Investing 101

A Chat with Mr. Mangalam Maloo – From Music to Fitness to Mumbai, get to know the unknown side of this famous anchor! Part 1

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We see on TV that market anchors are the ones who question or sometimes grill management or investors. I thought why not reverse this role and make an anchor answer the questions for a change?

So, here’s my interview with Mr. Mangalam Maloo who is a Senior Research Analyst & Anchor at CNBC TV 18.

He was kind enough to spare time out of his busy schedule for this interview. This interview is very special for me as he is someone I have looked up to as a person and an anchor. I have learned a lot from him and made my way to the markets as an equity research analyst looking at his videos. Mr. Maloo works hard, plays music, reads books, stays fit and still finds time to do shows on the weekends! So naturally, I wanted to know how a person can do so much and inspire me and a lot of others!

For simplicity, we will show Mr. Mangalam Maloo’s answers as 3M and my questions as ASK (Aditya S Kondawar)

ASK – So I am here with Mr. Mangalam Maloo and I am here to interview him. So why don’t we start by knowing a little bit about yourself?

3M – No Problem Aditya, Thanks a lot, this is fun. Usually, I am the one asking the questions and this time I am the one who has to answer so I will know how difficult it is.

So, I am just a curious soul. I was always very fascinated with how things work. I have been a Bombay boy my whole life. As a child, my favorite website was howstuffworks.com; I have grown up feeding on a diet of Nat Geo and Discovery because as a curious person, only this could fuel my curiosity and satiate it. I was very interested in a broad spectrum of fields such as Music, reading and sports. All of that came together and as a confused kid I did whatever came my way and like Steve Jobs said dots connect forward and not backward.

My 11th and 12th were in commerce and I was interested in the media and advertising side of things, I graduated in BMM and in the last semester of this course, there was a course on financial management which I believe I topped as I enjoyed the course. After that, I wanted to go to the finance field, and everyone was doing CFA, CAT, and MBA. So I gave my CFA L1 and CAT together, went into an MBA with finance specialization. After 2 years, I had a CFA, a Media, and an MBA degree. You put all of these things together; the only place you land is in a Media House. And if it is a Media house, it’s got to be CNBC TV 18 as they are the leaders for a long time. And I don’t say it as I work here, but I have grown up watching it and listening to Udayan Mukherjee.  

ASK – As an anchor and equity research analyst, I believe your work-day must be very hectic. What does your typical day look like?

3M – Well, a typical day for me starts very early and being a morning person, I love that. Ask anyone in the office and they will tell you that I am annoyingly energetic in the morning and throughout the day.

Compared to others, an early start to my day make me happy while most are grumpy. However, I am very grumpy at 10 pm.

So in the mornings, there is a host of data to pore over – things that happened overnight, news pieces, brokerage reports, and then if I am anchoring the 7 to 8 show, I have limited time and I have to come in at 6 am! During results season, it gets more hectic due to earning results, estimates, and previews. Then sometimes there are shows on stocks to watch and F&O data.

See it sounds like a lot to do but we come here to study every day, this is a profession which educates you every day.

ASK – Well said, it is also said that if you think that you know everything in the market, you will stop learning and the markets will soon show you your place. Having said that, what do you like the most about your day?

3M – So the beauty of a typical day is that it is atypical, something random can happen even if you prepare for the day. Post-market there are a host of shows which I am lucky to do such as The Weekender, Disruptors and a few more. The shooting is done on the weekends so that the typical market day doesn’t get affected.

ASK – I have really enjoyed your off-market shows. The weekender shows you did on Titan and TTK Prestige were just amazing. The amount of research you and your team put in and the questions you asked helped us, viewers, to really connect with the company.

As you said, you were always a curious kid and looking from your twitter handle which I have been following for quite some time now, I can see that you follow Musicians to Temple Pages to Financial anchors. Why don’t you shed some light on the same? How do you keep up with such different things and how does it help you?

3M – I believe following different things which interest you is very important in life. Education takes place in a straitjacketed manner. You had history, civics and other subjects in school but in life, things come randomly at you and it is your duty and it is your ability & thought process to assimilate data points from various sources and make sense of it. Because what has been taught to you is not for one’s learning but solely from the point of view of testing.

