XAT 2021 Question 81


Read the following scenario and answer the three questions that follow.

Ashraf has been working at a cybersecurity company called NuTech Pvt. Ltd. for seven years. Having missed a promotion in the previous appraisal cycle, Ashraf is anxious about it in the upcoming cycle. Ashraf is aware that the HR head is meeting the top management to discuss promotions sometime soon. (At NuTech, the HR head recommends names for promotions to the top management based on inputs from the functional teams.)

On a Friday afternoon, Ashraf receives an email from Sridevi, the HR head. It reads, “Hi, I need an urgent favour from you; please respond if you are free.” It was the first time that Sridevi ever contacted him. Surprised, Ashraf immediately replies back saying, “Sure! How can I help you, Sridevi? Regards, Ashraf.” In a couple of minutes, he receives a reply: “Ashraf, I am in the middle of an important meeting, but have to urgently send gift vouchers worth ₹50,000 to one of our important clients. If you could, please purchase and send the gift vouchers to the email address given below, at the earliest.” Ashraf , without any delay, sends gift vouchers worth ₹50,000 to the given email address.

Question 81

Ashraf does not hear anything from Sridevi in the next few days. Anxious, he meets up with Sridevi and enquires if the gift vouchers were appreciated by the client. This surprises Sridevi who closely scrutinises Ashraf’s emails and discovers that they originated from sridevi@nutich.com, instead of sridevi@nutech.com, her official email ID.

Taken aback, Ashraf requests Sridevi’s help in getting compensated by the company for his ₹50,000 loss. Sridevi asks Ashraf to justify his compensation demand. Ashraf gives the following reasons:

1. I erred; however, my financial rectitude is on record.
2. I acted in the greater interest of the company.
3. The spam mail reached my inbox due to the failure of the company’s email filter.
4. A NuTech employee, who was robbed of ₹20,000 of company’s cash, was not punished.
5. In the past, some of my acquaintances had been similarly duped.

Which of the abovementioned reasons, in a combination, will BEST help Sridevi take up the issue with the top management?


The starting tone of the reasons should be apologetic. Thus, Ashraf should start with reason 1.

After establishing his mistake, 'a greater good' reason will definitely help his case. Thus, reason 2 should follow 1.

Now, since there was a fault from the company's end also, he should make a case for the same. Thus, the best combination of the justification will be 1, 2, 3.

Citing shortcomings of the company in a similar previous scenario will not help his case. Also, not taking any lessons from past similar precedents will weaken his case.

Thus, the correct answer is B.

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