“A lot of businesses deliver a product to the market which is going to generate profits, not positively impact health. For us, we were all about impacting health, delivering a high quality product to as many people as possible and making it convenient for them to access. Because we made that purpose our North Star, people noticed the difference.” – Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu, CEO at The Turmeric Co.
Imagine experiencing powerful relief from inflammation and pain, all from natural ingredients. That's what our guest, Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu, co-founder of the Turmeric Co., discovered through his journey of creating a unique turmeric-based blend. Join us as Thomas shares how this product not only transformed his athletic career, but also the lives of countless others seeking a healthier, more functional lifestyle.
Dive into the challenges Thomas faced in manufacturing a truly functional health beverage, and how his dedication to product quality, owning the manufacturing process, and taking a science-backed strategy led to the creation of a brand that truly stands out in the market. We also discuss the importance of diverse education opportunities for athletes, as well as the growing alignment between sports and healthy choices in consumer brands.
Finally, learn how data and technology, can revolutionize your business by improving inventory control, eliminating packing mistakes, and increasing efficiency. Discover how these innovations not only unlock growth potential but also enhance the customer experience, ultimately fueling your business's success. Don't miss this enlightening conversation with Thomas Robson-Khanu, as we explore the world of natural nutrition, business growth, and the power of data and technology.
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Hello, i'm Caroline and welcome to the Lightning 50 E-commerce growth hacking podcast brought to you in association with Peoplevox, the warehouse management system helping ambitious E-commerce businesses scale. Today with me I have Thomas Robson-Carno. He is the co-founder of the Tureco. You may actually know our guest as the professional footballer who's played for the likes of Reading, west Brom and Wales, but did you know? he's actually been growing one of the UK's most exciting health brands Natural, potent, on-the-go drinks that support health and wellbeing. Welcome to the podcast, thomas. I'm really excited to learn more about your company. How are you doing?Speaker 2:
Great. Thank you very much for having me, caroline. Yes, i'm doing very well, thank you.Speaker 1:
So tell us a little bit about the Tureco. What are you up to there?Speaker 2:
Yeah, so the Tureco is, as you mentioned, a functional health food beverage business And we launched in 2018. And essentially it was on the premise of bringing a range of natural but functional, high quality turmeric based shots to market, And these shots were actually created by my father And I had been using them for a decade earlier. They essentially allowed me to recover naturally from two major surgeries I had had as a teenager And the physio and the doctors at the time after going through two years worth of surgeries. As I began recovering and getting back into planing and training, i was just constantly hampered with inflammation, pain and restriction, so the doctors and physios began prescribing me anti-inflammatories. So I began taking things like ibuprofen, paracetamol, diclofenac, which are all very common. However, my body had an adverse reaction to them, so I started passing blood in my urine, had severe nausea, couldn't sleep And, again, these symptoms are very common as well for a lot of people. So I was almost in between a rock and a hard place, where I couldn't shift this pain or inflammation because nothing was dealing with the root cause, but, at the same time, i couldn't consume anything or what was being prescribed to me by the healthcare professionals at the time. So my father and I basically went on a research binge and we began looking at all various different natural ingredients, various different cultures around the world, various different practices, ranging from, you know, ayurvedic practices to ancient Asian and ancient East cultures, and a lot of the key ingredients which were purported to impact and reduce pain and inflammation were actually like readily accessible in local markets and in supermarkets. So things like watermelon, things like pine or full things that pomegranate, things like ginger, and then subsequently things like turmeric root. But the big thing that we were seeing was that it was all about having it in this rawest format and in blends which were both bioavailable and also supportive of one another. So, you know, it wasn't about taking it in a capsule, in a powder, in a pill form. It was like I need to be consuming these foods as raw as possible. And so my father basically began sourcing all of these natural ingredients from the local supermarkets, from the farmers markets around us and from the markets around us international markets, and essentially was able to gather them all together and began turning them into this sort of blend, and originally it started off as a paste, but again I touched it on my tongue and I was like that's just disgusting. There's no way I could consume that regularly because, again, the biggest thing was about regular and consistent use, which always anything natural is always about that anyway. And eventually, you know, we went back to reiterating it and developed this golden elixir in a small glass cup and I began consuming it. And the first 24 hours of consuming this golden blend, i immediately noticed an impact in my energy And a big reason for that, looking back retrospectively, was the fact that my body was just nutrient deficient in as much. As you know, i grew up and I would. All I would eat was plain pasta, plain chicken and baked beans. So when you look at, like the macro, micro nutrients that I was actually consuming, you know my body was just severely lacking in a lot of key nutrients and had never experienced, you know, the combination and the array of, obviously, nutrients and blends and compounds in this blend. So I was like, okay, i definitely feel a difference in my energy, so I'm going to