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Success stories of IIT toppers

Ashwin Limaye, Topper, M Tech dual degree in Computer Science and Engineering.

He is simple, unassuming and, of course, intelligent! No doubt that Ashwin Limaye from Pune topped the M Tech dual degree. He has also topped in the last three years of the course.

On the IIT experience

The five years I spent at IIT were a great experience. Life at IIT is 24/7. The environment at IIT is totally different when compared to that of other colleges. We had a great hostel life too.

The best thing about IIT is that it is not just about academics, it also involves a lot of extra-curricular activities and sports. The interaction with professors and students from diverse backgrounds is also an enriching experience.

Although the class timings are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., we have all the time in the world to do what we like: this fine balance helps in overall personality development.

My interests

Badminton is my first love. I have headed the IIT team at various competitions in IIT and other inter-IIT competitions and won several medals. I'm very thankful to IIT for giving us such opportunities to play and practise. I also like reading both fiction and non-fiction.

Next move

I have joined McKinsey & Co as a consultant at a pay package of Rs 7.5 lakh (Rs 750,000) per annum. It's a great place to work. I was interested in the people part of the businesses and I'm enjoying my work. The transition from college to work is quite different. In colleges, we don't have fixed timing to study or work on project. But here it's at least a 12-hour job, from 9 to 9!

My mantra for success

The most important thing is to pay attention in the class, don't mix work and play, and stay focussed and organised. An engineering degree helps to have structured approach to problem-solving which is important.

On OBC quota

A 50 per cent quota will definitely affect the quality of IITs.

Advice to IIT aspirants

Get your basics right, you should have problem-solving skills, you must learn to ask why and not how, and be focussed in what you do. I did not go for any formal coaching, I did a correspondence course along with 3 of my friends so it was mostly combined study.

India or abroad?

India, of course! I belong to this place and I would love to settle down in India. However, I would like to experience how the environment is abroad. India is a growing market with plenty of opportunity, growth and innovation. It is the place to be now, this is where we can shine and excel. And I want to be a part of the great Indian growth story.

Photograph: Ashwin Limaye, Topper, M Tech dual degree in Computer Science and Engineering.

Also read: Indian stars at Microsoft
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