So to explain it better, there’s a very nice quote I read which goes like this “We have gotten so used to drinking packaged water that we have forgotten how to drink from a stream”. And if you are interested in more than one thing, it’s good. My idea is to take in as much as I can, without thinking about the output. Like I said the dots connect forward and not backward.

ASK – I also know that you place a lot of emphasis on Fitness. Let’s talk about that. What does fitness mean for you and how do you find the time to work on it? Also, we drew some parallels between investing and fitness on Twitter a few weeks back. For example, both these regimes require patience and correct form. What are your thoughts on this?

3M – So fitness per se is not about looking fit. I don’t think a person who has 6 packs or big biceps can be termed fit. But a person who can lift his own weight and display a reasonable amount of agility in his movement and thought process can be termed so. 

It is also about discipline and it comes to me organically from sports. Again drawing a parallel, education is taught in a straight manner and even fitness is similar. I can do biceps daily in Gym and get swole but when I have to run, I have to use my whole body and that is my approach towards fitness. I do a bit of functional training and swimming is something I love doing and have been doing for as long as I remember. For the past 10 years, I have been doing it very frequently.

ASK – Since you have been swimming from so long, I wonder if you were a competitive swimmer. Did you participate in any competitions etc?

3M – Never been a competitive swimmer as I started out late in life but I am very competitive when it comes to any type of sport. I might not be the best swimmer on earth, best cricketer, best sportsperson or the strongest gym-goer but there is no one who puts so much heart into it as I do. I absolutely love a challenge. A challenge for me doesn’t mean the rush from defeating someone but the satisfaction of pushing myself to the limit.

ASK – I really liked what you said about your fitness approach i.e “Being able to carry your own weight and being agile when needed”. I competed once in a bodybuilding competition and the way I ate that time was very unhealthy. I ate a lot of protein and limited my water intake before the competition for body aesthetics. And I realized the same after this competition. So what led you to understand this rationale behind fitness?

3M – So when I was 14/15, I got into the gym for the first time after I finished my 10th standard. So everyone was like, we gotta be fit but no one realized that it wasn’t the correct age to work out. I should have been focusing on competitive sports but since there was no one to guide me I went in and did squats on my first day.

So on my first day as a 14-year-old, I did 150 squats with weight and lunges. Next day, it was hurting a lot, and it was those typical old school guys who said stuff like “Kuch nahi hota yeh sabse, kaam kar aur 50 squat kar” (Nothing happens, do 50 more!). So I did more 50 squats in addition to the 150 squats the earlier day! After this, I was told to do a massage but obviously, this was a piece of wrong advice as you don’t go for a massage with sore muscles. After the massage, I had a terrible problem with my legs and my muscles were very close to being torn and I was bedridden for around 3-4 weeks after that. I couldn’t walk for a week and a half. And after I recovered I looked for more avenues of fitness and that is when I came to swimming.

ASK – So let’s talk about Cricket. What do u like about it?

3M – In cricket, my favorite vocation is not batting or balling. It is fielding because I feel that you can be the greatest batsman or a baller but yet some variables may be outside your control. You can have an amazing bowler come your way or a bad decision coming your way which can affect you. Even if you are balling, you may be facing the greatest batsman and lose the match.

In fielding, it’s just you and the ball and how you stop the ball is completely up to you. There is no other factor, everything else has more variables but in fielding, you control most of it. So in sports and in investing, I like to keep it simple.

ASK – You say that cricket is a lot like investing. That is a very interesting statement; I would love to hear more on it.

3M – Like cricket, in investing, there are a lot of variables out of your hand and you should focus on the ones in your control. Your approach while looking at a company from investing or analysis POV should be knowing it inside out like you know your friends. If you are a good friend of mine, I know your goods and bads without being biased. In a similar fashion, you should approach investing, fitness, analysis, research, etc. So my favorite collection of words is “Just Be”.

Read the second part of the interview here.

What’s up Doodh! This milk company is expected to get your returns flowing!

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