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Episode 245: How to Use Branding Effectively with Tej Lalvani


If you only have a couple of seconds to introduce your product in the market, what would you do? For Vitabiotics and Tej Lalvani, effective branding and marketing strategy was the key in a saturated pharmaceutical market.

In this episode, Tej Lalvani talks with Adam Stott about Vitabiotics was able to use branding on their success as a vitamin supplement company. Their success does not only include the local market but it transcended international markets as well. Tej also talked about his stint in the hit show Dragon’s Den.

Tej Lelvani the CEO of the UK’s leading vitamin company, Vitabiotics, and a former ‘Dragon’ on the BBC’s hit show Dragons’ Den. Having taken over Vitabiotics from his father, Professor Kartar Lalvani, Tej has overseen the phenomenal growth of the company for twenty years, driving the company’s expansion to sell its products in over 100 countries. Alongside his goal to build Vitabiotics into the largest specialist vitamin company in the world, Tej is hugely passionate about supporting vital educational campaigns and health awareness initiatives. 

Show Highlights:

  • How Tej Lalvani was exposed to the workings of Vitabiotics when his father started the company
  • The marketing strategy Vitabiotics used in the early stages of the company
  • Importance of branding on Vitabiotic’s success
  • Challenges that Vitabiotics faced when they expanded into different markets
  • Why improving their different products is crucial
  • What sort of lessons Tej Lalvani learned in joining the Dragon’s Den

Find out about the latest with Tej Lalvani on LinkedIn

Join the Ultimate Three Day Business Event and learn more Business Growth Secrets
Be part of our Facebook Group Big Business Events Members Network
Connect with me on Instagram @adamstottcoach

Transcript:

Please note this is a verbatim transcription from the original audio and therefore may include some minor grammatical errors.

Adam Stott:

Hello, everybody, and welcome to this super special episode of Business Growth secrets. I’m really, really, really excited today, because we’ve got our guest on. I think it’s gonna add some massive, massive value to it for you. Well known for his role on Dragon’s Den, Tej Lelvani has built his own companies as well as investing in multiple other companies, and is an expert on business growth. So I’m really honored to have Tej on the show. I can’t wait to uncover some of the story and get to know you better and understand what your journey has been. But just want to say first of all, thanks for coming on. And welcome to the show stage. How are you doing, buddy? 

Tej Lelvani:

Yeah, great. Thanks, Adam, for having me on. It’s a pleasure to be here. And I look forward to getting into it.

Adam Stott:

Absolutely. So, what I like to do today, you really get the audience to understand obviously, we’ve got a big listener base of businesses that are growing. And obviously, as one of the UK’s most prominent businessmen, you’ve had an amazing rise to success. And obviously, your company’s vital policies have been amazingly successful, then your role on Dragon’s Den. So I really want to try and understand if we can from the very beginning, you know, how did that start off? You know, how does somebody go and create a business in that manner, then go on to have all the success? I’m sure it’s been a few ups and downs, as there always is. But where did your kind of business journey start from a be the first question I wanted to jump into if we can. 

Tej Lelvani:

Sure, you know, when I was quite young. I mean, fortunately, I was surrounded by family members, uncles, aunts, and people who had set up their own businesses and were entrepreneurs. So that was great to have that exposure. As a kid, I was always interested in business, you know, from even selling computer games in schools and getting friends to sell it for me on behalf of about. So I enjoyed that aspect of it. My father’s a scientist set up back in ‘71, that we came up with a true multivitamin formulation back then. And so it was always something I really wanted to do and join and help his mission. 

And of course, back then, it was extremely difficult to understand what vitamins were and the benefits for them. So it was challenging times to convince and explain to people what it was. So, you know, I was involved in the business at a young age, just helping out and then a lot more when, you know, just previous to University at the time, and then got involved in various departments in the business and really helped involve growing the business in the UK and then more internationally as well afterwards.

