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Spring 2016




Work Smarter

Changing Space

Business apps to help you stay happy, healthy and sane p.18

Lamenting the lack of West London co-work spaces p.26




Crystal Clear

Working the crowd. How to gain the attention and assets of savvy crowdfunders p.28

Unified Communications delivers faster access to both colleagues and customers p.30


Beer to Peer

The inspirational life and times of Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea

Success is not a destination, it’s a journey and it depends on your goals.









WEST WATCH The latest business news and updates from the sub-region.




Perceptive and penetrating articles on West London business people.


HEAD TO HEAD Two business brains collide during a networking tête-à-tête.


BALANCE Can you really have it all?

Make Time

Four apps to help get time on your side, and one for when it gets the better of you.


ACROSS THE NETWORK Your go to guide for listings, events and our borough-specific ‘Seven Wonders’.


OPINION Thinkers and business leaders share specialist insight.


IN THE KNOW Everything you wanted to know, but were too busy to ask.

Working the Crowd

How to gain the attention and assets of savvy crowdfunders. Where are the West London creative sector c0-work spaces? CRYSTAL CLEAR: TALKING UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS


SMART CITY Business intelligence, with a focus on technology and innovation.


PERKS Ideas to help make business a pleasure.


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020 7182 2000

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08/02/2016 14:55



Global House, Laxcon Close, NW10

Portobello Dock, Ladbroke Grove, W10

Veolia instructed us to dispose of their lease at this 1.25 acre site in Neasden. Having been used for waste removal, cleaning and gritting vehicles, the site had become surplus to their requirements.

Portobello Dock is a major commercial development in W10, consisting of 80,000 ft2 of residential, office and restaurant space. We were joint letting agents for Derwent London PLC. Tom Dixon is based here along with Innocent Drinks and The Dock Kitchen.

Global House, Neasden, NW10

Lonsdale Road, Queens Park, NW6

Having been involved in the scheme from the start, we have recently sold two freehold units in this prominent business centre on the North Circular Road.

Lonsdale Road is the business hub to work from in Queens Park. We have been advising the owners of this private road for 30 years, and currently all 65,000 ft2 is let at record rents.

The Lightworks, 404 Finchley Road, Childs Hill, NW2

Quadrant Business Centre, Queens Park, NW6 We advise a family trust on this 50,000 ft multi-let office development. As their sole agent we continue to market and let all available units. Currently there is an office of 3,700 ft2 to rent. 2

174 West End Lane, London, NW6 1SW

020 7794 7788


004/ DutchNDutch Advert WL LHP.indd 1

Prominent ground floor 4,180 ft2 retail available to rent. Instructed by the freeholder to source a JV partner to secure planning for a mixed-use development. We provided planning, retail letting and residential marketing advice.


28/01/2016 15:43



Foreword Thinking West Londoner has been launched to tell the stories of the vibrant micro-enterprises, SMEs and multinational corporations that make up the West London economy from Hounslow to Barnet. Chronicling the journey of the UK’s second largest economic powerhouse, a £50bn economy, we want to connect you with West London-specific insight and inspiration that helps you work smarter, make informed decisions and enrich your business lives. We are delighted in our launch issue to profile in Faces & Places the inspirational life and times of Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea (who started Cobra Beer on the Fulham Palace Road), alongside rising stars of our business community including Katie Hobbs and Reza Merchant. What they all have in common is their affection for the green setting West London has to offer, the skilled people and the great fun that is to be had in partnering with customers, suppliers and local communities to bring innovative products and services to market. Grit and determination are vital ingredients too. In Opinion, Graham Hitchen reflects on the changing workspace needs of West London and that with real depth and breadth to our creative and tech sector, a good supply of co-working space is needed to enable entrepreneurs to develop their businesses in this part of our capital and to not be tempted East. Katie started her company KatchUp in one such co-working space; Reza is creating the next generation of spaces in which to both work and live. All would agree that more public and private sector investment in inspiring, affordable and accessible co-working, maker and kitchen spaces for start-ups is needed across West London to drive our economy forward. At West London Business the team have been kept busy welcoming new members to our movement over the past few months, including Farrells, London Broncos and Michael Page. We are also gearing up our work on four West London policy commissions that through 2016/17 will explore the future of: Transport & infrastructure; The built environment; Education & skills; and Sustainability & climate change. Their work will be guided through an open process in which we encourage the whole community to participate through By the time the next quarterly issue of West Londoner is released, London will have a new Mayor. To find out more about the candidates for Mayor of London and their business manifestos please visit Our next issue will see reflections on the impact of the Mayoral election result, a look ahead to the EU in/out referendum, as well as a potential summer decision on whether Heathrow will be allowed to expand. All this makes for a defining year for our city and West London – come and enjoy the journey with us. Andrew Dakers Editor, West Londoner

Chronicling the journey of the UK’s second largest economic powerhouse, a £50bn economy, we want to connect you with West London-specific insight and inspiration that helps you work smarter, make informed decisions and enrich your business lives.


CREATIVE TEAM Editor: Production: Interviews: Listings: Photography: Design:

Andrew Dakers James West Nicola Baird Elliott Parker Chris Stokes Richard Waterhouse

A big thank you to our expert guests for their valuable insight across topics of interest pertinent to West London businesses.

ADVERTISING SALES Ryan Smith 07942 864166

EDITORIAL Businesses interested in submitting stories for consideration, please email a press release or a brief story outline to



West Creative Ltd 020 8144 9547 WESTCREATIVE



1 Dukes Avenue W4 2AB

Park Royal Skills & Apprenticeship Fair Over 30 exhibitors, including local businesses, and 120 young people packed the Abbey Manor, Park Royal on Wednesday 10 February 2016 for the first Park Royal Skills & Apprenticeship Fair. Championed by Jane Milton, co-chair of the Park Royal Business Group, the day was an opportunity for Park Royal businesses to: promote and interview for vacancies and apprenticeship positions to a wide audience of Brent residents and young people seeking work; provide specialist support and advice with recruitment of skilled local residents and apprentices; and then network with fellow exhibitors at an informal drinks reception in the evening. The fair was delivered in partnership by West London College, London Boroughs of Brent & Ealing, Old Oak & Park Royal Development Corporation, and sponsored by Joe & Seph’s gourmet popcorn. Email if you would like to get involved in a future Park Royal fair.

West London Business’ mission is to ensure West London stays the best place to do business. Our commitment is to raise West London’s global economic competitiveness, whilst pursuing social and environmental sustainability.

© 2016 West London Business. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden without prior written permission of the publishers. Although obtained from sources the publishers believe to be correct, West London Business does not accept responsibility for any errors in the information and accepts no legal liability. West London Business provides this content in good faith but no guarantee or representation is given that the content is accurate, complete or up-to-date. Use of the newspaper content is at your own risk.




Boroughs Benefit London Enterprise Panel Chair and Mayor of London Boris Johnson MP recently announced (21 January 2016) that 24 businesses and community groups in the capital are to benefit from the LEP’s new £20m ‘London Regeneration Fund’ (LRF). Four of these recipients are in the seven boroughs served by West London Business. The London Regeneration Fund aims to re-energise the capital’s places of work and high streets by embracing the city’s incredible talent for creativity and technological innovation. It was launched by the Mayor following the LEP’s successful bid to Government in January 2015 as part of the its Growth Deal. The key to the capital’s economic future London’s 800,000 small and medium-sized businesses account for nearly half of the capital’s jobs and generate approximately £430bn turnover. The Mayor believes they hold the potential for much of London’s future enterprise, innovation and economic growth, but are struggling to find workspace. A key ambition for this latest round of funding was to help tackle the shortage of affordable creative workspaces and a number of the winning applications will create new spaces for artists and creative entrepreneurs. The Mayor said: “High streets and town centres the length and breadth of London are a hive of economic activity fuelled by creative minds. It’s important that we make sure they continue to meet the needs of a rapidly evolving city and the talented people who are key to its future success. It’s fantastic to see so many applicants to this fund, offering innovative ways to nurture and support the dynamism and creativity that will power our economy in the years ahead.” The LEP was particularly keen to see proposals that create new open workspaces such as incubators, co-


approximate annual turnover generated by West London’s businesses.

working spaces, maker-spaces and artists’ studios, or secure their long term affordability. This is seen as key to the continued growth of London’s creative economy and its global reputation as a leading city for creativity.

THE FOUR SUCCESSFUL APPLICANTS WEST EALING, EALING LRF: £283,320 Match: £301,790 An open workspace of 120m2 will be created in West Ealing on the two upper floors of St. James House to attract and sustain a new ecosystem of start-up, micro and small businesses, particularly those that provide social value. It will accommodate co-working space for homeworkers and possible crèche provision.

UXBRIDGE TOWN CENTRE, HILLINGDON LRF: £800,000 Match: £1,295,798 The project will make improvements and bring activity to the eastern end of the High Street to connect it to new housing and a theatre on the former RAF site, and make it function as an extension of the town centre. Proposals include public realm in front of the Civic Centre, lighting and active frontages for blank areas such as the side of the civic centre on the high street, enhancements to Vine Street in front of a 1930s department store, and lighting and sound installations for the roundabout underpasses. Shopfront grants, business support and apprenticeships will be focused on these areas, and opportunities for temporary markets will also be explored.

HARROW TOWN CENTRE, HARROW LRF: £1,510,000 Match: £1,767,000 This group of projects focuses on regenerating Wealdstone through the creation of new business and community infrastructure. The proposal is linked to the future relocation of Harrow Civic Centre to Wealdstone.


LRF: £1,800,000 Match: £2,159,182 The project involves the construction, establishment and long term management of an innovative workspace/ community scheme aimed at serving both the local community and businesses by addressing the lack of good quality, small workspace provision in the borough. It will include a mix of creative workspaces, including a business club, and dedicated self-contained office suites available at market and affordable rents, operated by the South Kilburn Trust. A café will be located within the business club space, which can be used by the local community. The project will also include good quality youth space and community areas, which can be booked and used by both the business occupiers and the local people for events and cultural gatherings.

The £1.8m grant will help to fund a planned Youth Enterprise Hub as part of wide-ranging regeneration of South Kilburn. The hub will form part of the £600m programme to regenerate South Kilburn.

