Episode 16: Rupy talks about his most recent partnership with NHS canteens, whilst Jay explains the power of seeking out patterns in business and why taking one big risk can help you succeed as an entrepreneur.
00:21 – Rupy’s NHS canteen venture
06:48 – Should Rupy buy a Podcast studio?
09:25 – Patterns in business
16:46 – How to properly take risks in business
24:23 – Work like a LION not like a COW
Previous guests include:
Reece Chowdhry & Poppy Jamie
Apologies for the typos, this is an AI transcription[:[:[:[:
Yeah. And fish and chips on a Friday. Everywhere up in other countries, always fish and chip. Even people working within the NHS, they don't fully understand that we don't operate within a purely public sector system. There are multiple services that are farmed out to private companies. Um, so Sodexo is, is one of them.
ISS is another. Compass being one of the biggest ones. And then even within like NHS services, whether it's imaging, whether it's therapy services, whether it's uh, diabetes contracts, those are also bid on by private contracts. And those contracts could be anything between like four years and like 10 years.
Like it, it is Wow. Pretty, pretty gnarly. So Compass Group, they're a company that do a lot of the catering services for NHS hospitals and they approached me when I was doing. I was doing a live demo, a public sector catering, uh, gig. Uh, they, they have a conference for like, you know, mod and all the rest of it.
And they come up with this idea, Well, look, we'd love to do like, uh, something with you. We love your food, we love your ethos. Why don't we do like a trial or do a doctor's kitchen popup at some of our canteens? You take over the menu. I would do this for like a week at various sites. Uh, and we'll just see how it goes.
And so over the, the last couple of months we've been coming up with some KPIs like, okay, what does a great outcome look like at the end of a week long popup at a hospital? Is it sales? Is it customer service? Is it food waste? You know, all these different elements that Okay. Would judge whether this is commercially viable and be something that, you know should happen.
And obviously if you, you post that on my, uh, socials, everyone's gonna go mad for it. They're gonna be like, This is amazing. We definitely need this in hospitals. We, you know, we, we wanna see this everywhere, but people are predictably irrational. I'm, I'm using a term from, um, Dan Ariel here. In that they say they want something.
But in reality, what may happen, I dunno the results of this, but what may happen is that people just want jacket potatoes and chips and, and that is essentially what the common denominator is across all these different sides. If people didn't want that, people wouldn't buy it. Um, that's one argument anyway.
The other argument is like, well, we should really be doing what people should eat. We should be providing what people, uh, ideally, you know, should have on their plates. It, it, particularly in a hospital setting, we should be creating a culture of healthy eating. So, That's sort of the angle that I, I'm playing, but we've[:
They're doing all of the work behind sourcing ingredients, getting the chefs trained up, the printing of materials, all that kind of, I've done all the work of formulating the recipes themselves. Coming up with the, the concept. There's salad and there's heart. You know, I had to make sure that it hit certain criteria.
It was relatively allergen friendly, all that kind of stuff. But the big sort of goal for me isn't for this to be like, An amazing sort of home run in terms of like, um, commerciality. I just want to see this happen in hospitals because as Amit will be at a attest to, we need to change the culture around healthy eating and actually, you know, appreciate nutritional medicine within hospitals.
This is where it should start. And the other dirty secret that not a lot of people realize is that medics and, and people working within medicine themselves are generally. More unhealthy will have, they have more risk of conditions, particularly lifestyle related illnesses than the general population.
And that includes, it's crazy, right? Obesity, depression, Alzheimer, dementia, cardiovascular prop, you know, all these different issues. So, you know, we really should be investing in the health of our medical practitioners in the same way, you know? Companies like Google, Facebook, you know, big sort of forward thinking companies invest in the ease and the sort of practicality of eating well for their employees.
They're catering for seven to 8,000 people. They may have 700 to 800 covers during lunch. And within that there's a coffee bar. There's like grab and go sandwiches. There's the hot and the cold bar that I was[:
Uh, not, not yet. We[:
Is vegetarian or is that one That's vegetarian? Yeah, that's vegetarian. Okay. Um, the best compliment I got from people there was actually from one of the coaching staff. He was, he came up to me, was like, I'm really proud to serve this food. Yeah, it met with my heart. It was literally like, I'm proud to be serving this food.