just stick with it. After two, three weeks of taking it, my father would create these batches every few days and leave them in my fridge. I began noticing that I didn't have as much restriction post activity, but the pain and information and swelling was certainly there, but it was about six weeks of using the product that I woke up usual routine roll out a bed head into the bathroom and into the shower, and it was in that shower, at a moment in time, that I realized that that was the first time in over two and a half years I had woken up without any pain or restriction, and so it was a massive light bulb moment for me, and it completely changed my perspective in terms of natural nutrition And actually also what authorities and people in power tell you, because actually you know, if you look at solutions and look at innovation yourself, you can make a difference to your life. And so, yeah, i basically did that. Within a year I was able to make my first team professional debut, pain free. A year after that made my international debut, and the after that I made my primary debut and subsequently went on to use this blend as my secret weapon throughout my career, and I began noticing that I would then recover quicker than my teammates. You know I wouldn't get run down as much during winter season, when the flu was, you know, everywhere, and we began, as a family, prescribing it to friends and family, so if someone had an ache or a pain or chronic issue, we would just make batches for them And we began, you know, basically like curing people like my aunt who had arthritis in her fingers, you know my uncle who had chronic back pain, you know neighbors and then obviously teammates as well, began using it. And so it got to a point in 2016 where, you know, i was in a local store in London And I saw two of them make sure on the shelf and, you know, bought it, really excited because up until this point, my father had ruined, you know, dozens of blenders And, as he had stained fingers constantly, every utensil in the kitchen was stained yellow, you know, from to sort of a decade of producing this blend. So to see the convenient solution sitting on the shelf as a turmeric shot, i was blown away. So I bought it, went, went to get back to my dad's and we went to drink it together And we literally spat it out. We couldn't believe how inferior it was to what we were creating at home. And it was only at that point in time where we actually spun the bottle and looked at the ingredients in that bottle And we realized that the base ingredient was apple juice. It had less than 2% turmeric. That turmeric was actually turmeric powder, so a spice, not a functional ingredient, and there were no other natural functional ingredients which supported the benefits of, obviously, you know the active compounds. So, yeah, we realized that there was a massive gap in the market between consumers looking for true functional natural products and businesses actually supplying that to them. And so, you know, we basically decided to bring our product range to market and went on a two year journey and eventually launched the business in 2018.Speaker 1:
Incredible. So you were taking that secret weapon to the mass market in 2018. And how did you then drive that over the last five years into a multimillion pound business that it is today?Speaker 2:
Yeah, so I think the biggest thing for us has always been about the product. Like you know, we could have easily cut corners at any time. You know, the biggest one would have been in the manufacture process. So we are one of the only UK businesses who manufacture their own product right So within this category, and what that allowed us to do was control the quality of every single shot leaving our site. And the biggest thing for that was we had to make a massive investment in terms of that setup. And when you looked at the manufacturing industry, the reason why we had to go down that route was because we spoke to all of the leading juice beverage food, you know manufacturers in the UK and Europe And none of them would produce the product for us. And the reason why was because they said that the quality of the ingredients that we used was too high, so it wouldn't be cost effective. And then the process itself was too complex. They just want to deal with juices shipped in from whether it's China or Asia or India, which are frozen, pre-processed, pasteurized, and then they'll mix that into a blend with other juices which have processed, very little nutritional value, zero functional value, and then sprinkle some functional ingredient of powder into the product and call the product that name and claim that it's a functional product. And so, yeah, like that was a massive eye opener for us where, basically, we were refused manufacturing from, you know, a lot of the big players in the space because no one wanted to deliver a truly functional product. So we almost, like, started the reverse of what sort of the majority of businesses do. Businesses will typically, you know, look at a market, identify, you know, an opportunity to capture that market in terms of, you know, profit margin and growth, and then will lead that as their North Star. So, you know, a lot of businesses, when they deliver a product to the market, it's a product which is going to generate profits, not positively impact health. So for us, like, we were all about impacting health, delivering a high quality product to as many people as possible and making it convenient for people to consume our range. And so, because we made that our purpose and our North Star, as soon as we were able to deliver it, people began noticing the difference. People began experiencing the benefits that we have experienced. You know, internally, myself as a family, our friends, you know other athletes per se, but then actually, the people that we're impacting. Now our customer demographic is actually 35 to 55, you know, people who are conscious of their health but also conscious that natural nutrition is always the best option Positively impact their health. So, yeah, it's been. You know it's been having that as our focus allowed us to then grow relatively organically because of the products. You know it became a product in demand, it became a product that people would talk about and we ultimately leveraged that