THE BOTTOM LINE Little, known facts


Pitshanger Lane in Ealing has been crowned London’s best high street at the 2015 Great British High Street competition. Judges stated they were impressed by “its great community spirit, social media campaign and a commitment to supporting local retailers”.

As West Londoner goes to press, five-time recipient of the Football League Community Club of the Year award, Brentford FC, await final approval on plans for a new 20,000 seat stadium which will help to sustain and grow their huge engagement of young people in sport.


Connect Four On Friday 26 February 2016 West London Business launch four policy commissions at a House of Commons reception looking, in the context of West London, at the future of: transport and infrastructure; education and skills; the built environment; and sustainability and climate change. Through 2016/17 the commissions will explore the big challenges and opportunities for the business community and our partners. By the end of the first or second quarter of 2017 West London Business will have a deeper understanding of the current issues that constrain sustainable development of the West London economy grappling with many of

West London businesses ranging from SMEs to multinationals.

the big issues of our time. The commissions will provide prioritised recommendations to the public, private and non-profit sectors on actionable solutions over a 20 year time period and requirements for further exploratory work. The commissions will focus on identifying both issues and solutions that are regional specific, rather than duplicating work already being undertaken at a regional or national level. To review the draft Terms of Reference for the four commissions and help ensure they set out in the right direction visit:

Honours List Congratulations to Rekha Mehr (pictured right), awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours for services to entrepreneurship and enterprise. The founder of Fulham Indian boutique bakery Pistachio Rose was an Entrepreneur In Residence at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in 2013 and is recognised as a champion of her local start-up community. In other honours news, Dana Skelley, who is director of asset management for surface transport at Transport for London, has been recognised for services to transport in the capital. Skelley, who was in charge of last year’s major project strengthening Hammersmith Flyover has been recognised with an OBE.

Fully Charged Chiswick-based ChargeBox has raised over £500,000 through crowdfunding in a bid to fund expansion. The company, founded in 2005, was the first to manufacture and launch freeto-use charging stations in the UK, back in 2012, at Westfield shopping centres.

Harrow College launches Employerled Education Harrow College has opened its four-storey £6.5m Enterprise Centre. The centre has classrooms and open-plan areas for learning, and will help meet the growing demand for college places in the area. The centre will also house a Career College – a new concept in learning focusing on employerled education. Among the first to launch in London, the Career Colleges will specialise in Business & Professional Services and Creative & Digital respectively for 15-17 year olds.

Ruislip–based Northvale Construction, founded in 2008, has reached #95 on The Sunday Times 2015 Fast Track 100 League Table. The list ranks Britain’s 100 private companies with the fastest-growing sales

£212m The amount Brunel University London generates for the London Borough of Hillingdon, supporting 2,512 jobs in the process, according to a new study. The report, by BiGGAR Economics, shows Brunel’s gross value added (GVA) – measuring the monetary contribution of the university to the economy – in the 2013/14 financial year.

over the past three years. Also placing on the 2015 Fast Track 100 are Uxbridge’s Energy Light Bulbs at #64; Perivale-based Welch & Tidy at #62 and BTL Property, who moved to Fulham in 2013, placed at #39.

Limeyard in the Limelight Ealing’s Limeyard Restaurant is under new ownership after being purchased by casual dining chain Côte Restaurants for an undisclosed sum.

Following on from the successful 2015 Hillingdon Business Expo, Brunel University has announced that the 2016 Expo will take place on 26 May 2016 at their campus on Kingston Lane, Uxbridge.




King Cobra One of my favourite sayings is that good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment. Ideally you learn from other people’s mistakes but quite often things happen you could never have predicted.


Lord Bilimoria: Beer to Peer

Portrait by political artist, Kaya Mar.

Refreshingly Smooth.

Personal and professional inspiration.

Lord Bilimoria co-founded Cobra Beer in 1989. In 2005 he became the UK’s youngest chancellor, at Thames Valley University (now the University of West London). He is a crossbench peer, app entrepreneur and a Zoroastrian Parsi. “From the start we wanted Cobra to be the finest ever Indian beer and to make it a global brand,” says Lord Bilimoria remembering the thrill he got 25 years ago selling his very first bottles to an off-licence on Fulham Palace Road. “I wanted to make a beer without the fizziness of lager and with the smoothness of ale that was good with curry. Cobra has a very complicated recipe with rice, maize, barley and three different kinds of hops, it’s the ultimate craft beer.” At the time Karan Bilimoria was a recent law graduate, just 27. Now Cobra Beer is a household name, brewed at Burton-on-Trent, Belgium and India. It’s sold in more than 45 countries and stocked in almost all Indian restaurants. Over the years Lord Bilimoria has joined the House of Lords, become the Deputy Lieutenant for Hounslow, Chancellor of both the University of Birmingham and Thames Valley University (now the University of West London), which includes a health sciences campus and The Claude Littner Business School in Brentford as well as the respected London School of Hospitality and London College of Music. He’s adamant that you should never stop learning – indeed he has recently launched a photo app, PictoSo, at his old Cambridge college and by March 2016 plans to take it to India. “One of my favourite sayings is that good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment. Ideally you learn from other people’s mistakes but quite often things happen you could never have predicted. The test is that you are able to cope in a crisis. I’ve nearly lost my business three times. In every one of these crises the Cobra brand didn’t flinch, it continued to grow.” He hasn’t forgotten his company’s West London roots either, not just because he thinks of “West London business as perfectly located – close to central London, Heathrow and the M40, M4 and M25. You’ve also got West London Business and the local chambers of commerce there to support and help you – they have regular events. It’s such an inspiring environment.”


of the UK’s licensed Indian restaurants are supplied by Cobra Beer.

Lord Bilimoria may be a passionate advocate for his Cobra beer and busy with House of Lords as a cross-bench peer, but he also makes time to feed his spiritual side, explaining with pride that he’s a Zoroastrian Parsi attending the Rayner’s Lane centre. “The first three Indian MPs in Westminster, all different political parties, were Zoroastrian Parsis and in 2006 I became the first in the House of Lords.”

Quickfire Q&A FAVOURITE PLACES IN WEST LONDON? Chiswick High Street has fabulous restaurants and bars – Indian Zing is my favourite at 236 King Street. Then there’s Bombay Chow in Hammersmith, 220 King Street which gets Indian-Chinese food just right. Southall has outstanding food. I like Madhu’s restaurant, 39 South Road (closed Tuesdays). I’m mad about sports. The family are season ticket holders for Chelsea. My second honorary doctorate was from Brunel University in Uxbridge, which is outstanding for sport. I also love the parks. When the children were little we’d take them to Syon Park, and Kew Gardens is beautiful. The entrance gate, Kew Gardens.


In his Bottled for Business: the less gassy guide to

entrepreneurship, published in 2007, Cobra founder, Lord Bilimora outlines his approach to entrepreneurship. Now he’s got it down to finding the right eight Ps – product, price, place, promotion, people, passion, finance (spelt with a ph) and profitable. “There may be a ninth now,” he says, “and that P is for partnership. I started with a partner. Since 2009 Cobra is a partner with one of the biggest brewers, Molson Coors.”

DEFINE SUCCESS? “Success is not a destination, it’s a journey and it depends on your goals. If you want to start up a small business and make it successful it needs to be sustainable, create employment, be profitable (not necessarily in the first year) and provide satisfaction and fulfilment to the owner and the people who work with them,” adds the Indian-born British peer.




Focal Point

Katie Hobbs: KatchUp Katie Hobbs grew up in Ealing and lives in Chiswick and has chosen to put her business roots down close to Gunnersbury where she runs private photo sharing platform KatchUp. Interview by Nicola Baird.

KatchUp is the answer to fragmented family photo sharing.

“Both my parents own their own companies so I’ve grown up in an entrepreneurial environment. It has really helped having access to my parents networks but even so it’s been a longer journey than we expected,” says Hobbs, 27, at KatchUp’s roomy office in Light Box. KatchUp lets users create communal albums with their friends and family to enjoy full resolution downloading for all of their favourite shared photos in a safe and protected environment. “Initially, I didn’t make the most out of our fantastic local community but now it’s integral to the way we work. Here in Chiswick we work a lot with West London mums to get feedback and promote KatchUp through word of mouth,” she says pointing out that although they may launch in the US “everyone’s family is all over the world so we have a lot of users in America, it just happened naturally.” Hobbs’ next move is to provide real time, private photo sharing for guests at events such as a wedding or this summer’s 50th year celebrations at Bedford Park, from 10-26 June.


The Light Box, Chiswick offers modern office facilities (and a basketball net).


My favourite is Smokehouse down a quiet side road at 12 Sutton Lane North. It has the atmosphere of an inviting local pub and the food is amazing. We hosted an event for Link West there last summer. I’m a member of Soho House (High Road House) on Chiswick High Road close to Turnham Green. It’s relatively low-cost for under 30s (approx. £700pa) and there’s always lots going on. My new favourite place is Angie’s Little Food Shop, 114 Chiswick High Road. It’s a really nice café with all day brunch. I like banana bread with espresso butter. Boki Coffee is inside Urban Villa at Brentford. They have super fast wifi so you can sit and work there – it’s a Angie’s Little Food Shop hidden gem for freelancers.

TIPS FOR THE NEXT GENERATION In April 2015 Katie Hobbs, who runs KatchUp, also launched Link West to promote tech start ups. Working with established West London businesses Link West offers campus style workshops, events and great graduate internships. Next step is to launch innovation hubs offering free advice. Hobbs adds: 1.

Don’t be afraid to seek advice from experts. People are happy to meet you for a coffee - you just have to ask. 2. I tend to gravitate towards women in business or people I’ve met through work. It’s nice to have people around you who are going through the same things as you. 3. When you start be clear about what you want to achieve. Don’t do too much too soon and do what you’re good at. 4. It can be hard to be heard in a busy market but you may have everything you need right here in your local community. How can we get the community to solve the problems we all have to share?



Amy Hensler West London Business Awards 2015 Employer of the Year, PBA, offers great STEM opportunities and helps develop its female staff. Here’s how one employee plans to smash the glass ceiling. Interview by Nicola Baird.