Like, I, I'm enjoying the experience and I, you know, this is the food that we should be serving. You know, I'm passionate about it. As you can tell, I want to see this in every single hospital up and down the country. Compass are great partners for that, that there's nothing that will secure in my heart that this is gonna go up and down the country for the next few years.
There isn't that. But there is a lot of excitement and I think there would be a great partner, uh, to make that happen. So yeah, we'll see man.[:
I'll be one of those guys. I'll be one of those guys. I do. I'll take load of Instagram post and video too. Don't worry. I wanted to put,[:
Uh, so I'm trying to. When I take my dog out, not put my AirPods in. So I'm usually like constantly consuming information. Um, I'm a bit like Ammit in that our producer Ammit in that, uh, he's always trying to, uh, optimize uh, as much information as he's getting. Like putting things on two speed air pods wherever he goes.
Like sometimes you need to have a bit of break from that, right? And so when I walk my. Perfect. Sort of example of having a break from it. And what you realize is that, uh, you have these like shower thoughts, so sh thoughts when you're bored and actually your brain sort of just, you know, conjures up ideas and that's creative side.
And so I was thinking we were always struggling to like find a studio. For the podcast, right? We're always like, Okay, where do we go? We need to make sure that everyone can get there. It's like, you know, relatively close to whatever underground line, and it's at a right time of day and stuff. But now I kind of want, I need a studio myself, so I need a kitchen.
That I can film in, uh, regularly. I need, um, to have a space for like, uh, one or two of, of the staff that need to drop in almost like a co-working space. So[:[:[:[:
Let's have that conversation now. Okay. You don't necessarily need to buy it with me. I'm not like, don't, don't worry about buying. You got enough stuff going on and I want you to invest in my other company. But like what we could, what I could do is get a studio that's relatively central for all of us and that's where we could do the pod, right?
And that means we can just like drop in to do it whenever weekend.[:
It's so hard to get any return. So if, if it makes sense, mate, I think it's an investment deal. I'm listing in you technically cuz you are gonna hold this money's a great investment. Exactly. So a lot of people asking me, like obviously now I've built a few companies, You know, I guess I'm a bit more on social media now.
Like, the question I always get is just like, what differentiates you? Like, what is so special about you? Right. I, it is just one of those constant repetitive questions and it's quite a weird one to answer because I wanna try and give some value and I can, you know, I wanna try and give some real insights to what.
Like, what magic have I got? Right? Um, honestly, it's not that much. There's a few things, but there's one thing that's actually a bit unique and I think if people have listened to some earlier episodes of the podcast, they may have heard the story about, um, my dad and he used to buy the rich list and you know, when I was like the angels of like 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, I'd have to sit with.
In the house and go through this rich list. That was his like passion, right? I was like his business buddy. And I would sit next to him and I'd go through this rich list and I know that was like the first time, I think it was when I was 11, I recognized the pattern, like everyone in the rich list was an entrepreneur.
So that moment, that was the seed partner for me being an entrepreneur. So that was the first time that I recognized the pattern and I was like, wow, this is quite powerful. The next time, which is, and you're gonna laugh, is um, do you ever, do you ever get out magazine readers? Did you remember it? Ru's Digest.
I remember a little[:[:ing. Um, so I think it was in:I think it was like:
Think of Jaws. I think it was like, no, it was like, it was essentially like sci-fi, right? So, Yeah, different Second, um, nine out of 10 had some form of creature in there. So there's some form of creature thing of me gonna be like, Ghostbusters, I can't remember what the 10 were, but like I know aliens is in there, right?
So the second, so nine out of 10 had some form of creature, right? And then eight out of 10 had some love story. So that was, So those were the three things he recognized, right? So sci-fi creatures and love story. And then he basically just took that on him, took that upon him, took that information, and then Bang Men in Black came out, Bang, Independent Day came out.
Like I feel he chose the scripts that essentially hit those three buckets, or helping in influencing. Um, those three parts, but wow. Essentially, as you guys know, Will Smith had probably the craziest run of all time in Hollywood. He, he, he outshined Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks, like, you know, these were the legends, the icons of acting in that era.
