Archive for the ‘Business start up’ Category

In this blog I’d like to talk about someone whom I have immense respect for and a great degree of admiration. In fact he doesn’t even know I am writing this! So when he reads it, it will hopefully be a pleasant surprise for him. However before I do that. Let me talk about the phrase “Do the right thing”.

“Do the right thing”

Image source.

What do I mean by “Do the right thing?” In order to understand this you have to understand a little bit about me, however what I am going to tell you is nothing unique to me and something many can relate to me. I had seen in my life that often people were nice and “did the right thing” but did not seem to be rewarded for it or seem to succeed. In fact I remember going to one training seminar and airing the question “do nice guys finish last”. This was a Bruce King seminar (click here if for a previous blog I did about him). Bruce, if you have ever attended any of his talks, is a very practical person and to the point, very much grounded in reality and common sense without any excessive shpeel and so on. His answer was no they don’t and he gave reasons. I am sure all of us at certain time have “done the right thing” or been “nice” and not been rewarded for it or even in fact seem to have suffered from it. There are others out there who will say the world is a rough place, so you too must be ruthless, tough and “cut corners”.

Anthony Charles, a former mentor of mine. A great guy!

I haven’t said this to Anthony in so many words, so it may surprise him a little. However amongst some of the key things I learnt from him is that “Nice guys do not finish last” and you do not have to be “ruthless” (a euphemism for quite a few things) to be successful. Doing coaching and mentoring with him I changed. I felt more at ease with things and less critical of things if they did not turn out the way I wanted. We are all familiar with karma and the statement that “What goes around, comes around”, well I personally very much believe that and have experienced it. However for most of us that statement is for negative things, that is people will get their comeuppance for misdeeds they have commited! However what I have learnt and also experienced is this.

What goes around, comes around = is also for the good that you do.

What goes around comes around, including the hard work and positive things you do, though perhaps not when and where you want it exactly.

Image source.

Now this does not necessarily mean you do something nice for someone and you will see an immediate reward. The person whom you help may even be ungrateful to you or in fact downright nasty. Some misinterpret kindess as weakness or naivete. However  in the long run this good that you did will come back to you sometime in the future, not maybe from that person or that project but something completely unrelated. This realization helps us to remove any bitterness or resentment that we may have for not getting the respect, appreciation or benefits that we feel we are due as a result of doing something positive.

Even my voice changed, meaning the tone when I spoke was different. Friends observed that I sounded calmer, more grounded and sure of myself, which I was! This is a huge topic and deserves to be expanded on and in the future I will talk about Australian writer, Andrew Matthews, whose work I greatly admire.

However once again another thanks to Anthony. Anthony is currently working on Team Titanium, which is about helping people to develop their business skills and small businesses. I wish him good luck! Especially at a time when the UK is in recession and people are finding it difficult but also with London busying itself for hosting the Olympics in a few months. 2012 is an important year for the British economy and for London in particular including potential small businesses who will need as much help as they can. Anthony himself was involved in projects and work in the past to help regenerate and develop parts of East London, including the areas which will be home to the Olympics.

London, the financial centre of Europe, an image of Canary Wharf. Team Titanium is looking to help people deal with the recession and grow their businesses.

Image source.

The river Thames, London will be hosting the Olympics in a few months which will have an impact on the UK economy.

Image source.

The Olympic Stadium in London, as the city hosts the 2012 Olympics.

Image source.

–  Jahan Choudhry

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An article a few days ago spoke about how UK entrepeneurs are looking to expand, despite the recession and looking eastwards towards “Europe”. I say Europe in inverted commas because German, French and other friends of mine find it strange when people in Britain refer to the European mainland or continent as “Europe” and interpret it as implying Britain is not part of Europe. Britain is definitely part of Europe, but as for the whole issue of the EU and federalism that is another separate debate and topic.

The article in question can be read here:

It also mentions Will King, the highly successful British entrepreneur (and I believe potential future billionaire) who has his own shaving company and is seeking to challenge shaving giant Gillette who I wrote about in a previous article:

Potential future billionaire, British entrepreneur Will King, the "King of Shaves".

In addition to Will King, angel investor Sherry Coutu’s name appeared as one of the entrepreneurs as someone whose opinions were included in the research.

High flying angel investor, Sherry Coutu.

Sherry Coutu is described by the Telegraph as a “serial entrepreneur” with investments in more than 35 companies, .

This interest and enthusiasm from British businessmen and women in expanding in to western and also eastern Europe is all the more interesting given the current Eurozine crisis which the continent is struggling to cope with. This however has not deterred, which should hopefully be a healthy sign for all of us.

The research by RSM Tenon says that 31% of Britain’s entrepreneurs are planning to target foreign markets in 2012 with half of them interested in “western” Europe and secondly “on the hit list is eastern Europe, which will be pursued by 37% of the study’s respondents”

“Eastern Europe” or “Central Europe?”

This brings us to another question of geography and appropriate terminology and that is of calling countries such as Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and others as “Eastern Europe” or “Central European”.

Many people from such countries have an aversion to the term Eastern Europe which they believe has a stigma including association with the old communist past which they would like to forget. They have geography on their side. Europe stretches all the way from the Atlantic i.e Ireland and Portugal to the Urals mountains in Russia.

Europe stretches from Portugal in the Atlantic to the Urals mountains in Russia, countries such as Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic are geographically right in the middle, in the "centre".