Open the Floodgates

Flood risk specialist Amy Hensler, who works for development and infrastructure consultants Peter Brett Associates (PBA), calls the in-house course she completed last year “common sense”. But PBA’s Women’s Development Programme – which aims to ensure a better mix of women in top management jobs – now has 50 female graduates with a much clearer vision of what they want. The company has 747 staff of which 230 are women. Only three of the 44 partners/equity directors are women. “I’d like to be a director in five years time,” says Hensler, 38. “We were told to write our ambition down and put it somewhere we can see it – on the fridge or the mirror, but I wanted mine a bit closer so I keep it in my pocket.” “The Women’s Development Programme training has been good. I’ve always done what I enjoy, but I never had a career plan. I knew I didn’t want to be sat at a desk, I wanted to be outside and I still get to stroll along rivers,” says Hensler who did a Geography degree at the University of Southampton and then a specialist MSc in Water Resources Technology & Management. She currently works flexible hours of three full days and two half days at PBA’s recently eco-refurbed Reading office liaising with teams on Brentford town centre’s regeneration, the Thames Tideway (the new sewage tunnel running from Acton to Abbey Mills), Twickenham World Cup and Chelsea FC. “Before the training I never had a career plan, like so many male civil engineers have. At a certain level being good at your job is a given, but on the course we were told how many women assume their boss knows they want a promotion, when often the boss doesn’t. You have to say what you want, you can’t assume,” she adds. Communicating clearly may be a business tip that crosses all genders, but thanks to PBA’s innovative training it’s now on track to see the numbers of women in the top jobs soar.


Before a meeting hide in the loos and do a Wonder Woman pose (arms akimbo). It gives you a confidence boost and I find it funny, so it makes me laugh which lowers my stress and helps me relax before a meeting. 2. Tell people your ambitions. 3. Know how to be assertive, but don’t be aggressive. Stay focused when you chat with your boss. Say I want to achieve a goal and this is what I will need to do to achieve it.

Strike a pre-meeting pose. Cape and mask are optional.

Thames Tideway tunnel boring machine.






Talking Shop

Arun Sondhi How can groups of businesses improve an area? Here’s what HammersmithLondon has achieved for the 349 businesses it represents and all those living, working, shopping and visiting the area. Interview by Nicola Baird For the council it’s all about residents, but the high street wouldn’t be the same without the office workers too.

Ten years ago HammersmithLondon was set up to energise the town centre. It’s one of the oldest Business Improvement Districts (BID) in the country but Executive Director Arun Sondhi, and his team of four, won’t know until late February if they’ve secured a third five year term. “In 2006 we wanted to put Hammersmith back on the map and encourage people, especially the office workers, to stay here longer and spend more. I’m a West Londoner through and through so I knew the issues,” says Sondhi, who lives in Ealing and ran a print design business on King Street for 15 years. “Ten years ago, people were concerned about crime and the damaging impact Westfield would have on the area. Although crime rates weren’t high at the time, there was a strong perception that Hammersmith was an unsafe place to be.” HammersmithLondon brought in extra policing as well as running events like the annual Summer Festival, live streaming of opera and Wimbledon, as well as I-LoveHammersmith privilege cards and free guided walks. After businesses successfully renewed them for a second five-year-term, HammersmithLondon focused on building partnerships that would improve the area, which included working with Transport for London and the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham to lobby for the replacement of the Hammersmith flyover with a flyunder, for which they won an award. The green corridor is likely to be a hit with pedestrians and cyclists once it’s completed in March 2016. “We help make Hammersmith a vibrant place to do business by adding extra initiatives which benefit employees and make them enjoy working in the area even more,” adds Sondhi.


• • •

Hammersmith’s historic riverside. Stroll along the Thames Path then stop off at The Dove or The Blue Anchor It’s the 10th busiest transport hub in London Enjoy culture at the Lyric Theatre (which has a green sedum roof), the Apollo for music and comedy gigs and until recently the Riverside Studios (due to reopen 2017). Hammersmith has all the popular retailers including TK Maxx, Primark and the top five high street banks


In summer there’s the annual festival. Watch Wimbledon in Lyric Square and go to the farmers’ market on Thursdays and Fridays. Don’t miss Furnival Gardens – the green stretch by the Rutland Arms. There’s a great view and it’s just three minutes walk from Lyric Square. St Paul’s Green has got a relaxed café, Kettle + Crust, and it’s also a great spot to go with your own sandwiches. And anyone can use the HammersmithLondon Roof Garden at the Lyric Theatre.

The Royal Opera House comes to Lyric Square.




Cool, Calm & Collective

It takes a gutsy approach to make it happen but older people couldn’t get their heads around how young people live.

Reza Merchant: Co-Living Large Generation rent is fed up with rip-off fees from estate agents, resents time wasted flat hunting and sharing with the wrong people. Step forward a West Londoner offering a new way to live. Interview by Nicola Baird. “That’s a lot of money,” says Reza Merchant, the founder of lifestyle property company, The Collective. He’s on his mobile, coming down the elegant Georgian staircase into the entrance hall at his Collective HQ. He might be talking about dinner, or even a new suit, but Merchant’s take on what’s a lot of money is different to most young people. He’s still only 27, but it wasn’t that long ago he organised a £4 million loan to increase his studio/community space offers to more young Londoners. Merchant’s business idea took shape at LSE where he was studying management. He was fed up with rentals – not just the shoebox in university halls, the poorly maintained shared houses with friends but also the way it ate up time. “Renting is a hassle, ” he says with feeling. “You’ve got to go through agents who don’t want to deal with you because you’re young, so they don’t think you are reliable. You have to view so many places because they go so fast. You’ve got to get so many references and then you share with people where you split bills and are jointly and severally liable. If you fall out with your friends and they leave, you are stuck with their housing bills.”


“There are massive barriers to entry,” says Merchant, sitting at the head of the Collective’s huge board room beside a shelf of awards won during 2015 for being the best young property entrepreneur. “I had a vision and knew London needed it. It takes a gutsy approach to make it happen but older people couldn’t get their heads around how young people live. As a company we are our target demographic and we build buildings around this insight. Older developers don’t have the same level of research,” he says. All his properties have a one-off fee, and are fully equipped, right down to cutlery and towels. Once a week your linen is changed and wi-fi is a given. His first venture was at 34 Clanricarde Gardens in Notting Hill. He’s now also got two buildings at Acton, one a workspace in an old Doughnut Factory, and is due to open the huge Old Oak at Willesden Junction, NW10 in May. A place at Old Oak, NW10 – which include access to a gym, spa, rentable dining room, and games room – will be from £220 a week. The Collective can be pricey – it offers an accommodation search of up to £900 a week. “East London often gets the attention and buzz and there’s no reason why West London can’t build up a similar reputation – especially as Londoners become increasingly short of space,” says Merchant who grew up in Stanmore, north west London, best known for being “the end of the Jubilee line”. Now he lives in The Collective’s building at King’s Cross. “It’s so convenient,’ he explains though he promises to move to Old Oak when it opens. “Old Oak is a real hot spot. It’s right by the canal and will be charming. I want to live and breathe what we offer.”


“Our generation values experiences more than material possessions. I like travelling and being exposed to different cultures. I’ve recently been in Sweden, Ibiza and Dubai. I was at the Burning Man festival, it was phenomenal. “Historically religion has been a key source of community. Now religion is falling away you can see people want to be part of something, and we see it as our duty to provide that. You are not just renting a room, you are transforming your life surrounded by like-minded people. “Old Oak, NW10, will have two full time staff who will focus on building community. It’s about caring for our residents’ wellbeing.”

A business head that’s community-minded.



A Meeting of Minds Vindinista wine bar in Acton played host to our first Head to Head. We connected two willing volunteers who hadn’t met previously and asked them to “network”. After 20 minutes we broke up their new found partnership and asked them the highs and lows of the discussion – was the encounter worth it?

 Vindinista 74 Churchfield Rd, London , W3 6DH Getting there: Acton Centrail rail Open: 5-11pm, Tue - Sat Private hire: options available Vindinista is an intriguing wine bar with a selection that is big on interesting tipples from small producers.

Gurnam Selvarajah

David Baird

What was the most interesting thing you learnt from each other?

How many possible synergies there are between what we both do. There was no pressure, we just talked about each other’s business and the client base we both have and then started to discover there were actually synergies between both our businesses.

We both focus on the same industry sectors, we both know there’s application across all sectors. On that basis alone there’s got a lot of scope for conversation on synergies and potential to move things forward.

Did you have any clients or associates in common?

Common in terms of clients, not necessarily the particular client but the type of client we work with…so yes, absolutely. And what he does I don’t do, and what I do David doesn’t do. So that’s where the lovely synergies come into it. If you hadn’t have put us together there’d be no reason for us to be in the same place.

We didn’t have common clients per se. I think we’ve got associations with similar organisations. So the chambers in general we both had exposure to and a few ad hoc networking events, but that was it.

What did you discuss?

A lot of things. What was interesting is we kind of went away from our core business and talked opportunities globally, what’s happening in the world of business. That then started to form some ideas specifically about how business can grow and work.

Oh goodness, ok. A bit of personal to begin with, to build up some rapport and get a feel for what the focus was. We talked about one another’s businesses. Then we talked about the focus on the market, and trying to grow the business. Then we exchanged some ideas for what could be options for moving things forward. Potential introductions and potential opportunities.

Who led the conversation?

I think it was quite balanced.

I think it was relatively balanced. I would say Gurnam had some specific things she was keen to share and focus on. It takes someone to often lead, but you can have a very easy influence on what’s going on just by the introduction of a question to put the conversation on track.

Any business opportunities created?

In actual fact I gave David introductions to two potential clients at the end of our meeting.

Yeah, yeah there’s two or three opportunities. Because there’s so many synergies between the market sectors we work in, and there’s no sectorisation so there’s a potential partnership discussion that’s worth exploring further. In the short term there’s something that is very tangible and some work with schools – so yeah.

Were there any awkward moments?

Erm…yeah, initially there were. It was just the small talk. But when we started to understand what each other does and we were able to talk passionately about what we do, I think we became more engaging and the conversation became…well you couldn’t stop us then!

Yeah, when you came up and said we had three minutes! No, no, not particularly. I think it’s an interesting environment. You have to think “it’s networking”; you have to have a reason, you have to have a purpose, why you’re there, what you’re looking to get out of it. And unless you’re willing to ask those questions or make those statements to change the direction, then you have a very one sided conversation – and we didn’t have that, we had a nice ebb and flow.