And he just, uh, Um, he just destroyed them. I'm being honest. He was the highest paid actor. I miss, He had some misses, like, uh, w Wild West and some other ones, but, but if you look at the wins, the, the winds were huge. Right? And that was again, another moment where I was like, Wow, that's a pattern. Like that. I, so he basically worked out the pan for his success.
I, I, I remember I was blown away. I was literally blown away when I read that story. Funny. Fast forward, um, few other things in my life where, and this is my unique thing, is like I've learned how important patterns are, and I've, and I've learned that at a young age. Weirdly, as I said, as you know, when I saw the richness and then this Will Smith thing came in, and then if I look back, I went into finance.
Pull it, you know, for what it was. But after I went to uni, I went into finance because I realized I want to optimize for money. At that point, I did. And the, the most money was on the trading floor. So it's crazy. When you're 21, you can make six figures. Mm. Right. That's mental. Right. And no, there's nowhere else.
There's not, there's holly in that's, So I optimized for money, right. And then after I realized I want to optimize for my like future, right? And that's when I was an entrepreneurship life, I felt would be more. Than me being in the corporate job. Cause I realized, I recognized the pattern. If you're going to a corporate job, you're working way to the top.
Um, but you're still be working like crazy hours. I don't care. I've seen the, you know, whether you are a, uh, uh, a director or a managing director, you're working crazy hours and you tap out as well, how much money you can make. You don't, you know, So I realized this wasn't that exciting and you're working crazy.
Crazy hard on stuff that maybe you're not even passionate about. So I realized that I had to become an entrepreneur. I felt that life was better. So that was another pattern I recognized. I, people may not know this, but before Yieldify, which was my, I guess my first success, I was actually building an agency around digital marketing.
So helping businesses to be smarter with their. Online marketing. Oh, right. Um. Cause cause I realized people had websites, but they didn't know how to actually make money off it. Mm. So I knew a lot about online marketing before I created yieldify, which is essentially a technology that helps with, um, online marketing and, um, online conversions.
And, but what I realized, what the big switch I made was on agencies, I realized the valuations for agencies, how much they're worth was basically at one or two x of their revenue. So let's say I have an agency, I make 2 million pounds. The business is worth 2 million pounds, maybe four or most likely two.
If I build a software, a technology, you multiply that by 10. So if I've made 2 million, that company's now worth 20 million. So that's the moment. Then I pivoted. I went like, Okay, if I wanna make more money or I wanna build a bigger success, I'm gonna build a software company. A technology company. I've realized throughout my whole life, I've just, I'm one of those weird people that if you gimme information, I'm just gonna look for the pattern and then I'm gonna do it.
And I've got loads more examples, but I. Start with those, and I dunno if you noticed it with me or like b is, are you like using patterns? I'm just curious to know what your thoughts are on this.[:
I, I love a Venn diagram, right? So I, I love like, you know, looking at different trends or different sort of categories and seeing where they overlap and seeing. You know, if that is an opportunity or something unique or whatever, whatever. So it's kind of like habit stacking, like I think we might have mentioned this in the pod before, but Ronaldo, for example, greatest footballer in the world.
If you look at the key attributes, Uh, is he fast? Yeah, he's super fast, but he is not the fastest. Uh, does he train hard? Yeah, he trains pretty hard, but I wouldn't say he, you know, he's like training as hard as the rock or whatever, but he trains pretty hard. Uh, you know. Is he skillful? Yeah, he's amazingly skillful.
But is he the most skilled player? Well, probably not. Like, you know, there's people that can probably do a bunch of his sort of tricks or whatever, better than him, but put all those attributes together. You've got the. Player in the world, right? Mm-hmm. . And so, you know, my sort of initial hunch when you said what are the highest grossing films and the most popular films, I would've thought Romcoms cuz I, you know, Harry met Sally and like, uh, I don't knows in Seattle, Noko and all those.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've actually got a soft spot for, uh, for romcoms. Uh, I'm, uh, I'm not, I love it. Me, I love it. I like it. I like it as well. Yeah, just going through the process of like seeing where certain elements map over, I mean that, that's pretty genius. and in terms of patterns with you? I don't know, man.
I can't say I've ever analyzed you in that way before. I didn't realize that you used to have a marketing agency.[:
Cause I'm like, You know, again, like it's a, is I think it's interesting. How'd you get to the top and one, one that, One thing that's really interesting is I found out all the people that get to the tops. I do speak to a lot of those guys and I said like, What? How did you get there? They always say one thing, and it's quite interesting.