Adam Stott:

Absolutely brilliant. And it’s how was that entering the, like, the thing that I picked up from what you just mentioned, is, it can be quite difficult to build a business when you have to convince the consumer base that they need the product, right, you know, sometimes easier to build a business when someone knows, and they’re hungry and thirsty for the products. But how did you go about building that in? That sounds like that was a consideration, you know, for you especially. How did you bring it in? What was the kind of methodology that you went about? Showing people that hey, you do need these products? I think it’s a really important thing? 

Tej Lelvani:

Yeah. The Great question, Adam. And you know, at the time, obviously, we didn’t have much money or resources. So we’d want to make the brand speak for themselves. So creating brand names like osteo care, pregnacare. You know, well, man, things that really spoke about what the product was on shelf, so customers would see that as a solution to an issue. And then obviously, there was research that we’ll try and get out there about what vitamins did in and then there came a point where we went to approach the larger retail chains like boots, for instance. We talked about metaphase, which stands for menopause and they were almost protection. They’re like, you know, vitamins for menopause. Why would you want that? You know, a couple 100,000 come back, and then we’ll talk. 

That’s exactly what we did. So they came back and said, well put your money where your mouth is and give us a listing. So they did and so it was literally You know, a slow process of trying to convince people to get the message out there, people bought our products, they realized the benefits that come back and bought more talk about it word of mouth.

Then it was the advertising that we did was, was quite a bold advertisement, talking about the products, you know, the underground, the buses that give us good visibility as to what it was. And we sort of created solutions around that. And effective products to us the formulations were key, the fact that they did work, one of the very few companies, between companies in the world that do clinical research behind the effectiveness of the product, to make sure it actually does work.

Adam Stott:

So combined lots of different elements. I mean, was that something to you as an individual that was natural? Because I feel from having studied branding? That what you just explained there was a massive risk business credit secret in itself. Did you get that instinctively? Did you learn that? Was that something that you tested? You saw works and adopted them? Because like, Well, man, it’s a really well known brand? Yeah, it has what it says on the tin, which obviously helps. How did you get that? Is that something that came naturally to you or somebody for you. 

Tej Lelvani:

So, initially, the brand names were originally created by my father. He came up with some of the names, which made complete sense, because a lot of time you get products, which don’t really tell you what the product does. Nobody got this few seconds to convince a customer to engage with you. So on the basis of that, then, you know, I started coming up with names similar to that. And we used that as a strategy.

Also even on the advertising and make sure our logo was large, because the brand name would communicate what the product was anyway, so you might as well have it big and people understood it. One thing we did, which was different to a lot of the other competitors out there, like Centrum, or seven C’s, was that we created individual brands for different categories, versus ascension, pregnancy or ascension. And so we wanted to be the expert within the industry.

Of course, that meant, you know, more pooling our resources, because we had to put money into different brands versus just a Vitabiotics product. But I think it built us credibility in that particular category to create ownership and leadership in that segment as the experts within that section.

Adam Stott:

So did you compete against yourself, almost. 

Tej Lelvani:

We have brands in different categories. So like joint supplements, and brain supplements, things like that. So we would identify certain categories where we think nutrition would play a role in certain organs of functioning more optimum, and accordingly, create a brand around it and build that category really physically because not only didn’t exist, and we were the first to have a men’s supplement and a women’s supplement. And it makes logical sense now because women’s physiology is different for men’s and nutritional needs are different as well. So that may be further segmented into 50 plus vitamins, you know, 70 plus different age groups, you have different requirements. I am, for instance, pregnant. So we know that scientific research and put together formulations and created these brands.

Adam Stott:

Essentially, didn’t you then obviously, clients like new verticals to grow. That’s, you know, amazing, absolutely. brand that you told me a moment ago, when we came on, you’re mentioning superdawg? That’s right. Yeah. The brand name really worked. And you mentioned, Mark, and obviously, you are now from my understanding, certainly the most successful vitamin company in this country, but you’re worldwide in 100 countries. Now, is that correct? Isn’t it?

