Page 1

Volume 4 Issue 2 201 8



Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8

CONTENTS Why consumers don't care: Page 40

Metro Bank's MD, Business Banking, Ian Walters: Page 4

Cover Story: The rise of Nepal's first

Balance is the key: Page 30



billionaire, Dr Binod Chaudhary: Page 16


What has your marketing done? Page 36

Women in Business: Shalini Khemka, Founder and CEO of E2Exchange: Page 28

Finance: The Six Pillars of Genistar Page 8 In defence against cybercrime Page 14 The importance of Conscious Leadership: Page 24

Competitive Customer Experience is the new battle field: Page 34 How to fire yourself and let your business grow without you: Page 38

The London Business Journal is produced by THE LONDON BUSINESS JOURNAL, 24-26 Arcadia Avenue, Finchley, London N3 2JU. Telephone: 0208 453 7185 / 07043 020 287. Š 2018 all rights reserved. Reproduction in any manner or any language, in whole or in part, without prior written permission is prohibited. All material in this journal is provided for your information only and may not be construed as business advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate business related professionals on any matter relating to their profession/trade/business. The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgement available to the authors, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate authorities assume the risk of any financial setbacks or otherwise. In addition, the information and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of every contributor to The London Business Journal. The London Business Journal acknowledges occasional differences in opinion and welcomes the exchange of different viewpoints. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions. Subscribe to The London Business Journal by visiting or send an email to: All other enquiries, call 0208 453 718 / 07043 020 287




"WE ARE A HUB FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES" ecently Metro Bank has launched a number ofnew branches while other banks are scaling down on their high street presence in favour of technology. Metro Bank's Managing Director ofBusiness Banking, Ian Walters, tells Ronnie Ajoku why they are expanding and the benefit ofthe bank's growth to businesses and entrepreneurs


Ian Walters, Managing Director, Business Banking

hese days it is not uncommon to hear people complaining about the closing of a bank's local branch, annoying both business and personal customers alike. While online banking and apps are undoubtedly growing at an alarming pace, some people just want to pop into a local branch and develop a more personal


Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8

relationship with a friendly face that instills the required level of confidence to discuss their finances. “At Metro Bank, we recognise that our customers want a choice about how they do their banking,” says Ian Walters. “This means that we invest in all our channels, whether that’s our stores, UK contact


Liverpool Street branch launched by Alderman Charles Bowman, Lord Mayor Elect of the City of London last November with dog shows, stilt walkers, live music, shoe-shining and entertainment

centres, award-winning app or online banking platform, so that however, wherever and whenever customers wish to bank – the choice is theirs. “Constantly improving and investing in our store footprint is critical to this. Our stores enable us to provide face-to-face banking, as well as build personal relationships with local people, businesses and communities. As a result, we search for the best sites in every town and invest heavily to ensure our stores, and the technology behind them exceed our customers’ expectations.” Established in 2010, efficiency and overdelivery appear to have assisted Metro Bank's meteoric rise from the “new kid on the block” to a major player in the UK's banking arena. “Every store offers real tangible benefits for the community. Unlike other banks, Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8

we’re open seven days a week, 362 days a year, early in the morning to late at night. Customers don’t need to book an appointment to see us and with the right documents, they can open an account quickly and receive a working debit card on-the-spot. All stores offer safe deposit boxes for customers’ valuables and free coin counting machines for customers and non-customers alike,” Walters says of their unique offerings. Being able to relate to the needs of entrepreneurs is crucial when it comes to business banking. “We understand running a business can be tough. That’s why we design all of our services and products with our customers in mind. From stepping into one of our stores, no appointment is necessary and what’s more, accounts can be opened in weeks rather than months. So businesses aren’t



wasting time, waiting around. “As a bank, we know how important relationships are, which is why we’ve been awarded for two consecutive years 'Most Trusted Financial Provider' by Moneywise. Having the option to build a face-to-face relationship can be crucial for businesses, which is why our stores are open at convenient times for businesses, whether that’s early in the morning, late at night, or at the weekend. Our colleagues play a fundamental role within this relationship. “Each and every Metro Bank store has local business managers ready and waiting to support businesses. They’re real experts not just in banking, but also in their knowledge of their local community, and are there to support customers during every part of their journey. Our colleagues understand the challenges entrepreneurs face and they take the time to personally get to know their customers, their business issues and their aspirations. “What’s more, we’ve designed our products and services to be simple, leaving entrepreneurs with more time to do the things that make a difference. We’re talking about fast access to lending, real people on the end of phones rather than machines, and credit teams that go out and meet businesses, rather than being stuck in a head office. We’re a perfect fit for busy entrepreneurs.” The emphasis on community is an integral part of Metro Bank's operation. “Our stores aren’t just a place for SMEs to do banking, they’re also a hub for the local community. We host hundreds of local business networking events in-store 6

Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8

throughout the year and what’s more, businesses can use our meeting rooms for free. “For us, it’s important to give our customers choice about how, when and where they do their banking. So, in addition to our stores, our digital channels are also designed to make SMEs’ lives easier. Whether it’s the ability to toggle between their personal and business accounts on our mobile banking app, or for larger companies, our Commercial Online Banking Platform that helps to enhance and streamline how they manage their banking online, everything is set-up to help and support our customers.” Last year Metro Bank increased the number of business bankers they had across their store network by 30% and also pledged £1 billion to support UK businesses.