They said they all took one big risk while they were there. One. So sometimes they go do a bit. Yeah, they took like a big project, which essentially was one that may be their own initiative and they saw it all the way through. Or you know, if you're a trader, they, you know, there was a big opportunity and they just literally put all, you know, they went all in.
If you're in finance, there's gonna be this moment where, Something like very important's happening and they took a risk. Like I found out that all of these people did take a big, big risk. So, you know, you look at entrepreneurs and yes, you look at us and go, Hey, you guys have taken a big risk. But I also found there's a similar thing with the guys in a corporate job.
But again, that's another pattern. That's one pattern that I want to share with everyone because what, what was your big risk? My big risk was I left a corporate, I left a high and paying job to go do a startup. Right? That was a big risk that, that, you know, if I was to fail, I moved back with my parents in my parents' house, and for two years I made no money and yeah, no idea it was gonna work.
You know, I think I even mentioned I was looking for jobs before Unify took off because I, I just knew it wasn't right. You know, I feel you have to always take big risks, but even in business, right? If you. Sapp a business right now. You are gonna have to take some big, bold risks. Like I think one of the big challenges we have right now in all businesses, and this is a really interesting thread as well, is that I was catching up with one of the CEOs of the businesses that I actually founded, so I'd no longer run it.
And I asked him, Hey, what's the one big lesson that you've learned? And he goes, Do you know what Mike? all businesses and like 95% businesses, they don't actually truly know how they differentiate from the other companies. Like there is no real differentiation. It's like a really fluffy one. It's super fluffy.
So if you look at some of the greatest companies, they, they are usually quite differentiated, right? It might be through a genuine changing culture, like think of the likes of Apple or like, you know, Tesla, Or it could be like in finance, you go like Goldman Sachs. Their, their standards are just beyond crazy.
Like their interview process. I interview for Goldman Sachs is 20 interviews. I went to interview number. I got, I got to the 20th in like, I think I got to on interview like 17 or 18. I got rejected. I was so upset. Oh man. Oh man. Uh, no, no. I was upset. No, it's not that I was like dying, like obviously at that time you probably wanna work for Goldmans, but you, they put me through all that.
But that is also their, one of their differentiators is, You know, they're known for their interview process, but is that strong enough for an inter of a differentiator? But I think, you know, their culture is just so different. They just want literally the, the creme de la creme and aggressive high standards, like aggressive high standards.
They cut 10% of their employees every year. Right. Like the bottom 10%. Like that's super aggressive. Yeah. Again, that can be a differentiator, but going back to this thread, like I just feel, you know, whoever's in a job right now, or in a startup, wherever you. I, I love asking that question, like what is like in your company you're at or whatever you're working on, like tell me exactly that True, true differentiation, which is like honestly, you know, hand on heart, you can say, and you're not like BSing yourself.
This is a truly differentiated and it's so interesting, like I feel most people can't. Um, Cause even the examples I said before, you can argue, you know, they're not fully differentiated. But I think it's just so hard now and that that again goes back to risk. Cuz you have to go all in on something which you may not be sure of.
And you have to just keep on doubling triple quadrupling down on this one area. Like could go back the example of Apple. They, they, they'd quadruple down on their iPhone, right? Which the time might have. A big, bold, It was a big, bold decision. Right. I just feel, again, it goes back to taking risks and, you know, Does your management team or the exec team willing to double, quadruple down on something?
And I know it's, it's very, very rare. Yeah. Cause you're scared, you're scared.[:
I don't spend in the hospital. I'm losing sort of the finger on the pulse, so to speak. I'm, I'm losing that clin clinical acumen that, that experience that differentiates a good doctor from a phenomenal doctor. Right. But the way I see it is that if I don't double down or focus my energy into an area that I truly believe is gonna have a massive impact on as many people as possible, then you know, the trade off isn't worth it.
It the playing the safe route, it just, you know, for me it doesn't become a risk thing. It's like, Once you've bit in the forbidden apple and you see the state of play, there is no other option but to, to, to go down this path. Mm-hmm. That's the way I sort, I, I frame it in my head anyway. Uh, yeah, I, I, I'm sort of, uh, less inclined to think about it these days anyway, more recently as a, as a risk, but more like a risk to my happiness if I don't play the game the way I want to, uh, do it as well.
