Alert: The ideas that I mention in the post below are peculiar to Financial Services industry but can be applied to any other industry as well.
So this time it’s Bond, James Bond. An action hero has found a place in my blog which by now you know I write on life’s philosophies, finance & economics and motivational stuff. All of us have seen Bond movies at one time or the other but if we take a closer look, there are two parallel but complementary sides moving along in the same direction in the film which ultimately leads the Bond & Team winning and punishing the bad guys. Firstly there is Bond’s team, which includes M - the boss of Bond and very motivated and efficient team-mates who apply their minds sitting in the high-tech office to the best of their ability, and then there is Bond – who does it on the field. This is what this post is about – to be a Bond or to be an M.
Let’s start with the second idea, for most of the people I know want to get into this vertical. Here you will be using your domain knowledge & skills to the maximum, like the guys you see on the silver screen who are working incessantly with newer ideas & technologies to be ahead of the curve, you will earn well and lead a plush and comfortable inside-the-office life. In this vertical in our real industry, these people are known as Equity Research Analysts, Treasury guys, Head of Research and who go on to become the Fund/Portfolio Managers or the Chief Financial Officer (CFOs). These are the guys who work from the Intelligence Headquarters aka Corporate Office (in our cases, mostly Mumbai).This is the Technical side of the industry.
Now while the people above use their special education & training (which we know as MBA+CFA/FE) in doing their respective job, there is another dimension involved to the work of Bonds. Like James Bond in his movies uses his domain knowledge combined with his physical skills to win, here being a Bond, you have to use along with your domain knowledge, the skills known as People Skills. Business skills come along with it. The technical knowledge will be used not to do research but to develop the business, to bring more clients whose funds are then managed by the Fund Managers. These Bonds in the real industry are known as Relationship Managers, Business Development Executives which move on the ladder of Area, Country Managers and become the CEO of the fund/company. These are the guys who are not stationary. They could be in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai or any other city and even in different countries later on plying around the globe looking for business relationships. This is the Business side of the industry.
But unlike the Reel world, in the Real world it’s not only the Bond’s role that is glamorous. The other side is loved as much. So it all boils down to where you see yourself, which kind of role do you see doing for the rest of your life, comfortably and most importantly, where you see yourself having fun and growing personally. Both require different advanced skills, one of technicals and the other of handling people and business, but basics are all the same as you need the same basics to do the research and manage funds as you need to convince clients and make them invest to manage the corpus.
One important thing here is that it’s not what you are currently but where you want to be. The Bond in the movie wins every time because of one thing, Training, which M is very proud of, always. Same way in life with training you can do well in either of the above fields. But there is a spark added when you know which are your dominant skills and your calling, and then everything you touch turns into gold. You will get the answers to this in your day-to-day life by seeing how you behave in certain situations, like when you are working in a team on projects, which are the preferable roles you want to take. Pay attention. Or otherwise, you can know it the best way, which is by Doing It. Internships or small work assignments with corporations are a great way to know about yourself and your calling.
Whether a 007 Agent or an M, be the best in whatever you do. GODSPEED!