Tej Lelvani:

That’s right. So we’ve grown the business internationally. In The UK, we are the number one branded vitamin supplement company. And we’ve got about 10 brands that are number one in their category, whether it’s the calcium supplement or a pregnancy supplement, etc. And, like in pregnancy, we could have different stages. So before pregnancy conception during and after. And within these products, we do some clinical trials, like our pregnancy supplement has been shown to double the chance of getting pregnant and today with infertility is a big issue. You know, it’s amazing that nutrition can play such an important part in terms of making your organs function and a better way to get pregnant. 

So I think what it is is, you know, again, having the different brands was challenging to try and create, you know, separate you have a certain amount of money, how do you how do you position it, and where do you position it. But what kept it interesting was that we had so many different segments. So how do you target a pregnant customer versus a well known customer? So you really have to start thinking about the customer. And you know, where they’re sitting, what they’re viewing, you know, what type of messaging works for them. So it did keep us on our toes to really have to focus on different types of groups and have different marketing messages for them.

Adam Stott:

Yes, and of course, not just that part of the energy that goes into launching multiple brands, doesn’t it? Because I think there’s a massive amount of energy that’s going to need to go into all of that. So what was the first for you when you first became involved in the business, you’re working in different departments for learning the business. What was like your first here, where you felt, you know what this is going to be? Was there a moment? Or was it more just progressive over the whole time just continually working continual focus? Was there a moment where you saw things turn that you thought hang on this is going to be? You know, we’ve got something here. Do you remember?

Tej Lelvani:

Yes. So when I joined the business, I started off in the warehouse, specifically on help areas, because it’s a small business, you’re trying to help out. And I really want to understand different departments and, and work with different people and figure out how we can improve things and grow things. I think the first break happened. Well, when we realized we had a distributor in the UK who you’re selling the products to, they were dealing with all the national accounts such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, etc. So at that point, we decided, you know, should we do it on our own and develop our own team to deal with the retailers? 

That was a really big step for us at the time, and that was sort of a mini milestone where we sort of handled everything dealt with the buyers directly, trying to push listings ourselves and really get full control. And then I think the second point was when we really wanted to, our goal was to be number one, at the time, seven seas, I think it was double our size. It seemed like such a far away goal to be able to reach and hit that. And now we’re like, I think three acts of that. But there was a real moment, when we said we plan to achieve that. And then, you know, subsequently have different goals internationally, or different markets, you want to get into.

Adam Stott:

Such an amazing story, as well. And you think you’re having that it’s really interesting. I love that, like having that. We want to be number one, mentality. How important do you think for somebody listening is that and for some, as long as you can do the work, you can actually do the work towards it is really important. They can be you know, in corporate strategies, sometimes it’s all about North Star, was that a bit of a sort of a North Star for the business? Do you think…? 

Tej Lelvani:

Yeah, it was like an overarching sort of goal and ambition we wanted to get. But then obviously, to achieve that, you really have to break it down and see, what do we need to do? Does that mean getting X number of listings in a store? Does it mean, you know, international expansion, also, or, you know, in the UK, does it mean, focusing on certain brands that we think are going to grow more and put our resources in that to be able to get this sort of position? So it does, you know, you have to think about how you want to plan it and do it. And at the same time you get competition, I mean, you know, a lot of the pharmaceutical companies, so lindemans has competition, because they spend billions on drugs. 

And you know, and if a nutrition company can show effective results of clinical trials, then that can be a threat. So a lot of the pharmaceutical companies that are buying up bitumen companies, and because they were high growth at the time, so pretty much now nearly most of our big competitors are all owned by pharmaceutical companies, which means that they’ve got a huge amount of resources to compete against us and try and get market share. We have to think, you know, how do we, you know, we had, I think it was seven seas that came in with their pregnancy. 

All of a sudden, we’re like, what are we doing now, because they were built on by pharmaceutical companies, I’m called Merck. And we’re lucky enough to try and protect our market share, you know, focus on that one brand, we did everything we could, in the end, managed to fight them off and actually increase our market share. So it’s, we will use different tactics and strategies, especially when you realize someone’s got unlimited resources, how do you compete? What other things can you do? So definitely, you know, keeps you on your toes.

