March 3, 2017: Laurie Wickwire is a luxury gem specialist, diamond merchant and TV presenter. Her career has seen her rub shoulders with "models, superstars and Bond girls", mingle with the monarchy, and walk the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival. In this in-depth interview, Laurie explains how clever marketing originally gave the diamond its luxury status; why potential bankruptcy almost led De Beers to dump tons of diamonds in the North Sea; the impact of the artificial diamond; and the effort to promote "real is rare".
Business Leaders brings you extended one-to-one interviews with the key people in global business today.
Hosted by Paul Blanchard, each week you can step inside a new company and hear how the world’s top CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs are shaping the future of global business in the 21st Century.
Find out the secrets of their success; how they challenge the status quo, turn companies around and build some of the world’s most innovative businesses. Share their insights and find out what makes our most successful leaders tick.
December 16, 2016: Rohit Arora is the CEO and Co-Founder of Biz2Credit, a leading online marketplace which matches small businesses with sources of capital, and has provided $1.5bn in loans. A regular writer for Forbes and the New York Daily News, Rohit was named Crain’s ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ in 2011. In this in-depth interview, Rohit explains why others were initially sceptical of his business, and believed it was for ‘desperate people’; stresses the importance of being out-performed by your team; argues entrepreneurs are ‘doers, not talkers’ and are driven to change history - not merely to make money; and describes how the ‘best life’ comes from leading on your own terms.
Dave Balter is a serial entrepreneur based in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a pioneer in the new ‘deathtech’ space, and his new app ‘Mylestoned’ is aimed at revolutionising the remembrance of loved ones online. In this in-depth interview, Dave makes his case that Facebook ‘is for the living’, Twitter ‘is for news’, Instagram ‘for pictures’ - and his app ‘is for the lost’. He reveals his belief that sheer obsession is the secret to his business success, and shares candid advice about maintaining team morale through difficult times.
Jake Barton is the Founder of Local Projects, an ‘experience design’ firm for public spaces. Named a top entrepreneur by Crain’s in 2013, Jake caught public attention with his work on the September 11th Memorial. In this in-depth interview, Jake explains how necessity drove him to become an entrepreneur; defends the opinions of the ‘uninitiated’ over the experts; argues that success can make you "brittle"; and talks through the evolution of his career, including the highs and lows.
John Harthorne is the founder and CEO of MassChallenge, the global nonprofit which claims to be the world’s most friendly start-up accelerator. Named Ernst and Young’s ‘Social Entrepreneur of the Year’ in 2013, John is a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum, and has supported over 800 start-ups, leading to over 50,000 jobs worldwide. In this in-depth interview, John discusses why his initial business plan was ‘very unrealistic’; expresses the difficulty in finding a career that is both profitable and fulfilling; explains why he can't ever escape being pitched to; and stresses why everyone should ‘kiss a start-up today’.
Vernon Hill is the Founder and Chairman of Metro Bank. Born in the US, Vernon crossed the atlantic to start Metro Bank the first wholly new high-street bank in the UK in 150 years. 6 years later, Metro have nearly a million customers, 48 stores, and were recently awarded ‘Bank of the Year’ by City AM. In this in-depth interview, Vernon passionately argues that businesses should create fans, not customers; explains why wealth is not the objective of a business but the result; and argues that President-elect Donald Trump will put America on 'the right path'.
Steve Hindy is the Co-founder and Chairman of Brooklyn Brewery. A former Middle East correspondent, Steve discovered the joys of home-brew whilst on secondment in prohibition Saudi Arabia. Inspired, upon his return to New York he began to brew his own beer, and the brewery is now responsible for the sale of over 300,000 barrels every year. In this in-depth interview, Steve discusses his decision to base the business amid the ‘rough and tumble’ of Brooklyn, and how he has dealt with challenges including armed robbery and Mafia threats; expresses his admiration for the ‘lone wolves’ who go into business solo; and shares his concerns for the Middle East following Donald Trump's election.
