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GUEST COMMENT: The hardest working investment bankers are typically of this nationality…

All the motivation you need (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All the motivation you need (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Raj annoys me.

Analyst training emphasised that the whole experience should be taken more like a marathon rather than a 100 metre sprint. Raj took that advice and threw it in the bin. He’s giving Usain Bolt a real run for his money. No pun intended.

Raj and I were hired onto the same team at Major US Bank & Co., London Office. He’s my competition and I’ve never met a harder worker. I thought I was a supreme grafter but until I met him, I know I didn’t even know what it meant to work hard.

I can’t keep up.

He’s in before I get in and for at least the first three days of the week, we leave at the same time. By day three of the week, when I can’t do it anymore, Raj is still looking bright-eyed and bushy tailed. Whatever the guy’s on, I want some. I don’t care if it’s illegal.

The associates all love him. The harder they shaft him, the more he seems to like it here. Me? I’m exhausted and struggling to curtail my British sense of sarcasm. It’s not winning me any favours.

This makes it all the more surprising that when our team wins a deal with a major Indian Steel Company, our MD assigns me to work on it.

“Bloody colonialist mentality!” is all Raj says.

I land in New Delhi. I get sensory overload.

I don’t know whether it’s the heat or the stench that hit me first. Either way, it’s a shock to the system. This is overlaid with cars hooting and industrial equipment. It’s dusty, dirty and overcrowded. The place is what Americans would technically call a sh*t hole.

I’ve known Raj for six months now but it takes only five minutes in India to actually understand him. The stuff Raj is on, I’ll never be able to get a hold of. He’s not racing for a bonus: he’s running from a place he never wants to live in again. He’ll only stop running when he thinks he’s ran far enough to never end up here again. That’s not going to be for a few years.

Bar none, Indians are the hardest workers you’ll find in an investment bank. They are extremely hungry for success. I’m not talking about first and second generation English Indians, I’m mean the authentic ones that have just come off the boat.

A guy like me who grew up in Middle England with all the ModCons of life is running a completely different race. I’m gunning for a probabilistic, increasingly elusive prize – the bonus. Raj, on the other hand, is fleeing the near certainty of hardship. It’s not hard to guess who’s going to win.

When I return to London, Raj still p-s me off, especially as I’m knocked off the deal and he’s put in my place but I know that if I ever start a business, I’m going to staff it with 20 Rajs.

Ben Lincoln is a pseudonym used by an investment banker in London.

Comments (18)

  1. nah….. you got it all wrong mate…

    raj may end up as a career investment banker but so what.

    is he the next steve jobs? Nope

    is he the next bill gates? Nope

    Is he even going to be the next warren buffett? nope

    hard work can only take you so far.

    talent and brains are needed.

    Most Raj’s are fresh off the boat, very good at repetitive work, and used to rote learning and memorisation.

    making pitches and excel number crunching are not the foundations of leadership nor genius

    and you can work all the hours of the day, it won’t increase your brain cells.

  2. I sense jealously from Mr. rockstar

  3. Great! Let all investment bankers go to India to create wealth there ! We will all be better off.

  4. Ben, don’t make the mistake of confusing individual traits with national identities. I work in a multinational company. We have Americans, Britishers, Indians, French… Some are hard working and some are not. But the is a clear difference between the type who are going to succeed n the rat race and those are going to land up on the welfare dole in a few years from now. The former thrive on competition, love winning and when they lose, they don’t whine and whinge and post racist articles like the one you’ve posted here. They learn from their failures and move on.

    Not every hardworking guy is motivated by fear of hardship any more than a Brit born in a comfortable middle class upbringing is bound to be a lazy worker. Stereotypes are dangerous. Get out of your comfort zone and learn to play ball like the rest of us.

    By the way that’s a nice photo of the Dharavi slum. Hope you didn’t have to search hard to find it. Shoudn’t be. After all, all cities have their slums, even the cities out here in England.

  5. So Rockstar thinks all those immigrants from India are only good at repetitive work.

    So, any one of them can become Anshu Jain? yup

    any one one can become Vikram Pandit? yup.

    any one of them can become Indra Nuyi? yup.

    any one of them can become LN Mittal? yup

    (Google if you don’t know who these guys are….)