Clapham High Street branch launched last December creating 25 new jobs for the local community

Financial Education

Formidable: The Six Pillars of Genistar


By Ronnie Ajoku

ehind every successful company lies a dedicated team, hence we are accustomed to sayings like “there's no 'I' in team,” or “team work makes the dream work.” Starting with a dedicated team of six founding members (now Executive Vice Presidents), Genistar has grown significantly from its early days. Gerry McGivern, Kevin O'Malley, John Flynn, Jan Owbridge, Barbara Anderson and Steve Jenkins have all contributed to Genistar's 100% year-on-year growth since inception. Speaking on his initial involvement, founding member and Executive Vice


Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8

President, Gerry McGivern said: “I was already in the UK, having arrived from the US as a founding member of Citigroup's expansion through Primerica Financial Gerry & Ann McGivern Services. It lasted until the recession of 2007 when Citi decided that it no longer wanted to continue with its expansion programme. At that time we knew that the need for what we do was immense and that a large part of our population was underserved when it came to personal finance. Debt

Financial Education

was, and still is a huge problem for low and middle income families and nobody seemed to want to help. “All the indications at that time were that if we could put in place a system that focused on education and helping families with debt then we could build a company. We had a system. We knew how to build a business so we decided to resign from Citi and Primerica and launch Genistar in November 2007. It was a leap of faith and about the mission of helping families become debt free and financially independent. “We came from a hugely successful business model and have since 2007 adapted and fine tuned that model to suit the UK market. Genistar has grown year on year since and this year (2017) we have experienced the biggest percentage growth since we started with all areas of our company up well over 100% year-onyear. It has been a fantastic achievement and our belief is that we are just getting started. The best is yet to come.” Kevin O'Malley, said of his introduction to Genistar: “Initially the business model really appealed to Kevin O'Malley me; the ability to earn income while I slept at night. In a very short period of time I also fell in love with the social significance of what we do in helping families learn about money, to get permanently out of debt and to build financial independence for themselves.” John Flynn had a more personal introduction, having known the CEO, Jeff Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8

Lestz, prior to joining. He said: “I already knew Jeff Lestz and knew him to be honest, ethical and a great leader, so when I was invited to be a founding member of Genistar, an ethical and mission-focused company, I was honoured and jumped at the opportunity.” Steve Jenkins saw Genistar's potential and relished the opportunity to grow and establish something for Steve Jenkins himself. “Where I used to work I noticed that there were many people in their 60's and even older who were only as good as their last month's performance and they had no way of capitalising and benefitting from what they had built. In Genistar we can build our own business and benefit from that by qualifying for ownership and therefore be able to attract the best people available,” he said. Steve later Barbara Anderson recruited Barbara Anderson, who at the time was looking for an opportunity to improve her own finances. “I was looking for an opportunity to make mine and my family's life better and realised after working for a 'boss' for years that a job was certainly not going to let me live to my full potential,” she said. Continuing she added: “So when I got the call from Steve Jenkins about this new company, I had only one question, 'where do I sign up?'”


Financial Education

Jan Owbridge knew Jeff before joining: “I already knew Jeff and the concepts of the company,” she said. She added: “I knew that with him at the helm it had to succeed since he has such passion and conviction, so for me it was a no-brainier.” For Jan, the values on which Genistar was founded and operates is also quite appealing to her: “Being an ethical company, offering ordinary people the opportunity to do something extraordinary with their lives while helping others - you can't ask for more than that from a business.” To Gerry, the best thing about Genistar is “our people and our leaders. We build leaders. Leaders are not born, they're made. We give everybody the opportunity to become successful. Every one of our leaders started at the same place. We have a helping mentality - mission first commission second. Our passion for helping ordinary people achieve extraordinary things runs in our DNA. No other company that I know of places so much of its resources and time into creating successful leaders like Genistar. The clue is in the name, Genistar. It's a combination of two things, Genesis, which means 'new start' or 'creation of', and Stars, which comes from my business mentor's team name in the US. Combined, these two form Genistar or translated means 'the Creation of Leaders'. So for me the best thing is our passion for helping Jan Owbridge


Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8

people become all they can be.” A former plasterer, Gerry worked in the construction industry in the US and later joined Primerica Financial Services in 1994. “At the time I was on the look out for extra ways to earn an income. It was never a career path as such. I just wanted to learn and make some extra money in the winter months when the construction industry traditionally slows down,” he said. John, on the other hand, was a former banker: “ I worked in banking for 22 years before leaving John and Eileeen Flynn and starting my own business in the motor industry. I was in the process of selling my business and land when I was told about this company [Genistar]. Although I was sceptical at first, I was blown away by the 'mission' (to do what is right for families) and the ethics. When we help others to get what they want we will also get what we want.” Touching on his own professional background as a chartered accountant Kevin said: “Although I am a qualified chartered accountant, I had also developed a life coaching and executive coaching business prior to becoming a founding member of Genistar.” Despite having a good job in wealth management, Steve also saw a greater opportunity with Genistar. “I was an IFA

Financial Education

Vice Presidents at the round table together with Genistar's CEO, Jeff Lestz

serving wealthy people who had sixfigure incomes and high net-worth, which was enjoyable. However, once I saw the Genistar business model I knew I had found my long-term career as it allowed me to build something that would become mine and part of my family legacy.” When she joined Barbara was a qualified Accountant working a full-time job. She also worked part-time two evenings a week and was going to college in the evenings - as well as being a single mother with a 3-year-old daughter. Today, as an Executive Vice President, Barbara is happy she took the initial plunge and admits that Genistar has helped by allowing her “to become debt free and financially free. As a Single Mother when Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8

I started the business I just never had enough. Now I'm building a legacy for my daughter.” Having witnessed the early days, Jan has seen how far they have all come: “It has been a real privilege to see the company grow from relatively small beginnings to where it is now. Seeing people's lives change as they have joined Genistar and grown is a special joy. Genistar teams are like families - we want the best for each other. “Genistar has become much more than a Business for me,” she adds. “Seeing my son join and progress to leadership in Genistar has made me a prouder mum than I already was - knowing that his future is secure gives me a real sense of achievement.”





By Bob Lloyd

ith hacks becoming more frequent, formidable and damaging, the UK government is looking to potentially invest a sum of£1.9 billion against cybercrime.

