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July 10, 2013

SBI PO Group Discussion and Interview Experience shared by Mayank Nigam


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Friends, here is the GD and Interview Experiences of SBI Probationary Officers shared by our friend from Agra, Mr. Mayank Nigam. We are very thankful to him for his update. Especially for the detailed explanation of the process. We wish him great success in his Interview on behalf of our team and readers. Read his experience in his own words.

 Name : Mayank Nigam

City : Agra

Education : MBA (Finance)

Work Experience : Reliance General Insurance (Mar 07 to June 10)

Present : Preparing for Civil Services

Interview Date : 8th July 2013

Interviwe Venue : Local Head Office, Sansad Marg, New Delhi

Interview Time : 11A.M.

GD Topic : Capital Punishment should be abolished in India

My batch comprised of 12 people out of which 1 was absent and the other one was not allowed to participate because of dubious credentials (signature and thumb impression mismatch).

Everyone was given 2 minutes to put across their points. I spoke against the topic and put few basic points like it becomes necessary to give capital punishment in cases of heinous crimes, repeat offences and when it is a established fact when a person cannot be reformed. I added that our system is working fine as all death penalty appeals go to Supreme Court and there is a chance of Presidential pardon too. The system should be the way it is at present.

After the round was completed everyone was given an option of speaking for another one minute just in case one wish to add to his points. I added that Capital Punishment is abolished mostly in either Scandinavian countries which are already having a very high HDI and thus low crime rates or small countries which have low crime rates by virtue of their low population example Island nations. Thus I ended up substantiating my earlier stand.

In my view, candidate must ensure to put across new points and not just reiterate the points given by other candidates as it can have a negative impact on marks.


Duration 12-15 minutes

There were 4 members in the panel. All were retired MD level officials. (I guess there will be 4 members in every interview as they are asking for one original copy of Bio Data form + 3 photocopies J)

I knocked at the door asked for permission to come in, wished everyone and took my seat with their permission.

M1 (I guess the Panel Head): Mayank you worked for Reliance General Insurance for 3 years. Why you left it in 2010 considering it’s a big company?

Me: Sir I had to come back to my native town for a couple of months for some family reasons. I had no sufficient leaves and that wasn’t a very good time considering the recession period. I was given an option to work with Agra Branch at a salary cut and I decided against it. So I was left with no other option but to resign from the services.

M1: Which group did your co. belonged to. Have Reliance applied for Banking Licence

Me: Sir ADAG, Anil Ambani group. No sir because they haven’t because they have interest in stock market through Reliance Money and as per RBI’s guidelines they cannot apply. The Panel then chatted about latest RBI guidelines. He asked what does Reliance Money do and how are they related to stock market. And I replied.

M1: What is the difference between Life Insurance and General Insurance?

Me: Sir risk covered in Life insurance is the life of an individual where as in general insurance, one can cover his vehicle, property health, etc. Basically general insurance is also termed as non-life insurance and that is the basic difference. M1 said with a smile. Yes non-life.. J

M1 then asked me what happens in case of Tsunamis, etc and I said they aren’t covered in a policy as they are deemed to be Act of God. He then said Force Mojure.  I was clueless and he explained it’s a latin term for Act of God. I smiled and said Thank you sir for the information, I wasn’t aware of it.

Then he passed it on to other member of the group

M2: What are the other businesses Reliance ADAG group have interest in?

Me: Sir, they have varied businesses like Reliance Communication, Reliance Capital which in turn has different subsidiaries like Reliance Life, Reliance Life, etc, then they have Reliance Power, Reliance Energy..

M2: How are Reliance Power and Reliance Energy different?

Me (took a small pause, though and guessed): Sir Reliance Power is into Power production (I should have said Generation) and Reliance Energy into Power transmission and distribution.

Everyone in the panel said, hmm, Power Distribution.. (Teer nishane pe lag gaya ;-))

M2: Name some power plants.

I mentioned Dadri and Roja  (run by Reliance) in Shajahanpur. He asked if they are oil based I said no sir they are thermal based. He nodded and said coal.

M2: Where does Oil drilling takes place in India?

Me: Sir mostly in Bombay Offshore region and KG Basin. (I missed to mention Jamnagar, Gujarat.)

