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ProQuo Provokes

Author: Right Angles

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ProQuo Provokes is a series of one-on-one interviews with the leaders of brands who are taking on the well-established Goliaths in their industries. Hosted by ProQuo AI Founder and CEO Nadim Sadek, each episode explores how businesses with fresh ideas are disrupting industries and challenging the established players.
15 Episodes
In this episode, Nadim Sadek has a conversation with Rob Burns, Co-founder and President of Night Shift Brewing. Founded in 2007, the brewery began in a small kitchen on Josephine Avenue in Somerville, Massachusetts, with a trio of friends who shared a passion for homebrewing. In 2012 their hobby became a business, operating in a series of locations in Everett and Boston, and distributing to Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Maine and New Hampshire. In this discussion, Rob describes their business mission - to disrupt the wholesale landscape, with a portfolio spanning craft beer, wine, spirit and non-alcoholic beverage brands. He discusses how critical “superfans” have been to the product's overall success, especially in the early days. Lastly, Nadim provokes Rob’s thoughts on Night Shift’s legacy, what they stand for, and how they plan to stand the test of time. 
In this episode, Nadim Sadek has a conversation with Rita Clifton CBE, board director, author and entrepreneur. Starting her career as Vice Chair and Strategy Director at Saatchi & Saatchi, she later moved to Interbrand as their London CEO and Chair before co-founding the global brand consultancy BrandCap, in 2013. She is also a non-executive director on the board of businesses including Nationwide Building Society and Ascential. In this discussion, Rita describes her latest book ‘Love Your Imposter,’ and what imposter syndrome in the workplace is and how it impacted her career. She discusses what brands stand out to her, and why she finds Apple’s strategy so impressive. Lastly, Nadim provokes Rita’s ideas on what brands need to start doing differently in order to stand out, and what they will potentially look like in the future. 
In this episode, Nadim Sadek has a conversation with Alan Greenberg, venture partner at EDT Partners. The international consultancy network is dedicated to the business of formal education and lifelong learning. Alan’s previous leadership roles include chief executive of Gradience, and director of Apple Education EMEA - where he led the team who built Education Podcasting, managing the launch of iTunes U in the UK, Europe and China, and developed Apple Education mobile engagement and IOS education apps. In this discussion, Alan describes the significance of brand’s that continually engage with and empower its audience. He reflects on his time at Apple, and explains how a crucial component to future-proof your brand is being open to innovation and transformation. Lastly, Nadim provokes Alan’s thoughts on the role AI will play in the future of brand intuition. 
In this episode, Nadim Sadek has a conversation with Peter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC. Founded in 1884, the UK charity works to prevent abuse, help rebuild children’s lives and support families. Before this, Peter ran the Big Lottery Fund for 5 years, and was awarded a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours this year for services to children and young people in the charitable sector. In this discussion, Peter explains the ongoing challenges around branding and positioning your business correctly to serve different purposes. He describes the importance of brand’s that inspire and connect with their target audience. Lastly, Nadim provokes Peter’s thoughts on how to remain relevant to the younger generation, and make a positive contribution to their future. 
In this episode, Nadim Sadek has a conversation with Kara Goldin, Founder and CEO of Hint Water Inc. Founded in 2005, the San Francisco-based lifestyle company is best known for its award-winning unsweetened flavoured water, and their commitment to making a healthy lifestyle enjoyable. Prior to this venture, Kara worked in sales at Time Magazine and CNN, and served as VP of Electronic Commerce and Shopping at America Online. In this discussion, Kara guides us through how she came up with the idea for the brand, from struggling to live a healthy lifestyle, to building the business in her kitchen;  shares the greater significance of brands that have a deeper connection with their customers - in Hint’s case, their mission around healthy living. Lastly, Nadim provokes Kara’s thoughts on how central the role of the founder is to the brand and why she deems herself “an accidental entrepreneur.” 
In this episode, Nadim Sadek has a conversation with James Hewes, President and CEO of FIPP. Founded in France in 1925, it is one of the world’s leading membership organisations - empowering members to build market-leading international media businesses through intelligence, solutions and partnerships. Before this, he worked across BBC Worldwide and BBC Magazines for over a decade, and subsequently became publishing director for Top Gear, Good Food, Easy Cook and Lonely Planet Magazine, responsible for brands across print and mobile applications. In this discussion, James gives a behind-the-scenes take on his experience at the BBC, and the many lessons learned working for one of the country’s most iconic brands; and shares his thoughts on the many ways that brands have had to pivot, to thrive in an increasingly virtual world. Lastly, Nadim provokes James’ thoughts on the future of business and trends in the branding world that are here to stay...  
In this episode, Nadim Sadek has a conversation with Wade Eyerly, Co-founder and Chief Executive of Degree Insurance. Founded in 2017, the startup is working to remove the risks inherent in seeking higher education in America by guaranteeing that students make more money by graduating from college. Before this, he pioneered the all-you-can-fly subscription airline model as co-founder and CEO of Surf Air, and later Beacon. In this discussion, Wade describes how the brand ‘Degree Insurance’ came into being, with the freedom of re-branding being a key tenet of its early stages before it became what it is today; Wade explains his passion for investing - a career fuelled by new inventive ideas and business opportunities. Lastly, Nadim provokes Wade’s thoughts on the best and worst moves of his career to date. 