In keeping with this investment, how can we as a country look to direct more people of all ages towards learning code and invest in knowledge, skills and jobs? After a recent business trip we came across a 20+ year old man who didn’t have an email address, while on Channel 4’s ‘Hunted’ one contestant used some basic IT skills to help evade tracking. A booming industry such as this requires people to keep up, so the key is perhaps shedding the preconceptions that it is too 14

Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8

difficult for people and encourage that leap of faith and education. Manual labour with strength, skill and careful repetition is fast in the warpath of automation. Where generations before us earned their pride and living through a hard day’s work, we are being swept into an era whereby these morals, as well rooted as they may be, are not as literal anymore. The internet and swathes of mediums it reaches us through is shrinking the world as we know it, making coding languages arguably far more universal than foreign ones. And while code is capable of incredible things, there still feels a stigma of apprehension towards learning it- that ‘I am not smart enough’ or that ‘it is too confusing’…While it is slowly being taught in schools, we lack incentives or


inspiration for people out of education to learn it as a profession or even hobby. Money and job security are likely to be attractive traits, especially as employment gets trickier in this shift towards automation. However, these don’t necessarily drive for mindsets that want to achieve, push their limits and change the world. For these, we need to inspire people at different touch points of their lives, and in engaging ways.

protagonists are presented as vigilantes – good intentions but perhaps questionable methods. And while it promotes an active attitude, it may not always result in the best intentions.

Outside of this entertainment sphere, we fall onto gadgets such as the Raspberry Pi – a device marketed as a simple yet robust device that offers huge flexibility for the user to almost achieve whatever With design playing a they dare dream. The large part of modern perception of this culture across a device, thanks to the myriad of platforms, what can we do to way it has been both built and sold, lends feed the subconscious of people of all itself to an unthreatening glimpse into ages, and nurture a more active attitude customising technology, and while there towards coding? Foremost would be to are no role models to attach to it in an build a social trend around it – create role official sense, there are hundreds of models, aspirations, stories and insights tutorials, videos and ideas online as to through the medium of film, TV and how you can manipulate your own Pi into game. Shows such as Mr Robot and fantastic things. The open-source Games like Watchdogs or even approach places it largely into the public Quadrilateral Cowboy, where the overall eye and thus something that the public can mechanic revolves around teaching you engage with – not a select few. basic and increasingly complex code to progress past enemies or challenges. The hope therefore is that a publicly accepted gadget for both learning and The importance here are stories and creation has positive semantics attached. engagement which people can relate and While film, TV, game and even ad aspire towards. The idea, therefore, is that campaigns can promote a proactive an abundance of positive role models who attitude towards the skill, a widely utilise coding in these mediums will filter available device to apply that enthusiasm through culture and society alike. The can marry a desire or aspiration with drawback so far is that a lot of ethical and positive outcomes. Bob Lloyd is the Art Director at Vitamin London, a leading digital innovation studio who partner with ambitious companies to build human solutions. For more information visit: Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8


Cover Story: Dr Binod Chaudhary



ast year Nepal marked its 200th year ofbusiness relations with the UK, so it only made sense to speak to the country's most successful businessman himself. Here Nepal's richest man and first ever billionaire, Dr Binod Chaudhary, talks to Ronnie Ajoku on entrepreneurship, philanthropy and the importance ofpolitical stability in Nepal's business development Dr Binod Chaudhary is the Chairman of the Chaudhary Group (Nepal's first multinational conglomerate) and the county's first billionaire. Considering the size of Nepal compared to other countries around the world, crossing the billiondollar mark is a huge achievement for him and an undeniable testament to his entrepreneurial ability. With an estimated fortune of $1.4 billion and over 80 business interests ranging from finance, hospitality, food and


Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8

electronics to cement and telecommunications, he appears to have a finger in almost every pie. “I am a proud Nepali and I am taking Nepal to the world,” he says of his international expansion. His success is poof that true entrepreneurs are not limited to their surroundings. “You can do it in the most difficult environment - even where profit-making is not seen as the norm.” He has done it so he should know. “Inspire people to share your

Cover Story: Dr Binod Chaudhary

From where we started, despite all the problems we had, the approach that I chose has worked

passion and you will succeed,” he tells me. However, Chaudhary (who is also known as the 'Noodle King' - courtesy of the success of his Wai Wai Instant Noodle brand) is not one that believes everyone can succeed in business. While it does sound a bit harsh, he is of the opinion that some people are more naturally inclined to succeed at entrepreneurship than others. Delving deeper into the subject he points out that those that are not naturally predisposed to entrepreneurship can still do well in business, but they would need to tailor themselves Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8

towards doing so; and this is where business education plays a big role. “I believe entrepreneurs are born and not made,” he says. When asked why (or how) he has come to that conclusion he proceeds to explain his reasoning. “I keep meeting businessmen, managers, those who are making an effort to be businessmen and aspiring business people everyday, and I don't see the same degree of entrepreneurial skills in all of them. “First of all let's try to define what entrepreneurial skills are. There are so may different ways to define it, but to me an entrepreneur always looks at the world differently. You may enter a place that is in a mess and appears to have nothing worth looking at, but an entrepreneur would see an opportunity there. They would find a way of cleaning it up or because it's in a mess they would acquire it for a song. Maybe on top of that you would ask the owner to pay you for acquiring it and then turn it around and pass it back to them. “That's entrepreneurship, I truly believe that. Without any disrespect, I don't claim to be the best entrepreneur. I've seen better


