October 28th

Today is October 28th. It is a memorable day in my life as I started my first job on this day. I still remember that day very vividly.

I had earlier interviewed with HCL computers for a marketing position during college campus recruitment. They wanted marketing candidates for sales and service of printers & computers. The group discussion was total chaos and the person who talked the most (without letting others express their opinion) qualified. Well, I did not qualify and I did not regret it because working like a Medical representative, with a bag in hand, was not my idea of an ideal job. I had appeared for the interview just to have an experience. I was actually keen on joining TCE (Tata Consultancy Engineering). TCE was not a good paymaster (none of the Tata companies I know, are. We had similar opinion about TCS while working in SEEPZ). However, I was told that I would get a very good experience in Instrumentation engineering with TCE and be able to learn a lot of things. The interview was good and I was confident that I would be selected. However, I never heard back from them. In fact, nobody from my class was selected, including my friends who later grabbed 1st and 3rd positions at IIT GATE examination.

Getting a job with L&T was just a coincidence. I was having breakfast in out F-club canteen on that day when a friend of mine mentioned that L&T was coming for selection. I was not really so keen, but L&T was very close to my residence + they were really paying good. (Rs.3400/- per month in the first year which was a lot of money back then). So I decided to attend the written test. Well, I passed the written test. Then it was time for interview. Mr.G.Narasimhan and Mr.A.P.Limaye interviewed me. (I remember their names because I later worked with them.) All the smart kids from the class had already interviewed, so I was not so hopeful of getting the job offer. My very first question was about DCS and PLC. I was STUMPED as I had NO CLUE. However, I honestly answered them I had never seen a real PLC in my life. I only knew theoratical knowledge and I could explain by drawing block diagrams. I guess, they liked my honesty and did allow me draw the diagram and explain things. A few things I knew, a lot of thing I did not. But I said that I was willing to learn. In the end, they asked me "Why do you think that you qualify and why should we hire you?" Well, I knew that I was not the topper. I was not as smart as other kids who interviewed before me. So I answered rather sheepishly "I live at Vikhroli and L&T office is at Powai which is very convinient for me. So if you hire me, I won't leave L&T." Both Mr.Narasimhan and Mr.Limaye laughed and I knew immediately that I had lost a golden opportunity.

However, I was rather surprised to get a telegram from L&T a few days later asking me to report to Powai office on some day in August. Guess what? I called back HR department and I told them that I would like to join at a later date because I wanted to enjoy a few months of vacation after my B.E. exams. Today, I think of that incidence as suicidal, however, luckily for me, HR department agreed. Thus I got my first job as a Graduate Engineer Trainee (G.E.T.) with Larsen & Toubro (L&T) in the college campus interview.

I was asked to report on October 28th to L&T office on 8th floor at Bakhtawar Building in Nariman Point at 9AM sharp. I was instructed to meet Mr. Kudrimoti from HR. I reached there around 8:45 AM. He welcomed me and a few other Graduate Engineer Trainees (GET's). Few names I remember are K.Prakash, Alok Singh, Sharad Gupta and Sujata Prakash. I have no clue where they are presently as I have lost touch with them. Thus all of us had formally joined the Group V - (SPG). Me and Prakash were assigned elecrical department and I started my 1st day under Mr.B.S.Borkar as our Manager and Mr.R.B.Bhambhani as our GM.