For It’s Just The Attitude That Makes The Difference – Pooja Shah – Best50 – Class Of 2017
From being a State Rank 1 in Engineering to becoming a Corporate Member at the prestigious Institution of Engineers, India, Pooja is a State Level Lawn Tennis player pursuing Masters in Management from Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay. She loves dancing and painting and had been awarded a “Chartered Engineer’s degree” for her academic excellence from IEI. From being a part of the Placement and Corporate Relations Team at IIT Bombay to being a member of the School’s Association, she considers herself to be an opportunist. She strongly believes in perseverance and consistency and has always looked forward towards exploring herself. Her consistent academic performance along with balancing her interests stand in support of that attitude of her. From participating in several cultural festivals at IIT Bombay to captaining one of the teams in Intra-Departmental Sports League, she loves reading poems. From winning State Tennis Championship for all four years in college to being felicitated by the Governor and Education Minister of the State, she believes sports helps her develop a “Never to give up” attitude in life. She did her Internship at Nestlé and was rewarded a PPO for her performance during the Internship. Writing interests her and she has assisted in writing a book on Management titled: Contributor Personality Development during her Engineering along with winning several article writing competitions conducted by institutions like ONGC, Technical Publications, etc. Answering to a few questions asked, her replies were:
How would you explain the “The Credit Crisis of 2008” to a 12-year-old?
The economic crisis of 2008 has been one of the major economic crisis of the world. It started with the burst of housing bubble in 2004. The prices of houses were rising steadily and more families were able to take out mortgages than previously possible. Actually, the sellers had started selling the houses to subprime borrowers who, in spite of not having credibility, were given houses. But gradually, they realised that these subprime borrowers started defaulting. When these subprime borrowers started defaulting, the lenders sold off the houses. As the number of houses on sale increased, the prices also fell steeply and they could not recover the cost. As these lenders did not get their share of money, they could not repay back the loans they had taken and they as well started defaulting. This turned into a vicious circle and there was a huge credit crunch as the banks and lenders were unable to pay the money back. By the end of 2008, major financial institutions and banks reported huge losses and caused the Credit Crisis of 2008.
If you had a magic wand, what is the one problem in India that you would magically wish away? Explain why.
India has not been able to improve its deteriorating infrastructure in business, education and health care. In business, a study found that China manufacturing is 1.5 times more efficient than India. In terms of economic freedom, India ranks as the 128th freest economy in the world. Public transportation and roadways have not kept pace with population growth. Housing, sanitation and power facilities are woefully inadequate. The education infrastructure is backward, and over 280 million adults are illiterate. Many children do not attend school at all and instead begin working before reaching their teens. India’s health care infrastructure is also abysmal, ranking 112th of 190 countries. More than 70% of the population has limited or no access to health care services. India lags behind the modern world in many ways. Over 50% of the population is still involved in agriculture, which is an extraordinarily high number for a country trying to make giant technological strides in the 21st century. Indians involved in agriculture have the least access to basic education and health care necessities. Thus, I believe that improving Infrastructure is one wish I would like to fulfil as it will be a source of employment, education, illiteracy reduction and a way towards growth and development.
What is the biggest risk that you have taken so far and why?
It was during my preparation for CAT 2014. I had started preparing for it from 2012. The amount of time required to be put in the preparation was tremendous where along with CAT preparation, I also had to balance out my academics and my interest in Sports. My Mock test results had been consistent but the actual CAT result was way below my expectations and I couldn’t really manage to get calls from colleges I was aspiring to get into. I managed to crack other entrance examinations and got converts from a couple of good colleges in India. At that point, I decided to take a year gap, prepare again for CAT and give my best shot. I was ready to accept the result, whatever it would have been then. I believe this had been the biggest risk I had taken so far because I had a job through campus placement and converts from some of the best B-schools across the country but I still chose to take a drop, work in my father’s company as I was very clear, a year later at the time of joining that I did not want to get into the company I was placed from campus. Besides, I was confident and clear about my aspirations. I knew that I would not leave any stone unturned to crack one of the B-schools I aspired for and that faith in myself enabled me to take that risk.