to build community, build brand, you know, build content which we then shared to new audiences, shared to, you know, new potential customers, new potential markets. But the interesting thing is, in every market in every sort of product category is the same. You know there's so much competition, but from our perspective it was about how can we validate our product. So the biggest validation is ultimately, you know, sort of customer testimonials and the actual impact that the product has on people's lives, truly. But then we also went down the route of clinical research. So we've become, you know, the only product in this market to have clinically backed supporting research on the impacts that our product has on inflammation and pain reduction, and so no other product in the world within our category has that. Because they couldn't, you know, and what I mean by that is, their product wouldn't have an impact, it wouldn't have a benefit, there would be no tangible difference, whereas what we're doing, we're clinically proving it, but also creating a community of people who are then experiencing it too.Speaker 1:
Mm-hmm, I mean that trend. There you touched on convenience and health and, obviously, coming off the back of a pandemic, everyone suddenly became so much more aware of their health and being as healthy as possible and as well as grabbing things to go from the retail shelves, right, So that's kind of a perfect storm there. But, as you said, there's quite a lot of competition coming into this space, whether it's from juices or similar shot type things that you're selling. How do you get this message across that you you know you're using the whole product. You've got clinical trials with all this data that's backing up its properties. How do you get that across, compared to other products on the markets and get that knowledge across the consumers to get them on board with you?Speaker 2:
Yeah. So the biggest thing around this is education. So you know we are working extremely hard to educate consumers and educate the market. You know there's products on the market which are ambient, which means they are pasteurized, and pasteurization depletes up to 90% of the nutritional value of a product. So what that means is, if you're having a apple juice with a shot a functional shot which has a base of like 90% apple juice which is ambient, which means it's then been pasteurized, like you're literally getting like the worst level of functional benefit of any type of product possible, but it's being, you know, sold and sits on shelf. But the biggest thing for us is, you know, we've done a lot of research into this category and the research in terms of consumer research, and the research tells us that consumers are looking for benefit. And so for us, it's not a case of, okay, we need to. You know, run massive marketing campaigns. You know we need to be doing, you know, sort of massive out of home awareness campaigns. You know top, you know top line marketing campaigns like that's all fine and well and good, but for us, like, the product will be the thing that differentiates us from every other brand on the market and every other product. So the reason why is that when we have a customer, they're not going to go to another product or another brand because the product speaks for itself, and so for us that's the biggest thing in terms of maintaining that quality and ensuring that consumers experience the benefit that obviously a load of customers have already experienced.Speaker 1:
And I guess it helps having your story behind this. You know you're a name in the sports world. It's not like you've just thrown your name against a brand that you have you like, or something like this. This is something that has been part of your family, your father's story, your story. I suppose that helps as well, right, And? but your story is quite interesting And I'd love to touch on that a little bit, because you decide to leave the world of professional sport in 2021, despite being offered contracts and things like that. So do you think that was helpful in terms of the business, obviously being able to throw yourself into it, but was actually quite a hard decision for you to make?Speaker 2:
I think, like being a professional footballer is, you know, one of the best jobs in the world. Like you cannot beat it. You know you're basically doing what you wanted to do as a kid, as an adult, and getting paid for it and adored by, you know, thousands of fans. But for me personally, like I was always aware of the fact that any career in terms of sport is relatively short the most part So, you know, moving into sort of overseeing the business full time or being able to dedicate my full amount of time into the business was, you know it wasn't a tough decision because again I revert back to the vision and mission of the business You know our goal is to service, you know, and impact the lives of 100 million people through our product, and you know that's what we want to do. And so, as much as I sort of, you know, love being involved in a footballing environment, like it's very rare that you can also be in an industry and have a product or an offering which can positively impact society, you know, when you look at it. You know one in four kids now leave primary school obese. You know there's never been more heart disease. There's never been more chronic, you know obesity, like there's a massive pandemic out there when it comes to health. So society is in need of nutrition products and brands which are here to support people and enhance their lives. You know when do you ever go to the doctors and they talk to you about longevity? You know how do they. When do they ever say look, if you try and implement this into your diet, you know this could potentially add five years to your life, 10 years to your natural life, like that's never even spoken about. However, you know it needs to be, because at the minute, we're doing the complete opposite. You know life expectancy in terms of, you know chronic issues and ailments like it's, it's right, so, yeah, so I think like the bigger mission and the bigger vision of what we are doing as a company ultimately allowed me to make that decision. You know relatively easily And, yeah, obviously you know the business itself. as I said, you know we're, we're, we've