Adam Stott:

100%, or so many? So many things to ask, there’s a couple of things I want to ask for the audience. So one of the things that when asked the audience, as you mentioned, competition, you mentioned seven C’s coming in with a similar product to you. Now, having trained many small business owners, one of the things that really affects their minds in a big way, is when people do exactly that they see a product that they’ve created that is successful or a service they’ve created, they’re successful. And straightaway, they see their competition trying to model it. And it really affects their mindset. I hear it a lot from the people who are trying. How did you handle that? Or how did you approach that? Just be interested to know, from your perspective, as somebody uber successful, how did you approach that?

Tej Lelvani:

People are copying you, it definitely means one thing that you’re doing something right. Okay, and that you clearly have created a market that consumers want. So that’s step one, step two, is that you have to try and constantly innovate and improve your product. And the same goes if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I think that’s completely wrong. Because actually, you have to really keep fixing it even though it’s not broken. And, you know, every single day I look good, can we improve the formulation? Can we improve the marketing message? Can we change and improve, can we, you know, whatever we can do. 

Let’s change and improve it and fine tune it. So within a span of a year, you have a substantially improved different product to what the competition is doing. So your offering has to be better to the customer, so that people keep coming to you because you’re innovating in the industry. And it is tough, but I think that’s the only way it works. And I try not to pay too much attention to my competitors, because you can get caught up with it. As soon as you find yourself looking exactly what the competitors are doing. And following that you’re a step behind, you need to be a step ahead and lead the industry.

Adam Stott:

I love that answer. And I think that’d be so helpful for a lot of people, you know, so many people want, they really say that. And the other question that really became apparent is from working all the departments trying to understand, you know, your skills, because we will talk a little bit more about your journey from this company to becoming, you know, a TV staffing, I’d be really interesting for the audience. What departments that you worked in resonated with you. It sounds like branding and marketing specifically, about You sound very much like a strategist. Maybe working in all those departments found those different skills. But was it something about marketing? Was that the department that, you know, resonated with you? Or was it a different area? I’ve just been really interested to know.

Tej Lelvani:

Yeah, I think there’s three areas. One is that I like bringing efficiencies into areas or simplifying things, cutting out stuff that is long winded. Number two, I like technology. And three, I like the creativity and design aspect. And that includes the marketing and, you know, branding, and things like that. So these are the three areas that interest in the business and also the float between those areas and categories.

Adam Stott:

Lovely, and the other areas. Are there any areas you’re not interested in? You know, it sounds mad, maybe. But is there something that you go, you know what, I hire great people in a hurry? Because that is or is it something like that for you? Or would you say? 

Tej Lelvani:

Yeah, I think I gravitate towards this and anything else. I’ll get involved if I need to get involved more like, you know, there’s nothing that I really dislike, but it’s, you know, I’d rather be doing these areas and get experts in the other areas to help me with videos, I do like to get experts there as well. So that’s because there’s so many different things like even with digital, you’ve got so many different areas that you know, from like, conversion rate optimization, loyalty schemes, and you know, so you need experts in different fields and, to bring it together.

Adam Stott:

Absolutely. Now, that’s awesome. So having grown this business and growing this business route, obviously then moved to become very well known for the Dragon’s Den show. What was that like? I mean, was that something that you aspired towards coming out of the blue? Has that impacted you as it changed anything for you? I mean, I guess you certainly understand the power of TV from a marketing perspective. No doubt. You know, what changed? We’re like, how did that come about? I’d be really interested to know and what was your decision making process with that? Suppose?

Tej Lelvani:

Sure. What’s an interesting story, actually, I did come out of the blue. I was having dinner with a friend of mine at Nando’s in the restaurant who turned the radio station on. So he and his wife and my wife, Tara, were having dinner. And he said the BBC had contacted them, asked me if they knew anyone suitable because they were looking to change dragons. And he thought, look, I thought you might be a great person to put forward what do you think? So I sent it, I love the show. It’s fantastic, you know, a great show and watch it. But I don’t really know being on TV is something that I’ll be comfortable with or something for me. And I don’t know about the time exception. 

