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This is my diary....what I make sense of, around me. You'll find short prose on contemporary topics that interest me. What can you expect - Best adjectives? …. hmm occasionally, tossed around flowery verbs ?…. Nope, haiku-like super-brevity? … I try to. Thanks for dropping by & hope to see you again

March 13, 2011

Morgan Stanley & the pursuit of Happyness


Remember Will Smith in the Pursuit of happyness? The first time I saw the movie, the telemarketing tactics adopted by Chris Gardner (played by Will Smith), the intern stockbroker, struck me more than the storyline about his struggle for livelihood. 

As a single parent he has to achieve the same results and better in 6 Hours where everyone else has 9. He calculates that it would save him 8 minutes a day if he did not put the phone down between prospecting calls. So he keeps the handset up and uses his finger on the button so that he doesn't get distracted. He also doesn't  drink much water to avoid wasting excess time in the bathroom.

Why? The company, Dean Witter,  where he is earning his spurs has ingrained him with a simple idea:  "X number of calls equals X number of prospects, X number of prospects equals X number of customers, X number of customers equals X number of dollars." 

The movie not only makes a statement of the hyperactive competition of the US Financial markets of the mid 80’s but also how telemarketing became an integral part in the growth of the financial services Industry  (in India this phenomenon was observed about 15 years later)  

Dean Witter had an interesting tagline "We measure success one investor at a time" and much like the Business it was into i.e, M&A(mergers and acquisitions) it too underwent mergers (with Reynolds)  and was finally acquired by Morgan Stanley which adopted its tagline. 

Another iconic name is soon set to join the ranks of Dean Witter;  Smith & Barney. Ironic for another legacy company whose tagline was  “They make money the old fashioned way. They earn it”. 

In case you missed the Irony part , it too is being gobbled up by Morgan Stanley whose role in the subprime mortgages & creation of other toxic assets healthily contributed to the US financial crisis.
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