My career has been fueled by my passion for looking at ways to grow businesses through using putting customers at the heart of the business and improving customer experiences through innovation, improved customer service and the introduction of new technologies to deliver new customer centric solutions.
Following a sabbatical in 2000-01, where I sailed on 2 legs of a round the world yacht race, I took the plunge and put my money where my mouth was and developed an online community business proposition for business travelers, initially called the activity site, then converted into a white label service aimed at loyalty program owners in the hospitality, airline and online travel industries. Since then I have split my time between working on fee based client projects and funding the research and development of new customer centric online solutions.
Following a consultancy project in 2011, I met with an online travel company and was inspired to carry out research into the the current use of social channels, online customer review communities, mobile technology and destination information. The result was the development of a custoemr centric city-breaks business propostion focused on the end to end customer journey from searching to booking to in destination travel guides.
kukutana – social business cafe
Kukutana means “to meet one another” in Swahili and in 2009, I created an online and offline social media cafe called Kukutana. The goal was to utilise online social tools and an offline venue, initially locally in South West London and moved to central London, as a learning experience in using these tools to create a new brand based on delivering knowledge and value to the community members both at the offline events and on an on-going basis on the online community website, LinkedIn forums and provide updates through twitter and email bulletins.
uweza – social network and online community proposition for health and fitness industry
Inspired by my personal training experience during my preparation for climbing Kilimanjaro, in 2008, I took some time out to develop a new business proposition called, Uweza an online and mobile health and fitness service for gym members, participants in sport, individuals taking part in physical challenges or having rehabilitation following an injury, illness or operation. Uweza was aimed at Sporting Organisations, Health and Fitness Service Providers, Sport and Lifestyle Brands and Mobile Service Providers.
online community customer loyalty (2002-04)
As a frequent business traveller, I was a member of a couple of hotel and airline loyalty programs and decided to adapt my dotcom solution to be a Software as a Service model which could provide complimentary functionality to loyalty programs and provide a platform for the individual loyalty programs to
- create an online community of their members, where they could connect with each other,
- provide members with the opportunity to network while on business trips
- find activities to do when staying away from home
- share destination and travel tips
the activity site (2001-02)
The Activity Site was my first venture in the online community centered business social network space.
The Activity Site was a subscription based online community for business travelers which enabled them to find other business travelers in the same city as them with free time on their hands and provided a directory of sport, leisure and cultural activities for them to find, book and pay for to do on their own or with one or more other members.
The revenue model was a combination of subscription services and commission on activities from the community. I met with a couple of angel investors in London, Boston and Toronto, whose feedback was to develop this into a proposition for corporate customers, which resulted in this evolving into an online community based loyalty proposition for the hotel, airline, online travel and credit card markets.