Nicola Horlick is the CEO of Money&Co, a crowdfunding business which connects investors with businesses looking for finance. Dubbed ‘City Superwoman’ by the media, aged 28 Nicola became the youngest director of merchant bank SG Warburg; and in addition to her duties as CEO, has also ventured into writing, restaurants and film production. In this in-depth interview, Nicola reveals how enthusiastically fetching a sheet of paper for an office colleague directly led to her first big break; argues women in business need greater determination than men; links her commitment to altruism to her professional success; and shares her belief that entrepreneurs are born, not made.
In this episode we meet serial-entrepreneur Alex Mashinsky, Managing Partner of Governing Dynamics, former CEO of Novatel Wireless, and self-proclaimed ‘man from the dark side of Mars’. In this in-depth interview he reveals what makes a great VC and the pitfalls of being a parallel entrepreneur; discusses the ‘blackhole of risk takers’ in Silicon Valley, the role of technology in extending human life, and why acting on an idea too early can slow you down long term.
Patrick McGinnis is the worldwide best-selling author of 'The 10% Entrepreneur'; venture capitalist, private equity investor; and avid traveler, writer, and speaker. In this in-depth interview, Patrick argues you can still be entrepreneurial and start something new, yet also maintain the security of keeping your 'day job'. By investing 10% of your time into side projects, he contends you can generate more income, discover new opportunities, sharpen your skills, and "get the life you've always wanted". He reflects on his own "over achiever affliction" as a student, and how it led him to coin the now-popular phrase 'FOMO' ("Fear Of Missing Out").
Charlie Mullins OBE is the Founder and CEO of Pimlico Plumbers. He first discovered his trade aged 9, truanting school to help a local tradesman. Inspired, he left aged 15 to start his business; today it's worth £35m. In this in-depth interview, the self-confessed 'plumber to the stars' discusses his transition from South London poverty to multimillionaire businessman; attributes the success of his business to ‘doing things the right way’, rather than trying to 'be clever’; argues the importance of building a brand over making money; and concludes that ‘keeping it simple’ is the key to success.
Art Papas is the Co-Founder and CEO of Bullhorn, which provides cloud-based relationship management software. Named Ernest and Young's ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ in 2014, he is a keen investor in start-ups. In this in-depth interview, Art attributes his motivation to his 'extreme dislike' for the mundane and boring; reveals how Bullhorn’s first product came to the marketplace too early; describes both his heroes and anti-heroes in the world of business; and explains why, as a founder, you always view your business as ‘an extension of yourself’.
In this episode of Business Leaders we meet Vivian Rosenthal, serial entrepreneur, designer and founder of Snaps – the next generation marketing platform that creates emojis for the likes of McDonalds, Starbucks and L’Oreal. In this in-depth interview, she reveals why she never wanted to be a CEO nor identifies as a ‘Woman in Tech’; discusses the secrets to being a successful entrepreneur; how the fear of failing is both liberating and exciting and why it’s good to be nervous of technology, but never naive.
In our very first episode, we meet Ryan Simonetti - founder of Convene, the world's first workplace-as-a-platform service - one of the fastest growing businesses in New York, serving 150,000 people in ten US locations; and creating a niche service blending real estate, hospitality and tech. In this in-depth interview, the self-confessed ‘wisdom stealer’ reveals how he built his business, the importance of a regimented work routine; his commitment to building great team culture, and why being a good person is always more important than being a good entrepreneur.
Jeff Wald is the Co-founder and President of Work Market, a start-up which assists businesses in managing their on-demand labour force. Described by Forbes as one of America’s most promising companies, Work Market combines the principles of LinkedIn and eBay in order to deliver to customers. In this in-depth interview, Jeff explains how his motivation stemmed from a desire to ‘drive the bus’ rather than become a cog in a wheel; discusses why he believes true entrepreneurs are ‘born with something wrong with them’; and asserts the importance of working within a challenging environment.
Mauricio Umansky is the Founder and CEO of The Agency, a luxury real estate company based in Beverly Hills. Ranked third by the Wall Street Journal in their list of the USA’s top estate agents, Mauricio holds the listings to some of America’s most famous properties, including Elvis Presley’s home - and even the Playboy Mansion. In this in-depth interview, he describes how he approaches his work as a form of art, and not as a traditional business; argues that The Agency was the first in the marketplace to give their homes a ‘personality’; and shares his view that landing the sale isn’t the most exciting part of the process, but ‘playing the game’ is.