Season Finale: Deepak Mehta – IIMs, Education System, and Indian Society.
The season finale of The Takeaway Club™ is very special because in a lot of ways it exemplifies what this podcast is about – deep, candid chats with interesting, super inspiring people.
It was an absolute privilege to have Deepak Mehta on the show.
Deepak did his undergrad in computer science at BITS-Pilani, Goa, and went to do his MBA from IIM- Ahmedabad. He currently works as a manager at CRISIL.
He is one of the most popular personalities on Quora, where he has over 167,000 followers. he has written almost 4000 answers on the platform on every topic under the sun including Indian society, Comics, Politics, Economy, Education system, Marriages, World affairs.
Deepak is beloved on the Quora platform for his highly researched, incisive, insightful answers that leave you thinking. His ~4000 answers on the platform have been read over 100 million times and he has been awarded the Quora top writer for 5 years straight between 2014 and 2018.
His articles have been published in a number of global media houses including HuffPost, Forbes, Apple News, CNN, Business Insider, The Independent, Yahoo among others.
Personally, I’ve been following him on Quora for years now, right from the time I got into the platform back in my school days – he is one of the smartest persons I’ve had the fortune of learning from; He has had a phenomenal impact on my personality, my ideas, and my ideals.
At ~3 hours, this is the longest episode on The Takeaway Club™ so far – a personal milestone that I couldn’t have pulled off, if not for Deepak’s patience and enthusiasm throughout. While the episode length might seem daunting unless you are an ardent podcast fan, I promise once you start listening to Deepak, that will be the last thing on your mind and you’ll be left wanting for more.
Though the length is not always an accurate measure of a conversation’s quality, in this case, it is certainly true, with the episode getting better and better as we progress.
While the entire conversation was like a minesweeper, filled with lessons and takeaways, I was really amazed at Deepak’s perspective on society, stereotyping, and the principle of marriage that really strikes a chord with the current climate.
It was an incredible conversation and in a way, a highlight reel of his ~4000 answers from his 7 years at Quora – a condensation of his wisdom in an audio format, if you will.
Given the wide-ranging topics under discussion, and the sheer length of the episode, I thought it’d help to break it down so you can jump around, focus on what you are curious about the most.
The first half of the chat focuses on Deepak’s life, his journey – IIM days, the lessons he learned, how his relationship with his father has impacted his life in a profound manner. This is a must-listen, particularly for anyone in their undergrad, or wants to pursue a degree in management and want to hear a candid perspective of someone who has been there and done that.
The second half is all about Deepak’s perspectives on delicate topics such as the education system, marriage system, society as such, that makes you see the same old things in a totally new light.
Click on any of the icons to listen to the episode in your favorite platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play music.
Prefer listening on your Mac or PC? Dive right in.
Deepak: His journey so far
00:00 – 04:55 – Who is Deepak Mehta?
06:00 – Catching up – What has Deepak been up to?
12:15 – Breaking down Deepak’s answers’ strategy and learning
16:00 – On context switching
22:00 – On time management
27:20 – How transformative was IIM-A?
35:20 – Looking back: Was MBA culmination of management passion or the next logical step?
42:10 – On lessons learned from his dad
51:00 – IIM D-day
01:02:30 – How was the IIM interview experience like?
01:09:00 – Pitfalls of the interview system
Deepak: Thoughts and Perspectives
01:15:40 – On favorite books
01:22:00 – On comics and superman
01:24:00 – On how reading changed his perspective
01:28:00 – Fascination for the Joker
01:39:00 – Silver lining from COVID-19
01:51:00 – Education System
02:07:50 – Marriage System
02:21:00 – Instances where Deepak Mehta was on the wrong side of things
02:30:00 – Thoughts on penning a book
02:33:00 – Random Deck: Thoughts on 80-year-old self, a message for the world, reversing the table
Though it would be unjust for me to pick a portion of the conversation as a ‘highlight’ and would absolutely recommend giving it a full listen, if you are on an absolute time constraint but would still prefer to enjoy the conversation, here are some of my personal favorites that really left me awe-struck:
- How transformative was IIM-A for him personally?
- His relationship with his father where he reminisces a defining moment at a shady bar after his IIM results
- His thoughts on the Joker character – his knowledge and the amount of thinking that went into understanding a comic character left me stumped
- His thoughts on the Indian educational and marriage systems and the instances when his perspective on things was wrong
I sincerely hope you find some invaluable takeaways from the conversation.
P.S: If you enjoy the chat, kindly consider subscribing to my mailing list so you can stay on top of the episodes I publish and other blogs I write – I also send out a weekly email every Monday with a curation of some of the most random and interesting content I find on the internet in the previous week.
P.P.S: Show Notes:
Dropping in the links Deepak referred to in the course of the conversation:
- To Kill a Mockingbird
- Bhagavad Gita
- Nordic Way of living
- Batman and the Möbius Chair | Joker’s identity
You can follow Deepak in any of these places online: