I worked as an operation engineer in Reliance industries limited since August 2019. During CoVID-19’s first wave, I came to my hometown (Surat) for teeth treatment. I sat with my close friend Sharad in the reception area and talked about random things. Till that moment, I was like IIM ABC was not my cup of tea because of my academic background from vernacular medium and fear of VARC. But Sharad told me, “why should not we take one chance?”

Profile of Omkumar Talaviya


Sardar patel Vidhyabhavan
Class X : 91.60% (Guj Medium)

P P savani vidhyabhavan
class XII : 81.69% (Guj Medium)

Grad: Sardar vallabhbhai National Institute of Tech., Surat
percentage – 92.40%

Work ex: 25 months;  Last worked: RIL

CAT 2020 Percentile – 98.72

Calls received:


Calls Converted:


Joining: IIM Bangalore, Class of 2024

We decided that we would prepare for CAT on our own because, we both worked in ground-level shift jobs in RIL and gave one try in CAT 20. We enrolled in a mock series to check on our performance. I generally scored 40-42% in mocks. But then, due to unavoidable circumstances, I did not appear for CAT’20, but Sharad appeared in CAT’20 and scored a percentile of 98.83. It gave confidence to me. On 1st May ’21, I tested positive for CoVID-19 and came home for treatment. On 21st May morning, during breakfast, I told my parents that I wanted to leave my job and prepare for CAT’21. After serving the Notice period, I left my job in August ’21 and started preparing for CAT.

I Scored consistently well in Mocks, but every time missed to clear cutoff of VARC. My education in school had been in a vernacular medium, Gujarati. So, from starting, scoring well in VARC and effective communication skills were the greatest challenges. But during the process, I significantly overcame both my fears. My friend suggested watching videos of VARC 1000 by Gejo sir, and after applying some of the strategies presented by sir, I was able to clear the cutoff in VARC by some margin. There was time when I scored 3-5 marks in VARC section for 4 mocks consecutively. Also, I started reading articles daily from CL’s BodhiTree Telegram channel by Sreeni Sir. I think improvement in VARC cannot be not drastic or immediate. One has to be patient. It will take time.

One of my seniors at IIM B told me that interviewers did not only assess your communication skill, but they want people who learned quickly and better fit into their scheme. I learnt I should never stop persevering and never stop believing in self.

After CAT result, I enrolled in Career Launcher’s PDP course. I got calls from IIM BLACKIS, FMS, MDI, SPJIMR, IIT B, IIT D, and CAP IIMs. My first mock interview was on 18th January with Shivku sir. After that interview, sir told me that instead of giving too much discrete information to the interviewer, just focus more on the main achievements and information that will directly impact them.

Two days later, I was rejected from GI 1 of SPJIMR interview. I was disappointed by my performance and felt low. My following interview was IIM A (every CAT aspirant’s dream college, but I wanted to go for B instead of A) on 20th February; after completing my AWT, I messaged Sreeni sir about a topic even if I had never texted him before that. It was the most significant turning point of my PI journey. I still remember Sreeni sir’s words for interview, “Think, structure, and Respond.”  Till that point, I directly jumped on to answer the questions asked in interviews. I was not able to apply it in IIM A interview. But his words were on board in my room. The following interview was SIBM Pune on 24th February. I used what Sreeni sir told me and it was my best interview of the season. On 10th March, SIBM result came, and I converted it and that boosted my confidence. On the very same day, I had WAT of my dream college, i.e., IIM B. WAT topic was about indoor farming, and literally, I did not know the meaning of 4 out of 5 words given in the topic. I recalled Arkss sir’s tree and cow example and wrote my WAT at that time.

My last interview of the season was on 25th March for IIM B. I calmly gave the interview applying all principles and strategies learned during the mock PIs at CL and also the real PIs.

Then comes the best moment of my life. On the 22nd of April, I woke up around 5.25 pm and saw a Gmail popup on my mobile screen. I converted IIM B, both PGP and PGPBA courses.

I texted Sreeni sir again about this, and sir told me once again a golden statement, “Purpose, Belief, and Hardwork, always get rewarded eventually.” Thanks to every mentor and my friends who helped me achieve my dream. Special thanks to Sreeni sir and my friend Sharad.

posted by www.sreeni.org