So I left it as that. Little did I know, the next morning, my wife calls me up and says, you know, that thing you talked about yesterday? I think you should take his name forward. And he was like, Are you sure? I don’t think it seemed that keen? And she said, Well, actually, look. Just do it anyway, I’ll deal with it. And she was right. You know, I always want he’s willing to work with entrepreneurs. And you know, and it’s obviously getting over that fear of being on television or being on a public profile. But that’s how you do it. You’ve pushed yourself and so I thought, okay, maybe there’s something here I’ll try and manage my time around it. And so then a winter series of screen tests, interviews and a shortlist of candidates and eventually position the dragon.

Adam Stott:

How did you feel when he got it?

Tej Lelvani:

It was great. I mean, you know, it was quite daunting. I guess the first day you go into the set for filming and you’ve got seven eight cameras. As from me on national television. And, you know, you literally everything is shot live in a sense, it’s there’s no retakes, it’s whatever is recorded is recorded, and it’s just edited down. So, but you know, you get into the zone, because you’re, you’re investing in people and businesses, and then straight away, your focus is on that.

But it gets what was interesting, you know, getting involved in business and investing in businesses that was completely outside my own comfort zone, but because I’m being in a consumer goods company, so whether it’s a services company, or the first business I invested in, was, was completely outside my comfort zone, let me just throw myself and so it was called Wall patrol, and knitting business. 

And so as soon as she came in with this knitting products, and I thought, that’s the last business I’m gonna invest in, I have no idea about building, by the end of it, I invested because, you know, as much as the importance of the product, it’s also the person. And so Claire, the founder, really demonstrated her skill and the real opportunity out there, and I invested. It was a great, great decision. And you know, it’s fantastic how the business has grown over the years. So yeah, you have to get outside your comfort zone.

Adam Stott:

And had you invested in businesses before? Was that no tear? Or just passively maybe? Or, you know, or was it something that when you went on, it was your first foray? Almost, obviously, you had a super successful company already. But as you had had some other investments as you work with other business owners prior to that?

Tej Lelvani:

Yeah, I had a very few, not that much. I mean, I was very caught up in my own business, but I did invest in one or two small businesses, and I didn’t have much of a hands-on approach, we just removed an update of what was happening. But I just enjoy business. So for me, it was something I wanted to do and help entrepreneurs and you know, having had that experience about built up over the years, it’s something that you can help people to advise them not to make certain mistakes, or this could be a wrong direction to go or, you know, the market will see this and kind of adding value and opening doors to some of the entrepreneurs I thought was really good.

Adam Stott:

Absolutely. And the investments, what did you look for? I mean, for some are not necessarily through Dragon’s Den, because not everybody’s going to end up on Dragon’s Den pitching someone. But there’s a lot of people that might be looking for an investor of some sort. What would you say the most important thing is having been a seasoned investor through Dragon’s Den, multiple different investors, what would you say you almost would be looking for? What do you look to say, to certain elements or things, do you have in your mind, a kind of criteria that you look at here? Obviously, we know the person, the person is critical. But are there other things as well? Do you want to see a proven market? What are the things for you that you’re looking for when you are analyzing those deals?

Tej Lelvani:

Couple of important things that I look at, of course, the product is important. Is there a market for the product? I want to understand if there’s a proven business model. So it’s great to say, I’ve got this idea, and you know, any amount of money, can you throw something at it will sell. But is it sustainable? And is it a business model that works, there’s a good return on investment, is it scalable, and then you look at the entrepreneurs themselves.

So for me, it’s important to understand that someone I can work with will also take on some mentorship and advice. And also that they are resourceful. Because they should be able to manage the resources effectively, not just with a load of money. Sometimes too much money is too bad. You want to be able to be creative and see how you can utilize funds to grow. 

So having that resourcefulness is important. And, to really understand their business, I need to know that they understand all aspects of their business, especially if it’s a startup. Of course, sometimes, you know, they come on and they forget figures and stuff about you. It’s known as your five dragons on they’re trying to present it can be very nerve racking. So you got to give them the benefit of that. And I guess that’s why sometimes I’ve been nicknamed the nice dragon. And I’m not too mean to them.

