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Dabangg pass to Microsoft dream

- MBA student keeps fingers crossed for votes in unique talent hunt

Being a Salman Khan fan may just help an MBA undergrad hop on board the world’s largest software giant.

No, it isn’t as easy as that, but rattling off Dabangg’s Chulbul Pandey dialogue is Adityapur boy and MBA student Rajan Mishra’s best ticket to being an intern in Microsoft’s core marketing team in the US.

Twenty-two-year-old Rajan, DAV Public School NIT (Adityapur) alumnus, an engineer and currently a student of Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon, is a key contender in the Microsoft Research India Talent Hunt between October 15, 2012 and January 31, 2013.

The “insanely simple” contest is open to all. Anyone can dial +91 080 4156 6020 to “record their voice talents, including songs, jokes, poems, one-liners or anything which is interesting”, but the voice clip must be 30 seconds or less.

Once that’s done, the user gets a text message with an ID which he or she can pass on to friends, asking them to dial +91 080 4156 6020, key in that particular ID and press any of the two numbers to signify LOVE or HATE.

A LOVE is a positive vote that increases the contestant’s chances of winning a Nokia Lumia 710 — high-end mobile handset prizes that are being handed out weekly — and which also helps his or her talent go viral.

For B-school students, there’s a much fatter carrot.

Microsoft does background checks of talent hunt contestants and if they happen to be MBA students with a jaw-dropping percentile, they stand a good chance of making it as an intern.

For instance, Microsoft Research (India) Talent Hunt organiser Aditya Vashistha, in a letter, asked MBA students to popularise this contest on campus.

And if they did well in the contest themselves, “some of the students, after receiving a letter of appreciation in December, can be selected for a live project in Microsoft”, he added.

For Rajan, his impressive 99.30 percentile in CAT this January is as important as the number of LOVE votes he bags for his Chulbul Pandey dialogue from Dabangg.

His voting fortunes — on ID 70131 — will be locked on November 23 with results being announced on November 24.

“Through this talent hunt, Microsoft Research (India) will be picking the best minds and forming a core marketing team of the best B-school students in India who will take part in a live marketing project in the US,” Rajan, whose father Padmeshwar Mishra is a child specialist at Dumka government hospital, said.

Those dialling the number and keying in Rajan’s ID will get to hear Dabangg Salman as Chulbul Pandey-Robin Hood threatening slimy villain Chhedi Singh with numerous chheds or holes to confuse his mind.

Rajan gives a spot-on rendition of the dialogue, delivered with mock-deadpan perfection by the superstar. “I agree it is an unusual way of picking brains, but Microsoft believes in innovation,” Rajan, who holds a mechanical engineering degree from KIIT-Bhubaneswar, added. “Hope I’m as much as a hit as Dabangg was,” he quips, fingers crossed.

Do offbeat ways work better to screen talent? Tell

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