Monday, 16 February 2009

Thanks to the economic recession


"I was unemployed for three months before I started my business," tells me Marcello Staglione, shaking his head. "I used to spend my mornings at the Job Centre across the street, just to have some place to go. What a waste of time."

Marcello's career in the city of London has been short. Less than a year, if you count the six months that he spent as an intern living from hand to mouth. Before moving to Great Britain, Marcello had obtained an MBA degree in Rome.

"With the economic recession, the newly-hired are the first to lose their job," Marcello explains further. "An investment bank had hired me to take care of their new Italian clients, but suddenly, there were no new clients. Neither from Italy nor from anywhere else."

He walks to the window and points at the Job Centre across the street. "Many of my ex-colleagues are still going there everyday, waiting for a finance job to materialize, but there aren't any these days." When I ask Marcello where he got the idea for his business, he turns his head to the framed family photograph on the wall.

"My parents live in Ostia, near Rome," he goes on. "When my brother got married last August, I went back to Italy for a week. My brother's friends organized a party for him on the wedding's eve. For the party, two of his friends appeared dressed as Ancient Romans. That's not so unusual in Italy. You can easily rent a costume for the day."

Marcello tells me that, when he returned to London in September, the loss of his job took him by surprise. "In July, the bank had announced that they intended to keep everybody." His voice reflects now his indignation. "From one minute to the other, I found myself in the street."

I ask Marcello how many hours he has spent sending his c.v. around and he shrugs his shoulders. "Innumerable," he replies. "One Sunday morning, I was putting order in my apartment and I realized that the costume that I had brought with me from Italy for the bank's Christmas party was still in my suitcase."

"When I opened the suitcase, the idea came to me in a flash," he recalls. "The following morning, I lined up a couple of Italian restaurants as suppliers, I put on my costume, and I started calling on offices in Euston Road."

I must say that the costume of Ancient Roman legionnaire that Marcello is wearing suits him well. He explains to me that t
he costume's breastplate is made of aluminium, not of brass like in Ancient Rome.

"
From my job at the investment bank, I knew that most office workers in London eat poorly for lunch, mostly a sandwich purchased at a nearby deli. As an Italian, I love good food and I believe that most people would eat well if given the opportunity."

Receptionists in London, like anywhere else, have instructions to send away salesmen that come without an appointment. I ask Marcello if it has been difficult to get past the receptionists and make his first sales.

"It was surprisingly easy," he smiles. "How often does a business get a visitor from Ancient Rome?" He tells me that, from the first day, lasagne and cannelloni have been his most popular orders. "We now deliver a warm Italian lunch every day to five hundred office workers in Greater London," he indicates proudly.

An e-mail comes into Marcello's laptop, which rings like a cash register. "That's another order from a customer," he notes. "I would have never dared to quit my job to start my own business, but I have been pushed by the economic recession. My sales are growing at 5% per week. I am already making more money now than I did at my job at the investment bank."

The only thing that doesn't seem to match Marcello's entrepreneurial drive is his Ancient Roman legionnaire's plead skirt. Apparently, the plead skirt is part of the costume.

When I ask Marcello why Ancient Roman soldiers wore a skirt, he looks again out of the window at the Job Centre across the street and shakes his head. "I guess that they didn't know any better," he says.


[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by 13bobby under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

Thanks to the economic recession


"I was unemployed for three months before I started my business," tells me Marcello Staglione, shaking his head. "I used to spend my mornings at the Job Centre across the street, just to have some place to go. What a waste of time."

Marcello's career in the city of London has been short. Less than a year, if you count the six months that he spent as an intern living from hand to mouth. Before moving to Great Britain, Marcello had obtained an MBA degree in Rome.

"With the economic recession, the newly-hired are the first to lose their job," Marcello explains further. "An investment bank had hired me to take care of their new Italian clients, but suddenly, there were no new clients. Neither from Italy nor from anywhere else."

He walks to the window and points at the Job Centre across the street. "Many of my ex-colleagues are still going there everyday, waiting for a finance job to materialize, but there aren't any these days." When I ask Marcello where he got the idea for his business, he turns his head to the framed family photograph on the wall.

"My parents live in Ostia, near Rome," he goes on. "When my brother got married last August, I went back to Italy for a week. My brother's friends organized a party for him on the wedding's eve. For the party, two of his friends appeared dressed as Ancient Romans. That's not so unusual in Italy. You can easily rent a costume for the day."

Marcello tells me that, when he returned to London in September, the loss of his job took him by surprise. "In July, the bank had announced that they intended to keep everybody." His voice reflects now his indignation. "From one minute to the other, I found myself in the street."

I ask Marcello how many hours he has spent sending his c.v. around and he shrugs his shoulders. "Innumerable," he replies. "One Sunday morning, I was putting order in my apartment and I realized that the costume that I had brought with me from Italy for the bank's Christmas party was still in my suitcase."

"When I opened the suitcase, the idea came to me in a flash," he recalls. "The following morning, I lined up a couple of Italian restaurants as suppliers, I put on my costume, and I started calling on offices in Euston Road."

I must say that the costume of Ancient Roman legionnaire that Marcello is wearing suits him well. He explains to me that t
he costume's breastplate is made of aluminium, not of brass like in Ancient Rome.

"
From my job at the investment bank, I knew that most office workers in London eat poorly for lunch, mostly a sandwich purchased at a nearby deli. As an Italian, I love good food and I believe that most people would eat well if given the opportunity."

Receptionists in London, like anywhere else, have instructions to send away salesmen that come without an appointment. I ask Marcello if it has been difficult to get past the receptionists and make his first sales.

"It was surprisingly easy," he smiles. "How often does a business get a visitor from Ancient Rome?" He tells me that, from the first day, lasagne and cannelloni have been his most popular orders. "We now deliver a warm Italian lunch every day to five hundred office workers in Greater London," he indicates proudly.

An e-mail comes into Marcello's laptop, which rings like a cash register. "That's another order from a customer," he notes. "I would have never dared to quit my job to start my own business, but I have been pushed by the economic recession. My sales are growing at 5% per week. I am already making more money now than I did at my job at the investment bank."

The only thing that doesn't seem to match Marcello's entrepreneurial drive is his Ancient Roman legionnaire's plead skirt. Apparently, the plead skirt is part of the costume.

When I ask Marcello why Ancient Roman soldiers wore a skirt, he looks again out of the window at the Job Centre across the street and shakes his head. "I guess that they didn't know any better," he says.


[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by 13bobby under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]