Adam Stott:

What I’ve said to you before we even come on the call is that your approach was very calm, very understanding but still had the right head she made the right decisions, you know, but it doesn’t need to be done in a mean way, does it? You know, I think we did really well. I really certainly like the style. I love that you said that they need you almost said that they need to be coachable. They’re willing to take on advice they’re willing to take on that ship. Because the reality is that it is a real thing, isn’t it? If somebody can help you, you can give them everything. If they’re not going to do anything with it. You’re going to start. Hold on, you know, and it’s really, really important. 

Tej Lelvani:

One of the skills that I did sort of pick up over the five years was essentially that, you know, each each season you meet about 100 plus entrepreneurs, and you have to make decisions or sort of mini judgments in the sense that, are they fulfilling these boxes, which means you’ve got to ask them questions to sort of get a response from them to understand, is this someone you can work with, etc. So you sort of develop a skill about people? And you know, I think that was quite interesting, which I’ve never, never expected, would be one of the things that I would learn from the show.

Adam Stott:

Absolutely, absolutely. And I really was sort of making those cricket judgments and getting that right. So on the show, how did I mean this, obviously, I’d love to hear about what was one of the investments that you’ve enjoyed the most, is there one that you’ve enjoyed the most, particularly, or there’s been one that you loved or something that you’ve you’ve really got a lot of value or fulfillment from when anyway, you know.

Tej Lelvani:

Yeah, I mean, a few of them have exited now. But so one of them I invested in was the protein shaker bottle, called ShakeSphere, which was a patented idea. And it’s got a spherical top and base, that when you shake it, the protein powder gets pretty shaken, it’s done much quicker, and there’s no bit stuck in the ends. So I saw that as a really interesting product, and the fact that he had a patent as well. So I invest in that business.

But I wasn’t happy with the design of the product. I thought it was a very bulky box with a lot of compartments on it, and had a flat bottom visually. So I said that we need to completely change this. And we need to see what your real product is about, it’s about the spherical top and base, and I want to see a spherical base, and the top, and that’s what’s gonna really make your product different. And just keep it simple, just have that as a functionality and cut it to the bones and people realize what your product is. So it took a year to do that, you know, and eventually launched the product in the UK internationally. 

And eventually the founder decided to buy me out and you know, you want full ownership. And I did very well out of it a huge multiple from that. So I was happy to sell it. And there were a couple of businesses like look after my bills, which, you know, an LG switching Company, which was a great, you know, scalable business saves people. Yeah, exactly, every year automatically switches you that scale very quickly, and eventually gets bought out compared to the big multiple. So the wool wool business is an interesting one as well, how that’s grown with the pandemic, how it’s affected and grown. So there’s been some, some really good, you know, really good experiences and Touchwood. Today, none of the businesses I’ve invested in, have folded or got into trouble, which is, which is really cool.

Adam Stott:

Yeah, so great, great track record with them all. And, you know, sounds like it’s been really interesting. And again, look after your bills being a big brand, brand brand name, right now. You know it straight away. So it’s incredible. How did it change things for you, yourself, personally went on the show, what was the impact of that? Like? I mean, you said you were nervous before you were not nervous, wrong word, but you were apprehensive for a better word, before you went on the show. And then obviously, being on it for five years, being now very well known, you know, what’s that been like? Has that made things, different views, created new opportunities, what kind of impact has that had.

Tej Lelvani:

100% It’s created a lot more opportunities for me, you know, those five years is like a 15 year, what you would have gained, doing what you were doing. So it’s accelerated. And it’s given me access. And you know, you build up a great black book of people. So today for one to call a retailer and say, I need a meeting, I need to get this you’ll have that response.

So I think it’s an enabler. It’s allowed me to start my own business by understanding and having opportunities to meet people in different areas, tech startups, etc. So it’s definitely brought a lot of opportunities and you know, about getting outside your comfort zone and doing something that’s there. You know, I think in life, there’s two things you have to make opportunities and take opportunities. Because setting yourself up, let’s say you do a university degree, you’re making an opportunity for yourself. 

