Young Achiever : Continuous learning, my secret

Young Achiever : Continuous learning, my secret

Says young quizzer Sriraj Rajamani, the youngest competitor at the Tata Crucible Quiz held in Hyderabad last week Purnima Sriram ya2Eighteen year old ...

Says young quizzer Sriraj Rajamani, the youngest competitor at the Tata Crucible Quiz held in Hyderabad last week Purnima Sriram

ya2Eighteen year old Sriraj Rajamani, from Bhavan's Vivekananda College, Sainikpuri, Hyderabad, was the youngest competitor in the Tata Crucible quiz competition (others being graduates and postgraduates above 23 years) . His friend Mohan and he were the runners-up in the finals despite the tough, veteran competitors. Around 142 teams from 65 colleges participated in the quiz competition.

How old were you when you first evinced interest in quizzing? I was 11 year old when I started to develop a passion and interest for quizzing. Did you participate in any competition earlier? I participated in school-level quizzes and won some prizes. What are the books, newspapers, newsletters, magazines did you refer to? I used to go through some of Derek O'Brien's quiz books back in my school days, although now I don't quite follow any quiz book as such. I got into the habit of reading newspapers from a young age. Nowadays, I read business newspapers too. Coming to magazines, I follow Forbes, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, Outlook and Time, to name a few.
How did you prepare for the quiz and from when did you start preparing?
I strongly believe that you cannot start preparing for any quiz, just a day or two before! The key, according to me is continuous learning, and the quest for knowing more should never cease. The much clichéd phrase "Stay a student all your life" is very apt here. Who is your inspiration? Well, my teachers in Class VI and VII standard, in Kochi were very encouraging. And then, after joining Bhavan's Vivekananda College, my seniors in B.Com Honours were instrumental in rekindling the passion for quizzing, as they were very motivating and encouraging. My role models are the winners of the Hyderabad round - Syed Muneer Ali and Naresh Kumar of AVCBM, who despite their humble backgrounds, kept on persisting and finally got their due rewards. I've known them for the last four months. There's so much to learn from them, their never-say-die spirit, and such a down-to-earth attitude, without a trace of ego.
How did you prepare for this competition?
The Tata Crucible is without a shadow of doubt, the pinnacle of business quizzing in India. I don't think there is anybody, who is into quizzing, who does not know of this great event! So, even though we had seen it on TV and YouTube, Mohan and I wanted to get a first-hand experience of this spectacle. We just thought attending this would be a great learning experience for us. We did not prepare anything in particular. It was just keeping up with the current affairs, and knowing more things about the corporate and business world, in general.
How was your journey through the competition? We had done the prelims quite well, for our standards. But, we thought there were a lot of teams who would have done better than us. But we ended up topping the prelims, with 16 out of 19. And then into the finals, it took five minutes for the feeling to sink in, that we're in the finals of a Tata Crucible Campus quiz. We kept reminding ourselves to keep calm, and not rush into answers. After the first round, everybody was almost in the same level. AVCBM were on the attack in rounds 2-4. They took a sizeable lead. One amongst these was the 'Tata World' round, which includes questions only on the Tatas, we hadn't prepared much for that, as we had never even thought we'd be in the finals! Soon, we caught up with them in the subsequent rounds. Into the last round we even took the lead. We kept the lead even till the very last question, in which Muneer pounced on the buzzer and got it right. We lost by a slender margin of five points.
How does it feel to be the youngest participant and going to the finals?
That was the most pleasing thing about it. We were the only first year graduation students in the finals. We weren't too tense and worked up, like most other teams, as we had put no pressure on ourselves to fare well, and I guess that worked in our favour. In Tata Crucible, there is tough competition even in the prelims, so as you would expect, in the finals, the level of competitiveness goes up even more. All finalists were fierce contenders. We had previously competed in other quizzes with the teams of AVCBM and St. Francis, so we knew they would be hard to beat. Even ISB, a top-notch management institution was a more than worthy opponent. But in the end, finishing the runners-up in such a prestigious event, that too, in just our first year of graduation is in itself an unbelievable achievement for both of us!
Did your parents, teachers support or encourage you?
My parents have always encouraged me, in whatever I take part in. Even the college has always been encouraging students in co curricular activities. To say, this is a 'dream come true' would be an understatement! Tata Crucible Quiz at Vishakhapatnam will be held on March 18, 2013 at 1.00 pm at Gate way hotel, Beach road.The first round of the quiz will come to an end on March 31. A The top two teams from each zone would battle it out for the top spot and the Tata Crucible Trophy at the national finals to be held in Mumbai on April 14, 2013. The mega international final of the quiz 2013 will be organised in Mumbai where the winners and runners-up from the Indian edition will compete with the winners and runner ups of the Singapore and UK editions, held earlier this financial year, to win the International Championship title.The quiz master is Giri Balasubramaniam aka Pickbrain. The winning team will be awarded a grand prize of Rs five lakh. The entry to the quiz is free and there is no deadline to file registration. For further information, you can log on to
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