What did you think of the wine bar?

It’s a fantastic venue, I didn’t feel like I was in Acton (hopefully that’s not a negative). The ambience, the food, the atmosphere, the customer service…I felt very comfortable straight away.

You can’t always be sure what the background noise is going to be like, but this place in particular was really good. I think it’s beautiful, it’s nice to have some wine. And it was nice actually, when we first met he (Stacy, Bar Manager) led the conversation along – so it was a nice kind of thing for us both to share. I liked the informality of things as well.

What are your networking tips?

Only that, look y’know, just talk to people, don’t go in with a prescribed view of what I want out of it. Just talk and the conversation will lead itself.

Be clear about what it is you do and what it is you are looking to get and don’t be shy in saying what it is you want, if that makes sense. You might not always have the perfect conversation, but you need to get what you can out of it.

Anything you wished you’d add?

Well I’m going back now to get through the rest of it.

I can’t think of anything off the the top of my head, so no. I’m going to say no for the time being.

Will you stay in touch?

Yes, absolutely.

Yes definitely. It was definitely worth it. If not to just have a relationship with someone who moves in the same circles. It’s valuable.


Co Founder and Partner Developing Entrepreneurial Winners Harrow


Business Development Director Crystalline Brentford


Community Investment Prog

Heathrow’s community investment programme aims to support the economic prosperity of the c the airport: Ealing, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Slough & Spelthorne. The key objectives are to: Raise awareness of high quality careers at Heathrow to young people, their parents and wider job seekers.

Support skills development to reduce local unemployment.

Positively engag local schools, co and universities.

Employment and skills Employment in the local area

Heathrow Academy

Number of employees based on the airport:




Heathrow employees in the local area.




8.4% 3.3%



Percentage of Heathrow staff living locally


Percentage of employed local residents working at LHR



Supports local residents into work at Heathrow, through working with employers across the airport community including retailers, caterers, bureaus, aviation, logistics, and construction employers across the airport community.

Sho Hea stud

In 2015:


Local people trained:


Placed into work:


8.9% 7%



Engineering Apprenticeships


Community Giving Heathrow Community Fund Heathrow Community Fund is an independent grant-making organisation which makes donations to community projects local to the airport. The aim is to create significant and positive social change, through three distinct grant schemes. In our five priority boroughs we spent:

Our Engineering Apprentice scheme has been running since 1977, and we welcome a new intake each year.

Communities for Tomorrow:

Communities for Youth:

Communities Together:

Hea To S Soci enco prac crea





The number of apprentices offered a permanent position at Heathrow when they complete their 4 years comprehensive training.

£229,900 £84,150


Percentage of Heathrow’s entire engineering workforce that have been through the scheme.


50% Please contact with any queries



Hea to b part Edin the will com eng thro Cha

gramme 2015

communities surrounding

Education Primary school challenge

Help business grow.

ge with olleges .

Now in its 8th year, the PSC helps reduce the skills gap in STEM related study by working with 10-11 year olds to build a terminal teaching them about structures.

Secondary school challenge The Challenge encourages students to study more science, technology, engineering and maths, by exploring exercises based on the track transit system at Terminal 5.






eathrow Jobs & Careers Fair

owcasing the 413 companies operating at athrow to 16-24 year old school/ college dents, young adults, parents and families.




ing part in 2015:

4,922 34 54


The number of young people in our five priority boroughs that have taken part in the challenges since they launched in 2007:







outh Social Action

athrow is a pioneer partner of Step Up Serve, a charity supporting Youth ial Action across the UK, which ourages young people to undertake ctical activity to help others and ate positive social change.



athrow are proud be a diamond tner of Duke of nburgh and over next two years l increase our mmunity gagement activity ough the Diamond allenge.

Business Heathrow Business Summit The Heathrow Business Summit spearheads Heathrow’s commitment to responsible procurement. This annual programme in partnership with UKTI connects SMEs to growth locally, nationally and internationally.

Connecting SMEs to SMEs Workshops in each priority borough provide opportunities to meet/trade with one another and facilitate introductions to the Chambers of Commerce (community business network).

Connecting SMEs to the world As the UK’s only international hub airport, Heathrow connects the UK to international markets. Heathrow partners with UKTI to connect SMEs to international markets.

Connecting SMEs to the airport SMEs get expert advice on how to maximise procurement opportunities from Heathrow’s Procurement team and supply chain.

The number of SMEs that attended in 2015:

213 SME’s



Find Your Algo-Rhythm Make Time The total number of cases of work related stress, depression or anxiety in 2014/15 was a whopping 440,000, with most citing workload pressures, including tight deadlines as a major contributory factor. Here are four apps to help get time on your side, and one for when it gets the better of you.


’Appy Families

Forget clunky, analytical reports. Timeneye is a smooth app, with a great visual element that intuitively tracks how you spend your time on basically anything from work projects to hobbies. With just a few clicks it syncs with your favourite applications like Google Calendar, Basecamp, Chrome Widgets and you can track your time without switching between them. The amazing part is how it learns about your habbits and automatically creates suggested time entries for you. You can even include multiple users to track team projects. One user can access the app for free. Multiples require an active subscription - (FREE Web, Andriod + iOS)

Keeping focused during a meeting is much easier when you’re not wondering whether you’ve put the recycling out. And knowing when you’re supposed to pick up your partner, helps you answer your boss’ latest request with confidence. Sometimes work isn’t the biggest barrier, it’s keeping all the other parts of life outside the office balanced… introducing Cozi Family Organizer. An app that allows you to manage family members’ schedules, appointments and activies. Sync it with Google Calendar, share to-do/ shopping lists and keep a family collection of recipes to shop by dish. Everyone in your family can have access so there’s no having to whisper through frantic phone calls at work to coordinate schedules or set up doctor appointments. (FREE Andriod + iOS)

Passenger Car Services Call 020 8560 0000 Saloon Cars Executive Car Service MPV Car Service Chauffeur Service 16 Seat Mini Buses Book With Confidence: Courier Services Online Booking Booking App




Big Days

Mind Games

IFTTT stands for If This Then That and is a gem of an app for managing repetitive actions, instantly giving you the time back you’d routinely waste away. Whether you want to thank a new follower on twitter or be notified if the weather changes to rain, the ‘recipe’ combinations are endless. You can even call yourself to get out of an awkward situation. Syncing with a multitude of apps, from Spotify to LinkedIn, Google Calendars to BMW Labs. Recipes will start saving you minutes each day and by the end of the month they’ll turn into hours. (FREE Andriod + iOS)

Physcologists report that one of the best ways to really benefit from a holiday is to book it in advance and take full delight in the build up to its start. Which is why, at number five, we recommend this Big Days app with an in-built countdown to give you a daily reminder, so you can plan things well in advance. It’s not just holidays where it helps, add in your anniversaries, birthdays, business trips and bank holidays – and never miss a chance to plan something in advance. (Andriod + iOS)

Computer games that can heal, is one of the top 2016 predictions from NESTA. According to a recent study published in the American Psychologist, computer games could provide a cheap and effective way, alongside other drugs and therapy, of alleviating mental health problems. Even simple games that are easy to access and can be played quickly, such as Angry Birds, were found to be effective at alleviating stress. (FREE Web, Andriod + iOS)

The West London Business Awards 2016 will launch in April.


Celebrating excellence





Chiswick business lunch

Listings Befitting the UK’s second largest economic powerhouse, we invite you to discover a bonanza of business events that are taking place across the sub-region. We also highlight select events of interest from outside our stomping ground.


FSB London - North London Branch Monthly Networking Very popular, informal networking event without any specific presentations. There is no charge to attend, just pay for what you eat and drink. WHEN: 07 March, 04 April, 02 May. 8am - 9:30am WHERE: Cafe Buzz, 783 High Road, N12 8JY If you have any specific queries please email:

Buzzing Business Club A women’s hub of Federation of Small Businesses (North London). If you don’t run a business yet, but would like to do it one day – get in touch as they can help you all the way through. WHEN: 21 March, 18 April, 16 May. 6pm - 8pm WHERE: Cafe Buzz, 783 High Road, N12 8JY For more info, contact the FSB regional office:



Stadium BNI (Wembley) Weekly Networking A positive, supportive and structured environment for the development and exchange of quality business referrals. WHEN: Every Wednesday morning from 6:45am WHERE: Holiday Inn (Wembley), Empire Way, Wembley, HA9 8DS For more info or to visit the chapter, contact Natasha Clarke, Membership Co-ordinator on 020 8863 4800

Brentford FC Sporting Dinner with Harry Redknapp Harry Redknapp will be the guest for Brentford FC’s next sporting dinner which will be hosted by comedian Adger Brown. Three course meal and a chance to bid on sporting items and luxury experiences. An auction table of 10 will cost £834, with the price for individual tickets standing at £86.40 per person. WHEN: 10 March. 6:45pm - 11:30pm WHERE: Radison Blu Edwardian, Bath Rd, Hayes, UB3 5AW For more information contact 0845 3456 442 (option 2), or email

Unlocking Business Growth in Brent An evening of discussion and debate about how to unlock business growth in Brent. This event will look to the future and ask questions about the opportunities and risks we face with business rates devolution on the horizon. WHEN: 17 March 2016. 6pm - 8pm WHERE: Civic Centre, Brent To book a free place visit


Ealing Business Partnership (EBP) Ealing Business Partnership is a forum that provides a unique opportunity for businesses in Ealing to connect with each other and also to connect with representatives of Ealing Council, including officers and councillors. CONNECT: To be added to the mailing list to receive details of events, please send your preferred email address to with ‘EBP’ in the subject line.

