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Updated: January 16, 2014 11:00 IST

IIT-Madras engineer tops CAT 2013

Vasudha Venugopal
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The 23-year-old, who works at Ashok Leyland, scored a 100 percentile
Special Arrangement The 23-year-old, who works at Ashok Leyland, scored a 100 percentile

A soccer enthusiast and aspiring fantasy writer, Chennai lad Abhiram Iyer, a mechanical engineer from IIT-Madras who topped the Common Admission Test (CAT) 2013 with a perfect 100 percentile, is not your average geek.

The 23-year-old employee of Ashok Leyland is one of the eight toppers of the test that determines admissions to the prestigious Indian Institutes of Management. Around 1.94 lakh candidates took CAT 2013, results of which were declared on Tuesday.

Abhiram, who has been a project planner at Ashok Leyland for the last 18 months, got the score after attempting the test twice earlier.

“Each time I was stuck somewhere between the 99th and 100th percentiles. I think everyone in that range is equally talented. A bit of luck and a good mood during the test can get you that extra point,” he said.

Three years ago, Abhiram had managed to get into IIM-Indore but chose to decline the seat. “At the interview, a professor asked me if it would be better to pursue an MBA after a few years of work. Though at the time I convinced him that I, a fresher then, deserved the seat, I later realised he was right,” he said.

Abhiram is a big fan of fantasy writer Steven Erikson. “Fantasy novels challenge your imagination. They are the biggest stress busters,” said the topper who lives in Anna Nagar and plans to write a fantasy book sometime.

Recreation and distraction are very important when you are rigorously preparing for CAT, he said, adding, “Before every mock test, I watch a game of football. It reminds me nothing is predictable, just like the CAT.”

Abhiram’s mother is a retired State Bank of India manager, and his father, an auditor at the defence accounts department in Mumbai.

Among other toppers in the city is T.S.K Sravanth from Kakinada, a student of electrical engineering at IIT-Madras with a 99.98 percentile. The student, who has already been recruited by a reputed company, said he likes “holding positions of responsibility and managing situations.”

“I will definitely ditch the job if I get into IIM-Ahmedabad, Bangalore or Kolkata,” he said.

Madhura Prabhudesai, also a student of IIT-Madras and one of the few girls to make it to the list of top scorers, with 99.8 percentile, said preparing for the test was easy, being an engineering student. “Maths in CAT is very similar to the Joint Entrance Examination that I had already cracked. It was English I had to focus on.”

Madhura too has an offer from a top multi-national corporation but is not sure she will take it up.

“I want to take some time over deciding this. Right now, the feeling of getting a score like this is just sinking in,” she said.

Not worth a mention in a news paper as he will only take vows to serve
and accept USA as his only country some day in the near future.

from:  James
Posted on: Jan 18, 2014 at 13:44 IST

First my hearty congratulation for the little master, Well done your hard work and your parents dedication makes you in this position. All the best.

My question to the young engineer,this Business study may help your own development,Mean time like you must involve in research it surely helpful to the nation.

But it is your life, keep consult with your parents do the best.

with Love and warm wishes

from:  N senthamaraikkannan
Posted on: Jan 17, 2014 at 19:31 IST

As Mr Divakaran commented these people after studying at IIT at
subsidised rates using tax payers' money go and join some MNCs and help
them to make these MNCs rich using their knowledge. These MNCs in turn
siphon valuable foreign exchange out of our country. To arrest this
trend, people coming out IITs and other institutes of higher learning
whose education is subsidised should be asked to serve the country in
some from or other as interns so that they can repay at least part of
their cost of education to India.

Posted on: Jan 17, 2014 at 05:34 IST

Abhiram is indeed sharp and talented, but young people like him need a good mentor, who can help channelize the talent. A good mentor can help him identify his true interests, opportunities and how to manage a career that's worthwhile for himself and the society. Otherwise, this is a typical wild goose chase from IIT to IIM and some lost career chase and wasted top notch talent. I'd urge him to seek a good mentor before it is too late.

from:  Arvind
Posted on: Jan 17, 2014 at 00:36 IST

Congratulations, Abhiram Iyer!!!
We wish you good luck for all your future endeavors.

from:  Kranthi
Posted on: Jan 16, 2014 at 20:45 IST

These hundred percentile geniuses start off at Ahmedabad or
Bangalore or KOLkota and end up at McKinsey, BostonConsulting Group
some other MNC.Hardly ever some of these choose to serve their
Besides that,for an engineer to move on to Management has been a
tremendous loss of public investment, in this case from the public
exchequer as the IITs are highly subsidised entities.

from:  subbanarasu Divakaran
Posted on: Jan 16, 2014 at 20:43 IST

I agree absolutely with Ramesh. Talent in a human being is multi-faced and IIMs, IITs and other elite institutes should recognise that. They should consider diversity in admision like (ofcourse need to consider CAT score, academics etc) socio-economic background, writeup/recommendations of his professors in his institutes, his achievements other than academics (like participation in social work like NCC, sports/games, debates etc) etc. Many institutes in USA consider based on all these parameters someone with less GMAT score may get admission than a higher one. In india the elite institutions admit students based on manufactured merit and we hardly produce good research output in universities (forget nobel prize)

from:  Anil
Posted on: Jan 16, 2014 at 15:18 IST

As long as admission is dictated by difference of individuals by a few
fraction of points, we will only produce people that are cut throat and
burned out by the time they need to use their creativity and skill.
Thats why India never produces a Nobel Laureate.

from:  Ramesh
Posted on: Jan 16, 2014 at 13:50 IST

Congrats to all toppers and wishing them goodluck for future!

Posted on: Jan 16, 2014 at 13:04 IST
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