You know, but then you get a job. And as a result, you will get job offers, so you’ll get opportunities coming from it. And then it’s about taking it, it’s about going for the interview, and what you can do yourself to compete against the other candidates to do it, you know, like the Dragon’s Den that was, I was one of the 10 candidates that were there. an amazing opportunity came by to boast, grew as a result from the opportunity for Dragon’s Den, and then you gotta take it, and then do everything you can to get that. So I mean, like if you can keep doing that when you take that opportunity, more opportunities, you make more opportunities for yourself and you know, then I was lucky positioned to, to create opportunities for other people and entrepreneurs as a result of the show.

Adam Stott:

I love that I think that, you know, taking opportunities is well known, right? But what that presupposes is that the opportunity is going to be good. I think that what you’ve done is put a front on that and said, hey, we’ve got to make it ourselves, because it is about personal responsibility, and actually put ourselves into those environments in order to get the results you want to get. So I absolutely love that. Is that something? Is that something that’s natural to you? Or where did that come from? You know, is that just something I realized along the way. 

Tej Lelvani:

It’s funny enough that I thought about who I was giving a speech at my university. They kindly offered me an honorary doctorate. I was giving a speech to the graduating students and I just thought, you know, following from my life, and what’s really important, what message could I give to them starting out in life, and you know, people always hear, do what you love, do what you’re passionate about. And you hear that all the time it comes in one day, because I’ll be the one to message. Can you say in life that’s going to, in any field that you do, it’s about making opportunity? I’m going to present it to you to make sure you take it and don’t leave it on the table?

Adam Stott:

Well, I absolutely love it. And I think that message certainly resonates in a big way. Because if you think it’s really important for business donors starting out to realize that nothing gets handed to you. I mean, I’ve never ever met a successful person who doesn’t have to work very, very hard, you know, and had to create those opportunities that were obviously taken right. So really, really important. Absolutely love that. So what’s next, I suppose is that is kind of what we would say to ask, a credible journey. What’s next for you? Do you think, you know, what direction are you going in now? 

Tej Lelvani:

Yeah. I mean, there’s a lot happening, there’s obviously my business, which I’m doing. And you know, since the pandemic, there’s been a huge interest in health and nutrition and people’s awareness about immunity and things like that. So trying to grow the business now in the UK and internationally, and, of course, a lot more digitally, at the same time, trying to expand to China and other markets. Also, you know, I have a lot of other interests, and whether it’s investing in some businesses, with dragons, there’s so many businesses you’re picking up, but I’m more focused on strategic now in terms of which particular businesses and different sides of investments, I like property in real estate.

So I did that, my wife set up her business, which is incredible. She’s been a dentist for the last 11 years, she was a dentist, and all of a sudden, she came up with an idea for a product, you know, that allows women to get ready in half the time. So I thought it was a fantastic idea. I said, “Look, you know, you should go for it. And in fact, I want to invest in it”. And she said, “No”. She says, “No, I don’t mind you helping me and advising me, she’s 100%”.

She’s invested in her own money, which is what’s wanting to do from her savings. She was launching the business and sort of, she created the product, and was ready to launch in the middle of a pandemic. She’s got the, you know, it’s the worst time to launch a business because it’s, you know, a duty type of thing people need to be out. And they’re going to use the product. 

I said, look, this is actually the best time to launch a business because everybody’s sitting at home. They don’t mind going directly to consumers, you know, journalists and everyone wanting new products or talk about and mentioned. So I said you just do and so in the last year, she has done phenomenally well running it and launching into retail and not internationally. So it’s a journey, she never thought she’d be an entrepreneur in her life, it was actually just trying to solve a need, she actually wanted a product like that that didn’t exist. And so created a great solution, which now changes the way people do their makeup every day. 