Ealing Business Forum (EBF) WHEN: 01 March, 05 April, 03 May. 6:30pm - 8:30pm WHERE: Venue TBC For further information, contact Geoff Langston:

The Athena Network Ealing Group Putting like-minded women together who are passionate about growing and developing their business. Many members also benefit on a personal level from the support and inspiration they get from other members as well as from the organisation. WHEN: 15 March, 19 April, 17 May. 12noon - 2pm WHERE: The Grange, Warwick Road, Ealing, London, W5 3XH To book for the next Ealing meeting or to discuss membership: or call Joanne Sumner on 020 8579 7659

London Broncos Business Club A monthly platform for business professionals in Ealing. A chance to network, build relationships, increase your visibility and, not least, to socialise. WHEN: 31 March, 28 April, 26 May. 6pm - 7:30pm WHERE: Venue TBC To find out more contact the commercial manager:


Harrow Business Den 2016 Hear from finalists as they battle it out in front of a panel of experts in the Business Den competition. Plus a chance for advice and support from various exhibiting organisations and entrepenuers. Refreshments, including a buffet will be served. WHEN: 02 March. 5:30pm - 9pm WHERE: Harrow Council, Civic Centre, Station Road, Harrow HA1 2XY (There is free parking at the Civic Centre from 5.30pm.) To book your place or for more information:

BNI Leadership Team Forum at Hendon Golf Club

Heathrow I Business over Breakfast (BoB) Club

WHEN: 18 April, 16 May. 6:30am - 9am WHERE: Hendon Golf Club, Ashley Walk, Devonshire Road,

This successful business networking club in ‘Heathrow-I’ meets every two weeks on a Friday. Focused on quality referrals over quantity, check out this lively networking group. WHEN: 11 March and every two weeks thereafter. 6:30am - 9am WHERE: Mercure London Heathrow, Shepiston Lane, Hayes, UB3 1LP For details, visit

NW7 1DG To attend, please contact Joanne Lyons on 01923 891 999. BNI Members can attend for a cost of £10. Non-members £50.


Hammersmith BNI Weekly Networking

Hillingdon Business Expo

Weekly meet up, a minute’s walk from Hammersmith Broadway. Informal networking tops and tails a planned meeting from 7-8.30am. WHEN: Fridays. 6:30am - 9am WHERE: Lala Restaurant, 2-4 Queen Caroline St, W6 9DX For more info or to visit the chapter, contact Kapil Kapur, Membership Co-ordinator on 0845 163 0149

This year’s Expo promises to be bigger and better with over 75 local Hillingdon businesses exhibiting, free business workshops and seminars, a Business Breakfast, a free BBQ and cash bar, invaluable networking and lots of exciting new features. WHEN: 26 May. Start time TBC WHERE: Brunel University London, Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH If you are interested in exhibiting or sponsoring at the next Expo, please express your interest at:

Connect 4 Lunch with Hammersmith & Fulham Chamber of Commerce


Monthly networking to bring businesses together to network with fellow members, members’ guests and prospective members. You can build connections with over 60 guests on a regular basis. WHEN: 09 March. 12noon - 2pm WHERE: Novotel London West, 1 Shortlands, W6 8DR To book a place, contact the Hammersmith & Fulham Chamber events team on 020 7556 2394

Chiswick Business Lunch with  Hounslow Chamber Regularly attracting 40 guests, this is a great opportunity to meet like-minded businesses in a relaxed, informal setting. No need to book a place. WHEN: Monthly. 12:45 - 14:30pm WHERE: The Roebuck, 122 Chiswick High Road, London, W4 For more info and upcoming dates:


Gateway 2 Business – Business Breakfast Meeting Weekly business breakfast, focused on giving referrals to each other, in a relaxed and friendly environment. Long-established group of professionals, who are great at connecting new attendees to fellow members. WHEN: Thursdays. 7am WHERE: Barn Hotel, West End Road, Ruislip, HA4 6JB Note parking is in The Barn driveway off West End Road – not Garden Close as shown by Google Maps – or in nearby roads. To book a place e-mail

Eastcote Business Networking An ideal opportunity to meet other local businesses and build on existing connections, run by Basepoint Eastcote, Eastcote Local and Eastcote Chamber. WHEN: Monthly. 9:30am WHERE: Basepoint Business Centre, Canada House, 272 Field End Road, Eastcote, HA4 9NA For further info: or call 0208 582 0234

Hillingdon4Business A free, drop-in business networking group in Uxbridge, supported by Hillingdon Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Bird & Lovibond solicitors, Handelsbanken and Ward Williams accountants. WHEN: 02 March. 8:30am - 10:30am WHERE: Costa Coffee, The Pavilions, 51-52 High Street, Uxbridge UB8 1JP For more info and upcoming dates:

Hillingdon Chamber presents: HCC/Ward Williams Hubb Breakfast – UK Trade and Industry WHEN: 10 March. 8am - 9am WHERE: Bay Lodge, 36 Harefield Road, Uxbridge UB8 1PH Contact for more details

Pic: Hounslow Chamber of Commerce

Investing in Social Media with Thameside Enterprise A free workshop for businesses, or residents who run a business, based in Hounslow Borough; covering investment aspects of social media spending for small businesses and entrepreneurs. WHEN: 08 March. 5pm - 8pm WHERE: Club Workspace Chiswick - Barley Mow Centre, 10 Barley Mow Passage, Chiswick W4 4PH For more info, call Thameside Enterprise on 0845 548 1335 or visit

Fabulous Women and Marvellous Men facilitated by The Training Pack Primarily a women’s networking group which welcomes men who understand that women tend to focus on relationship building rather than immediate sales. Informal networking, one minute pitches, a speaker and an education slot. Visitors are welcome to attend three meetings before being required to join. WHEN: 18 March, 22 April, 27 May. 10am - 12noon WHERE: Côte Brasserie, 50-54 Turnham Green Terrace, Chiswick W4 1QP For more information:

Accessing Business Finance (plus Q&A session with HSBC) with Thameside Enterprise Free workshop from ex-banker, Andrzej Warhaftig, who’s raised hundreds of thousands of pounds from a variety of funding sources. For those who are a business, or residents who run a business, based in Hounslow Borough. WHEN: 22 March. 9am - 12noon WHERE: CAN Mezzanine Hounslow – High Street Hounslow, TW3 1ES For more info, call Thameside Enterprise on 0845 548 1335 or visit

The Athena Network Chiswick Group Putting like-minded women together who are passionate about growing and developing their business. Many members also benefit on a personal level from the support and inspiration they get from other members as well as from the organisation. WHEN: 22 March, 29 April, 24 May. 12noon - 2pm WHERE: The City Barge, Strand On The Green, Chiswick, W4 3PH To book for the next Chiswick meeting or to discuss membership: or call Joanne Sumner on 020 8579 7659


BCC Annual Conference 2016 Hear from high profile speakers from the worlds of politics, business and journalism at this high profile business to politics conference. As well as plenty of UK wide networking opportunities. WHEN: 03 March. 9am - 5:30pm + evening reception WHERE: Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Broad Sanctuary, London, SW1P 3EE To book your place:

LID Publishing presents: Cognitive Networking Bestselling author Simone Andersen gives a master class on the new approach to networking and relations, based on her bestseller The Networking Book. Each Masterclass costs £15 and includes a copy of the author’s book. WHEN: 11 March. 9:15am - 10:30am WHERE: 203/206 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9HD Tickets are available in-store, call 020 7851 2400 or email




West London Business Listings

Join West London Business at their West Londoner magazine launch event at the Pavilion Terrace, House of Commons.

Join West London Business for a series of events that will challenge, connect and communicate to those of us who are fortunate enough to work or live in West London.




House of Commons Reception: Launch of WLB policy commissions and West Londoner

Corporate Lunch (invitation only)

The Business Show & Business Startup

An intimate lunch between senior corporate leaders with input from HSBC’s economics team. WHEN: Thursday 10 March. 12.30pm - 2.30pm WHERE: HSBC Pall Mall For more information:

Britain’s biggest business exhibition and conference, The Business Show, draws over 25,000 entrepreneurs and SME owners looking for inspiration, expert advice and the latest products & services to help their business grow. Find the WLB team on their stand. WHEN: Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 May. WHERE: ExCeL, London For more information:

This year’s House of Commons Reception, hosted by Seema Malhotra MP, will celebrate the launch of WLB’s brand new magazine as well as four Policy Commissions on transport and infrastructure, the built environment, education and skills, as well as sustainability and climate change. A must attend event for anyone interested in the future of West London. WHEN: Friday 26 February. 6.45pm - 9.30pm WHERE: Pavilion Terrace, House of Commons, Westminster For more information or to book:

Public & Corporate Affairs Leaders’ Reception (invitation only) An event gathering public/corporate affairs professionals for a fantastic networking opportunity taking place in the newly refurbished Clayton Hotel. WHEN: Wednesday 23 March. 5pm - 7.30pm WHERE: Clayton Hotel, Chiswick For more information:

 Property Lunch Regularly attracting 70 guests, this event will mark the relaunching of WLB’s successful property lunch, gathering senior professionals from the property and planning sector. WHEN: Friday 08 April. 12.30pm start WHERE: Dorsett Hotel, Shepherd’s Bush For more information or to book:

Place West London Annual Dinner A fabulous networking opportunity, taking place once again in the beautiful surroundings of The Hurlingham Club in Fulham. As well as the dinner and the networking, there will be the opportunity to see and hear about the commended entries in the Place West London Regeneration Showcase. WHEN: 04 May. 6:30pm - 11:30pm WHERE: The Hurlingham Club, Ranelagh Gardens, London SW6 3PR To book a table:

 Leaders’ Spring Dinner

(Members and guests only) WLB’s annual dinner promises again this year to gather over 120 senior corporate leaders for a formal evening in the beautiful Newbury suites of the Radisson Blu Heathrow. WHEN: Thursday 14 April. 7pm - late WHERE: Radisson Blu, Heathrow For more information or to book:

Park Royal Informal Open bar. Short keynote. Plenty of good conversations. First Friday of every month. WHEN: Friday 06 May. 5pm onwards WHERE: CoWorkHub, North Acton For more information or to book:


The Hurlingham Club

Hear the Roar There’s plenty to cheer about with this starting line-up of sporting events, arts and antiquity fairs, as well as fun family days out.

