Someone asked me "Why are you going to the world's largest property show in Cannes next week?" My answer was simple "please tell me why I shouldn't be going? I am in the business of selling designer furniture and I go where the opportunities are." We also have a digital magazine and have to bring the latest news and trends in this space such as the development of properties across the globe. This can be hotels, villas, high end residential complexes. This same person said "oh I didn't know you did procurement." I said " Well our online site looks very interesting to many developers, interior designers and architects since it shows such a large range of products and our unique style. Of course we do procurement." With that statement, Safeer and I hit the MIPIM show with gusto and a mission to conquer as many opportunities as possible.
Safeer, a member of our team , is one of our investors and is also a board advisor. But, really he is sort of our rock, who keeps us all afloat with a line every now and then from his favorite poet Rumi to make sure we don't forget the bigger picture in life when times are challenging. He drives hard at all opportunities that can grow the business and together we attract people with our shared passion for The Longest Stay and making the world a better place. I don't think when Safeer joined he had any idea of the road we were going to travel, but for sure we are planning to reach our destination and I am confident we will.
We managed to attend the £2K a ticket event and I was thrilled to see so many amazing opportunities. When you are an entrepreneur you always find a way to do what you want when you want it, not necessarily with the same price tag. Lets just say your creativity is tested to the max. Whether it was meeting Fashion TV's directors or like-minded female executive Ibiene Ogolo from EKO Development in Nigeria, both of whom were unexpected and had brilliant businesses, there was never a dull moment. Meeting the owner of the construction company of the US Embassy and now being considered to furnish the one in Battersea for example. Most of the business was done outside the exhibition in the Ritz Carlton, Majestic or the New York Cafe. We made some new friends running a luxury travel company based in Nice that have shortlisted us to furnish a castle in France as well as Goward Property Law and the CEO of Regus, Mark Dixon. The best part of this it was done whilst sipping champagne, or being on one of the yachts affiliated with MIPIM attendees. Most meetings were totally unplanned and one of the best of these was meeting Rio Ferdinand, Ex-England Football Captain, and exploring the benefits of our digital magazines.
I will say the property market is back on top form. There was no sign of anything on a downward but only on an upward and places like Montenegro Lustica Bay really rock. Montenegro is the new Monaco for those that don't know and flights are going to be much more frequent this summer. Some very interesting developments going on in that area. Did we have fun? For sure. Are we happy we went? No doubt. Now let's see how much business we get this year. I will be happy with any of the 20 leads.
Again you have to thank the team back in London who allow me to travel and build the business knowing they are steering the ship. So from NYC last month, to Cannes this month, next month will be Milano and Delhi. I do love my job.