run a relatively successful business. You know we've, we've delivered. You know relatively good growth, but we have, you know, global ambitions And you know what we've just done within the business. You know, since I've finished playing football, i wouldn't have been able to do that, having been playing football. At the same time, you know we've we've invested massively in terms of our infrastructure. You know we've run, you know of world first sort of clinical trials on the product. You know we've impacted, you know, thousands upon thousands of more people. We've partnered across, you know, elite sports, but we're now partnering across healthcare as well. And we've also, you know, increased our manufacturing capacity to allow us to really serve more customers with a high quality product at scale. And that's allowing us to now have the opportunity to launch into retail, you know, to begin educating retail as a market. Because, again, you know, when we look at the juice category, when you look at the food functional beverage category, you know 99% of those products are full of apple juice, full of water used. You know low levels of functional, poor quality ingredients and ultimately have little to zero impact on the consumer's health. And, like I said before you know this category, what consumers are looking for is functional benefit. They're looking for a positive impact to their health. And when 99% of the products on the market actually offer zero positive impact, you're limiting the market growth and the market opportunity. So for us, we want to redefine the category and actually raise the bar of what is called and classed as truly functional and beneficial for health.Speaker 1:
And I mean you're being quite modest, i think, when we're talking about growth being quite good and relatively good, but we'll get to that in a moment It seems like you've been quite business savvy to have this platform to move into once you chose to leave your football career. But other sportsmen, or even looking in other industries such as modeling you know these people. You wish you could go on forever. Is there any guidance within football or support to support players that are looking to leave the game and move on to, i don't know, start their own businesses? Is there anything else wider there? Did you get any help from any associations, trade unions or even players or coaches?Speaker 2:
No, unfortunately not, And I think the reality is like football in itself. Obviously every sport is very similar, but football is such a competitive industry And so the churn rate of footballers coming and going is ultimately relatively high. So, you know the season finishes, you know some footballers will leave the art of contract be sold, retire, decide not to play, decide to have a break, but the churn rate is so constant and you're already preparing for next season. So there isn't a infrastructure in place And, don't get me wrong, there should be, because it is a disgrace that there isn't But there should be an infrastructure in place that deals with and supports players and coaches and managers. You know, post career, because you know I finished playing professional football in 2021. You know, i wasn't contacted by the Premier League, i wasn't contacted by the FA, i wasn't contacted by the football league. You know, and it's like for me, obviously I'm relatively independent and I'm, you know, i've got a vision, i've got a focus and I'm very busy. So it wasn't a issue for me. But actually, if you were to wind it back and say you know there was an issue, an underlying issue, a problem, etc. Etc. Like there was no fundamental support there, which was, you know, which was extended, and I think that's a big issue when it comes to sport. When you then begin to look at the data and again, data, data is king. You know data. You have to be able to understand data in any industry. But when you look at the data around, you know professional athletes finishing football and the decline that they experience in their life. It is, you know, horrific. And there's a reason why because when you assess what they've been focused on and where their energy has been for the last 15, 20 years, it's been on a single thing And of course, like, don't get me wrong, it has to be, you have to be focused and committed, but actually that's a detriment to when that finishes, because you know, if you are fully focused, single minded, that's all you're ever going to know. So for me personally, like, i would encourage you know diverse education opportunities. You know exploration. You know. What else do you like? you know, are you interested in finance? Are you interested in, you know, health care? Are you interested in? you know, entrepreneurship, businesses, you know operations, international travel, what is it that gets you know, like, have these, have a platform and have a, you know, common ground which allows players to explore this, at least to explore this during their career and encourage it. You know, like, imagine, imagine in football. You said, okay, you know, a week, a week, a week of every season, each player is offside, you know. So you're not on site, you don't train, you're offside and you are doing something completely different. You know you're going into experience and you're working in an industry worth, in a factory you're going in but actually like be integrated in a different environment, whether it's a different business, trade organization, group, association, whatever it is. You know, and just to stimulate that thought process and the interest to then begin taking it up, and when you look at it, you know I was as a, you know, as a footballer, being interested in other things outside of football. It could often be, you know, sort of seen as detrimental and look down upon and frowned upon, and so I had to be at times I had to be really, you know, sort of steadfast and say, well, no, like this I can choose what I want to do, like, as long as I'm giving 100% in what I'm doing, whether it's on the pitch, on the weekend, on the training ground, then that's all you need to worry about. But when I finished training at 1pm. If I decided to open my laptop and run a business which is you know which scaled into a multimillion pound business, that's my decision. You don't try and dictate