Preparing for the Group Discussion and Personal Interview (GDPI) Round is equally important alongside the CAT preparation. Reading newspaper or blogs can go a long way in helping you remain updated with the happenings around. To help you with the same, Yash Thakker, who is the co-founder of Casereads has come forward to share a list of Top 10 Must Prepare GDPI Topics for 2020.
Casereads is a student-driven platform aiming to provide the most dynamic of the content for the business school students. In this post, Yash has shared some pointers on each GDPI topic which can help you build your opinion on the subject and he has also shared some relevant links for you to go through.
Here’s a list of the top 10 GDPI topics you must know if you’re preparing for IIM interviews:
1. Marico acquiring Beardo
One of the hot categories out there, given how indicative it is of the fact that a market that was so small only a few years back has been picking up for the last few years.
Men’s grooming market went from a mere INR 3200 crore in 2016, to a whopping INR 10,000 crore today. With a CAGR (2016-2020) of 45%, the industry is poised to become INR 25000 crore by 2022 (2.5x times!). No wonder the popularity among the VCs!
The category has an omnichannel presence & is sold at multiple touchpoints. This essentially means you will find these products not only offline but also online. The category now has its own shelf space! Some popular online platforms hosting the category include Nykaa, Lime road, Voonik, Purplle. For offline, the companies have tied up with Salon chains, owned retail stores.
Marico has had a history of great brand acquisitions. Think Set Wet & Livon, they perfectly integrated these personal care brands originally launched by Paras Pharma. Marico has a product portfolio rich in the personal care segment and Beardo can fit in very well in their product lines as a brand extension.
Beardo, founded in 2015 has a proven track record of market demand, tremendous growth potential and huge reach across channels in its target group. The brand has the innovation cycle of 60-90 days as compared to 8-9 months; which is typical for an FMCG firm.
2. Growth of Edtech Industry
If you are following the news, you’d know that BYJU’s recently acquired a coding start-up for kids called Whitehat Jr. for $300mn (an x8.5 returns for the investors in the start-up). Edtech industry has been booming in the last few years and the lockdown has more than accelerated this growth.
Let’s take a swift look at the industry a few years back. There are over 4000 players in the education technology space in India but only a few of these start-ups stand out for their niche specialization. BYJU’s is the poster boy for the industry as it is the only unicorn EdTech start-up in India. Having raised over $1.5 B in funding, acquired rivals like Doubtnut and collaborated with Disney’s app for younger kids, it aspires to become a super app in itself.
The industry has grown rapidly in the last 6-years as it has received 88% of the funding between 2014-19. During this time, it has received an investment of $1.8B. The funding is majorly in the top two growing segments – online certifications and test preparation. The industry is to be valued at $3.5B by 2022 (a Redseer report). The User Base has doubled from 45M in 2019 to 90M in 2020. There are around 665 M wireless subscribers in India.
Leading players which fall in the Soonicorn (soon to become a unicorn start-up – with over $1 B valuations) category are Unacademy, upGrad, Toppr and Vedantu.
BYJU’s reported profit of INR 30 Cr in (FY18-19) after it tripled its revenue from INR 490cr in FY17-18 to INR 1341cr in FY18-19. However other players are still to crack the profitability code. This pandemic has been a difficult time for students and educators alike but EdTech players can benefit from a reliable option to continue learning. The daily active users are peaking with higher session times than ever and with a widening user base, it is high time that start-ups really pull-up their socks.
3. The Meteoric Rise of Short Video Platforms
Remember a few days back when TikTok got banned along with those 59 apps and some portion of our country saw a sort of a celebration? Well, while this meant a temporary end for TikTok in India, short video platforms have been on the rise. It has not even been a decade since these platforms came out and they’ve reached the level of penetration most of the apps failed to.
Furthermore, given that Microsoft has confirmed their interest in buying TikTok in the US, it really does confirm that we’re moving to a new generation altogether. A generation that will believe in 60-second product storytelling. Anyway, let’s trace the history of these platforms. The very first platform came out in 2012 was called “Vine” but it wasn’t meant to be a short-video platform. In fact, the 60-second storytelling was invented by mistake but it soon went viral and the rest is history.
