update

weekend was kinda unusual… didn’t go out of london… most people seem to have lost the enthu now…

saturday was anusmaran… here in london, we had three times as many alumni as interns… some takeaways… in 1996-97 100 people registered for int-fin. this year the course wasn’t floated due to lack of students… people used to stay 2 to a room in the first year… thank goodness we weren’t subjected to such horrors… then there was this funda of water parties where there would be music and all people would do was to throw buckets of water on each other…

then, most people who attended had switched jobs at least once, sometimes into a totally different sector and totally different job profile. actually provides hope for me just in case i make a wrong choice on that set of fateful days next march when i have to choose a career and get a good job in my chosen path…

one thing i noticed was that even though the event was scheduled to start at 12, i was among the first to arrive at 12:30. most people trickled in by two… a few started guzzling the cobra and kingfisher which were on sale at the venue for ?5 per pint… and one guy from the batch of ’04 was already sloshed when he walked in…

event ended as people dropped in their contributions towards the lunch (?16.50 per head, no subsidy for interns) and collecting (albeit broken) momentos (made, incidentally, by olympic sports, bangalore and which arrived in london only on the night before the meet).

nothing else interesting happened in London over the weekend… no masala whatsoever for Twisted Shout… went to woodlands yesterday evening and ordered a ‘mysore masala dosa’. maaajor letdown… they make better dosas than this in delhi!

and gandhi and i had this discussion yesterday as to how upon return to india we might end up overspending as we would convert all expenses back to pounds!!

more later… have to attend some arbit meeting now… and of course , i’m as vela as ever in office…

things to write about…

has been an extremely jobless week in office. today was especially jobless (mainly because i didn’t receive too many emails). one associate in my team is out for the week meeting clients so i have to stay ‘just in case i’m needed’ and postpone my tour of other departments. but there’s no work for me here. so i’m forced to sit at the desk and do nothing (not too much business for our desk this week). today i got so bored that after reading a few dozen blogs, i even went to the extent of reading my own old blogs! all i’ve done this week is to attend 2 meetings, model 2 swaps, one google search and fetching one round of coffee!

feeling too bored to write now… this is already my third post today… have a lot of things to write about… will do so when i’m jobless and not bored. about cricket… about the investment banking myth (this will be written upon my return to India)… about the association of descendents of my grandfather’s grandfather… about the importance of marketing (yeah, no mistake there)… about life, the universe and all that… about emails… phone calls… long conversations… the loos here… another look at IIMB… how i think i’ve made all the right career decisions till now… my mom’s gyaan (sometimes extremely insightful, sometimes weird)…

remind me from time to time to write about these things… else i’ll forget and a lot of things will remain unsaid…

investment banking stuff…

investment banking is truly a volatile industry. i was talking the other day about the guy who recruited us leaving. today a fellow-intern (from IIML) lost his entire team. in other words, EVERYONE he was working with left the company today and moved elsewhere. poor guy now has nowhere to go… similar case with the other guy from IIML also! his MD has quit and his team is being disbanded. he doesn’t know if he’ll be asked to come back next year…

i was asking an MD today at a meeting regarding exodus of people from our company. he said, “our retention rates among junior and middle levels are the highest in the industry. i’m very happy about that. yeah, quite a few senior guys left but they weren’t doing much work anyway!” fundoo… this guy apparently left the banking industry in 1999 to start his own dot com company but after it went bust 2 years later, joined JP Morgan!

staying on the topic, i suddenly started wondering what would happen if a team suddenly quit en masse, like the L guy’s team left today. the team in question was a marketing team covering the middle east. which means that by tomorrow morning, there should be someone who should be there at the desk handling the phone (after all it’s a marketing desk and important ‘orders’ can’t be missed). they can’t leave an intern alone on the desk (mostly they’ll find a new desk for him), so someone else from some other position has to be moved in. marketing to the middle east requires knowledge of arabic and persian, since few clients know english. and marketing derivatives means that the person should know derivatives well and should be fluent with the modeling techniques!

i was just asking my VP what one does in such a situation. he simply said that he hasn’t thought about it but it WOULD be a tough problem for top management. and he added that though such events are common in the investment banking industry, there is no set practice as to what one would do. in all probability all the business that desk had would be gone forever!

(reminds me of the IT heydays when Infy and Wipro used to maintain a ‘bench’ – just in case there was an exodus or business picked up too rapidly)

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made upma once again yesterday. came out damn good. approximately as good as the best upma my mom makes… ate it slowly with curd…. was simply awesome… feeling hajaar proud of myself…

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my degree in Computer Science hasn’t gone waste. i’m still pretty good at debugging! as i keep realizing in office when people at my desk ask me to find out why two ‘identical’ models aren’t tallying…