. Some of the hygiene factors which I followed were:

  • Questions like Tell me something about yourself, Why MBA needs to be well prepared not so much so to showcase that you have by-hearted it, but just to give you confidence as you progress through the interview. These are the questions that allowed me to drive my interview. A suggestion would be to avoid the facts that the interviewer already knows.
  • Be well prepared with the information mentioned on the admissions portal which we fill before coming for the CD-PI process.
  • I again reiterate that, be well prepared with the current news and also the headlines of the newspaper for that particular day. As the Finance Budget would have been tabled till then, expect economy-related questions.
  • In case you don’t know the answer for any question being asked, admit it in front of the interviewer and show an attitude of keenness to learn.
  • Sound confident in the entire process, even if it ends up to be a Stress Interview, as it may happen sometimes. Do not give up at any point in the process, as you need to keep up the momentum going throughout, with same vigour and spirit with what you started your day.

Another advice would be to be there at the CD-PI venue well in time keeping some buffer for any unexpected delays due to traffic congestion (especially for Mumbai). Be well dressed and groomed (getting your beard shaved is preferred any day). Have that spark alive in you which made you choose MBA to strengthen your career and for sure the journey ahead would turn out to be cakewalk.

All the Best



I am a Chartered Accountant and also cleared Company Secretary, having worked in Coal India after a brief stint of work in Taxation and Audit. At present a Full Time MBA candidate at NMIMS, Mumbai