The Gentleman’s Journal Podcast
Never stop learning — Tej Lalvani, CEO of Vitabiotics (and Dragon!)

Never stop learning — Tej Lalvani, CEO of Vitabiotics (and Dragon!)

February 21, 2020

Our guest today is Tej Lalvani, the formidable CEO of Vitabiotics. Vitabiotics is a brilliant British success story — it was set up by Tej’s father in 1971, and has since grown to be the biggest vitamin company in the United Kingdom. You’ll probably know it because it keeps David Gandy looking so handsome on all those billboards and tube adverts across the capital — but Vitabiotics and their marquee products have millions of daily advocates who aren't underwear models, too.

Tej is also a Dragon on Dragon’s Den, which is a first for us and is incredibly exciting — not least because he reveals some of the most intimate secrets of the Den during our conversation. We also talk about his first job at McDonalds and his love of Fillet'o'Fish; the success of Vitabiotics' innovative new gummy products; and Tej's secret life as a house music producer — if you don’t believe me, just search Tej Lalvani on Spotify and thank me later. Enjoy the episode.

Resilience is everything — John Caudwell, founder of Phones 4U

Resilience is everything — John Caudwell, founder of Phones 4U

February 7, 2020

Our guest on today’s episode is John Caudwell, the founder of Phones 4u and super philanthropist. John is an incredible entrepreneur, and he was at the cutting edge of telecoms throughout its earliest, wildest days. Some of his war stories from the first years of Phones 4u are incredible — like the time Motorola tried to destroy his entire business with a single dastardly deal. But John survived, of course, and built Phones 4u into a high street staple, before selling it in 2006 for just under $1.5 billion. Today, most of his efforts are spent on Philanthropy, and this, as you’ll hear, gives him more satisfaction than anything else. Enjoy.   

Sex sells — Emma Sayle, founder of Killing Kittens

Sex sells — Emma Sayle, founder of Killing Kittens

January 24, 2020

Emma Sayle is the founder of Killing Kittens, and one of the world’s leading “sex-entrepreneurs”. You might know Killing Kittens as the brand behind a world of high-end sex parties that put female empowerment at their core — perhaps you've even been to one of their events. 

The company turns 15-years-old this year, has more than 80,000 active members, and turns over many multiples of millions, as you’ll find out — so it’s heartening to learn it was born out of a three day party with no sleep on the island of Ibiza. 

In a brilliant episode of the podcast, we spoke about the importance of having a thick skin; the reactions of Emma’s friends and family when they first learned of the idea; and the incredible cross-section of powerful people who attend these remarkable events. Enjoy. 

Don’t bother with anyone who doesn’t bother with you — Professor Stefan Allesch-Taylor CBE

Don’t bother with anyone who doesn’t bother with you — Professor Stefan Allesch-Taylor CBE

January 3, 2020

Professor Stefan Allesch-Taylor CBE might best be described as a serial entrepreneur — though that doesn’t really cut it. Stefan has been a policeman, an advertising agency founder, a film producer, a stock broker, the director of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s charities, an arch philanthropist, and an advisor and investor to countless successful start ups. He's also the first Professor of the Practice of Entrepreneurship at King's College London.  

In a lively recording, we spoke about Stefan's Harlem Globetrotter-like approach to rugby union; the reason he used to keep a tank of piranhas by his desk; and the giant blag he pulled off at the age of 19 that kick started his business career.

Why it pays to have fun — Will Butler-Adams of Brompton Bicycle

Why it pays to have fun — Will Butler-Adams of Brompton Bicycle

December 20, 2019

Our guest on today's show is Will Butler-Adams, the CEO of Brompton Bicycle. We recorded this one at Brompton’s factory in West London, and it's a fascinating episode that tells the story of one of Britain's most singular brands and the man behind its quiet revolution. In it, we spoke about Will’s two trips to the amazon (one of which very nearly killed him); his visions for a truly bike friendly London; and why it's what we do in the five-to-nine really defines us. Enjoy. 

 

Inside the property industry — Liam Bailey and Tim Hyatt at Knight Frank

Inside the property industry — Liam Bailey and Tim Hyatt at Knight Frank

December 13, 2019

On today’s episode we sit down with two men from the top of the property game: Liam Bailey, the Global Head of Research at Knight Frank and Tim Hyatt, the Head of London Residential at Knight Frank. The property market can sometimes seem like an opaque and mysterious business. But in this episode, Tim and Liam lift the lid on its inner workings, revealing how they got into the game, the challenges that will face London in the year’s ahead, and where to put your cash in 2020. 

Our thanks to Mark's Club for playing host. 

The product is king — Luca Faloni

The product is king — Luca Faloni

November 26, 2019

Our guest on today’s episode is Luca Faloni, the founder of the Italian menswear brand that bears his name. Luca’s business is a classic style start-up success story — one excellent hero product, a little artisan craftsmanship, a successful online store, a loyal and discerning following… and then the slow steady climb to start competing with the big boys. Today, the brand has four major stores across the world (with seven more on the way next year) and has an adoring following wherever it appears — their linen shirts, in particular, come highly prized.

In this episode, Luca tells us why 28 is the ideal age to start a business; why the restaurant owner next door can teach you just as much about business as Elon Musk; and why there’s no such thing as being over prepared.

Rugby World Cup Special — Dylan Hartley, Ben Franks and Harry Mallinder

Rugby World Cup Special — Dylan Hartley, Ben Franks and Harry Mallinder

October 14, 2019

In a special live episode of the podcast, we've teamed up with esteemed Northampton shoemaker Church’s for a Rugby World Cup extravaganza. Editor Joseph Bullmore is joined by Dylan Hartley, the most capped hooker in England history; Ben Franks, the Kiwi two-time World Cup winner; and Harry Mallinder, the U20s World Cup winning captain.

With plenty of audience participation from the gathered crowd, the Northampton Saints players spoke candidly about life at the top of the game, their first rugby memories, their greatest style disasters and their predictions for the 2019 World Cup. 

Our thanks to Church's for playing host

Live Special! — Collecting Masterpieces with A. Lange & Söhne

Live Special! — Collecting Masterpieces with A. Lange & Söhne

September 13, 2019

This special ‘al fresco’ episode of the podcast is all about 'collecting masterpieces' — investing in luxury, celebrating beauty, and building a covetable collection of anything, from cars to watches to wine. Recorded at Hampton Court Palace at the annual Concours of Elegance car show — and made in partnership with our good friends at German watchmaker A. Lange & Söhne — it features Simon Cundey of Savile Row tailors Henry Poole; Evan Zema, collection manager for Bruce McCaw; and Wilhem Schmid, the CEO of A. Lange & Söhne. Enjoy.

How to live curiously — David de Rothschild

How to live curiously — David de Rothschild

August 22, 2019

David de Rothschild is an explorer, conservationist, and Breitling watch ambassador. He looks a bit like a more handsome Jesus, and is, in many ways, the older brother you've always wanted. He’s got a ripping yarn for any situation, often with the battle scars to match — like the time he danced for an Ecuadorian chieftain, at gunpoint, to Kajagoogoo. Or the time he sailed a catamaran made of plastic bottles around the world.

In a thoroughly enjoyable episode, David tells us why GDP is the worst metric for success; why advertisers should pay a dividend to nature; and why fear, actually, can be a very good thing.