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Rethinking Business with Piers Linney

A new series of podcasts focusing on businesses that are thinking differently – disrupting industries, turning obstacles into advantages and bouncing back when things don’t go to plan. Featuring entrepreneur and former Dragons’ Den investor Piers Linney.

Last updated: 29 Jan 2020 0 min read

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Piers Linney with Josh White, co-founder of CanO Water.

** Latest** Episode 12: Listening to the customer (38:20)

In the final episode of this series, Piers talks to Julien Callede, co-founder of the revolutionary online furniture store Made.com. Callede explains how streamlining the supply chain and buying direct from the manufacturer means Made.com can offer designer products at affordable prices. And with curation and feedback central to its success, it has made the decision to open up a a bricks-and-mortar showroom when many retailers are turning their backs on the high street – all because of demand from its loyal customers.

Episode 11: Subscription with Freddie’s Flowers (24:30)

Piers meets Freddie Garland to find out how he’s applying the subscription model to floristry. Freddie explains how Freddie’s Flowers, which started in a tent his parents’ back garden, used the personal touch to build a reputation. Skipping online marketing in favour of face-to-face interaction, he spent the early days knocking on local doors and drawing on the support of family and friends. 

Episode 10: Innovation with Straight Teeth Direct (28:34)

Piers meets Dr Aalok Y Shukla, co-founder of Straight Teeth Direct, to find out how he’s using tech to disrupt the dentistry market. Harnessing innovations such as 3D printing and online consultation, the company is able to send aligners by post, making the teeth-straightening process more accessible and affordable. Aalok also shares his thoughts on growing a business vertically and managing a mindset for success.

Episode 9: Inclusivity and authenticity with Nubian Skin (28:25)

This week, Piers is joined by Ade Hassan, a founder whose business has set out to make fashion a more inclusive place. Frustrated by not being able to find lingerie and hosiery that matched her own skin tone, Ade started Nubian Skin in 2014, offering ‘nude’ colour options to cater for women of all shades. Ade shares the story of how the company launched with viral acclaim, winning fans including Beyoncé; as well as the challenges she has faced as the company’s grown. 

Episode 8: Building a digital business with Pouch (40:48)

Piers Linney meets Jonny Plein, co-founder of Pouch, which  enables customers to cash in on discount codes through an automatic browser extension. Jonny shares the highs and lows of building a digital business and describes the company’s financial journey through multiple funding rounds, failed investments, and even an appearance on Dragons’ Den. 

Episode 7: Curation with Trouva (37.33)

This week, Piers meets Alex Loizou, co-founder of Trouva, recently named one of the UK’s top-five fastest-growing tech companies. An e-commerce platform for bricks-and-mortar homeware and fashion boutiques, Trouva enables independent shops to sell their carefully curated products online, worldwide. Alex shares his journey from graduating as a software engineer to founding a tech company committed to protecting the future of the independent high street.

Episode 6: Personalisation with My 1st Years (31:46)

Piers meets Daniel Price, co-founder of My 1st Years, which hit the headlines when Prince George was photographed wearing one of the company’s bathrobes when the Windsors met the Obamas at Kensington Palace in 2016. Seizing the opportunity to scale, the personalised baby gifts business soon exceeded a million online orders. Piers and Dan discuss the realities of scaling, using investment wisely and hiring the right people at the right time.

Episode 5: Playing to your audience with DinoByte Labs (27:04)

Piers meets Louise Leolin, co-founder of games development studio DinoByte Labs. Louise talks about being a young woman in a male-dominated industry, and why she’s taken it upon herself to design video games that are representative of the diverse fan base playing them. She also explains how she’s harnessed the power of the company’s followers to help shape the direction of studio projects.

Episode 4: Scoring sales with Net World Sports (24:07)

Piers chats to Alex Lovén, founder of one of the UK’s most successful sports equipment retailers. He explains how his ‘keep it simple’ approach helped him grow Net World Sports to a multimillion-pound business without the need for external investment, and why launching a business at a young age can be the best time to do it. 

Episode 3: Empowering others with Tropic Skincare (34:46)

Piers is joined by Susie Ma, founder of Tropic Skincare, who discusses some of the hurdles she’s faced while growing her business from a market stall to a multimillion-pound partnership with investor Lord Sugar. She also explains why Tropic decided against wholesale selling to shops in favour of recruiting a team of direct-selling ambassadors, thus empowering others to become entrepreneurial along the way. 

Episode 2: Rethinking the restaurant business with Wahaca (36:44)

Mark Selby, co-founder of Mexican restaurant group Wahaca, talks about the highs and lows of his business journey, including rebuilding customer trust after a well-publicised norovirus outbreak in 2016. Since the first restaurant opened in London in 2007, the group has grown to over 25 locations and helped reshape the British approach to Mexican food. 

Episode 1: Sustainable business with CanO Water (28.54)

Piers chats to Josh White, co-founder of CanO Water, the drinks company providing an infinitely recyclable alternative to single-use plastic water bottles. He explains how CanO Water was inspired by a trip to Thailand’s Phi Phi Islands, and seeing the blight of plastic pollution first-hand. 

Introduction (00:32)

Find out more about Rethinking Business, the new podcast series from NatWest. 

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