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Anheuser-Busch Inbev is a multinational beverage and brewing company and is considered to be one of the largest fast-moving consumer goods companies in the world. Below is an excerpt from the interview with Gaurav Singhvi, a 2017 Chemical Engineering graduate. Read on to find more about the selection procedure for the company and how he was able to get into it.

Could you describe your job profile and how did you develop an interest in analytics? Could you describe your relationship with it and how does start exploring the field?

My job title is  “Data Scientist”. My company falls under the CPG (Consumer Products) industry and my work is to find new business for the company. What I effectively do is look through our own internal data of the customers.We also buy data from Facebook, Google, etc. to find out the total number of bars and similar places. What I need to do is match internal data with the external data to find out the places we are not currently serving in and then classify them into which is the best PoC (point of connect) to go after and how influential it is. So basically I find out places where we are not serving and see if it is a potential place for our company to expand the business. Hence this work has a lot of immediate impact.

My first encounter with analytics was in my internship after my third year.I did my intern at Capital One. I was lucky because I was amongst a few, whose problem statements were analytics driven with the use of Machine Learning. There I had complete freedom.I was just given the problem statement and I had to develop the solution from scratch without people guiding me, as no one in the firm knew ML. I did text classification, sentiment analysis, clustering and  I loved what I did.

In my placement, I also got an offer from Citi, which was a finance profile but I chose AB Inbev because of the brand and plus it was analytics profile.

I am very fond of analytics right now and am learning a lot of new things and finding this very exciting. It is the easiest field to start exploring because of a lot of content is available online. You can start doing it right away by taking free courses offered by Coursera, EdX etc. They also provide hands-on experience in the sense that they give you the data set on which you can work and upload the solution back again to the portal.  I would also suggest doing project or intern would be helpful for learning ML and analytics apart from online courses.

Could you describe the selection procedure for the company?

There was no resume shortlist everybody was allowed to write the aptitude test.  The test had quant and it was basic CAT level test. So the difficult part was not the question but the time. People preparing for CAT would be able to do it very easily. The difficulty level is not high but it’s just that you have to be accurate. After the test around 95 students were selected for GD round. For GD,  we were given an opportunity to choose a topic ourselves and they did not force any topic on us.

After GD,  they shortlisted 20 people for the final interviews. I had one technical round, half of which revolved around my internship and for the rest I was given two different case studies. Case studies which are given mostly involve market Entry and market expansion scenarios.

What does AB Inbev look for in its employees?

As far as I know, the people in the firm are straightforward. They want very genuine and enthusiastic persons. There is no hierarchy in AB Inbev as such. Because the company culture is that way, they also want similar kind of people to come in. They want you to speak your mind and be loud about it. You should be able to put forward your ideas without being afraid of not being correct or otherwise. They also look for owners. You should be an owner of your idea, you shouldn’t  depend on people to execute your idea. Ownership and leadership are the two things which are important to them.

Did PORs and co-curriculars help you in the process? If yes, how?

I was part of QMS analytics in shaastra and I was Inter IIT sponsorship core as well. Honestly, I was an introvert before I came to the institute. I was very shy and kept my ideas to myself but after I got into institute I made a lot of new friends of varied culture and different backgrounds and it just made me more open towards everything. Then I saw people working so much for Shaastra and Saarang and  I also wanted to be a part of it. Once you get into the team,  it helps you grow a lot. Overall personality development which happened because of all this was an amazing experience and for AB Inbev especially the leadership quality is important. I had led a team of 15 people and we did discuss that POR during my interview.

How exactly did you start preparing for placements?

The first half of August, was about making the resume. Making the resume is the easier part, validating it from people is the difficult part. I approximately sent it to 20 to 25 of my seniors. It took me around 15 days to keep changing it according to their suggestions. By end of August, resume was done. And after that I started practicing quant because most of the tests which happen for placements have quant as the most important part. I started with quant and did a little of finance because  I was also interested in finance (I cleared NCFM in equity derivatives). I solved a lot of CAT-related question. I was later shortlisted for Auctus Advisors and so I dedicated little time for consult prep as well. HR was the last part of the preparation, which I did towards the end of November.

Why do you think you got selected?

My internship played a very big role. As I spoke they are looking for certain qualities in people. They don’t want people who don’t match their cultural diversity. Enthusiasm is one, the way you put forward your ideas and the way you communicate plays an important role because sometimes you have the right point but you are not able to put forward it in the right way. The case studies I practiced also helped in my interview.  

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Could you describe your work culture? How is Bengaluru and what fun stuff do you there?  

The work culture is amazing. At AB InBev freedom is given to do what you want to. Adequate training is provided and then they let you use your own imagination and find out solutions to different things on your own. The learning curve is really steep at my workplace as most of the people in the firm have at least  4 to 5 years of experience. There is a flat hierarchy ( there are no designated places or cabins as such).Another good thing is there is no time in or time out stamp that you need to maintain. It is not necessary to sit for 8 hours to 9 hours at your job place. It’s just that you have to complete your work before the deadline.

The city is fantastic mainly the weather. It is drastically different from Chennai. My office is in the heart of the city, so there are amazing places around to hangout. Nandi Hills is one of best place for watching the beautiful sunrises over the weekend.

Any tips for students who are sitting for placements?

My first and foremost tip would be that one should remember that everything is going to end well at the end. I have been there and I know how much stress the whole process can put you in and it is daunting. There are many fields one could go into, so pick the top two you are most interested in. Focus your preparation on these two fields. Talk to a lot of seniors because it is very helpful. They have experienced the same thing that you are going through right now and they will definitely be able to help you a lot.Secondly, there should be good a story around your resume. It shouldn’t be that you have done a lot of things without asking yourself a WHY?. What I would suggest is have a group of 5-7 friends. After day one of placements, a lot of walk-in interviews also start, because people who have been shortlisted on day two would have already got placed on day one. So they allow walk-in interviews. That is where your group of friends plays a major role. Your friends can help in taking your resume to these companies and pushing your resume for the walk-in interviews. Find the right group of 5-6 people, who will be with you throughout the placement season. I would also like to add placements are not as streamlined as you think they are. So what you need is little patience  and a belief that it’s going to end well. This belief will work wonders. Trust me!

I would like to wish the best of luck to all my friends appearing for placements! Cheers!

Authors: Sahithi Yamala (DD-CH ’21) & Hari Ramachandran (DD-MM ’20)

This article is part of our series – The Placement Guru where we share the experiences of graduates who have cracked the placement process and bagged some of the best offers on campus. For more such articles follow us on Facebook or visit our website here.