that to me or look or say that's negatively impacting what I do on the pitch, because it wasn't. It was actually the contrary. And so when you look at a lot of players when you finish training at 1pm, they'll say, okay, rest. You, of course, physically rest, but mentally you can stimulate yourself. You know read books, you know educate, like understand, learn different things, learn a language, learn a instrument. But the reality is is players will finish at 1pm and then go sit at home on the couch and play FIFA until 1am in the morning, but then that's like, okay, yeah, that's what they're resting. And then you're like, oh, that's fantastic. Well, no, like how about you channel that? Don't be a, you know, don't be a. You know just a. You know you're not a child anymore, you know it's fine. Video games are fantastic, gaming is amazing and gaming is an industry in itself. If that's the industry, then set that up. You know, get that. You know, if that's what you're doing, then that should then be your path, and this is my point. So you know, i think there isn't enough encouragement from clubs, associations so on and so forth in all sports to encourage thought process around after sport, and then there is zero infrastructure for after sport care as well.Speaker 1:
And it's such a shame, and I guess it's all about kind of nurturing that side. Hustles become quite a buzzword in the last, like what 5, 10 years or something, but just having something else that interests you, rather than just being part of this all consuming thing that just drains you at the end, i suppose, and just really giving you something to stimulate you and mean that when you come back refreshed, you're refreshed in mind and body. It's so interesting Staying with the industry for a second as well, and I find it really fascinating that you're now obviously behind this health and well being drinks brand when, generally speaking, sports tends to partner with drinks brands that don't necessarily fall into that area. That often is quite like energy drinks or who knows, but do you think that's kind of changing? so sport is aligning naturally with things that are healthy, which makes sense because it's bought to what? how do you feel about that?Speaker 2:
Yes, it's, it's. It's so funny really, and it's it's amazing when you actually dive into it. When you have Coca-Cola, you know which is a product which will deteriorate your health when used consistently as a staple part of your nutrition. Being the main sponsor of the FIFA World Cup right, which is influencing kids, every kid I remember my first World Cup. I can remember the players act on what they're wearing. I can remember the sponsoring like and so the influence that they have over the consumer decisions that are made is massive, and they know it. Of course, that's why they are spending the level of spend that they are to secure those types of rights. When you look at the FA, you know their lead sponsor is McDonald's for children's football, excuse me, like that is a disgrace, like whoever signed that deal with the FA. It is a disgrace. And you cannot say that, oh, they're funding the sport. Well, no, they're also impacting negatively the health of society, because what this is doing is it's conditioning the next generation to accept these brands and these products as part of a staple part of their lives. They're not. They're treats. They should be consumed in that way. And actually, when you look at these big organizations, they are doing a lot of subliminal marketing and subliminal messaging to influence the consumer decision. An example is that they've convinced a lot of people that it's actually more cost effective to eat fast food and junk food than it is to eat clean food, you know, so highly nutritious food. And an example of that is you know, you can go to McDonald's and buy a full meal from McDonald's for under £10 for the whole family, yeah, and that's classed as cheap. But you can also go to an Asda by a whole chicken, by a massive bag of potatoes, by a load of fruit and veg, for probably under £5 or £6, definitely under £7 and feed your family for two meals And actually offer them a nutritious meal. And so this type of subliminal messaging, which is influencing the consumer pattern and consumer behavior, is, as I said, impacting the health of society negatively. And then you know, the result of that is, as I said before, one in four kids now leave primary school obese a horrific, you know, statistic, but a factual one. And so, yeah, when you look at sports in general and then when you look at the clubs, these clubs and associations they have a responsibility in terms of who they partner with. But the amazing thing for us as a brand is that we are seeing an awakening happen with these clubs and with these organizations where they are actually aligning with health, wellness. You know food, first, nutritious. You know positive brands which offer products and services to people as their partners and main partners. And the only way that you know that can continue to scan is if there is the opportunity, if these brands are given the opportunity, to partner with these types of you know businesses and clubs and associations. And so, yeah, i think there's definitely an awareness of growing. But you cannot, you like, i cannot emphasize enough like the impact that you know a club partnering with a junk food or a fast food or high sugar fat salt brand has on their four year old, five year old, six year old supporter, because they will be more likely to consume that product on a repeated basis and have it as a staple part of their nutrition, as opposed to a treat or a snack, which is what it should be.Speaker 1:
