Jan 18, 2010

Why am I a financier?

There are three kinds of people in this world. One, the people who know what their passion is, follow it with all their heart, and end up being mostly happy and occasionally successful. Two, the people who put away their passion, in pursuit of more practical options, and end up being mostly successful and frequently unhappy. And three, the people who have no clue what they like, accept whatever life throws at them, and end up convincing themselves that they are happy about their mediocrity.

I used to think I was in the second group, but nowadays feel I am in the third. This bit of senti thinking is triggered by a never ending week of work, where I have given up three holidays, spending long hours at office generating bullshit which I hope is 'analysis', and which is surprisingly accepted as such. Analysis, not bullshit.

Why did I take up finance? While I may have given all the right sounding answers in interviews (there has to be some reason I got hired!), the plain truth is "for lack of a better option". Ticking Finance on the b-school admission form seemed an obvious choice after a degree (and more!) in commerce.

When I look back, I see how I took a life-changing decision with a very simplistic decision making tool: the process of elimination.

I couldn't have done Operations (or Ops, as they call it). I had never seen a factory or shopfloor in my life. Machines were alien to me (ok, I knew the zipper, but then I hadn't seen the Hirani movie then!). Being closeted with a roomful of engineers wasn't very appealing. And most importantly, there were few girls in Ops. They apparently took Total Quality Control in the opposite sense. Sex stigma was their one-in-a-million mantra.Or rather, 3.4 as they would claim, but that's just more than a pi. Which, I hear, is never ending. Only after a point. Ok, my point is that there was too much Greek (and Japanese!) in this subject and not enough Latinas.

I couldn't have done Information Management (or IM). I had no Comp. Sci. background, no software industry experience. The Computer skills section of my resume read: "MS-Office". Going down that road would have meant a life of Patni (the tam word). Or rather a life without a Patni (the hindi one now!). Coding meant drawing lines. Debugging was too gross. I mean, who wants to be a pesticide all his life? Especially when you can be the pest ever in something else.

I toyed with the idea of Marketing. After all, every tom's harry dick thinks he can do marketing. Except I couldn't sell to save my life. No, seriously. You could put a gun to my head and say "My way or the Amway" and all that'll happen is I'll end up dead. With a hole in my head. And a bagful of useless products. I realized I would suck at this when my prof said "A brand is a brand is a brand!" I mean, if you have to repeat things for people, I am not the guy for it. Like I said before. The moment they started talking about a cash cow turning into a dog, I began to see stars. And question marks. Floating around my eyes.  Plus, having successfully escaped a boring small town and tackling culture shock in Bombay, the last thing I wanted to do was a shout-out for Whisper in Muzaffarpur. I decided to Stayfree of that shit. But much as I mock them, I really admire the smooth talkers who can put fake shit in a sachet and call it sham-poo.

So, that left Finance. And the promise of a jet-setting life, big fat bonuses, and wheeling and dealing. Who was to realize one would end up enjoying dragging cells in MS-Excel for 'growth' models, writing meaningless sentences like "The market is volatile" (which means it can go up, or down, but we have no clue) and haggling with lawyers over whether to use "and" or "and/or" at the end of a paragraph?

But then, such is Life...


  1. Ugh. Wrong time for me to be reading this I guess :-)

    But I empathize completely...

  2. @kiruku uncle...
    u so very reduced my excitement of waiting the much delayed cat results...!!!!
    Any other stuff to do in a B school other the subjects mentioned..!!!??

  3. @ Juggler:
    I dunno... whatever little 'private equity' that I have seen is far from exciting... long days of painful due diligence, followed by longer days of legal nit picking...

    the only exciting thing seems to be the 'carry'... which I am not going to get since I am not in that space...

    I can only hope, for your sake, that the ones in US turn out better!

    @ SS and DS:
    oh, cat taker? all the best then...

    "Any other stuff to do in a B school other the subjects mentioned..!!!??"

    lots... goof around... play games all night... download movies through the 24 hour free internet... chat up gals... in short, enjoy the good time, relaxing in the knowledge that once you get out, you usually get paid better than most people you know and most definitely, much more than you deserve!

  4. See, this is why you should've become an entrepreneur instead. :D

  5. Anonymous4:58 AM

    Hi there!
    I would like to burn a theme at here. There is such a nicey, called HYIP, or High Yield Investment Program. It reminds of ponzy-like structure, but in rare cases one may happen to meet a company that really pays up to 2% daily not on invested money, but from real profits.

    For several years , I earn money with the help of these programs.
    I don't have problems with money now, but there are heights that must be conquered . I get now up to 2G a day , and I started with funny 500 bucks.
    Right now, I'm very close at catching at last a guaranteed variant to make a sharp rise . Visit my web site to get additional info.

    http://theinvestblog.com [url=http://theinvestblog.com]Online Investment Blog[/url]

  6. @ IITG:
    Am too lazy to become an entrepreneur...

    @ Anonymous:
    yeah, just the scheme I was looking for... do post more details...

  7. Truly hilarious..most B-school posts I have read are just that - hilarious. Oh, I miss those days bad...

    I liked the Ops piece best though for aspirants, you could have given a glimpse of HR as well :)

    I too am looking forward to knowing more about the SCHEME :D :D what is that 2G a day. I only know 'g' for 9.8 and 'G' for Gravitational Constant (much less than 0)..if you wake with only that much money everyday, you need serious govt aid.

    Sorry for the Physics :)

  8. @ PD:
    arre, kaisa hai!! long time no news!

    as for the piece, I do need to blow off some steam from time to time...

    and ur physics went well over my head... as for the 'scheme', if 2G means 2 grand, i would love to know how to earn that much without having to struggle weekends writing appraisal notes on projects that I really don't understand!

  9. Mate, the judgement what you've made on urself in the topic itself shows the path you had followed to attain what you are right now ;).. Buddy, i remember the saying " Don't compare your life to others'. you have no idea what their journey is all about.".. :)..