HSBC London Sevens This season’s finale will take on a new flavour as Twickenham will be transformed into a festival of food and rugby, populated by local and artisan food vendors. Fans will have the opportunity to celebrate the gastronomy of the competing nations, alongside world-class rugby sevens at the competition’s climax. There will also be live DJs, children’s entertainers and hands-on culinary demonstrations. WHEN: 21 - 22 May WHERE: Twickenham Stadium For tickets, search “HSBC London Sevens Tickets” on

The FA Cup Final The 2016 FA Cup Final is the 135th final of the FA Cup, the world’s oldest football cup competition. WHEN: 21 May. 5:30pm kick off WHERE: Wembley Stadium


London Broncos V Halifax RLFC WHEN: 06 March. 3pm kick off WHERE: Trailfinders Sport Club, West Ealing

For details of upcoming London Broncos fixtures:


Chelsea Antiques Fair

Visit Kempton for Silver Cups Day. Following on from the Cheltenham Festival it will feature a great card, including two Class 2 handicap consolation races. There’s limited availability for private dining and shared hospitality suites. WHEN: 19 March. 12noon WHERE: Kempton Park Racecourse For more information please call 01932 753518

The Chelsea Antiques Fair is the oldest antiques fair in Britain, and possibly internationally, having been established in 1950. From 1951 until 1984, Josephine Graham Ballin ran the fair, establishing its high reputation internationally. Since September 1984, Caroline Penman has been at the helm. 2013 saw the launch of a new look fair, with a completely new layout, and enhanced standards of quality and displays. WHEN: 17 - 20 March WHERE: Chelsea Old Town Hall, King’s Road, Chelsea Contact or call 01886 833091 for more info

The Oxford Cambridge Boat Race

Chelsea Art Fair

Silver Cups Day

The annual boat race between two of Britain’s most illustrious universities, Oxford and Cambridge, draws up to a quarter of a million spectators to the banks of the Thames for thrilling views of the tense action. Prime viewing spots are: Putney Bridge, Putney Embankment and the towpath in front of Bishops Park at the start; Hammersmith and Barnes towards the middle of the course; and Duke’s Meadows and Chiswick Bridge at the end. WHEN: 27 March.

Army V Navy for the Babcock Trophy Join 80,000 people and be part of the unique atmosphere when the British Army take on the Royal Navy for the Babcock Trophy at Twickenham Stadium. WHEN: 30 April. 3pm kick off WHERE: Twickenham Stadium For tickets, visit

Brentford FC V Fulham Brentford FC take on local rivals Fulham in the biggest game of The Bees’ season. Join us for a pre-match experience on Brentford Lock and enjoy Italian cuisine at the Siracusa Restaurant prior to your transfer to Griffin Park in time for kick-off. With seats located on half-way in the Braemar Road Stand this experience is one to look forward to. Hospitality package price - £126 per person. WHEN: 30 April. 3pm kick off WHERE: Griffin Park, Braemar Road, Brentford Brentford FC have a range of hospitality options available for home fixtures this season: or call 0845 3456 442 (option 2)

The Chelsea Art fair will be celebrating its 21st birthday in 2016. This little gem in the International Art Fair calendar will once again bring together 30 leading UK and International galleries to the Chelsea Old Town Hall. The stylish, airy stand plan in the elegant surroundings of the Chelsea Old Town Hall, give the visitor a feeling of space, and ability to absorb the art on offer. Entry: £6. WHEN: 21 - 24 April WHERE: Chelsea Old Town Hall, King’s Road, Chelsea For enquiries: or 07961 371961


Easter Family Fun Day Join in an afternoon of quality all-weather racing and free Easter family entertainment. Advance booking is required for the Panoramic Restaurant on this day. WHEN: 26 March. 12:15pm WHERE: Kempton Park Racecourse For more info or to book a private box, please call 01932 753518. For details of all forthcoming race dates, visit

Bank Holiday Family Fun Day Join us for Bank Holiday Monday Family Fun Day - an action packed afternoon of jump racing with free family entertainment. WHEN: 02 May. 11:30am WHERE: Kempton Park Racecourse For more info or to book a private box, please call 01932 753518. For details of all forthcoming race dates, visit

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Twickenham’s line-out statue



Park Life MP Rupa Huq

The strengthening of ‘London’s Kitchen’ in Park Royal and the future of transport in West London were mapped out in two recent milestone public meetings.

Pic: Stephen Johnson Photography


Meet the MPs – Park Royal Business Plan

Attendees emerge from the Twickers tunnel on to the hallowed turf.

The Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation introduced their Park Royal Business Plan at West London Business’ Meet the MPs event held at Fit Out UK on 20 January. The Business Plan will set out specific actions to strengthen the UK’s largest industrial estate and support its future competitiveness. The estate, often dubbed ‘London’s Kitchen’, is situated adjacent to Old Oak, set to become home to a High Speed 2 (HS2) and Crossrail Station by 2026, handling 250,000 passengers a day and acting as a “super hub”. The GLA says Park Royal is home to 2,000 businesses and employs more than 30,000 people. Other estimates suggest the numbers might be more like 3,000 businesses and 70,000 jobs. Either way, it is home to successful UK brands including Carphone Warehouse and Diageo as well as hundreds of small independent businesses which play a vital role in supporting London’s economy.

MPs Rupa Huq and Andy Slaughter were in attendance at the event along with OPDC Chief Executive Officer Victoria Hills who fielded questions from representatives of business from across Park Royal. Hills said: “Over the coming months we will be reaching out to the businesses of Park Royal and beyond so we can understand what will make it successful and competitive in the short, medium, and longer term. We are at the beginning of an incredibly exciting journey and we look forward to a long and successful relationship with Park Royal.” The Mayor of London believes the development at Old Oak, and enhancement of the industrial estate at Park Royal has the potential to create up to 65,000 new jobs, making a major contribution to London’s future economic growth. In April last year the Mayor established the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation to spearhead the regeneration of the area.

emissions targets and accessibility. The seminar also contributed to the initial work of the West London Business Transport and Infrastructure Commission. The speakers outlined the significant opportunities ahead in relation to enhancing transport capacity in West London, and the audience were given the opportunity to engage in a question and answer session. Speaking about the concurrent themes and challenges presented to the sub-regions’ infrastructure throughout the seminar, John Holland-Kaye said: “We need to be ambitious

and not just look at the problems we have today but think about where we’re going to go to. How can we create the infrastructure we need to create to make West London more vibrant, more viable and more livable?” Mary Harpley, making the case for Hounslow as a key business borough in West London, said: “We have a very large and diverse employment base in the area of which we are proud. We want to do our absolute best to retain those businesses but also enable them to grow and attract others into our borough”.

Pic: Stephen Johnson Photography


Transport Seminar Twickenham Stadium hosted the annual West London Transport Seminar on 27 January. Sponsored by Heathrow and facilitated by West London Business, the keynote speakers were John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive, Heathrow; Mary Harpley, Chief Executive, London Borough of Hounslow; and Alex Williams, Director of Borough Planning, Transport for London. The breakfast briefing mapped out the future of transport in West London and guests were given an insight into how West London’s transport network is adapting to a range of challenges including the improvement of existing services,










Pic: Gareth Gardner

Aim Hire One often overlooked area of corporate entertainment and conferencing is the rich cultural institutions on our own doorstep. From headline acts to exquisite locations, we unwrap seven cultural destinations worth checking out.


#1. Arts Depot One of 12 businesses to win the Dot London Small Business Award, this well equipped events space in North Finchley really does have the ‘wow factor’. Winning the prize for the best independent cultural venue, the Arts Depot was founded in 2004 and welcomes 100,000 visitors through its door annually to its two theatres, art gallery and studios. HIRE: Range of spaces, from 500 receptions to small meetings. Hi-tech equipment. WHERE: 5 Nether Street, Tally Ho Corner, N12 0GA


#2. BAR Gallery Brent Artist’s Resource, or BAR for short, is an artist led voluntary organisation founded in 1984. BAR has created a fabulous contemporary gallery that hosts impressive exhibitions and is available to hire at reasonable rates. Exhibitions range from photography to fine art, and hosts a range of classes to bring out your creative talent. Well connected, it’s just 2 minutes walk from Willesden Green tube.

HIRE: At £20 per hour, this is a wonderful low-cost multipurpose venue to hire. Two rooms and flexible rates for bigger events. WHERE: 4-5 Queens Parade, Walm Lane, NW2 5HT


#3. Questors Theatre Ealing has always been a catalyst for new cultural talent. Rock legends Mick Jagger and Keith Richards famously met Brian Jones at the Ealing Jazz Club, alongside a whole host of other famous Ealing residents. But it’s not just past legends who are cultivating new creative careers. The Questors Theatre is one of Europe’s largest amateur theatres with over 1,500 members. This company covers everything from back stage to front of house voluntary roles – an amazing achievement and a great opportunity to share in their success with your guests. HIRE: Fully adaptable theatre space, along with smaller spaces available for hire. They even have a costume hire service if fancy dress is your theme. WHERE: 12 Mattock Lane, Ealing Broadway, W5 5BQ


#4. Headstone Manor & Museum This heritage venue of exquisite beauty may be closed for refurbishment until 2017, but there’s still plenty happening. A tranquil oasis waiting to be discovered. Covering 1,200 years of Harrow’s history through a range of events, exhibitions and guided talks. It also has two impressive spaces for hire; the magnificent timber-framed Great Barn, built to impress in 1506, and the Granary building which complements as a break out space. HIRE: The Great Barn (pictured) can accommodate 300 people, available for a range of events. Granary building is on the first floor and is ideal as a breakout room. WHERE: 12 Mattock Lane, Ealing Broadway, W5 5BQ


#5. Albert & Friends Instant Circus Hammersmith & Fulham has a world-class arts scene, with venues large and small from the Bush Hall to the Barons

Court Theatre. Not to mention arts icons like the Lyric Theatre, Riverside Studios and the Hammersmith Apollo. Instead of focusing on a venue, we wanted to introduce Albert & Friends – an amazing circus skills company that offer packages for team building. Based in Hammersmith, this team of professional circus performers combine acrobalance with aerial skills to deliver memorable team building experiences. HIRE: Team Building Package available for half or full days, groups of 10-50 people (they cover all of London). WHERE: 65 Aspenlea Rd, W6 UK


#6. The Old Vinyl Factory There’s a musical vintage to Hayes. The town is best known as the erstwhile home of EMI. And a lesser known fact, the words “Hayes, Middlesex” appear on the reverse of The Beatles’ albums. These days you can still soak up the music heritage at the The Old Vinyl Factory, EMI’s former offices that have been converted with £250m investment into a place where business, leisure and living exists in pitch perfect harmony. A museum, cinema, live music venue and creative workspaces making it a heritage site worthy of exploring today. HIRE: Vinyl Lounge is a fully-equipped out-of-office space that’s perfect for training presentations, meetings, brainstorming sessions and product launches. WHERE: Blyth Road, Hayes, UB3 1HA


#7. Watermans Perched on the edge of the River Thames, this arts centre with an independent cinema captures both the energy of the local community and promotes it in a vibrant setting. Open seven days a week, with a variety of spaces available year round; the stunning views across the river of Kew Gardens make this a fitting venue for a range of events. If you want to unwind check out their extensive cinema programme – from short films to cinematic experiences. HIRE: Various spaces, from 238-seat theatre, various studios and a restaurant, café and bar for 85 people. You can even host a riverside reception on their terrace. WHERE: 40 High St, Brentford, TW8 0DS




Graham Hitchen asks: Where are the West London creative sector co-work spaces?

