Program: New York
Intake: August 2012, August 2014, March 2015
Current Roles: Joint founders of DLT (Days Like This).
How did you get into this line of business?
In 2012 I made the decision to move to New York for the Mountbatten program. This is where I was first introduced to the party brunch culture they had. The scene quickly became my go to when looking for fun things to do on the weekends and connecting with others. Upon moving back to the UK in 2013, I realised there was nothing remotely even similar in the UK, so found myself flying back to New York regularly to meet my friends Anthony and Michael – (both were also part of the Mountbatten program), just to experience brunch with them!
After multiple flights to and from New York we decided as a group to replicate our experiences in London and the rest is history…
How did you go about setting it up and getting established?
It wasn’t easy getting started, the brunch party concept in London was very much unheard of back in 2016, so trying to explain the concept to venue owners and convincing them to work with us as a new business proved difficult at first. Luckily, the Luxford owner (on Old Kent Road at the time), took a chance on us – it worked – we sold out at our very first event and our dream was realised! Since then, DLT has been able to show other venues that we have a business concept and model that works AND that there is a demand for it. The DLT team galvanised the reach of social media and invested consciously in creating content which reflected the DLT brand, assisting getting the name out there, DLT even trended on a few platforms pre and post events.
What else in the pipeline?
Now we have been able to establish ourselves in London, UK – DLT is focused on taking the brand globally and we are starting with AFRICA. DLT now creates travel package holidays around the brand ethos – Ghana and Nigeria are our next locations outside of the UK. DLT is also currently planning a 4-day festival for 2023 in Malta, Europe and branching out into solidifying our presence within the entertainment industry …. So, watch this space.
What has been the proudest moment in your working life thus far?
DLT was recognised for our work at the GUAP GALA in October 2022 – we won creative business of the year. This was very special for us all as it showed that the industry was taking note of our work and chose to celebrate us for it.
What has been your biggest mistake/learning experience?
My biggest learning experience/life lesson is – to just try, take a risk! I used to be very cautious about taking risk and would shy away from trying new things, but trying new things is what brought about my biggest achievements to date, which include deciding to move to a country I had never been to, alone for Mountbatten. Completing Mountbatten was the key in kickstarting my Banking career, of which I am now 10 years deep into. Another example is starting a business that none of us had prior experience, and which has now become a world recognised events company.
Who are your role models personal/professional?
Apart from my parents, another one of my key role models Lemmy Ndegwa, who I met during Mountbatten and was one of my managers at UBS: I was 22, fresh out of university and in a new country. At the time he was a director managing the UBS tri-party settlements division. He was a role model for me because there was not much black African representation in the offices at the time, so to see a fellow black man doing so well inspired me. He took me under his wing and mentored me and I feel this has played a big part in the successes I have seen in my career thus far – I would encourage all young people or those who are new to something to find someone more experienced they resonate with as a mentor or coach – it helps!!
Any words of advice/wisdom would you impart to others thinking of setting up their own business
I would say one of the most important things when starting a business is to truly believe in your concept and dreams. As mentioned earlier, in the beginning multiple venue owners turned us down as they could not see our vision, but we stayed persistent and continued to believe in our dream and it has paid dividends in the end! You will have multiple setbacks along the way, but if you are confident in what you are trying to achieve, you will be able to get over these setbacks and come out stronger, wiser and creating value.