Branding plays a key part in business as people no matter how much they may not realize it are subconsciously affected by imagery, terminology or even connotations. So many in countries such as Poland and Hungary actively try to promote wider use of this term. It will be difficult since the term “Eastern Europe” is primarily a legacy of the time when Europe was divided between the capitalist and communist blocs in the “West” and “East”, and anything east of the then West Germany was seen as part of the “iron curtain”. Such a cultural division did not exist however prior to the second world war and countries such as the then Czechoslovakia were definitely regarded as mainstream European countries. How successful will this effort to re-label such countries as “Central Europe”, be? Only time will tell, but it would not active lobbying by their governments including urging international media outlets such as CNN, Al Jazeera, the BBC and others to use the term “Central Europe” so it is thus used on a popular level.

However whilst British entrepreneurs “go east”, one thing is certain the continent’s focus this summer will be on central Europe as the key television event of the summer which will be watched by billions of people not just in Europe but also the rest of the world, the European football championships will be held in Poland and Ukraine. This will also be in addition to the London Olympics.

Euro 2012 to be held in central/eastern Europe, Poland and Ukraine.

Spain are favourites to win the title and are current world champions with some of the greatest players in the world.

Spain, reigning European championships, celebrate their victory in 2008 over Germany.

Three times world champions and the only European country to win the European championship three times, Germany will be looking for revenge.

The Germans are second favourites and will no doubt be as organized and determined as ever.

Will it be tears again for the Dutch, a picture of Dutch international Wesley Sneijder in tears after Holland's defeat to Spain in the 2010 World cup final.

The Dutch are third favourites, the picture shows key Dutch player Wesley Sjneider in tears after their defeat in the final of the 2010 world cup. Holland have reached the world cup final three times and lost. They are often called the best football team to never win the world cup.

Happier times, 1988 when Holland won the European Championship on the soil of their greatest and arch rival, Germany (then West Germany).

Midfield dynamo, England's Steven Gerrard.

England are fourth favourites.

Italian fans.

Football mad Italy, the second most successful team in World cup history with four world cups are ranked number five in the list of favourites.

Poland play on home soil with mass national support for their team.

Will home advantage make Poland progress further than expected?

Ukraine win the under 19 European championship.

Ukraine too like their western neighbours Poland enjoy home support and will be hosting the final in their capital, Kiev.

The Olympic stadium in Kiev where the final will be held, watched by possibly hundreds of millions around the world.

Countries such as Poland and other central European countries are expanding economically and fresh opportunities are waiting there for adventurous entrepreneurs with the right ideas and strategies. Ukraine is also another country with immense potential, traditionally being the bread basket of the former USSR with its rich fertile land. Both countries host Euro 2012 this summer.

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Business Start up exhibition, final blog

To conclude my series of blogs on the Business Start up exhibition in London.  It was definitely worth visiting and going to. 

Speed networking.

There was a speed networking event sponsored by T-mobile which I would recommend people to go to.

Posting business cards.

Also there was a wall at the back of the exhibition where visitors could put up their cards or details and explained what they were about, and those who were interested could contact them and therefore network and develop business relationships with them.

The area reserved for posting your business cards on the wall, so people could look at them and contact you.


A photo from the exhibition.

There were as I mentioned before lots of stalls, talks, seminars and so on from companies and speakers from a huge variety of backgrounds, so it represents a fantastic opportunity to network and interact with successful business people or people wishing to start one up. It was definitely the place to be that week for those involved in business.

The final talk that my friends and I went to in the exhibition was one by James Caan. For those from other countries outside of the UK not familiar with James Caan, he is a British business man who gained national fame and prominence from appearing in the BBC TV series “Dragons’ Den”.  This was after he had started off from humble beginnings and made himself a millionaire through starting up his own recruitment firms, first of all Alexander Mann and then Humana International. He is also actively involved in a number of different charitable projects. The following youtube video will give some idea who he is:


James Caan

There was a very long queue of people lining up to see James, the biggest I saw during the whole of the exhibition. This is only natural since unlike some of the other speakers he is a well-known TV personality now known to millions in the UK. Because of such a big number of people we found it hard to find seats but managed to find space in the back, from where some of my photographs were taken including the one below.

James Caan speaking by telecast to a packed audience at the Business Start up exhibition.

The seminar did not involve James being there in person but was broadcast live through a camera. Caan was witty, with a sharp sense of humour and it was quite evident that he was a very shrewd and sharp man, but not too serious and stuffy. The audience laughed to his jokes. A variety of different people in the audience asked him questions including one young lady wishing to start up a recruitment firm, and a young man seeking to start up an organization to help young people in less developed areas of London. Caan gave good answers and in a diplomatic and jovial way addressed some questioners who wondered if he would invest in them, or even mentor them.

Above all what a seminar like this demonstrates, is something quite obvious to most, but the power of the media, the power of fame and celebrity. We could say many people are superficial that they will give indiscriminate preference to someone merely because of his or her media profile, over someone who may have something just as good to offer but less well-known. That however is not James Caan’s fault but the way many ordinary people often work. This is only natural and normal.

Overall the exhibition was a great event in that not only was it a place where you could meet many new people, share ideas, exchange contact details, even pick up some books for free, but the general positive vibe of the whole place. There were people of all backgrounds, genders, social status, ethnicity and so on. However one pervasive feeling which I got is that people at the event were markedly different from others outside on the streets, in that they were more positive, open minded and keen to be more successful in comparison to many other people that you might meet elsewhere who are more negative, jealous and narrow minded. I would encourage anyone who is in London to attend this event, and the very least you may get apart from valuable knowledge, experience  from successful people, useful contacts is motivation, since the people at the event were very much active people, “doers”, and their enthusiasm and vibrancy was something I found infectious.

The next Business Start up event in London will be on 17th-18th of May and will again be free.

Business start up exhibition, Source: Lth-hotels.com

The website is www.bstartup.com

If anybody wishes to contact me with any further questions please feel free to and my email is:


–          Jahan Choudhry

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