Conversations with TS Anil

Stumbled across the following conversations with TS Anil recently on YouTube. I don’t think they’ve been posted here previously. Each is about 1 hour long.

The first is from October 2020 and was hosted by Jitendra Gupta, founder & CEO of Jupiter, a banking app in India. If you only have time to watch one, I’d suggest watching this one. It’s more focussed on Monzo. You can see a rundown of the content on the YouTube page for the video.

The second is from November 2020 and was hosted by Charlotte Crosswell, CEO of Innovate Finance. This one includes Monzo chat but also delves more into general career and experiences than the first one.

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I’ve found the comms strategy around the new CEO’s appointment fascinating.

Has he done any substantive, mainstream interviews at all? Or publicly set out his priorities or vision for the company he leads?

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I did see a very (generic/blanket) online ‘interview’ with TS in the days after Tom took the President role, but I can’t find the post…

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I remember a really vague puff piece, but that (and these excellent, if obscure, finds) aside, there’s been nothing. It’s a very different approach.

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I’m hoping for a big bang of news and features under his leadership, as opposed to media pieces and dropping hints about what’s to come. With the state of the industry as it is, if Monzo announce a feature to launch in three months, Revolut will build it in two.

I’m optimistic that the silence is good.

It’s not this one I remember seeing, but it’s a read nonetheless :man_dancing: :

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He’s been pretty much invisible to all forms of media. You’d of thought he’d be shouting from the rooftops by now.

I guess the closest he gets in the videos above is 14:45 to 23:00 in the Jupiter video where he touches on monetization, control centre, and convincing customers to use Monzo as primary instead of spending account.

When pushed on what monzo is currently working on, he declined to go into specifics :sob: (48:00 - 50:00)

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Thanks again for sharing these. I’ve now had the time to watch both and to reflect a bit on them. Here are the top things that I remember:

  • I was reassured by his vision, top-line, as it was, still being ultimately focused around the financial control centre idea.
  • He spoke quite a bit about community and community trust. I know there’s more to community than this forum, but I found that interesting because it seems to me there’s no great investment by Monzo in community, instead it’s relying on momentum. I don’t mean that in the strictly financial sense, but in the sense of taking time to engage (a small example, every year Tom wrote a little something about his/Monzo’s priorities for the coming year. This year, just silence).
  • He talked a lot about execution and delivery at scale. It’ll be interesting to see, as we approach the first anniversary of lock-down in the UK and then TS’s appointment, what has been delivered in that time. The Monzo Plus/Premium products were, we know, already ready to go. That means that we’ve not really seen what TS-Monzo looks like - or what he’s done to ensure that Monzo can execute and deliver at scale and at pace. I look forward to that, though!
  • He talked up the future Monzo product pipeline a lot - but without (and refusing to be drawn on) any specifics. The closest was that future products would be profit/revenue generating, and across the whole waterfront of financial services (I think he mentioned reimagining lending and potentially doing something in the payments space, which was too vague for me to get a grip on, and which confused me a little). I did come away with the impression that there would be a bunch more stuff though.
  • Paid products (and business accounts) operating way about forecast for take-up numbers (again a refusal to be drawn further).

My overall impressions were, I think, that he is interesting and engaging, with a lot of experience and a good grip on Monzo’s position and potential. On the flip side, I worry a bit that the things he seems to prize (sense of community, brand loyalty etc) might wither over time if they’re not actively looked after. I am intrigued by product direction and what’s in store, but am similarly nervous that the beginning of TS-time has been characterised by a largely stagnant phase. I think we can excuse him and Monzo that (there’s been a pandemic after all), but I’d like to see some evidence of progress soon.

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Not sure I can agree with that, other companies in this sector have driven forward hard.

Overall I agree with the post though, and like I said upthread, I’m optimistic that the current silence is a good sign.

Interesting topic - wasn’t aware of these videos.
Thanks @Peter_G for the summary!

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