Cover Story: Dr Binod Chaudhary

entrepreneurship on many levels and is an avid negotiator with a track record of bringing large-scale commercial negotiations to a satisfactory conclusion. “I am a dealmaker, 100%! I'm a dealmaker and I love making deals, there's no question about it,” he expresses cheerfully. Chaudhary was inspired to become an entrepreneur by both his father and grandfather. While his grandfather built a business importing fabrics from India to Dr Chaudhary with London's Deputy Mayor of Business, Rajesh Agrawal Nepal, his father imported fabrics from Japan and later created Nepal's entrepreneurs than myself in the world, but I first department store, Arun don't have any false sense of modesty. From Emporium. It was almost inevitable where we started, despite all the problems we that he would follow in their had, the approach that I chose has worked.” footsteps. Using an acquisition in the hospitality I'm a dealmaker industry as an example he went further. “In Sir and I love making Lanka we acquired the biggest and best hotel deals, there's no which the Sri Lankans didn't want to touch. question about it They felt it was a complete disaster to invest a penny in Sri Lanka at a time when I thought it “In my book,'Making It Big', I call was best to invest. my father an entrepreneur within the “Now how do you define that? That's what confines of some limitation. My entrepreneurs do. Philosophically grandfather used to bring textiles entrepreneurs are dreamers – they can dream from India and used to service a few of things normal people will not be able to homes – the rulers in Nepal do.” basically, because they were the ones Although he never intended writing an who could afford it. Most of the autobiography, he found himself doing so population would be lucky to get following the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, new clothes. That's the way our part referred to as the Gorkha earthquake. The of the world used to operate. Don't disaster saw thousands lose their lives and forget that in Asia there is a large rendered thousands more homeless. It changed chunk of the population that live on his perspective of life and he proceeded to less than $1 per day. write his life story - aptly titled 'Making It “My father dabbled into the Big'. furniture business and opened up a It is clear that Chaudhary is passionate about factory. The first factory foundations Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8


Cover Story: Dr Binod Chaudhary

The Chaudhary Group employs over 10,000 people

were actually laid down by him; the biscuits factory. However, he chose the wrong people and they were about to misuse his investments. It is all in my book.” Determined to make his own mark Chaudhary sort for new opportunities in unchartered territory. “I did something that was radically different to what he was doing,” he says of his late father, Lunkaran Das Chaudhary. “He used to go to Japan to get fabrics, instead of bringing fabrics from India, which my grandfather used to do. My father started getting fabrics from Japan because Nepal was the haven for shoppers from India. They used to love to come to Nepal to shop. “After a couple of trips to Japan I could sense that everybody from my country was doing that, so I thought, 'what am I doing there?' Then I started to look around and thought, 'why not take electronics to Nepal?' I then brought Maxwell Panasonic to Nepal for the first time. I brought Suzuki cars to Nepal for the first time. When I approached Suzuki to buy cars for Nepal, they said, 'who is going to buy it? Do they 20

Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8

have the money?''' While in his element, an observation of Nepal's love for imported noodles almost 38 years ago led to the establishing of the Wai Wai noodle brand in Nepal. Wai Wai now sells in the billions and has approximately 2% of the world's market share earning him the 'Noodle King' title. “In Europe we have CG Foods (Europe) and our Wai Wai Instant Noodle plant is coming up in Belgrade, Serbia, which is great,” he says of the brand's expansion. THE CHAUDHARY GROUP'S USP

While most businesses tend to shy away from disorganised environments the Chaudhary Group doesn't and he is proud of the seemingly fearless nature of his group.“Our approach has always been (and I think that has worked and would not encourage our management to change that strategy) that we prefer to go to countries where there are challenges. We prefer to go to places where there is an entry barrier. “We prefer sectors that are far more demanding and people don't want to touch. Probably that's our USP,

Cover Story: Dr Binod Chaudhary

I am a proud Nepali and I am taking Nepal to the world

coming from Nepal where problems seem to be never-ending. Today, if I see an opportunity in Yemen, Afghanistan or Iraq and it is a great opportunity, I'll take the plunge. How would you define that? In the minds of most bankers, consultants and corporates, they would call that a suicidal move. It's not gambling, by the way. “I believe that we have the people, calibre, strength and commitment to work in extremely difficult environments and secondly we believe it is doable. If we do it the rewards are going to be much bigger. I am conscious of the fact that we are a company that came from that similar situation, and you can achieve far more in these environments with far less capital.” He has his own take on the disadvantages of doing business in more stable or developed economies. “There tends to be Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8

less room for entrepreneurship in highly developed environments. The bankers and lawyers decide the business.” However, he doesn't rule it out completely saying, “we would be happy to look at opportunities here [UK].” Also interesting is his view on wealth and success, which ultimately he sees as a mindset more so than circumstance. “At a big forum I once said that if you collect the entire wealth in the world and distribute it to the billion people in the world equally, a stage would come where chances are, that almost all those who were poor would go back to becoming poor and those who were rich (or prosperous) would go back to becoming rich. There are exceptions but the analogy is very simple; you are not poor for no reason. There are obviously some inherent weaknesses that you have in the system


Cover Story: Dr Binod Chaudhary

The Zinc chain of upscale hotels, part of CG Hotels and Resorts

and if you are rich, that is also not without any reason. “I'm not talking about unscrupulous elements and robbers etc, I'm talking about legitimate business. To run a business is very, very demanding. To build an enterprise you have got to be a visionary, identify opportunities, you've got to work 24 hours a day or 7 days a week sometimes. But most people are happy being in their comfort-zone.� PHILANTHROPY As a philanthropist, these days he is focused on the development of sustainable social reform through the Chaudhary Foundation (CF), which was established in 1995. CF's mission is to provide quality education, good health and a sustainable ecosystem. It is also involved in enterprise development through its Nepal Social Business (NSB) initiative. Following the tragic Gorkha earthquake, CF deployed a team to assist with relief and recovery efforts. With the help of 22

Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8

We prefer sectors that are far more demanding and people don't want to touch

CG's logistics and distribution network relief aid was distributed to 9 out of the 14 most affected areas. It was in recognition of this humanitarian work that the US-based organisation, We Care For Humanity, awarded Dr Binod Chaudhary Asian Man OfThe Year. THE NEPALESE ECONOMY A large percentage of Nepal's GDP is buoyed by migrant workers who, for lack of domestic employment opportunities, have found themselves oversees and remit their money. While it may be a solution for many individual families in the shortterm, Chaudhary is aware that this is not sustainable and sees the current political climate an encumbrance.