    Immigrant don’t leave their brains behind in the slum.

    Time to grow your brain.

    SoftwareDeveloper Reply
  6. it isn’t all about racism…

    it’s about basic economics, demand and supply

    and there is an over supply of indian workers all over the world.

    and anything that is over supplied is a commodity, and has little value.

  7. thank goodness the HSMP program was stopped otherwise we would have another few gazillion Raj’s in our shores

  8. all these indians mentioned are just employed.

    so what????

    are these people genuises like steve jobs and warren buffett?

    these indians are working for american companies started by real geniuses.

    any employee can be fired.

    but genuis can’t be….

  9. First point, India is not all a slum. You clearly haven’t been to the right places. If you think growing up here made your life comfortable, you don’t know how the rich people in developing countries live. I am not denying that life in developing countries can be hard, I would take your point if Raj was from a very poor family.

    And yes jealousy is evident here, just because he can work longer and harder. I am also from South Asia, but not India. Not everyone is hard-working. Plenty of people are really lazy. This article sounds racist to me. It is down to personal traits. Don’t generalise.

  10. @rockstar, please learn to spell genius first then talk. Any country can have geniuses and great businessmen. And despite not being Indian, I can see the never-ending list of great entrepreneurs from there.

  11. Cityhag is distressed by the snarky tone of the original article, and the racist tone and lack of what is proper diversity logic in the ensuing comments. Heaven forfend that eFC should become the online tabloid of the financial hiring community. I thought we were all more evolved than that.

  12. this article is hilarious..but I couldn’t agree more.

    I am one of those like Raj…I just went back to India for a few days and couoldn’t believe when the electricity got cut off….is that where the country still is ? .I’ve been out for 20+ years..

    good to see some sincere honesty …and we don’t need to get ants in our pants …no one is insulting the Indiandom…..although there is much good…we only have ourselves as Indians to blame for some of the mess we still have….

  13. @ rockstar is totally wrong and misinformed!

    they are not employed, they actually employ thousands like you.

    Check Lakshmi mittal who bought Britain’s most expensive house : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2017147/Lakshmi-Mittal-to-pay-117m-for-Britains-priciest-home.html

    and by the way do any of us know who owns worlds’ most expensive??

    Who is the owner of the car company which has created over 5000 NEW jobs within the last year in recession hit Britain and was personally thanked by ministers from the British parliament?

    I guess ROCKSTAR has a lot of research to do before spreading hatred!

  14. Okay, so to summarise this piece;

    ” I know a guy from country X who works really hard, therefore the hardest working people are from country X”


  15. Ben Lincoln is an Arrogant condescending imperialist. Look at this:

    ” I ever start a business, I’m going to staff it with 20 Rajs.”

    What makes you think that someone who is by far superior to you in the workplace would ever work for you? Chances are Raj would have already started his own business and wouldnt employ a lazy piece of sh*t like you to sweep his floors you dog!

    Dude seriously Raj would pimp you out. As for calling India a Sh*thole dont even go there.. the way things are India and china will surpass you in 20 years for sure.. they will have a productive civilization whilst you will go back to swinging from trees. zip your mouth youre only embarrasing yourself.. but hey thats just advice, you can continue entertaining us till red nose day

  16. I just had to comment on this

    THis article just sums up the intellectual level on which the editors of eFinancialCareers are operating at

    How can you publish such *****?

    This is worthy of the daily mail

    Please export it to that tabloid ……. and keep it away from here

    Seriously…. there is nothing else to publish or write about in the world apart from this drivel?? I suggest you close down the publishing section of your website and concentrate just on posting jobs since you clearly cannot operate in the publishing business

  17. This is the most stupid and racist article I have ever read..!!!!

  18. Amusing to see all my bobbly heads brethren jumping to “Raj'” defense.

    For crying out loud, you really feel that a country where a lower caste Hindu cant even share a glass of water with the higher one, where female infanticide is the highest in the world, where there are more slums and poverty than ALL of the rest of the world combined (i can go on and on) can truly PROGRESS economically?

    Indians really need to look past their Tendulker and Amitabhs and Bollywood dance and understand that life is not a Bollywood movie. You need leadership, charisma and an understandable English accent to progress globally.

    P.S: I am an Indian btw, but in more touch with ground reality.

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