Tell me more about patterns, man. , I'm interested in the other things that you more,[:
Um, and you're working really long hours and it's quite intense. Um, you don't get much time with your family and your partner. Right. And you know, one thing I'm always fascinated about is like relationships, right? How do you make sure you have the best relationship with your partner and with your kids?
And the number one reason why, like, your future, your relationships sometimes don't work out with your partners. Actually, they didn't spend much time together while having kids. Mm-hmm. Um, actually it's a, it's a huge time where it separates cuz the studies out there that in the first few. Men don't actually have a big connection to the child.
They don't, they don't have that in a, you know, child connection as much as women. So sometimes what happens is guys start feeling really insecure and because they're like, Hey, how come the mothers have got such incredible connection with the child? And, um, I don't, And they start feeling really insecure and they actually start separating from the two.
And this is the moment when sometimes the woman has to bring the guy into the pack or the guy's just self-aware. And it just made me realize that like you have to. Have time to do this. Um, like, and I'm just thinking as well of like as your, as your child's evolving and growing, like I really wanna be there, like, and I haven't got kids, but I'm just future thinking right.
As just preparation for the future. So I'm just trying to make sure with my life, I'm not stuck. So you probably know this, but my, my calendar's pretty empty and stuff comes in as, and when I'm not, it's not that crazy. Sometimes it is if I've got something serious going on, like, you know, I'm setting a company or I'm raising money, but generally it's quite open.
So that is again, so I've realized, you know what the pattern is, is just the happiness of the future. I've realized the happiest people I know, they are not working crazy hours. Um, they're. Having a fulfilled life. And even goes back to that you, you know, I think we mentioned before in the story of the deathbed, what's the number one big, big regret everyone has before they die?
Um, is that they work too hard. Mm. And I'm aware of that. I, I put myself in this position where I don't have to work that hard or I don't have to work crazy hours. I'm, I'm not, no company really needs me. Um, I'm just an, I'm a, I'm a sprinkler. I'm the, you know, in Salt Bay where you sprinkle the salt, right?
I'm the go to sprinkle salt on the startups, as in when you need me, right? That's me. Um, . But yeah, so like, I, so that was another pattern. I recognize You like that one. There's more, more about[:talks about this in his like:
You know, just like conserving energy being lost with his thoughts and all the rest of it until he can do something big again and. Yeah, I've, I've, I've just been thinking about that through the perspective of where I wanna be when it comes to having, starting a family and all the rest of it. Um, And from selfish views then.
Yeah, absolutely. I don't think I could ever go back into full-time medicine. And the other thing I, we must have talked about on the other podcast, but the whole four day work thing, I'm very, very bullish on. I, I believe it's almost like, particularly in a day and age where we have computers and soon to have robots that will do most of the tasks of, of daily living.
Like it, it should be inevitable that we get to a four day work week. People might have some thoughts on this, but like, you know, Andrew Yang bringing to the mainstream this idea of universal basic income, something that's been percolating for, for many decades amongst, who's that dude then what's his background?idates in, uh, I think it was:
Hmm. I thought was great. Cause he comes from a democratic background, but anyway. Yeah. His idea, not his idea, but like his sort of like a message of giving everyone. A thou, I think it was like a thousand or $2,000 every month as a way to increase revenue and increase creativity and increase sort of happiness levels.
I thought was, was super interesting. And I think now, particularly in a post pandemic world, this idea of a university basic income is gonna become pretty, um, uh, mainstream. I actually had one of the professors on a guy standing on my podcast talking about universal basic income. Um, he's done a whole bunch of like real world studies in like, And he, he points to a bunch of studies from the Nordic countries as well.
But I think it comes down to culture. It's such[:[:
They're, they're realized in terms of our services. So the fact that, you know, if you break your arm, you walk into any NHS host in the country and you'll be sorted out near immediately, cuz it's likely gonna be an emergency or you might have to wait a few hours or whatever, but you definitely get some payment.
