From the top · 18 November 2016

Live at The Business Show 2016: Day two

The Business Show
The Business Show, Kensington Olympia

As The Business Show 2016 sees out its final day, Business Advice heard from football chairman and serial entrepreneur Steve Parrish, the deputy mayor of London for business, Rajesh Agrawal as well as a series of keynote interviews with exciting leaders of enterprise from own our editor.

Delivering a mid-morning Q&A, Parrish gave attendees an insight into his journey from boyhood fan to successful chairman of Crystal Palace Football Club, providing pieces of valuable business advice along the way.

He gave The Business Show his thoughts on how to instil a positive and successful environment within a workplace.

“Your employees need to be smarter, better and happier than the opposition to achieve goals on a daily basis. If they feel that they can’t fulfil task, it doesn’t matter how much money you pay them.

“A positive atmosphere – with positive people – is more important than qualifications,” he said.

When questioned on the strategies needed to compete in business, Parrish noted that “the amount of financial success is dictated by the industry a business is in.

“The easiest market is a competitive one,” he added.

Questioned on the health of the property market in Britain, Parrish suggested that the sector was in good shape.

“It is a good time to buy, but you need to be contrarian – to be greedy when everybody else is scared.”

Parrish concluded by revealing his excitement for the casual dining space, noting the impact of on-demand delivery companies like Deliveroo.

Sadiq Khan’s deputy mayor of London for business, Rajesh Agrawal, represented the Greater London Authority at The Business Show, fielding questions from entrepreneurs on business matters ranging from gender diversity, access to finance and co-working spaces.

Agrawal championed the “massively important role” that female entrepreneurs played in generating business growth in the capital, and acknowledged that enterprise building initiatives targeted towards women in London could go further.

Agrawal touched on his committment to bringing the best out of university talent, pointing towards the wealth of entrepreneurial ambitions of international students in London universities waiting to be tapped into.

Khan’s business deputy also used his talk to highlight the prominence of co-working spaces in the UK.

“Working spaces are changing,” he said.

“People now want to sit with people from other companies – entrepreneurs want to learn from each other. Co-working spaces are growing very fast.”

Agrawal concluded his talk at The Business Show by pushing for greater integration between corporate companies such as Facebook and hungry startups.

“The biggest challenge between large corporates is that they cannot innovate fast enough – and startups cannot scaleup fast enough. Bringing them together will help London’s enterprise thrive,” he said.

Our editor sat down with Anthony Fletcher, CEO of snack company Graze, for his first keynote interview of the day, picking Fletcher’s brains on how the business brought together tech experts with experienced heads from the food industry to create the established brand that exists today.

Millie Wilson, co-founder of Tea & Tequila, told The Business Show her story of how two best friends crossed international borders to create a successful brand based on ethical sustainability and the development of native Mexican crafts.

Wilson told the audience how Tea & Tequila took on the roles of wholesaler and distributor to bypass traditional market relationships, and concluded by revealing the brand’s future plans to access markets in Europe and the US.

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Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.