Cover Story: Dr Binod Chaudhary

“Almost half-a-million people leave Nepal to different parts of the world every year for employment opportunities. About 30% of Nepal's GDP comes from migrant workers and they remit around $6 Billion every year. So that money is converted to goods and services that generates a lot of money in taxes for the government and that is helping to keep the country alive. “But is that $6 Billion being used for longterm sustainable purpose? The answer is no, it is not. It is used to import goods from other countries. The day Nepal's politics becomes stable, the day a visionary leader assumes power and comes up with policies that will work and be put into local production things would change. Things would change at such a rapid pace that you cannot imagine because Nepal is blessed with almost all the natural resources.� Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8

I believe that we have the people, calibre, strength and commitment to work in extremely difficult environments



How Conscious Leadership Can Help Businesses Grow


or many years we have pondered over the question of 'Management' versus 'Leadership' and have come to clear conclusions that a leader is not always a manager and vice versa. We also know that we need to develop leadership within our managers to ensure they can bring out the best in their teams. By Maggie Georgopoulos With technology advancing as fast as it can and people running to keep up, we are moving into an age of a new type of leader. The internet gives us information that is up to the second - although at times not necessarily accurate. We have new industries popping up on a daily basis and many older ones closing. There is a sense of anticipation for the future along with feelings of uncertainty and fear. We have entered a time where we have generations coming through that only know how to communicate through their phones! WHAT IS CONSCIOUS LEADERSHIP AND HOW CAN IT HELP OUR BUSINESS?


Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8

It is just what is says on the tin. First and foremost, it is being conscious of your actions and the impact they have on others and the environment around you. There are five attributes to a conscious leader: VALUES-BASED LEADERSHIP You need to bring your personal values to the table. For a long time, businesses have been determining company values based on a list that is drawn up. This is not how it works. The corporate culture is determined by the collective values of those that make it up. A conscious leader knows this, ensures that they can really see the values of those in the business they are working, and that this matches


their own values. You can not be a strong leader if you are compromising your own values on a daily basis to make something happen. This will end up with cracks in your leadership. By bringing your own values to the fore and ensuring they are aligned with the business, those you are leading will be able to see it too. MAKING A DIFFERENCE Many ‘leaders’ have become complacent. They are taking their teams through the motions. We have technology changing at a fast pace and with more and more people interested, the impact on what they are doing reflects not just on the physical environment but on the people in the communities around them. You need to engage your team and allow them to contribute to make this better. LEAVING A LEGACY Ensure that you leave behind not just someone who can follow you, but also leave behind a positive change. All too often we make the mistake of believing that as long as we do our job and succession planning is in place, that is enough. In an environment that still lacks diversity in many places, as conscious leaders we must also ensure positive change and that we leave a legacy of company values that embrace this. PURPOSEFUL VISION Steven Covey famously wrote, as one of his original '7 Habits of Highly Effective

People', “Start with the end in mind”. We use this in our businesses often when are setting tasks to achieve goals. Part of conscious leadership is not just looking at the business goals, but also looking at the wider impact of the technology or progress they are implementing and how it affects the environment around them. Here we are looking at the advancements and ensuring that we understand what the impact is, not only in our business but on the environment around us; such as our communities and the sustainability of the business and the impact it has. C OLLABORATIVE MINDSET Gone are the days of competition as king. Collaboration has been found to deliver far better, more imaginative and more sustainable results. This is because we have many brains looking at the problem from different perspectives, which allows for better initiatives and sustainability. This is why diversity is so important as well. A collaboration of a group that are of one mind on everything, will not progress as one with differing views and openness to ideas. As you can see it is important that we lead with our eyes wide open and our brains fully engaged. Consciousness of the actions we take and their wider impact is where the future of leadership is. A conscious leader will have a strong team which will contribute to the sustainability of the business around it.

Maggie Georgopoulos is the author ofUp The Ladder In A Skirt and a leading authority in the retention offemale talent and building a sustainable mental health culture in organisations. She is currently working with organisations to help them implement their mental health policies. For further information visit: Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8


Women in Business



By Ronnie Ajoku

halini Khemka, is the CEO and Founder ofE2Exchange - the largest entrepreneurial network in the UK. An outstanding professional in the world of finance, she developed a background in private equity at Lloyds Development Capital (LDC), where she was tasked with the responsibility of developing their entrepreneurial network. As an entrepreneur, Khemka drew on her “keen interest in business and financerelated roles” to Co-found the world’s first online 'bank-to-bank' trade finance company, which was later sold.


Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8

Her passion for entrepreneurship has led to her occupying numerous businessrelated roles such as member of the Mayor of London’s Business Advisory Board, Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurs (CFE) and a judging role for the Great British Entrepreneurs Awards. “It all stemmed from being an entrepreneur myself and setting up my first business, namely the first online trade finance platform. This challenge gave me the all-important skills and experience needed to follow my passion and establish a network which helped other entrepreneurs grow their businesses,” she says of her organisation.

Women in Business

E2E stands out from other entrepreneurially-focused bodies in its commitment to providing a friendly, open and productive space for entrepreneurs to network and discuss ideas. It offers investment, recruitment and connectivity all under one umbrella and is the largest entrepreneurial organisation in the UK. Members can also enjoy discounted access to co-working hubs and corporate services across the country. “E2E is about more than just organising events – its mission is to be the main catalyst for entrepreneurial growth in the UK and internationally.” It does so through facilitating high quality connectivity between scale-up founders, super angel investors, high quality Non-Exec Directors and the UK’s leading corporate organisations. The E2E Group, E2E Invest, focuses on securing equity capital for scale-up businesses and has a £50 million investment facility to provide to high growth businesses. The UK's business community has responded quite well to E2E. “Response has been extremely positive. During events, entrepreneurs have regularly provided feedback, expressing their appreciation of the opportunity to discuss ideas, tips and tricks during a relaxed and

friendly atmosphere,” she added. E2E’s positive aims are supported by its official partners, which include UBS, KPMG, Regus, Metro Bank and LDC. “Membership is complimentary and primarily by invitation only to individuals who meet our membership criteria: Founders, Co-founders and majority shareholders of businesses; Have a turnover in excess of £500,000; Industry and sector agnostic – any type of business,” Khemka points out. The network caters for a wideranging membership which can be divided into three tiers. Pioneers (Members who have founded businesses with a turnover of £100m+); Ambassadors (Members who have founded businesses with a turnover of £10m+) and Advocates (Members who have founded businesses with a turnover of £500,000+). As part of the Mayor of London's Business Advisory Board, she was part of a recent UK-India trade envoy. E2E has an exciting calendar lineup of events for 2018, with a number of the country's most high-profile business leaders set to take the stage as keynote speakers. Khemka is “looking forward to the opportunities 2018 will hold for E2Exchange and our network.”