Then M1 asked about FDI in Insurance and I answered it is 26% at present however Government is considering it to increase it to 49%. He asked where it is held up and I said, the proposal is stuck at Government level and if the insurance lobby has its way they would like to even extend it to 100%. M1 asked they are part of some kind of reforms, what is it? I replied ‘Fiscal Reforms’

M1: Which foreign co. does Reliance have tie up with?

Me: I replied it’s a 100% Indian venture (By now, I was confused if it’s a Banking interview or an Insurance interview or an Interview with Reliance!)

M1: Does SBI have an Insurance arm?

Me: Yes sir. SBI General Insurance.

M1: Do you know when they started their operations?

Me: Sir in 2010 or may be in mid 2009 (I wasn’t sure about it but knew either of the two is correct as my friends had been recruited by SBI while I was working and that was at the start of their operations)

M1: What advantage does SBI have in starting insurance co.?

Me: I started and was about to mention about the huge customer base that they can get advantage of but I was stopped in between and asked if I know about bancassurance. I replied.

M1 then passed to M3

M3: How many public insurance co. are there?

Me: 4 sir.

M3: Do you know about Reinsurance?

Me: Yes Sir. (I replied)

M3: How many insurance co’s are in profit?

Me: (By this time I was unsure as they were asking from a domain which I have left 3 years back in 2010) After a deep breath I said Im not sure Sir but very few of them.

M1: Are they Old generation or new generation co’s which are making profit?

Me: Sir, while I was working I used to read the statistics about the industry but now I don’t follow it. I am sorry I’m not so sure about it sir.

M1: How long does it take for an insurance co. to start making profits?

Me: I am not so sure sir but as far as I know it takes atleast 5-6 years before one can break even in this industry and sometimes even more.

At this M1 put his hands in his pockets and gestured yes you are right. One really  need to have very deep pockets to make profit in insurance industry.

The M1 asked if I’ve heard the name of Lloyds. I replied yes Sir, they are considered to be father of Insurance. He then asked are they Insurance co. or Reinsurance co.. I said Reinsurance (again a guess) and he said yes they are the first reinsurer co. in the world. Then he asked M3 to ask again and he said he’s done.

Over to M4 who gave me a situation

M4: Mayank, you have mentioned you worked in sales also. If you have to market an educational loan of SBI, what would be your detailed plan?

Me: Tried to give Gyaan like approaching educational institutes, print media advertisement, etc. but somehow was not able to convince him. In the hindsight, I think I could have given a lot better plan than this L

M3: Do you know the Market share of Reliance general?

Me: I feel it was a trap question and they expected a random 30-35% answer from me. I said Sir I am not too sure about it but Pvt insurers hardly have a market share in General Insurance. Around 60-70% market share is with the Public Insurer and the rest is distributed among other 14-15 pvt insurers. ICICI Lombard and Bajaj Allianz continue to battle out for top 2 slots within pvt insurers and Reliance cannot have a market share of more than 6-8% in the circumstances. He said hmmm…

M3 lastly asked if I know who takes care of the affairs of Insurance industry. I said IRDA.

With that my interview came to close and M1 told me my interview was over and I may go know.

I do not know about my fate in the final selection merit list but I did my best. I would like to thank Gr8AmbitionZ team because of whom I have reached thus far.


  1. Thanks Bhai. Its nice :)

  2. Varun Pratap SinghJuly 11, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    very useful. Thanks, Mayank and gr8AmbitionZ. :)

  3. My pleasure guys.. Thank u for your encouraging words..

  4. My pleasure guys.. Thank u for ur kind words..!

  5. Thanks for sharing and You will get the job congrtaz :) :)

  6. Thanks for sharing experiences...

  7. wooohhh...great interview...U are definitely in


  8. Thanks a lot for ur interview exprnce n good luck for d selection......

  9. Gr8ambitionz & Mayank Is any restriction for language during group discussion??????

  10. Gr8ambitionz & Mayank Is any restriction for language during group discussion??????

  11. Gr8ambitionz and Mayank Is any language restriction during group discussion ????? please reply ....

  12. Gr8ambitionz and Mayank Is any language restriction during group discussion ????? please reply ....

  13. Gr8ambitionz and Mayank Is any language restriction during group discussion ????? please reply ....


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