My top 8 travel apps

1. CityMapper

Citymapper iconThis is the ultimate travel app, great if you live in London or New York. It’s made me healthier, greener – and richer – since I started to use it because I walk so much more.

It shows you how to get from A to B by any route, gives real-time information about anything and everything transport-connected – the progress of your nearest bus, where the nearest cycle docks are and how many bikes are left there, tube delays, the weather, the disruptions and more. It even tells you how much the different routes will cost, how long it takes to walk to every tube line, and how many calories you will burn if you walk or cycle.

2. Kayak

kayak_icon 2This is the best travel search site that I’ve found and I use it all the time for cheap fares, care hire and hotel bookings. As well as bookings, you can also use it to track your flights, look up baggage fees and find out the phone numbers of all the airlines.

I’ve got the Pro version which even has maps of the terminals at 100 airports.

The Power of Partnerships

Let me tell you a story. It’s about a chap called Tony.

I first met Tony in 2002.

He was one of a group of international businessmen I met when I was presenting my business and concept, Retail Profile.

There was a Spaniard from Spain, a Swede from Scandinavia and a German from Germany – all running different outdoor poster media companies across Europe. And then there was a New Yorker from Russia. And that was Tony.

About Retail Profile

Retail Profile logo

Retail Profile pioneered the concept now seen across Europe of leasing modern kiosks to small retailers in the common areas of shopping centres, railway stations, airports and other venues.

I founded it in 2001, starting off with a shared computer and just one member of staff. I had seen the concept working in the USA and realised there was a gap in the market when I came to the UK.

The business grew quickly and in 2003 won the Small Business of the Year Award in the London Business Awards.

It is a niche business which is perfect for pop-up shops and experiential marketing, allowing small businesses to test or promote a new product or service in a low-risk environment.

They can gain a valuable first step on the retail ladder – while at the same time the venues gain a valuable new revenue stream.

Our retail clients range from Marks and Spencer to Oxfam, from Samsung to the Germany Post.

After some financial issues in 2004, we went into receivership. I found investors very quickly, so was able to buy the company back and restart as Retail Profile Europe Ltd.

The new business has been hugely successful, working with thousands of small businesses, the most successful of which have gone onto to expand and secure both larger and longer term rentals.

One of my key ambitions was to export the concept abroad and we expanded to two European countries, Russia and Germany. In each case I customised the business model to suit the culture and business environment of the country.

In 2008 I set up a licensed partnership, Retail Profile Russia, and in 2010 a wholly owned subsidiary, Retail Profile Europe GmbH.

We successfully merged the business with the largest competitor, the Space and People Group, a PLC listed company, in 2010.

The company now has offices in London, Glasgow, Hamburg, Moscow and Delhi and over 110 employees. I successfully exited in 2014 to focus full time on training and leadership and set up this business, Bold Clarity.

21 things you don’t know about me

  1. When I was little, my mom took me to an archaeological dig at an Indian burial ground and I wanted to be an archaeologist. I was obsessed with getting an open top jeep, dressed in khakis from head to toe with long floppy hat, and I thought having brushes and move dirt would be amazing. It probably suited my detail orientated mind
  2. My second toe is far longer than my first – I’ve heard it’s a sign of intelligence!
  3. If I could have one food for the rest of my life, it would be sushi
  4. I’m a pescatorian/vegetarian, so I won’t eat anything with feet – for health reasons, but I’m happy for other people to eat our furry and feathered friends
  5. I drink herbal tea and avoid too much caffeine – I have so much energy, goodness knows what I’d be like if I had more
  6. In my mid 20s, I was a Plus size model and made quite a bit of money in print advertising. I lost the weight and never put it on again
  7. I have natural curly hair, but the trend is sleek and glossy so I have it blown out most weeks.
  8. When I was little, I collected stamps and keys
  9. I love to bake