To find out more about E2Exchange visit: Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8





By Carrie Brooks

e hear the phrase ‘needing to create a healthy work-life balance’ bandied about a lot nowadays, and how important is this to consider in our lives.

I can answer this question in no uncertain terms by saying that its vital. As the number of people suffering from professional stress, overwhelm and burnout continuously increases, it’s time to take a long hard look at our quality of life. If we decide that we are not having the work-life balance that we desire, the first priority should be to take charge of our life - both personally and professionally. This can be done by becoming proactive and choosing to create the work-life balance that works for us. This is vital to ensure


Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8

much needed fulfilment and balance where all areas of our life share the same attention and care. While most people schedule in their working hours, personal time is very much an after thought and is only prioritised if it’s an external obligation. What I mean by this is that your partner, mum, family member, friend, work colleague has asked you to schedule in some event. Essentially this is making time for things that other people have asked you to do, that, while possibly enjoyable, is still being reactive to external people and situations. What normally does not get the consideration it deserves in our weekly commitments is our own personal quality time. This is making time for things that bring us


enjoyment and pleasure. There is no obligation here, just a desire to do something that we find fulfilling - making time for what I call ‘the good stuff’. All the latest research shows that our ability to work better is linked to ensuring comprehensive time out. This involves creating periods where you are out of your ‘work mind.’ A space of time where your next assignment, project or some work pressure is not consuming your thoughts. Free time for you. Technology has brought with it new challenges to creating genuine down time. With our phones constantly flashing up emails and notifications, we are permanently on alert. This is ‘work mind’ gone into overdrive. The incessant checking of emails is rife in our work culture and by practicing this habitual behaviour we are never giving ourselves a break from our ‘work mind,’ we are permanently switched on, whereas we need to understand that off-time is vital for our psychological and emotional wellbeing. If we wish to move away from this

detrimental habitual behaviour, the setting of personal boundaries is a must. This can be achieved in a series of steps. Firstly, agree a time in the evening with both work and professional contacts when emailing will cease for the day, secondly purchase an alarm clock so you no longer rely on your mobile to wake you up and it should replace your phone on your bedside table. At home choose a place for your mobile where you would have to walk at least a few steps in order to pick it up. How many times have you just picked up your phone because it was in arms reach and then stared at it wondering why? These are basic but effective first steps that begin the process of challenging the habits that are perpetuating stress in your life and to ensure that you become proactive in your life choices and take charge. By prioritising your personal time you will immediately begin to see the benefits in both increased productivity and satisfaction at work, a reduction of stress and finally being able to actually begin to switch off and enjoy your life to the full. Isn’t this what we all deserve?

Carrie Brooks, known as the Results Coach, is an accredited ICF Life Coach who works with clients in the UK and Internationally. For further information visit: Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8


Business Development




By Nimesh Mehta

here are two main things that differentiate a company from its competition; people and customer experience. Customer experience (CX) means touching the heart of the customer. Once you are able to connect with the customer’s heart, you will gain their loyalty, which then can lead to referrals and testimonials for your company that helps increase sales. Customer experience is an ongoing pursuit of excellence to keep customers delighted so that they become your brand ambassadors in the public domain. If your customers feel delighted, your company can possibly be considered among the top 5% in the country. The other 95% of companies somehow manage to provide decent customer service. In fact, for 95% percent of these companies, customer service is one of the detrimental terms in a client’s language. More often than not, when we as customers are disappointed


with the service of a company, we are then forced to find other companies who can better serve our needs. A company spends a lot of time, effort, and money to acquire a customer, but, due to poor follow-up and lousy service, they may end up losing the customer. In my experience, a company loses its customers due to the following reasons: C OMPLACENCY Complacency creeps in due to success that has been achieved in a short span of time. Many organisations grow so fast that success makes them believe they are doing the right things. They console themselves during board meetings by telling themselves that the company has grown so fast, it will obviously take some time to catch up with customer service. But when profit or business is hardly coming in, you can be sure that everyone in the company focuses on customer service. Eventually, the entire company then turns upside-down and only focuses on retaining the customer.

Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8

Business Development

TECHNOLOGY A company may put in new money and set up systems to acquire new customers, but has little focus on retaining existing ones. Most organisations focus on investing in a new sales CRM system to improve sales productivity. They may enter newer markets for business expansion. Off-site locations are planned in exotic places to strategise on how to grow sales faster, but never has an off-site meeting been organised to plan on improving customer experience and delighting existing customers. NO PROPER ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE AND RESPONSIBILITY

More often than not, we hear this statement from a company executive: “It’s not my job.” If he doesn’t say this explicitly, he makes a customer feel he is going out of his way to help them, but it’s actually not his job. This happens because organisations don’t set the proper responsibilities and, most importantly, do not assign authorities in different teams. LACK OF PROPER EMPLOYEE TRAINING When a customer is dissatisfied, the blame game starts and continues within the company. Leaders rarely realise that an employee needs to undergo regular training. Most companies hire new staff in customer service, but rarely does this employee go through some structured customer service training. Training is a must in order to develop an employee and keep their morale high. POOR LISTENING SKILLS Often, when a customer is complaining or

giving feedback, the executive is hardly listening. He is pre-empting the customer’s statements and jumping in to explain even before the customer can complete their sentence. POOR OR NO ENGAGEMENT WITH EXISTING CUSTOMERS

