Generation Now - Disrupting Perceptions

Generation Now - Disrupting Perceptions

A Forsters podcast series that delves into the minds of some of today’s most ambitious and successful entrepreneurs. They have grown businesses that are disrupting the way we live, how we buy, and the way businesses are run. How have the life experiences of this generation informed their success and what can we learn from them?

In this series, Forsters' Commercial Real Estate Partner, Katherine Ekers, along with up-and-coming lawyers from across the firm, talk to five different trailblazing entrepreneurs. Discover how they rolled with the punches, how they took an existing market or business model and innovated it to suit changing needs and how they disrupted the status quo to reflect and even affect the world we live in today.

We hear the phrase ‘next generation’ a lot - but we wanted to talk to people who are facing these challenges right now. Not the ‘next generation’ but Generation Now.

To continue the conversation on social media, use #ForstersGenNow.

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Episode One: Appear Here founder, Ross Bailey on trailblazing flexible retail spaces

Katherine talks to entrepreneur and wunderkind Ross Bailey - the founder and CEO of Appear Here - an online marketplace for short term retail space.

Generation Now - Disrupting Perceptions: Episode 1

Episode Two: Auction Collective founder Tom Best on reinventing the art auction

Katherine talks to Tom Best, the founder of The Auction Collective which aims to simplify the auction process, making art accessible for more people.

Generation Now - Disrupting Perceptions: Episode 2

Episode Three: By Rotation founder Eshita Kabra on transforming fashion rental

Katherine talks to Eshita Kabra Davies, the founder of By Rotation - the world’s first fashion rental social app. Dubbed as the ‘Instagram of fashion rental’ it’s where people can lend and rent contemporary designer fashion from each other.

Generation Now - Disrupting Perceptions: Episode 3

Episode Four: Ridgeview owners Tamara and Simon Roberts on pioneering English Sparkling Wine

Katherine talks to brother and sister team Tamara and Simon Roberts from Ridgeview - one of the leading brands of English sparkling wine.

Generation Now - Disrupting Perceptions: Episode 4

Episode Five: Freddie’s Flowers founder Freddie Garland on revolutionising flower deliveries

Katherine talks to Freddie Garland, founder of the subscription service, Freddie’s Flowers.

Generation Now - Disrupting Perceptions: Episode 5

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You can listen to more episodes of Generation Now - Disrupting Perceptions here on our website, as well as subscribe on your favourite podcast services, including:

Take 5 with podcast host Katherine Ekers

In this five minute interview podcast host, Katherine Ekers, provides an honest review of talking to our podcast guests, as well as sharing her own career journey. What did she learn, what surprised her the most and what is her millennial stereotype pet peeve?

Katherine Ekers is a Partner in our Commercial Real Estate team. She joined Forsters in 2009 as a trainee and quickly rose through the ranks in the commercial real estate team, becoming Forsters youngest ever partner in 2018.

Routinely described by clients as “extremely impressive” [Legal 500 2020], she handles work for an equally prestigious roster of clients including BA Pension Fund, for whom she has acted for over a decade, General Projects, McDonalds and a well-known global media giant.

In addition to her growing practice Katherine is heavily involved in Forsters’ graduate recruitment scheme and the development of junior lawyers, helping the next generation of trainees and junior lawyers thrive in the early stages of their career.

What did you enjoy the most about interviewing the podcast guests?

I loved hearing about each individual’s story, and what lead them to where they are today. I find it fascinating to try and understand what drives people, and it was very interesting to me that nearly all our podcast guests had entrepreneurial parents and had been exposed to the concept (and risks and rewards) of running your own business at a very early stage in their lives.

What are your key takeaways from the series as a whole/ themes that stood out?

My main takeaway is the importance of taking time to listen and ask questions of those around you – I learnt a huge amount from our podcast guests and really enjoyed the chance to talk to them and try to understand their particular business. It reminded me that everyone has a story, and that it is easy to get caught up in your own busy day and follow your own slightly blinkered route, which feels a shame when there is such a rich tapestry of experience and ideas all around you.

What did you learn from the series?

What didn’t I learn from the series?! I’m worried that our podcast audience will be lower than it should be because I’ve been so eagerly telling people all the interesting titbits I learnt whilst interviewing our guests…!

On a more serious note, I think was reminded of the single-minded determination and commitment it takes to set up a successful new business, particular in a sector where you are approaching it in a different way and may have additional barriers to break down. I was also reminded how important it is to really enjoy what you do in life – one of the things our guests all shared was such passion for what they did that it was very infectious.

What surprised you the most?

I think I was most surprised by how long it takes from planting a vine to producing a bottle of sparkling wine (and how quickly after that initial bottle Ridgeview received its first award for the wine!).

Tell us a bit about your career journey

I am probably atypical for an average gen y in having worked just at one firm my entire professional career. I started as a trainee in September 2009, becoming the firm’s youngest ever partner in 2018. What is typical though is that the reason I have stayed at Forsters, and can’t imagine working at any other law firm, is the people and the culture of the firm. It is an entrepreneurial firm in many ways (having been founded by 10 partners in 1998 when their previous firm was taken over) and that spirit very much guided my early years as a solicitor. There was a real sense of collective endeavour and individual responsibility for the firm alongside plenty of hard work. We have grown over the years but remain very focused on maintaining the culture and values of the firm that are so integral to our success.

What is your millennial stereotype pet peeve?

That we don’t work hard.

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