Shastri cracks McKinsey case interview; to retire from commentary

Ravi Shastri, who recently completed 10,000 mentions of “flashes and flashes hard” in international cricket commentary, has been called over by McKinsey’s Jason Chandler, Senior Partner, for a case interview

Ravi Shastri has retired from all forms of the game to take up a career in management consulting. Cricket’s loss will be McKinsey’s gain as the dashing all-rounder takes fresh guard to bat for the world’s premier management consulting firm.


Impressed by his ability to be reassuringly dour and always on the message with metronomic precision, McKinsey’s Jason Chandler, Senior Partner from the firm’s Sydney office, called Shastri, who recently completed 10,000 mentions of ‘flashes and flashes hard’ in international cricket commentary, over for a case interview. 


The Unreal Times presents transcripts of the case that Shastri cracked to bag the coveted job at the firm: 


Jason Chandler: Hi Raavi! Thanks for coming over to interview with us. Must say your commentary has grown on me over the years and I have come to enjoy the punditry you bring to the table. 


Ravi Shastri: Thanks, Jason. It’s much more than punditry. I would call it Shastrigiri – the fine art of using clichés to deconstruct and describe complex periods of play for the benefit and edification of millions of viewers. 


(Jason stares back awestruck, before regaining his composure) 


Jason: Why, that is fantastic, Shastri…I mean Raavi. We expect our consultants, as premier thought leaders, to be at the forefront of coining new business phrases to analyze the world of business, and thus, life itself. 


(Jason quietly ticks off a box from a list of “Must have attributes in a consultant” and mutters to himself “the guy can talk with a straight face, dresses sharply and has a ‘I’m a cool dude’ look about him. Just need to check if he ticks the box against ‘cracking a case interview’) 


Shastri (to break the silence): It’s quite an electrifying atmosphere out here, Jason 


Jason (slightly taken aback): Er..yeah. Ok, Raavi, I’ll give you a relatively simple business problem to solve given that you are no ordinary candidate. A leading international beer company has just entered the Indian market, but has been struggling to grow. The CEO has hired McKinsey to advice him on how to increase his market share. Assume you have been deputed on behalf of McKinsey to advice him. What are your first thoughts? 


Shastri (almost instantaneously): Just get the feeling that this could go down to the wire,Chandler. 


Jason: Uh… please call me Jason. But yeah, you are right. Go on. 


Shastri (in his best monotone): As the captain, he’s got to mix it up, Jason. Experience will be invaluable on Indian conditions, and you’ve got to believe in yourself. 


Jason: Absolutely. He must believe in the product. What strategy would you suggest to him? 


Shastri: Branding is the key, Jason. No half measures there. He’s got to flash and flash hard. And I would recommend he take aerial route when it comes to distribution. He must know where the topline is, if his growth has to shoot up like a tracer bullet. 


Jason: Hmm. Interesting… What do you think would be the result, if the CEO were actually to take this advice and implement it? Would his market share grow, reduce or stay the same? 


Shastri: At this stage, all three results are possible, Jason. In the end, McKinsey is the real winner. 


(All the partners gaze at each other and nod. Then they all stand up and start clapping in unison) 


Jason: Brilliant! You’re absolutely right Raavi, it just doesn’t matter what the result is! You have understood the consulting business to a T! 


(Jason picks up a microphone, and stands at the doorway to address the rest of the candidates) 


Jason: Ladies and gentlemen, we have had a cracker of an interview. Over 30 candidates have been interviewed. Over 300 questions have been asked. And in the end, one person held his nerve and proved to be the winner. Congratulations, Ravi Shastri! 


(Overjoyed that someone had paid tribute to his signature style of commentary in this manner, Shastri removed his shades to wipe the tears of joy streaming down his gaunt face) 


Jason (shaking Shastri’s hands): Before we end, Raavi. Do you have any questions for us? 


Shastri: Yes (pauses)… Do you like Indian curry? 




The former Indian skipper will now substitute the microphone for a laptop and will be working with a confectionary company in Adelaide to help them increase market share. 


Shastri’s career change has been welcomed by his colleagues in the commentary box although Ian Chappell seemed a trifle begrudging.  


“Well, Raavi will make a fine consultant, but what I don’t get is why they did not select me when I interviewed with them a couple of years back! I have more experience, I am tactically shrewder, I can communicate better, I even had better CGPA at college! Not fair that he makes the cut just because he is better looking than me,” whined Chappell. 


(Reproduced with permission from The UnReal Times is one of the top websites for satire, spoof, parody and humour in India.)