Yeah. Yeah. You, you would get some pain in the meantime. And if you needed a surgery to repair your ligament or whatever permanent damage you might have. Ascertained, you get that. Whereas in America, mate, you are[:[:
They think that's normal, whereas we think that's completely foreign. So this whole idea of universal basic income is very foreign to us. But then again, we're coming from. A, uh, a right-leaning society, whereas in the Nordic countries where you pay a huge amount in taxes, but you get the benefit of like an amazing educational system, an amazing, uh, national, uh, health service and all the rest of it, it's like, it's like the norm.
So, I don't know, I, I, I think it, I think it can be changed and I think it's key to happiness.[:
Like, cuz you can have a lifestyle. Business. Right. And that's enough. Or I believe we're gonna get more consultants or people may be leaving their job and setting up their own like agency or their own consultancy, so then they can just work when they want. Because, you know, when you look at the day rates of things you can get, it's, it's sometimes a lot more than your salary.[:
You can't do things like how you do in India, let alone in the pin in the village. So like it's, so I, I couldn't do that. Like, imagine like me go to, I can't even imagine going to somewhere like, Ba and sitting up shocked, you[:
Have a millionaire goes because it gives us an excuse to go on holiday, Right, Amsterdam and, Yeah. Maybe not my bag. They're speaking English that go, let's we make a thousand pounds in one day. That be, that be so fun. . Well, the producer, like, yeah, six. So great. It's, it's just, it's so much easier[:
Um, so anyway, yeah. I, I agree. I think the sentiment. People are gonna be a lot more entrepreneurs, uh, is[:[:
So like, they might set goals, so lots of people maybe have aspirations to be an entrepreneur or, or to, or to do something else, but they. Have a strategy for it. So it's almost like setting goals is you are, you're finding out what you want, but then you also need to know what works in the real world. So you need to see the patterns and develop a strategy for actually bringing that vision into[:
Yeah, a hundred percent. You need to know the vision and then you work backwards what the future looks like. And then you take action. Um, essentially, so, yeah. Yeah.[:
But then if you, if you have. Authentic part as well, then it seems to work well, uh, in terms of the one big risk, uh, so sometimes I think when you say risk, people, uh, miss the thing which enables the risk, which is insight. So you can't just take a risk. You actually need to see like, uh, an hidden truth. So a good example would actually be Rupe who saw, uh, he had an insight into food as medicine and he paired that with a risk.
If you just did like a. A risk without insight, that's not really gonna work. But when you have the risk with the insight, That could potentially work. And then there was also this element of doubling down on who you are. Because when you are authentic and you keep going with it, it, it doesn't really feel like a risk because you're sort of going with the current of yourself with nature, and it becomes, Easier than say if you are in a job that, that you don't like.
And then in terms of the NHS canteen, um, what the thing I found really interesting was, uh, something you Ruby mentioned about like contracts and money not changing hands, and there's this perception. Uh, that the payment is exposure. Uh, and it just got me thinking that like, if you are in a, the finance type world or in business, you, you can easily just say, Look, my goal is to make money and no one will judge you for it.
But if you are someone who's in the business of trying to make a positive impact, there's all these pauses on you to. Oh, you should be doing it for free or you should be doing it for the greater good. And, and people that really suffer with that I think are like doctors working in the nhs and there's almost like a cultural martyrdom sometimes that you, because you want to do good, you shouldn't make any profit.
And this is actually like, if you look into it, a problem that charities face because a lot of charities they start off with uh, good intentions, but they don't really have like a sustainable business model. And then they. End up falling prey to lobbying interests who fund them, and then they start pursuing goals they no[:
Yeah. There's a really good TED talk on that actually from memory about how charities need to operate, like profit, uh, maximizing businesses and actually, you know, get CEOs that are like top tier, uh, think about like their product, uh, as if they were in the market, uh, and they. You know, operating with grants or whatever, because that actually ultimately makes it a lot more sustainable.
Do you think you've[:[:
It becomes a lot easier to see actually what your, your true worth is. And I think that's why. The, the tyranny of like the nine to five, as it's called in some circles, um, becomes the bigger risk to, to someone like me than, you know, do doing it other way. And the, the irony is I probably work harder. I probably don't and work anything like a lion right now, but I feel like I'm a lion.
Hmm. But yeah, I got a long way to go. It's first step. First step. Yeah.
Happy Millionaire is produced by Fascinate Productions