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ď ´ Graham Hitchen Graham provides insight, advice and support on strategy and planning, and helps set-up and run complex projects. He designs programmes, negotiates partnerships, and curates stakeholder engagement. He works on creative industries, design and innovation in London and internationally. He was Design and Innovation Project Director for the London Development Agency, and was the founding Director of Creative London - which, among other things, was responsible for establishing Film London and the London Design Festival. He was also Director of Corporate Policy at Arts Council England from 1996 to 2000. Graham is chair of Creative Islington and The Samosa, and is a member of the UK Design Commission.


796K jobs in the creative economy in London in 2014.

Where Are The Creatives? 


Ask many Londoners where the city’s creative and digital scene is focused and they are likely to tell you that it’s Shoreditch or Hackney, or even Stratford. They’d be wrong. This map from the GLA’s 2015 study of creative industries in London shows that, even after the fanfare of the London Olympics and of the Tech-City phenomenon, West London is still a much bigger employer of creative people outside Zone 1. West London has always been home to a big TV sector, of course, but it’s not just the BBC and Sky who are the employers. The TV Triangle network – – highlights the density of major TV and media employers in the area. Meanwhile, West London remains an important employer for games, music and publishing. But, despite this concentration of established creative and media businesses, there is growing recognition that West London might be missing out on a new breed of creative startups. In particular, developers and workspace providers (with notable exceptions such as The Collective featured on p.14), might be missing a trick when it comes to responding to the demands of new creative and digital businesses. One of the features of the creative and digital business growth in and around ‘Tech City’ in East London has been the use and re-use of empty properties, converted into coworking spaces for start-ups and young entrepreneurs. Typically, these combine a few rows of hot-desks, some meeting rooms and a large, somewhat rough-and-ready, space for networking – professional and social. Peruse any one of the many lists of the most desirable co-working spaces in the capital and you’ll soon see the exposed brick spaces that creative start-ups tend to cherish. No desks or executive chairs here. Instead there’s lots of flexible space, with a mix of soft and hard furniture, leaving the start-ups to create their own DIY working environment. That informal, do-it-yourself, use of space is key to how many small businesses now want to work. Breaking out of a rigid mode of working helps to break down silos – supporting the multi-disciplinary collaboration, ideas and project sharing, which are characteristic of what is becoming a fast-growth part of the economy. As Chris Pieroni, Operations Director at Workspace Group puts it: “Our customers are changing the way they work, seeking to create environments around them where their business needs and their lifestyle aspirations are fully

Breaking out of a rigid mode of working helps to break down silos – supporting the multidisciplinary collaboration, ideas and project sharing, which are characteristic of what is becoming a fast-growth part of the economy. merged. From full technological connectivity in state of the art offices, to community cafés, cycle stores and showers.” Despite the concentration of creative businesses west of the centre of town, there is a real dearth of the sort of coworking space which creatives tend to look for. It takes only a rudimentary look at any of the websites specialising in helping start-ups and smaller creative and digital businesses find co-working and other spaces, such as, to realise there’s really not very much in West London. Particularly as you travel further out towards the M25. This is a surprising imbalance, given the density of creative firms West of the centre, the number of world-class universities churning out smart people in the area, and the proximity of investment capital (the perfect mix for start-ups). To start to address the problem the London Regeneration Fund has invested in a series of new co-working spaces across West London (see p.6). There are a few examples of workspace development – for example, The Doughnut Factory and Co Work Hub in Acton, Club Workspace and The Workary in Chiswick and Accelerate West in Hammersmith. But these are few and far between. There may not be so many quirky, empty properties as there are in-and-around Hackney – but London is attracting a new breed of creative entrepreneur and West London shouldn’t miss out.

Meditations on Home Working JOANNE SUMNER STUDIO

Joanne Sumner is a trained therapist, practitioner, coach and trainer in yoga, reiki, meditation and flower essences. She has been running her Hanwell business from her home for the past 10 years. Are there any downsides to running a business from home? You need to be able to switch off from household distractions and dedicate time to work with focus. You also need to be able to close the door on your work, so that when you’re not working you are able to relax properly. My businesses naturally expose me to lots of other people, clients and

other local businesses, but some business owners working from home may do better in a co-working hub or similar to make sure they get enough stimulus and collaborative opportunities. What would you advise someone considering running a business from home? Know yourself. If you are passionate about your business, you will make it work and you can definitely make savings. However make sure you will have enough contact with other business owners, e.g. through formal or informal networking opportunities, so that you don’t become isolated.






loans made on peerto-peer crowdfunding platforms in 2014.

Crowdfunding’s time has arrived. And if you know what you’re doing, it offers one of the most exhilarating ways to raise funds – delivering investment solutions to project needs in all sorts of fields, from apps to zoos, writes Chris Buckingham. The crowd don’t just give you their blessing and hope for the best. They are very savvy, intelligent and wise when it comes to investing in your project. They will poke your business model, plan and strategy with criticism and questions that may leave you wondering why you bothered to attempt this in the first place.

In my book, Crowdfunding Intelligence, the main idea is pretty straightforward and demonstrates that anyone, with a sound enough vision and pitch, can gain funding from the crowd via crowdfunding platforms. All they have to do is gain crowdconsent. Crowdconsent is a compound word that combines two words to make one, in this case crowd plus consent. The crowd being the audience on the crowdfunding platform that are willing and able to invest in your idea, the consent part is the permission that the crowd will grant management of a project to enable the vision to be created. No matter which of the five crowdfunding models being used to raise funds for a project, crowdconsent is always sought. Once granted it is a powerful endorsement because it comes from the crowd. In other words, the project has been socially approved and given a stamp of approval, by the crowd. But getting to the point where crowdconsent is given can be a tricky path to travel. The crowd don’t just give you their blessing and hope for the best. They are very savvy, intelligent and wise when it comes to investing in your project. They will poke your business model, plan and strategy with criticism and questions that may leave you wondering why you bothered to attempt this in the first place. So how do you wow the crowd? There are in reality four connected areas that need to be demonstrated, with authenticity, to the crowd. These are; the product (I use this term inclusive of service), the team, the finances and the business model. The reason I say these need to be authentic is that the information you provide the crowd in the pitch or through the update process, must be verifiable by the crowd. If the information is not verifiable, the likelihood of crowdconsent being given drops dramatically. The update process mentioned above is the lifeblood to any campaign. Updates are packets of information that are fed to the crowd during the lifetime of the campaign (and beyond). The secret is to write an update for each day that the campaign will be live. So if the

campaign is going to be on the platform for 30 days, there need to be 30 updates. These can and should be written before the campaign launches and must always be relevant. The planning process for your campaign should start eight weeks prior to launch and must include the writing of the updates (one per day), the creation of a sound pitch (text and video), a full audit of both the platform and the most likely target demographic to provide crowdconsent. Armed with this information and having primed all your networks about the campaign with the types of messages they ought to be sending, you should be ready to accept crowdconsent with open arms.

 Chris Buckingham Chris is an author and researcher. He divides his time between the research of serious gaming applications and crowdfunding coupled with writing various articles, books and papers. He is an international speaker and a guest lecturer for several universities. His interest in crowdfunding started in 2006 when he discovered peerto-peer consumer lending and then, a site dedicated to lending money to majority world entrepreneurs. Soon afterwards, he was helping his first clients create their campaigns. His latest book, Crowdfunding Intelligence, is a best practice guide to building a sound crowdfunding strategy.


Leading the Pack

Chris Buckingham’s book, Crowdfunding Intelligence is available to buy from Amazon.

As crowdfunding becomes increasingly lucrative, so the numbers of online sites offering crowdfunding services continues to grow exponentially. Here are a few of our suggested first ports of call if you are looking for funding or to invest. Kickstarter is the most well-known platform and is focused on creative projects such as film, publishing and music. However, you’ll have to work hard to win over its rigorous submission process. Indiegogo is also worth going to if your idea runs in a creative vein. UK based CrowdCube and Seedrs are leading the way with equity based crowdfunding. CrowdCube became the first platform to hit £100m in capital raised – enabling

anyone to invest alongside professional investors in startup, early stage and growth businesses through equity, debt and investment fund options. Funding Tree is also opening up the equity and peer-to-peer based models to a wider audience, allowing smaller investors to gain access to the benefits of crowdfunding. Funding Circle is similar, providing a marketplace where investors, including the Government, local councils and individuals, can receive returns by lending to established small businesses. Last but not least, Crowdfunder is the UK’s largest rewards based crowdfunding platform, raising millions for a variety of community and commercial projects.

Crowd Control

The IT Crowd The latest research from Juniper, Crowdfunding: Strategies & Impacts for Technology Markets 2015-2020, estimates that investments made in technology via crowdfunding platforms are set to increase sevenfold from an estimated $1.1 billion in 2015 to $8.2 billion by 2020. Juniper Research’s new data has found that the crowdfunding industry is to see an accelerated growth from the lucrative, but less well-known, method of funding known as equity crowdfunding. This is against an investment market which is currently seeing a slowdown in traditional investments from VCs (Venture Capitalists) and Angel Investors.

There are several types of crowdfunding that businesses can explore. To find the right crowdfunding route for your needs, take a look at the five types below. TYPE




Equity crowdfunding involves the offer of shares (equity) in an established business in return for cash. To raise funds this way, the business will need to show they have a proven track record and a rock solid business plan before they garner the crowd interest and subsequent cash injection they need to enable growth. For investors, the returns can be great if you pick the next Facebook, but you also need to be aware that your money will be lost if the company goes under.

