ISB Interview Exp. (Manufacturing): Automobile Manufacturing / 5 years 9 months

This is the real ISB interview experience of a candidate who has 5 years 9 months of work experience in Automobile Manufacturing. The ISB interview was conducted on February 7, 2016. As per the candidate’s information, there were two alumni in the interview panel.

ISB-Interview-Experience-Automobile -Manufacturing-5years-9months
Interview Date7th February, 2016
Work ProfileToyota, 5 years 9 m­­onths
Your Interviewers’ ProfileP1 – Alum
P2 – Alum- General management in the Social Development Sector

Qn: Tell me briefly about your work experience.
A: I worked for about 3 years for XYZ and now I have been working for Toyota for the last 2 years and a half. I got a good mix of rural and urban marketing experience awhile working for XYZ, being strong in rural marketing and Toyota particularly strong in semi-urban n urban markets.

Qn: What was the XYZ market share?
A: About 45%.

Qn: I meant the rural market share of XYZ for its total sales.
A: Rural markets contributed almost 60% to its sales.

Qn: What did you do in XYZ?
A: I was working as a Territory manager-Service for North Bihar market, primarily worked for business development. I was responsible for services and parts target achievement, customer relationship management and network expansion.

Qn: How many dealers did you make in XYZ?
A: 3

Qn: What was the target?
A: 3

Qn: What was your contribution to your responsibilities as a dealer network developer?
A: I developed a format for dealer selection. It included information such as how many petrol pumps, how many banks etc are there in the market.

Qn: It’s market research, not dealer evaluation.
A: Yes, it was the first initiative to assess the market. Then, I made a dealer evaluation format that included information such as site details (front/depth etc), financial capability etc.

Qn: How did you develop the format for dealer partner selection? What were the parameters?
A: Basically it was based on 3i approach that I learnt from my 1st boss, an ISB 09 batch pass out. 3i would be investment, infrastructure and involvement.

Qn: I don’t believe it. *Client Name* is such a big organization. Why wouldn’t they have the standards in place?
A: Yes, a structured approach wasn’t there.

Qn: What could be the reason behind this?
A: I am not very sure. But, maybe, since Patna area office was set up recently in 2009 and there wasn’t much network expansion in the first year and a half. That could be the reason.

Qn: How are those dealers that you appointed doing?
A: Those dealers were appointed in FY12-13 and I left XYZ in May’13, so don’t know much about their performance.

Qn: How did organization benefit from your initiative of developing such a format?
A: It was used by my colleague as well, it was made as standard for dealer selection activity.

Qn: Why did you leave XYZ?
A: I learnt the basics of business operations and customer management, had great learning about rural marketing as well. The learning curve had become a little flat, so I thought of making a move and Toyota gave me the right opportunity as in my current profile I got to work for dealer development dept, it offered a good exposure to semi-urban n urban markets.

Qn: In XYZ you were making dealers, in Toyota also, you’re making dealers. How did your profile improve?
A: Here, I am in charge of network expansion activities for entire North2 region (U.P, M.P, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand). In past, for one year, I also took care of East India.

Qn: How many dealers did you make in Toyota?
A: 5 in Aligarh, Moradabad, Gaya, Gangtok, Kaithal

Qn: How long does it take to create a new dealer?
A: It depends, whether it’s a greenfield project or brownfield. For a greenfield project, it would take about 10-12 months.

Qn: If you have to develop a new distribution network in U.P, what parameters would you set for a distributor selection? You have a minute to think and explain.
A: First, I shall evaluate the business volume that I am targeting from the market. Then, I shall study my competition for benchmarking purpose.

Qn: I want to know the parameters that you will use.
A: I would use the same 3i approach…. I would also like to know about his current businesses so that I can evaluate whether he will be able to allocate time for new business.

Qn: About achievement essay- what did you do? Was conducting mini championships your achievement?
A: No, of course. Conducting the mini championship was part of the process. The achievement was that for the first time in 3 years, a technician from Bihar secured the 1st position.

Qn: What was the process?
A: First, I had conducted mini championships at all my six dealerships to identify the right candidate who would represent my territory in the championship.…. I monitored their progress for about 02 weeks by calling them on alternate days and kept on helping them.

Qn: So, you set a process that gave you a result, will this process deliver result every year.
A: No, the process needs to improve year on year as per the requirement.

Qn: Anything that you want to improve in that process?
A: I couldn’t visit my all dealerships during this preparation period, had I visited each dealership, I could have assessed whether the development plan was implemented in the right spirit at all the dealerships or not.

Qn: Already, you are working to build networks and have developed businesses, why don’t you try to get into brand management now? Why MBA?
A: I can try that. But, doing an MBA is linked to my long-term goal. 15-20 years down the line, I want to head the marketing function of a firm, preferably an FMCG and for that, I need to learn the holistic approach to the marketing function as whatever I have learnt so far is gained through my own work-ex and interactions with colleagues, supervisors etc. An MBA would help me reach my long term goal.

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