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Yeah, no, i think, as I said, what we've done as a business, we've invested massively into our infrastructure, whether it be our physical infrastructure, our business infrastructure, the way that we work, understanding our consumers. At the research side, and a big part of what we did was to begin to validate the product. So in 2021, we were looking for a research partner to basically run our own clinical trial, and what we were looking for was a team who are forward thinking, aware that nutrition does have an impact on health. When you look at the famous saying, let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food, that's a famous saying from Hippocrates, and actually that is so true it's insane. So we now know, and we're becoming conscious that, look, what you put into your body can influence you in the same way that medicine influences you. Now, that doesn't mean that your food is now claiming to be a medicine. No, this food is claiming to be a food, but we're also claiming that it can positively impact your health, and so there's a lot of laws and legality around that where, actually, unless you are a licensed medicine, you actually can't make any health claims about food. So we've obviously been very aware of this and we've been building infrastructure around what we're doing, and the big thing for us is that we wanted to validate that. Look, we've got thousands of testimonials where customers are saying they used the product for three, four, six weeks and they're now pain free. You know they had a specific element, chronic issue, have gone through surgery And by using the product they've been able to naturally recover. So we were like, oh, this is just insane, like, so how can we validate this? So basically, we identified a research partner and that research partner was Nottingham Trendy University And we looked at various different you know sort of cohorts and demographics. And so we leveraged one of our sports partnerships you know we're partnered with over 40 different sports teams work with, you know, over 100 different nutritionists you know offering our products making, creating education around the product and the benefits. And so we leveraged one of our sports partnerships and basically ran the clinical trial on an elite group of athletes. You know. So when you look at like, if you look at studies in the UK over the last you know few years, how many have actually been run on a group of athletes in season, right, so this is like super groundbreaking stuff. And so we basically ran, we tested specific markers when it comes to inflammation in the blood. We also tested, subjected muscle soreness, lower body and whole body And essentially the results all supported the fact that there is, you know, up to a 75% reduction in inflammation post activity and over a 50% reduction in pain and muscle soreness when using our product range. So our turmeric shots not turmeric the find in, you know, the local market, or you know turmeric shot that you can pick up from an M&S or prayer, like, no, like the blend of turmeric shots that we've created and has impacted so many people's lives when used, can have this impact. And so, yeah, it was. You know, obviously it's groundbreaking stuff. We've just finished our second clinical trial And, again, you know, there's equally groundbreaking results which have come from that. And we're actually now, you know, really focused around building education and partnering with, you know, healthcare, partnering with doctors, nutritionists, you know everyone within that space when it comes to health and wellness, to really build education and create more options for people who are suffering or who want to lead and live their best life right. So, you know, it's a massive area and something that we obviously super passionate about.Speaker 1:
It's incredible And these statistics are surely just going to help you in your growth journey, which and we haven't actually discussed the growth side of the growth podcast as well So, year on year, i've got to hear that you've got a growth rate of 300%, which is just an incredible amount, and we love speaking to fast growing brands here on the podcast. What I'd love to try and tease out of you for the rest of the time that we've got today is what you think has been the most important lever of that growth within your business And, I guess listeners of the podcast, what they can take away from you today to hopefully grow their business into similar sized business that like your own.Speaker 2:
Yeah, i think like we still have a lot of growth ambition. So, as I said, we've done phenomenally well. but you know, we want. we want to become a global brand and a global business, but the fundamental aspect for us is about the product, you know. so it's like we're changing people's lives. That's all I want to know. That's all I want to know how we can change more people's lives, and that's the question that I will ask. when I'm looking at a growth strategy, when I'm looking at you know targets, when I'm looking at you know the way that we're running a business, how can we impact more people's lives through our range? Okay, and so you mentioned about levers like to get into the granularity of running the business. like we, we're actually a brand. So we are the Turmeric Co. you know, deliver high quality, functional Turmeric based shots, but we're also a manufacturing business. So during that time, we've actually built two businesses in one, which is, again, very uncommon. So when you look at the majority of brands that you'll see on shelf, they are just that a brand. They don't worry or concern themselves around the product because they have a contract manufacturer who why? labels their product, creates it, puts it on shelf and they just worry about generating the brand, growing sales, growing distribution. So what we've done in that sense is unique and also extremely complex and extremely time consuming and extremely demanding. So much so to the point where, if I was you know, if I was someone came to me now and said you know, what should I do? I want to start this product, this, you know, consumer packaged goods. I would say the first thing you need is a manufacturer for your product, because it's nigh on impossible to do what we've done And, you know, if I was to go into the granularity of what we've had to sacrifice, the amount of effort we've had to put in to get to where we are, it's insane. But we've done it because we're so passionate about what we're doing, and the passion is about the product. In terms of levers, everything falls down on data, so, within a business. so if you're looking at growth, you know you need to understand what are your growth levers of a business? right, and so the growth levers of a business. you'd say, ok, yeah, so sales channels OK, what are the sales channels? OK, we've got retail, we've got e-commerce. Let's focus