Primarily, the business will gain the cash they need to fuel business growth. In addition to funds, this route helps to validate their idea, gives some much needed publicity and potentially opens the doors to investors who may hold skills that may help the business in the long-term.

In short, this is a business loan provided by the crowd at an agreed interest rate. By funding businesses, investors essentially take the place of banks and see returns through interest rates applied to the peer-to-peer loan amount. As the bank (or building society) is removed completely from the lending and borrowing process, businesses get a more competitive interest rate on their borrowing. Investors can expect to see returns on their investment of around 6%.

This is a great way to raise capital without sacrificing equity. It is fast and relatively easy to apply for. Repayments are invariably made in equal monthly instalments over the allocated time period and there are no early repayment charges.

Probably the best known form of crowdfunding, the rewards system offers funders special perks in return for their cash. The more money spent, the larger the reward. Typically, rewards based crowdfunding projects have a brilliant community benefit or offer great value rewards. The best rewards usually flow from getting the backers more involved in the project. The product, launch, film credits or sneak previews are just some of the ways you can use to engage them.

This is a great way to validate your idea and build support and PR for your project, without financial liability or loss of equity.


The finished product is promised in return for the contributor’s pledge. In the case of a pre-sale crowdfunding, the contribution amounts are determined according to an assessment of the fair market value of the product. It is crucial therefore that businesses have thoroughly calculated the costs of manufacturing and shipment and be reasonably sure that their business plan allows for timely production. Pre-sales are often combined with a rewards-based donation model.

This route builds a buzz around your project whilst garnering pre-sales that give you a fantastic insight into the ongoing viability of your product.


In its purest form, donation crowdfunding runs on good old-fashioned philanthropy. The only gain backers can expect is the knowledge that they have helped a good cause get off the ground. Projects usually thank supporters with a small reward for their contributions.

The online forum has vastly improved the subsidising model. Good causes now have a great opportunity to find much needed money.







Mass Appeal Equity Legislation Drives Inclusivity Juniper Research also identified the UK as the leading market for the regulation of equity crowdfunding, with the establishment of successful platforms such as CrowdCube. Legislation allows less sophisticated investors to engage in equity crowdfunding. Or in the words of CrowdCube “allows ordinary people the chance to invest in great ideas”. There does seem to be a definite attraction for smaller players to become involved in equity crowdfunding – lured no doubt by lacklustre high street returns and the thought of becoming a ‘Dragon’. Whatever their reason, this form of crowdfunding is certainly capturing the imagination of the smaller investor and will continue to drive growth across the crowdfunding space. This can only be good news for entrepreneurs and business looking to raise funds via this route.



Crystal Clear Crystaline is at the forefront of Unified Communications, leveraging Vodafone OneNet and Cisco collaboration solutions to provide a single, easy-to-use interface for presence, instant messaging, voice, and voice messaging. Imagine a world where everyone in your organisation communicated perfectly all of the time, wherever they were in the world. Enjoying a single interface for all communications and collaboration applications, that worked seamlessly on every device as well as across every operating system. Effective communication is key to a successful business – finding appropriate technology to support it is the challenge. The modern, fragmented workplace utilises smartphones, office phones, laptops and tablets to communicate via email, video, instant message and voice. The convergence of these on one platform is called Unified Communications.


Cisco WebEx conferencing monthly participants from 230 countries worldwide.

Big business has implemented the technology for a while and there is little doubt that it will continue to be a high profile, attention-grabbing topic in 2016. Especially given that the two market leaders, Vodafone OneNet Collaboration and West London-based Cisco Collaboration are making their offerings affordable and accessible to small to medium-sized enterprises. As an accredited partner of both Vodafone and Cisco, Brentford-based Crystaline work with businesses who want to leverage the new technology, but need consultancy to ensure they implement the best solution for their individual requirements. As new collaboration capabilities that enable virtual work groups to share and store more and more proliferates, ensuring each business tailors a package to its requirements helps eliminate the cost associated with redundant services. The advantages of adopting the technology are compelling. Adopters enjoy greater access to colleagues at critical times, with their customers also benefitting from a single number to call. In addition to greater availability, remote contact is enhanced whether working from home, a customer site or in the airport. Customers gain access to the right contact consistently and due to the reduction in the number of providers now supplying services to the business, Unified Communications can provide significant cost reductions across an organisation’s telecoms spend.

For further information, visit

Custom Jobs Office furniture needn’t be formulaic and boring. Especially when you have the opportunity to print your own personality on to each piece. That’s where EasyOffice from insideOffice comes in. Their award-winning products will inspire creativity in your space by allowing you the freedom to splash design across your desk and bring style to your storage. Make your office an extension of your brand with this easy-to-assemble set of bespoke furniture solutions.

Simply Brilliant Did you know that 75% of the 19,000 bicycle accidents a year in the UK happen at junctions? (Figures by ROSPA). To combat this, CYCL – a West London cycling accessory company – has just launched its new safety innovation, WingLights. In a nutshell, WingLights are indicators for bikes. Just like cars and motorbikes, cyclists can now make their intended directional changes visible to oncoming traffic and pedestrians. They simply snap on to either end of your bike’s handlebars and are activated with a simple tap, instantly improving the quality and safety of your cycling experience.

Cast Iron Case Bring Your Own Virus? Wearable devices will force Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy changes throughout 2016. Now that wearables like smart watches are becoming the new “norm,” companies will have to adjust their BYOD policies to accommodate devices brought into the workplace environments — not just smartphones. As employees begin to use wearables for work-related activities, IT security teams in West London businesses will have to rethink fast how these will impact the company and revamp security policies and employee training.


90% of employees surveyed were interested in receiving a wearable device from their employer to complete work tasks

40bn machines will be connected to the internet by 2020.

Best known for their iconic British bicycles, West London-based Brompton has branched out to bring its legendary build quality to a tablet case. Developed in collaboration with British luggage maker John Chapman, the tablet case is handmade in England. Constructed from high-grade, premium cotton canvas and leather, providing a high level of water resistance, this padded tablet sleeve is the perfect complement for your Brompton bike. With a leather Brompton patch and press stud closure, this sleeve will provide years of service. One inside surface of the sleeve is lined with tricot fabric to protect the tablet screen.


Will fit the following tablets: iPad Air Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 Nexus 7 Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 & 8.4



Top of the Pops Tired of dry biscuits and flavourless crisps? Why not pimp up your complimentary offerings by adding some pizzazz through West London manufactured popcorn and healthy teas. Joe & Seph’s Park Royal manufactured popcorn is not only a stylish offering in an extensive range of flavours – it’s also air-popped, a healthier cooking method giving a better texture and taste. Then wash it all down with a healthy cuppa, from Chiswick based tea connoisseurs The Kettle Shed… whether you fancy an Epic Earl or a Lemon Zing, they’ve got a brew for you.

Eat Together

Nourish to Flourish Maslow’s ‘Heirachy of Needs’ is as relevant in today’s workplace as it was when he created it in 1943. And bottom of the triangle is hygiene factors or for this article, the humble stomach. We explore five peckish perks to keep staff motivated through food. SOPHIA VILLIERS, NUTRITIONAL THERAPIST Sophia Villiers had a high pressured career in corporate events and marketing. It wasn’t until she retrained as a Nutritional Therapist in 2006 that she discovered a new perspective on coping with stress in the workplace. Nutrition in the Workplace “Now I am on the other side, working alongside individuals and companies like EasyJet, GE and MetLife” explains Sophia. “My North-West London company, Nourish Naturally, is based just inside the M25 and uses simple, smart nutrition ideas to educate a workforce, which can be effective and easy to action and with results that will show right away.” Sophia’s Nutrition Nuggets 1) Avoid Dehydration. Central heating, computers and tea and coffee dehydrates you. Get a water buddy to keep tabs on how much water you drink. Water is like liquid energy - aim for 1.5-2 litres a day. 2) Naughty but Nice. Under stress many people reach for a coffee or sugary snack. The problem is this stimulates your ‘fight or flight’ hormones. Instead, eat an apple, sip

some water or walk up and down a flight of stairs – also a great way to avoid putting on weight around your middle. 3) Boost your Brain Power. Fat comprises 60% of your brain so to improve concentration and memory eat foods high in Omega 3 like avocados, raw nuts and seeds, salmon and olive oil. 4) Fuel with Food. To keep your internal furnace burning, you can avoid the mid-afternoon slump by maintaining even blood sugar levels. Eat breakfast before 10am and include protein at every meal, especially in the morning. Add nuts and seeds (including flax or chia) to porridge, organic eggs and bacon, or nut butter on toasted rye bread. 5) Skip the Sick Days. Keep your immune system full of antioxidants, eating lots of colourful fruit and vegetables. If you imagine the foreign invaders that cause havoc to your health as nasty Daleks, these antioxidants are like an army of Dr Whos keeping them at bay. At minimum, try to eat at least all three traffic lights colours a day.

A recent report published findings that companies who eat together, stay together. To keep your retention rates up, why not hook up with a local restaurant for a weekly team meal? If time is tight, you can order online at The Pantry (Hayes and Hillingdon), or add some spice after a hard working day with Tiffin Planet (Brent) a home-cooked Indian thali meal of dahl, vegetable or meat dishes, bread, rice and accompaniments.

Stirring Stuff Leave the stresses of the daily grind at the door; this is a great alternative to a standard staff away day. From butchery skills to fine French patisserie, nothing promotes focused thinking quite like the promise of tasting the fruits of your labour. Madame Gautier’s Le Technique cooking school in Brent is the perfect example, with ample free parking and its own bright and airy space right next door to their family run business.

Cocktail Hour Forget about dress down Friday, we suggest it’s time to get on the glad rags and transform the boardroom into a pop-up party. Invite a local mixologist to teach cocktail combinations for your staff and have a ball mixing your own drinks as a reward. Whether you sip a ‘Spreadsheet Shake’ or slurp a ‘Boardroom Breezer’, it’s sure to be a talking point remembered by staff when it comes to Monday morning.


Profile for West Londoner

West Londoner Spring 2016 version 2  

An updated version of West London's Newest Business Magazine.

West Londoner Spring 2016 version 2  

An updated version of West London's Newest Business Magazine.