In this episode, Nadim Sadek has a conversation with Dominic Smales, Founder and Former CEO of Gleam Futures, an influencer marketing agency and management company for some of the brightest social media stars in the UK and US. They specialise in taking digital-first talent and developing them in television, publishing, licensing, brands and films. In this discussion, Dominic gives a behind-the-scenes take on guiding the careers of some of the world’s biggest influencers including Zoe Zugg (aka Zoella), Tanya Burr and Jim Chapman; explains the importance of building “authentic brands,” facilitating and not disrupting the tight connection between the influencer and their community, and Nadim provokes Dominic’s thoughts on the sustainability of this form engagement and brand management.*This episode was recorded in December 2020, before Dominic left the company
In this episode, Nadim Sadek has a conversation with Juliet Scott-Croxford, chief executive of Worth Media. The global media platform embraces ‘Worth beyond Wealth’ to aid its successful and influential community to be their best selves. In this discussion, Juliet describes how she led the business through its transformation from a print magazine to a content brand and event platform. They explore ‘Worth’ as a brand, and how it has adapted digital to further its reach and importantly, learn more about their audience. Lastly, Nadim provokes Juliet’s thoughts on Worth’s place in a crowded sector, and the many ways it continues to innovate and modernise to remain relevant and impactful. 
In this episode, Jason Trost, chief executive and founder of Smarkets joins Nadim for a conversation about his latest business venture, Smarkets. The company simplifies peer-to-peer betting on hundreds of markets daily. One of the world’s largest betting exchanges, their platform has handled over £8 billion worth of bets since launching in 2010 - becoming one of the fastest-growing companies in Europe. Jason describes  how he built his brand from the ground-up, bringing about a new style of betting and disrupting the industry; explains the significance of a values-led proposition and business model, and his passion to invariably improve the product. Lastly, Nadim provokes Jason’s thoughts on his own leadership style, and how it has shifted from an “aggressive sports coach model,” to a more supportive “Oprah-like model.” 
In this episode, Nadim has a conversation with Sharon Davies, chief executive of Young Enterprise. Founded in 1962, the national charity focuses on the potential of the UK’s young people, and believes that an academic education isn’t enough. They motivate young people to succeed and aim to equip them with the skills, knowledge and confidence needed in the ever-changing workplace. Together, Nadim and Sharon discuss Young Enterprise’s heritage and the long legacy behind the brand. They also explore how the strong use of campaigning can build brand identity and encourage engagement from the public. And Nadim provokes Sharon’s thoughts on how the charity sector can work to stay at the forefront of the public psyche during a global pandemic. 
In this episode, Nadim chats to Will Butler-Adams, managing director of Brompton Bicycle. Founded in 1975, the unique bike manufacturer makes over 45,000 bikes per year and has Brompton Junction stores in major cities around the world, including Milan and New York. Together, they discuss how Brompton have taken the world by storm, and attempt to get to the root of why people are so attracted to the brand. They delve into Brompton’s bike hire scheme and how two key central strands - exercise for mental health, and cycling more open to aid global sustainability efforts, are to the use of the product. Nadim provokes Will’s ideas on the tech and innovation behind the product and how they are “redefining urban living”. 
In this episode, Nadim is joined by Bess Freedman, chief executive of Brown Harris Stevens. The luxury real estate brokerage aids high-net-worth clients based in the Manhattan district of New York City. Graduating with a degree in law, she then moved to the Corcoran Group’s East Side headquarters as their managing director. Together, they discuss how the brokerage has pivoted amidst the pandemic, and continues to foster positive client relations virtually; she shares how their brand prides itself on its culture and reputation, and how it’s become the staple of the business; and Nadim provokes Bess’ thoughts on recent US “truth decay,” and her predictions for the economy moving forward.
In this episode, our host Nadim talks to Dr Simon Hayward, chief executive of Cirrus. The firm provides leadership development and change programmes to international organisations across a range of sectors. With over 30 years’ experience, Simon has advised major clients, including Marks and Spencer and HSBC to become more agile through technology and responding to customer demands. In this episode, they discuss Simon’s most recent book, ‘The Agile Leader,’ which focuses on leaders guiding their teams towards stability and prosperity. They explore how Simon built the Cirrus brand from the ground up, and how he’s driving it into the future, and Nadim zeroes in on Simon’s feelings surrounding  the current political climate - Brexit and the government’s response to the Coronavirus. 
In the first episode, Nadim chats to Julio Bruno, chief executive of the Time Out Group. Previously TripAdvisor’s Global Vice President of Sales, he’s also held senior global positions at companies such as Travelport, Regus, Energizer and Diageo. In addition, Julio continues to be involved with the global start-up community as an investor and board advisor, which remains a passion close to his heart. Together, they discuss how he has helped transform the iconic brand into a multi-platform media spanning entertainment, retail and e-commerce - and his plans for the business’s future; describes the impact of the digital era on the printed page, and changes in consumer engagement with the media more generally; and Nadim provokes Julio’s thoughts on the recent US election result.
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