Once a customer gets on-boarded after a basic welcome letter, there is hardly any engagement from the company. The company seldom interacts with the customer, so it doesn’t know if the customers are happy or unhappy about something. We, as customers, have been victims of the above at one time or another. But when I ask leaders if they have committed any of these actions, the answer is always a clear “NO”. Most companies and leaders believe that the reasons cited above do not have anything to do with their company. There is a big mindset change required in most organisations and leaders. The focus should be on customer experience and not just customer service. When you think of customer experience, the whole approach changes. Instead of serving or satisfying a customer, you instead start thinking about how you can please the customer at every touchpoint. In my view, every touchpoint is an opportunity to become relevant in the minds of customers. In short, customer experience is the never-ending pursuit of excellence to keep your customers so satisfied that they tell others about the positive way they were treated at your place of business.

Nimesh Mehta is a speaker, sales leader and the author of Sales Booster: The New Science of Selling (Leadership and Sales Turnaround Wisdom from World's Top Leaders and Organizations). For further information visit: Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8





By Kim Speed

fyou've been in business for any length oftime, you've no doubt been faced with the question: "Is our marketing working for us?"

Even if you're new in business, you may find that your current marketing is only getting you lukewarm results and you’re wondering how long you should stick with it before giving up and trying something else. It's the age-old question of "When is the right time to put a marketing program out to pasture?" In my advertising agency days, we'd create a new ad campaign and run it for a while, and because we (and the client) were exposed to that campaign day-in and day-out, we'd all tire of it quickly.


Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8

Often, the client would want a new campaign and we have to remind them their prospects hadn't seen the campaign nearly as much as we all had, and that it was best to let the campaign keep running. How do you know when it's time to let your advertising campaign or marketing program keep on running or when it's time to try something new? The answer is very simple, look at your results. If your marketing is not producing any results or meeting the objectives you set, it’s time to change your tactics. Does your marketing activity have a specific objective? Your objective may be to generate a certain number of leads or website views, or it may be to simply


increase sales of your product or service. You will need to track your results from your marketing activities, so you'll know how well they are producing and you can monitor their trends. If you are getting consistent results using a specific marketing tactic over time, then I would say, “Don’t fix what’s not broken”. It can be tempting to make changes just because you’re tired of seeing the same thing but if it’s working, leave it be. However, if your tracking shows you are steadily getting fewer and fewer responses or sales, it’s probably time to freshen up that marketing or start anew. Maybe your results never really materialised. If your marketing program has never really generated the response you are looking for, even if it's relatively young, it's also time to take a good hard look at reworking it to make it more effective. If you've given your marketing ample time to produce results and nothing's happening, odds are you’ve missed the mark and either the brand message or the medium is off. If your message is off, it means you are not effectively speaking to your prospects or hitting their "hot buttons." Do you really understand their problem or challenge? And does your marketing speak clearly to that issue and position your brand’s product or service as the best solution? If the medium is off, it means you have

put your marketing message in a place where your prospects aren't likely to see it. It's important to understand your prospects and where and how you can best reach them, so you can put your messages in those places. After all, if they don't see your message, they can't respond. What type of response rates can you expect? For direct marketing efforts, a response rate between 1% and 3% is considered good. On the web, a 1% conversion rate is the norm, so if you're doing better than that consider yourself lucky. You can expect a higher response rate from your current subscribers or clients because they already know and trust you. As far as new mailing list subscribers, expect between 5% and 15% of your website visitors to join your mailing list. The key is to make sure your marketing is reaching enough people so these response rates yield results you can be happy with. If you've given your marketing program time to work and nothing much is happening, or if your results are on the decline, it's time to kill that program. Or, at least, give it a makeover. Make sure your marketing is grounded in a solid brand foundation. If your business struggles to reach its marketing goals, assess what your brand stands for and ask yourself if the brand connects with the audience you aim to reach.

Kim Speed is the author of “Branding on a Shoestring”. After a successful career in advertising, as a Creative Director, Kim now helps small business owners build and grow their companies with simple, effective marketing. For further information visit: Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8





hy did you start your business? No matter your answers, they primarily fall into one ofjust two categories; more money and more time.

Why? For the business not to become hamstrung by the owners physical and mental capacity (how many businesses have you observed rise and fall in direct correlation with the health or personal life of the owner?), the owner needs to elevate Early in my career this was an oxymoron. their thinking and behave more like an It seemed I could only have one or the owner than an operator. other - either I had loads of free time because I wasn’t busy enough and For your business to grow sustainably therefore I was struggling without you, you must financially, or I was fire yourself from day to working my backside off, day operations so you making money but not can focus on the having the time to enjoy strategic moves that it. need to made, or else you will permanently This is the classic get stuck fire-fighting entrepreneurs cycle of before eventually dying 'feast and famine'. The from exhaustion. reality for me back then (as it is for most business But the key question is, owners) was I didn’t have how do you do it? Here a business. I had a job. are 3 simple steps to fire It’s a cycle few owners yourself from your By Dan Bradbury ever manage to break. In business and have it fact much research suggests that the work better without you: biggest source of slave labour in this country is actually small business owners 1. FIRE YOURSELF AS QUICKLY AND who work for less than the minimum RUTHLESSLY AS POSSIBLE wage. The business that was supposed to From the thousands of MD’s and CEO’s give you time and money actually ends up I’ve mentored over the last 10+ years, the costing you both! average number of hours worked per week is 60. However, when I ask the So is this just business fantasy? No, the question: “What percentage of your time reality is, you can have both, but it is spent on the highest value, most actually goes much further. To get any important task?”, I normally get a real size and scalability to your company sheepish look followed by the answer you MUST achieve both. “10-15%”. After all, it’s kind of hard to


Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8


justify time spent aimlessly surfing FaceBook, staring at your inbox or watching YouTube videos of cats that look like Hitler! In order to free up significant amounts of your time immediately, first do an activity inventory. In other words write down everything you did in the business last week. Next, rank the activities as low, medium or high value tasks in comparison to the other tasks on the list. The high value tasks cannot account for more than 20% of the total. Now for each of the low and medium value tasks, 'EAT' your way to success: E - Eliminate - does this task need to be done at all? Can the time spent on this task be reduced without any negative impact? A - Automate - is this task repetitive? If so, can it be systemised and ideally automated so it can be done more consistently leveraging technology? T - Transfer - who else can this task be transferred to? You are probably the most valuable person on your team. Therefore, you are the biggest cost to the company if your time is wasted. Don’t do jobs yourself to “save money” Often the best investment you can make is into a junior

or administrative hire that frees your time up to focus on higher value activities. 2. HIRE (AND TRAIN) A WORLD C LASS TEAM Regardless of your product, IP or internal systems, your people are your most important asset. There is no more important skill for a business owner than being able to attract and hire “A” players. The company leverages people's skills to drive revenues and profits. If the people are weak, the company’s progress will be too. If you’re overloaded with work, a better question than “HOW might I free up my time?” could be “WHO is the right person to free up my time?” 3. PRACTICE E THICAL INDUSTRIAL E SPIONAGE Don’t reinvent the wheel. Become a voracious student of your competition and business in general. Read great business biographies, attend seminars, hire a mentor or non-exec. Learning from people who have been there and done it will give you greater speed to solution. Ultimately, if you follow the steps outlined above you will be able to fire yourself from your business and have it work better without you.

Dan Bradbury, is an investor and business growth facilitator. He is the author of the best selling book, Breeding Gazelles – Fast Growth Strategies for Your Business. For further information visit: Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8





By Kevin Judge

hat business are you in? Whether it’s coaching, consulting, or some other form of helping people, the answer must be marketing. You might be passionate and great at what you do, but unless you understand and get really efficient at marketing, you won’t make it in today’s marketplace and economy. There are too many struggling coaches today. When asked what keeps them up at night, the fears and challenges are typically the same regardless of geography or type of coaching they provide. Coaches are worried about finding quality clients and not being so desperate that they accept clients that suck the life force out of them. They are terrified of the idea that they won’t make enough money doing what they


love and will be forced back into a full-time day-job or, even worse, to move back in with their parents! The idea of selling their products and services brings up images of a slick salesman and high-pressure tactics that go against their personal values and leaves a sick feeling in their stomachs. The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. The coaching industry itself is huge and rapidly growing. According to the International Coach Federation (ICF) 2016 Global Coaching Study, the average annual coaching income is USD 51,000 out of an industry-sized at approximately USD 2.4 billion. To help you create uncontested market share and make the competition irrelevant, here are three of the new marketing realities for the coaching and consulting industries: THE C ONSUMER MINDSET HAS C HANGED In just the last few years, consumers have been witness and victim to numerous scandals and corporate wrongdoings. An international banking and financial

Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8


services company created fake accounts in customers’ names. The maker of a lifesaving medication hiked prices 5000%. A smartphone provider used batteries that caught fire. A major automobile maker had software in their cars that deceived environmental emission tests. Because of events and scandals like these, the buying public is much different today than ever before. Consumers are more skeptical and much less trusting of others when it comes to their health, money, and personal wellbeing. They are more self-educated and demanding. They have access to more choices than ever. And, they are bombarded with marketing messages that do not address their fears and concerns. THEY DON’ T C ARE ABOUT YOU When it comes to sales and marketing, what should be obvious is not. Most of what passes for advertising is, “Look at me, aren’t I great?” drivel that is full of non-believable noise from people who think way too much of themselves. Look at coaching websites today and many will tell you what coaching is, list a bunch of credentials, include corny slogans, and give details of products and services. It’s a waste of time! Why? Because the average consumer doesn’t care about you or what you want them to know. Think about this: People don’t care about you; people care about what is important to them. They care about their needs, desires, and problems!

ALMOST E VERYTHING YOU’ VE LEARNED ABOUT LEAD GENERATION SHOULD BE FORGOTTEN There’s a new way to sell today. Look at the selling process, from finding prospects to closing sales, to client follow-up. Instead of chasing prospects, become a magnet to tons of prospects who are predisposed to buy your services and make them come directly to you. Forget selling using the power-close; consumers just don’t fall for this type of verbal handiwork. The way most people try to sell is very much akin to the difference between a one-night stand and a marriage. As Theodore Levitt’s words suggest, the money is in the marriage model, not the one-night stand. Coaches and consultants today need to get their eyes off the short-term model and focus on the long-term value of a client. There is a new breed of coaches and consultants who resist old-school marketing techniques that just don’t work. They attract top-grade clients that want what they have to offer, are willing to put in the work, and are more than willing to pay for the value received. They are comfortable having pitch-free sales conversations that are in service to people’s needs and lead to more sales. You can make a great income, have many clients, and have free time for other passions. Leverage the new marketing realities and turn your passion for helping others into a thriving business!

Kevin Judge is the co-author of Multiply Your Coaching Business and a leading authority in the coaching and consulting industries. For further information visit: Volume 4 Issue 2, 201 8


Tosubscribevisit: Wanttoadvertise?

LikeusonFacebook: londonbusinessjournal FollowusonTwitter: @londbizjournal FollowourWomenInBusinessonTwitter: @WomenInBusines3

Profile for The London Business Journal

Vol4 issue2 2018  

The London Business Journal Issue 2 Volume 4 2018 Covers interesting topics for businesses in the UK and worldwide

Vol4 issue2 2018  

The London Business Journal Issue 2 Volume 4 2018 Covers interesting topics for businesses in the UK and worldwide


Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded