RAT is one of the two selection processes for FPM admission at IIMs. Here are the details of the RAT exam i had at IIM Lucknow.
We were given a caselet. It was about an Engineer who started his own company. This guy started the company in one corner of his house in New Delhi. The company was into manufacturing of ‘premium gift items’. In the initial days, all the products were produced under his direct supervision. He had many suppliers and mostly he was doing the final assembly at his place. Initially volumes were also less.
Slowly but steadily, his business picked up. He started getting huge orders. Then he decided to shift his company out of his garage and for that he acquired land at Gurgaon, which was cheaper than the land available at New Delhi. Most of the suppliers still remained in New Delhi, baring a few who decided to move along with him. He initially hired a few marketing guys to improve his sales. He then hired a manager to look after his Gurgaon plant.
In the initial days of Gurgaon plant, he used to visit it often but as he started more and more ventures, his direct supervision over the Gurgaon plant decreased. He passed on the full control to the manager. This manager guy then went on to introduce lot of best-in-class management practices like Performance Appraisal System, Accounting practices etc. Initial days of the plant went on smoothly and profitably.
But few months from there, the plant got itself immersed into a lot of problem. There were quality issues popping out from everywhere. Even though the order book was full, the workers never showed an enthusiasm to produce more and the plant was never able to meet the demand. Sales slowly started falling. Suppliers started complaining about credit defaults. There were hell lots of problem.
The owner was extremely worried about the condition of the plant and wanted to somehow find out the reason for this. So he asked for the help from a near by management school and the school readily accepted.
- You are a part of the team from the management school investigating on the Gurgaon Plant. What are your observations and possible problems?
- What further data collection you will do for submitting a complete report on the plant and how do you plan to acquire the additional data?
We were supposed write the answer for the above two questions in around 750words.
I felt like this plant is having all sorts of problems that it can ever have. In spite of one’s background, he/she had something or the other, where he/she could put his/her mind to work.