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The Equitymaster Research Digest

The Most Fundamental Questions, Having Stop Losses and More...
Jan 1, 2016

'So Rahul, tell us how many Udipi restaurants you think are there in Mumbai?'

This was the question that was put before me when I gave my first ever interview for a job at Equitymaster.

'What on earth is going on', I muttered under my breath. Here I am, freshly passed out of a well known MBA institute, and instead of some tough finance questions, all I get asked is an estimate of the number of Udipi restaurants in Mumbai! Needless to say this is something I had absolutely no clue about.

So, after thinking about it for a couple of minutes, I answered that it could be somewhere in the region of 600.

My reasoning was along the lines of trying to divide the city into its three main railway lines and then estimating the number of stations along each of these lines and then drilling down further.

While I don't remember the right figure given by my interviewers, I do remember that I was way off the mark. Much to my relief though, my interviewers weren't looking for the right answer.

They were just trying to understand the way I would go about in trying to find the right answer. My thinking process if you will. They were happy to know that I at least had some framework for arriving at an answer and I was hired for the job.

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