Life is very uncertain. There are times you will have to take risks without knowing the effect it may have on your future. Today, we bring you a story of someone who hails from a small town in Jharkhand - someone who dared to have the MBA dream and found a place at one of the finest business schools in India - MDI Gurgaon. But to become what he is, he had to sacrifice many things. This individual's will to achieve greater things in life and his sheer resilience has found him a place amongst India's Best-50 Most Employable MBA Graduates!
The following is Parul Goyal's set of responses to a questionnaire floated amongst MBA graduates to determine the top-50 most employable MBA graduates of the Class of 2020. Amongst the massive number of entries and responses being evaluated by the Founder of InsideIIM-Kampus Konversations, Parul's story and profile stood out. Here's his story in his words.
""Introduce yourself" is a difficult question for me to answer as I am still in the process of finding my true self. I am Parul Goyal, I come from a small town of Jharkhand which is famous for its coal mines. I did my engineering from IIT(ISM) Dhanbad and my MBA from MDI Gurgaon. I am a risk-taker and love taking challenges in life. Also, I love reading books on psychology, philosophy and spirituality."
Name an instance where you wanted something and went out of your comfort zone to achieve it OR Tell us the biggest risk you have taken so far in your life.
"It was the time when I was studying in my final year of B.Tech at IIT Dhanbad in the field of petroleum engineering. At that time the price of crude oil dipped below 30 $/bbl and the oil and gas sector was in deep trouble globally. Since no oil and gas company was recruiting because of this, I decided to work in my friend's startup and simultaneously prepare for CAT. I thought this was an age where I can really take a risk and go out of my comfort zone to try something challenging. So after graduation from an IIT, instead of joining an MNC, I joined a small startup which I consider to be the biggest risk I have taken so far in my life."
When was the last time someone relied on you? OR What did you do which was purely for someone else - a truly selfless act.
"It was the time somewhere around January 2018. I had just appeared for CAT and was waiting for my interview calls. But suddenly there was a huge financial crisis in my family. I started searching for some job to support my family. I got an opportunity to teach Quants at an institute for which I am still thankful to God. Since it was a local institute the quality of preparation was not good. I had less time before I could join a b-school. That six months of teaching gave me an inner satisfaction of doing something for my family, imparting knowledge to society and touching the lives of so many people. The experience was such that I cannot trade it with anything else in life.
I can never forget that moment when my students came to the railway station to touch my feet when I was boarding the train for MDI."
Tell us about a time when you disagreed with an opinion/idea/decision. What did you do about it?
"One of the most prevalent ideas in a b-school is that if you are an extrovert then you are fit for marketing and if you are an introvert then finance is the domain for you. I deeply disagree with this opinion. One thing I learnt in a b-school is that you should have an open mind and take everything as a challenge. One of the mistake that a student commits is to develop a rigid mind before trying anything or after failing once or twice. I believe that to become a great leader one should not shy to try something out of his/her comfort zone. So in my second year, though I was more of a finance guy, I took electives from areas like marketing, finance, operations and economics."
What is the one thing you can claim to have some level of expertise or depth of knowledge in - it could be anything - a subject, a sport, a hobby, a venture, an initiative which has led you to do deep work in that field?
"I am deeply interested in investing in stock markets. I started this when I was in my 2nd year of B.Tech and since then I am regularly in touch with the market. In my free time, I started reading the investment philosophy from the likes of Ben Graham, Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger to Peter Lynch, Phil Fisher and Pat Dorsey. Understanding them and applying their philosophy in practice helped me in developing investment psychology before joining MDI. This also helped me in becoming the coordinator of Unnati - the student-run investing group of MDI. In MDI I got an opportunity to learn Behavioural Finance and Business Valuation from one of the great value investor Sanjay Bakshi and was fortunate enough to receive an A+ in the course. All this knowledge and experience has made me understand that investing is more about finding your own self rather than finding stocks. "
If 10 Million Dollars (approximately INR 75 Crores) is given to you to use it any way you deem fit what would you do with this corpus?
It depends on when I get this corpus. If I get it today I would love to open my own mutual fund, mainly for the bottom of the pyramid people who are still excluded from this opportunity. If you give me at the end of my lifetime, I will donate it to help society!
If you liked this story, we're you'll also love to read the story of Ameer Iqubal, who has overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges in his life, including being rejected by IIM Ahmedabad 5 times, and suffering a grave injury.