After the success that TikTok had received in India a lot of companies (Instagram, YouTube) have started to add features to support this short way of storytelling. And post the ban, we’ve seen a lot of apps now burgeoning in the market, and a surprising few have even become successful (Mitron).
While these 3 are the hot topic for business students at the moment, here’s a list of few more things you must know.
4. The New Education Policy
The new Education policy introduced by the Modi Government is probably one of the few major reforms that have happened this year. Per this new structure, 5+3+3+4 structure will now be abolished to be replaced with a 10+2 structure. Another interesting bit in this reform is that students will now learn coding from class 6. And if you think about it, this is probably why BYJU’s acquired Whitehat Jr. which is a coding platform for kids. See how all of this is connected?
5. Learn everything about Jio
Jio has in the last few months partnered with more platforms than you’d know, it has seen a slew of investments from the companies previously imagined to be their rivals. The most notable ones are Google and Facebook. It is not far from the truth that Google Pay and WhatsApp Pay are going to be rivals, and this is precisely it is a little confusing to see why they have invested in Jio.
Anyway, in the recent RILAGM held by Jio, there was a slew of announcements made about the platform, they announced an Indian made 5G package to be operational in a few months. Good thing at a time when the country is rallying behind the word “Atmanirbhar Bharat” Which brings us to our next topic.
6. What Atmanirbhar Bharat Means
There’s a lot of confusion as to what this bit means, in all real sense it means a strive to become self-reliant. But mind you, self-reliant for the things that are possible. Not for everything. If I were to give you an example, take that of crude oil, 65%+ of the crude oil is imported by India. Now, these limits are geographical and we cannot really do a lot about this. And so, it is important that we realize that while the fire of Atmanirbharta is a good fuel for the country, we do not go overboard when we’re answering something to the panel.
7. iPhone 11 is now made in India
Business news, you must already be aware of this. It was only after a year of speculation was it very recently announced that iPhone XR and iPhone 11 will be assembled by Foxconn in Chennai, and iPhone 7 by Wistron in Bengaluru. But this isn’t the first iPhone to be made in India. The original iPhone SE and iPhone 6s were assembled by Wistron but were discontinued in 2019.
This was for 2 primary reasons, the first one was that the models were now outdated. While the second one was that a lot of “cheaper” Android Phones were now taking over these iPhones. Other older models were still assembled in India, but given that iPhone 11 is the latest, the celebration is different.
8. Boycott of Chinese Goods
I’m sure you know this bit. Two months back in June, there was a public outcry over the excessive use of Chinese goods in the country. And things only escalated after there was a standoff at the Ladakh border. Although not directly related, this led to a ban of 59 Chinese apps, TikTok being one of them.
Although the anti-China sentiment is a strong one, it is better that you think through the practical bits of a full-Chinese boycott before you answer to the panel. A full boycott in the current situation is unlikely and not possible. Take a look at the table here and see if it’s possible for us to get completely rid of the Chinese Goods?
9. Know the Cryptocurrencies
The Supreme court on March 4th quashed the RBI’s ban on cryptocurrency. The argument was until the bank can come up with significant evidence of harm of this virtual currency to the economic system and public interest, the ban cannot be imposed. The government, of course, will not be likely to issue legislation that contradicts this principle.
And so, it is now switching to facilitate the setting up of a regulatory mechanism with the RBI, to regulate cryptocurrencies and its usage in the economy. Though the talks are still in the initial phase; it is a positive scenario that could lead to successful institutionalization of cryptocurrency in the Indian financial system. Which is huge, know about this.
10. Success of Amul in Lockdown
Double-digit growth in sales turnover, consistent supply, and more than 100% capacity utilization of factories. These conditions sound like a long-lost dream for a company in the current scenario, right? Not for Amul! 17% growth in sales turnover, 30-40% increase in demand for some of the products, consistent supply, and more than 100% capacity of factories – that’s, in essence, the story of Amul in lockdown.
Amul did 2% better turnover than their projection in the first quarter of 2020. They even went ahead and launched 33 new products “very specific” to what is relevant. One of the few companies that tasted success during the lockdown, good to know how they did it.
So, these were the Top 10 GDPI Topics curated by Yash for all of you. Hope they help you prepare for your interviews and GD rounds. You can also explore the IIM Interview Category: IIM Interviews.
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