So I think that the main thing is to take action. You know, it’s like the point where she was trying to perfect it and make it run. Ultimately, you have to learn something that needs to be good quality and ready, but then eventually it will evolve from customer feedback. So don’t try and wait for the perfect opportunity. The perfect condition, the perfect, you know, it wasn’t a pandemic or not, you just got to go for it and things will fall into place. 

Adam Stott:

Yeah, I often say to the people, there wouldn’t be an iPhone 13 if there wasn’t an iPhone 1, right. Continually improve in it. I mean, I think it’s been amazing. I’ve loved hearing about the journey. I’ve just got one last question. I’d love to ask you. And that would be, you know, advising business owners that are starting up or they’re growing they’re in their company. May, you know, maybe they’ve hit a few walls or a few plateaus along the way, what would be just a couple of general bits of advice you’d give to that kind of person, to you know, whether it’s to focus whether it’s to stay on track, what do you think is really important for an entrepreneur to take him to that next level of success? 

Tej Lelvani:

I think what’s very important is one of the things I told my wife, when she set up a business, I said, Look, be prepared, that you’re always going to be firefighting, and coming to solve problems and coming up with issues. Today, she was, thank God, you told me that because literally one thing after another, we can go on and as like, yes, it has. At the same time, you will think of the bigger picture and how you’re growing your business. And you have to deal with issues, and there’s always going to be issues that are gonna go wrong, whether it’s a shipment problem, a product problem, a customer problem, you know, a distribution issue. So just be prepared that that is going to happen, that is part of life. 

You just got to get started. And, if you can build support, people are the entrepreneurs to talk to about it, because that’s very useful. And find someone as a mentor who has the experience, and it can help you fast track and prevent certain issues, because you want to conserve your money and try and take it as further as you can. But the best thing is that there is no other better time in history to suffer business than today. Because the friction has been taken away, it’s so easy to set up your company with a couple of clicks, trademarks, set of bank accounts, accept payments, directly sell to consumers nothing to having to beg a buyer in a retail store to list your product payments and fees. 

Instead of thousands and thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars. And in print ads or TV ads, you can just test it with a couple of $100. online to see if you’re getting a good return on investment. So really, third party logistics to ship your goods have to worry about all that. If you have an idea, and if you want to do it just with a small amount of money, you should be able to get up and running and test it. So don’t be afraid.

Adam Stott:

Don’t be afraid and that’s the key. Don’t be afraid, create those opportunities or make the opportunities and take I want to say a huge thank you. I think you know, I really respect You’re certainly a busy busy man with a huge company to run and lots of other things. So I’m really pleased to have you on. I think it has been amazing, some great advice there for entrepreneurs. So big thank you, for me. 

And for the audience who have been listening, make sure you maybe this one listened to it two or three times, take these in, you know, take these notes and these pieces of advice in because they can make a major, major impact on your life. And of course, if you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe to the podcast, leave us a five star review and tell me how you enjoyed this episode. Thank you again for coming on stage. It’s been amazing.

Tej Lelvani:

Thank you, Adam. Appreciate that. Thank you.

Adam Stott:

Thank you so much. Brilliant, really, really good.

Tej Lelvani:

Great. Well, it was useful stuff.

Adam Stott:

Ya know, I think you know, certainly I’m sure we get a lot of, you know, impacts off that. So I really appreciate it. Thank you for your time. And yeah, brilliant stuff. Thank you very much. Really appreciate it. 

Tej Lelvani:

Thanks. And best of luck. 

Adam Stott:

Everybody, Adam here. And I hope you love today’s episode. I hope you thought it was fabulous. And if you did, I’d like to ask you a small favor. Could you jump over and go and give the podcast a review. Of course, I’ll be super grateful if that is a five star review with putting our all into this podcast for you, delivering you the content, giving you the secrets.

If you’ve enjoyed it, please go and give us a review and talk about what your favorite episode is perhaps every single month, I select someone from that review list to come to one of my exclusive Academy days and have lunch with me on the day meeting hundreds of my clients so you want that to be you then you’re going to be in with a shot if you go and give us a review on iTunes. Please of course do remember to subscribe so you can get all the up to date episodes. Peace and love and I’ll see you very very soon. Thank you.

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