on e-commerce. How do we drive e-commerce growth? OK, we can build community. we can use social platforms, we can use paid advertising, we can use word of mouth, we can use referral. So all of these are levers, right, but then what you then need to understand with data is that everything is connected and everything is intertwined. So when you have a lever which pushes one data set, it impacts another, and so the only way that you can successfully scale and continue to drive growth is being so aware of these levers and the interaction that they have with one another. and they're all data points within your business. An example is OK, yeah, so we're focused on selling, we're growing, we're growing Well in our case, we're manufacturing as well, so we have to understand the impacts that driving growth has from a manufacturing perspective. So you almost have to create these. you know these interconnected data sets which influence one another, so you don't hit barriers. you don't hit. you know sort of levels that you can't overcome. Now, again, in overcoming them might take time. They obviously will always take. you know sort of input and you know effort and you know intelligence and you know sort of skill set to leverage and overcome them. But the biggest thing is really understanding that, and so, like I said, like long story short, like. the point I'm trying to make is that data is the biggest lever that you can lean on in your business to drive growth. And so if you are looking to run a business, or you're running a business and you're not data obsessed, like you're going to hit roadblocks, you know, and you'll struggle to overcome them, whereas if you are data obsessed and you are so conscious about every single aspect, you know around the business, you know whether it's all away from consumer all the way to sourcing, you know supply chain, etc. like everything in between. you have to just have like a finger on the pulse stuff. And we don't, we don't, we're not there, like, don't get me wrong, like we're not, we're not at the level that I, you know, we're striving for, but like that is how you ultimately will run a successful business And you must be having a lot of data sets coming into the business And what kind of technologies are you using to support the main functions?Speaker 1:
Yeah, that's a you know good idea.Speaker 2:
Yeah, that's a you know great, great question, you know so. The next, the next thing about you know sort of data is how you then, you know, sort of consume that data and how do you visualize that data Right. So you know, and it all falls on the you know business intelligence and analytics, you know. So I'd say I think you have to be at a certain size to begin looking at sort of things like data warehousing, because the setup costs and sometimes the running costs and then maintenance costs are really really high. So a lot of the time and a lot of what we have done, you know, from when we launched, was based on sort of Excel reporting, you know so just having a report, you know so whether it's, you know, a production output report. You know a digital marketing. You know performance report, you know customer acquisition report, whatever it is, by just having a Excel document which you can then populate the data into and that gives you a North Star metric which you're then working towards. You know, in acquisition, it might be your CAC or your CPA, you know it might be in terms of, like, customer lifetime value, it might be. You know what is that tracking over time? What are your retention rates, all of these sort of factors. And so, yeah, like I would say initially, set enough a business like, just get stuff onto an Excel report and get it managed within that function. But as you scale, you know, so I'm looking at data warehousing, so things such as snowflake. Then looking at, you know, visualization and dashboarding, so things like obviously Tableau are really really good. You then sometimes you know, need an ETL service to pull in. You know all of the data points and you can also pull in from spreadsheets to then begin to visualize. But having reliable and clean data is obviously, you know, sort of that's a given. It has to. You have to be confident that what you're getting is the correct data. But yeah, so this is a lot like I was going for a long time. But yeah, obviously from an e-commerce perspective, things like Shopify Plus, things like Recharge, things like Clavio, from a customer acquisition, customer customer service perspective, you know things like you know marketing attribution, so understanding you know all marketing channels, like what's what is attributing in terms of a performance per channel, like what is the cost of a customer acquired per channel, but then having that truly across all touch points because, say, you know, a Facebook business manager or meta, would be cannibalizing and overreporting in terms of their performance, same as, you know, google analytics will overreport from a Google search and performance max perspective. So really having a real strong attribution platform is important. You know reviews, referrals, so things like that are all very good. Erps, obviously we're we're. You know resource planning, so you know we're manufacturing business. So having a real robust ERP in place which you know interacts and connects with other sort of platforms, whether it be your order management software again, we manage fulfillment, et cetera, in-house. So plugging into a really strong order management software, and then, you know, tying it all up in terms of the customer, you know having a real solid customer service platform, you know. So, whether that be a Zendesk or just like we've, you know, implemented both for various different reasons. So, yeah, the list goes on.Speaker 1:
It does, doesn't it When it gets to technology. It's such a long list. So talk to me a little bit about automation, because that's kind of one of the hot topics on the podcast this season and trying to automate as much as possible. What's your, what's your feeling when it comes to that side of technology?Speaker 2:
