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In corporate battles, nail-biting drama tends to unfold at the highest levels. Often, moments of crisis creep up unexpectedly.It is during tough times, that one's true mettle is tested, believes Tata Steel MD TV Narendran. Speaking to students over a month ago, Narendran, who was awarded the distinguished alumnus award by alma mater IIM Calcutta, shared some of his learnings post B-school.

He said for most people who reach elite institutions like the IIMs, barring exceptions , the journey has been fairly successful. Very few would have seen failure. Narendran said for him, until he got into the institute, the single biggest failure was not getting into an IIT. An offer from an IIM was "like an ice balm on a bruised ego".

Narendran felt people are generally underprepared for failures after stepping out into the real world. But it is important to learn to deal with setbacks in one's personal and professional life. "Your ability to pick yourself up and respond to these will eventually deter mine if you are successful or happy in life," he said.

The second learning he's had is that sometimes you simply need to sit back and reflect on what it is that you've learnt from all the experiences. And lastly, he emphasised the importance of hobbies. "Pursue your passions, pursue what interests you. When in college, so many of us were into theatre, arts, painting. Pursue these hobbies and keep in touch with them. They help you cope with the mundaneness of stuff," he said.