Yeah, automation is is key. You know any business leader. You know you need to, you know you need to be able to delegate and elevate and you need to be able to automate and systemize. And that automation would come from sort of documenting. You know sort of whether it's an 80-20 rule. So you know, document the 20, 20, 20% of things that are the key in your business and have the 80% impact. Like get those detailed, then look at systemizing that and automating. Yeah, i think it's yeah all the time. Yeah, automation is very important, but at the same time, having a real finger in the pulse too, so you don't want to automate and then lose track of things like it's. Like you know you need the reporting and again falls back to data is always so important Like, so you know this automation. Like it's set up, it's running, but actually what's that tangibly? what's that impact on the business? Like is it? is that saving us an employee per salary per year for the business? So has that reduced the cost? but then what's the cost of that automation? And then what's the? how much is that automation? What's the visibility of that automation's role into then the business? Like is there because you don't want to then create sort of silos and automation as well. So that's something also when it comes to business and scaling, like it's so easy to have silo department. So your marketing team is a silo, your sales team is a silo, your operations team is a silo, your leadership team is a silo. So all of these things like are really interesting and I think no one ever really talks about them. And because they're sort of the practical, the practical elements of running a business, like you need to create interconnectivity, you need to create visibility, transparency, but it's so, so hard to actually do an implement. You know, and we're learning and we're working all of the time to try and improve it as well.Speaker 1:
So And talk to me very quickly before we wrap things up, because it's been such a fascinating chat so far. But there's and start thinking about your couple of tips that you could give our e-commerce listeners out there for growth and scales, like your key takeaways. But before we, before we get to that, what's been the biggest? I don't know mistake that you might have made and that you know mistakes, like a bit of a word that not everyone likes using, but like the challenge that you've overcome or the mistake that you've learned the most from. What's that one that really sticks in your mind when I ask that question?Speaker 2:
That's a really good question. I think from my personal experience like again, like, the business is ultimately run by people, so you need people to drive the business forward. You need people to have passion within the business, you need people to understand the vision of the business and then ultimately execute that. So I would say, making sure at all times that you've got the right people in the right seat is the biggest learning for me. That I would say, because I'm very passionate about what I do And so if I've got that passion around me, like it's quite easy to say, okay, look, just come and do this with what I'm doing. You know, support me and do what I'm doing here, type thing, and actually that's not the best thing. Like it's within any business. You have to understand all of the key roles in the business at all times, like what is actually happening in those roles. Those key roles the key, you know top five roles need to be documented, you know. So systemization around those roles, so there's a proven process for that. And then you then need to assign people to those roles And like, and that's how you create, you know, accountability, you know you create ownership, because if two people are accountable for one thing no one's accountable, you know, because it's like well, okay, i thought you were doing this, oh, it was me who's did So it's like having like clear roles and then giving that accountability within that role dedicated to one post, person has a big, big impact.Speaker 1:
So yeah, before I let you go, give me your two top tips that you can share with our listeners for e-commerce growth and scale.Speaker 2:
Yeah, i think the first one, which is massively important, is around data like be data obsessed, understand the key data metrics which influence your business, like and those are the levers which you can pull and really reporting on them and having a sort of finger, and the pulse is massive. And then the second one is, you know, be passionate about what it is you're doing. You know, if you're offering a service, if you're offering a product, like, be passionate about it. And you know you have to have that because you always face adversity, you're always going to come up against challenges and you have to constantly overcome them and be willing to take that next step to do so. And so you know, unless you're truly passionate about it, that's not going to happen. So, yeah, passion is the second one, and that's in all walks of life, to be honest.Speaker 1:
Yes, that's so true. Two great tips there data and doing everything with a bit of passion. Otherwise, you know, it's never really going to work if you're not 100% behind it. Thomas, thank you so much for your time today and sharing your really fascinating story and updates on the business as well. It's been a really great conversation. Thank you so much.Speaker 2:
Amazing. Thank you, caroline, and I'll get some two quick shots out to you soon.Speaker 1:
Sounds fantastic, and to our listeners out there, thank you so much for listening to this latest episode. I hope you enjoyed it just as much as I did. Head over to all the usual podcast platforms to listen to previous episodes of the podcast, and a huge thank you to our sponsor, peoplevox, and all our listeners out there Until next time. Goodbye. Furniture box, natural baby shower and beyond retail are just a few of the ambitious retailers who have integrated PeopleVox warehouse management system to take their e-commerce tech stack to the next level, with lightning fast pick and pack workflows, easy user training and a 360 degree transparency into your warehouse operation. Anyone who has used PeopleVox will tell you that the platform is a genuine game changer. Not only does PeopleVox enhance your customer experience by tightening inventory control and cutting outpacking mistakes, it also boosts your efficiency and unlocks growth for your business. So if you're ready to transform your business, head over to PeopleVoxcom today.