Thomas Robson-Kanu

CEO of The Turmeric Co.

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From Premier League Star to Wellness Entrepreneur: Thomas Robson-Kanu's Journey with The Turmeric Co

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If you're a football fan, you might remember Thomas Robson-Kanu from his Premier League days at Reading F.C. or his spectacular goal in Euro 2016, which helped Wales reach the semi-finals. Today, Thomas is the founder and CEO of The Turmeric Co., one of the UK's leading functional beverage companies. Born from his personal health journey, The Turmeric Co. was established in 2018 and quickly grew to prominence with its unique turmeric shots designed to promote wellness, boasting over 15,000 life-changing customer testimonials.

In this episode, we discussed Thomas's transition from football to entrepreneurship, the origins of The Turmeric Co., and the science behind their products.

Thomas shares how his father's turmeric blend helped him recover from severe knee injuries, leading to the creation of their signature turmeric shots. The blend proved so effective that it became Thomas' "secret weapon" throughout his successful football career.

Realising the potential to help others, Thomas and his father founded The Turmeric Co. in 2018 to bring this clinically-backed, natural solution to the market.

Thomas shared the challenges of maintaining high product quality while scaling up the business, the strategic decisions that have fuelled their growth, and the importance of a subscription model for customer retention.

He also provides valuable advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, emphasising the need for passion, perseverance, and continuous learning.

We also discussed how his background as a professional footballer shaped him into the CEO he is today and the qualities he gained back then that help him grow the company.

"If you have a standard that you're not willing to drop below, then that standard becomes the norm. So you standardise the standard, and if you then have a mentality and a mindset around continuous improvement, all you're doing is increasing and improving that standard all of the time, and that then creates an A-star culture with A-star players within an A-star team."

As a former elite athlete and now passionate wellness entrepreneur, Thomas offers a unique perspective on the importance of prioritising health through nutrition.

Tune in to hear his inspiring story and vision for The Turmeric Co.


Please note this transcript is automated

Desi (00:03) Thomas, former Premier League footballer and Welsh national turned entrepreneur, now the founder and CEO of The Turmeric, a company focused on health shots that promote wellness. Welcome to the show.

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (00:15) Thank you for having me. A pleasure to be here.

Desi (00:18) The pleasure is all mine. Tell us about the turmeric. What is it and how is it different from similar products on the market? Your website mentions that your products are the only functional shots that are backed by science. I would love to hear more about that.

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (00:33) Yeah sure so the turmeric co was born in 2018 but the blend of turmeric shots that we use was actually created by my father over a decade earlier. The premise is bringing a range of clinically backed turmeric shots to market and these shots are fundamentally tailored towards healing you know so a lot of people suffer with a lot of ailments fundamentally due to inflammation.

And what our range of turmeric shots does is help to naturally reduce that inflammation within the human body when consumed in the format that we deliver it in. You mentioned obviously, you know, in terms of the products on the market, there are a lot of functional beverages on the market, but the majority of them actually don't offer any true functional benefit. And what we've done over the last few years has been to build clinical data

data and research through the form of two full published studies which show the reduction in inflammation in blood marker C -reactive protein when using our product range versus when not as well as a reduction in upper respiratory conditions which is typically known as the common cold or flu which is for us validation towards the you know over 15 ,000 life -changing customer testimonials.

that we've had to date since launching in 2018. I mentioned the background of the Turmeric Co. being a blend that my father created.

The story behind the blend is that I was a budding young athlete as a 15 year old and suffered two major knee surgeries and those surgeries kept me out of playing professional football for over two and a half years and recovering from those surgeries I was hampered with severe inflammation and swelling in my knee and the doctors and the physios at the time prescribed me standard medications.

so anti -inflammatory, non -steroidal anti -inflammatory drugs, which unfortunately my body had a complete adverse reaction. So things such as Diclofenac, Ibuprofen and Paracetamol were all prescribed to me, but my body had a complete adverse reaction. So I started passing blood in my urine, had severe nausea, couldn't sleep. And so it was at that point in time where my father and I basically began researching and trying to understand,

what natural ingredients could help reduce the pain and inflammation I was experiencing. And that research led us to various different practices, various different cultures around the world, things such as ancient Asian cultures, Ayurvedic practices, where they used natural raw ingredients to reduce pain and reduce swelling. And these ingredients were things such as fresh watermelon, pineapple, pomegranate, ginger root, and subsurface.

termic route but it was about having this blend in a raw format so not in a capsule not in a tablet not in a pill.

but in its raw format in a bioavailable blend. So combining it with a fat soluble or a black pepper extract, which increases the absorption of the active compounds found within these natural ingredients. And so, yeah, my father basically began sourcing all of these ingredients and through inspiration, you know, they often say innovation is born from necessity and I was someone very much in need. And through

these natural ingredients my father eventually created what was a raw turmeric based shot containing all of these raw natural ingredients and essentially by using this blend over a sustained period of time I was able to recover in full from the pain and information I was experiencing and go on to have a successful career at the highest level of sport against all of the odds.

and the doctors and the physios and the surgeons at the club, you know, they didn't have any answers as to how I had recovered so well and was able to play and train and fundamentally live pain -free. And so this blend became my secret weapon throughout my entire career. And I began realising that I was recovering generally quicker from exercise or from injury than my teammates. I then also realised that, you know, during winter seasons and flu seasons when everyone was getting

run down. I was almost impervious to catching a cold. And so we realized that there was other benefits to this blend and it might not benefit just only me, but might serve other people in all walks of life to live a happy, healthy and free lifestyle. So yeah, we decided essentially a decade later to bring this blend to market. And the driver for that was because we saw

a number of functional beverages appearing on the market but the majority of them if not all of them contained apple juice as a base which is a highly processed cheap filler ingredient which actually is high in sugar and which fundamentally is a cause for inflammation and the actual functional ingredients within these functional beverages was single percentage and so the benefit that a consumer would be looking for by consuming them

wasn't there. So we decided to bring this range, which was a homemade recipe, to market. And in order to do so, we had to build our own manufacturing facility. We had to handle the entire supply chain and manufacturing process. And we were able to launch the Turmeric Co. in 2018 as a direct consumer brand. And within four weeks of launching the Turmeric Co. we received our first customer testimony.

And the customer testimonials are not, you know, this product tastes great, you know, it's nice and refreshing. The testimonials are life changing. You know, it's people in need who are turning to natural nutrition to support their health and wellness. And fundamentally, it's changing people's lives. And to date, we've had over 15 ,000 real life changing customer testimonials. We've obviously grown the business since 2018. We're listed in a number of

retailers throughout the UK such as Sainsbury's and Holland & Barrett and we're very passionate about achieving our vision of servicing millions of customers through our range of turmeric shots throughout the UK and internationally.

Desi (07:36) Absolutely amazing. It must be so fulfilling to see the impact you're making in people's lives. So congratulations on the story so far. I'm just curious, what is the difference for me as a consumer if I attempt to do this at home and from what you offer through your products? Maybe if you can tell us a little bit more about the technology and what is it special in your shots and why they work comparing obviously to the other.

others, not only the ingredients but also the methodology of producing them.

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (08:12) Yeah, sure. So again, because we manufacture the product, we're in complete control of that manufacturing process. And that process and the blend is unique to us. And it is our proprietary process and proprietary recipe, which no one else in the world can replicate because we have a unique blend of ingredients in terms of quantity, as well as a very unique extraction process, as well as combining it with what we've called

the BioMax uptake blend which increases the absorption of these active compounds when consumed and so what makes it unique is that we are delivering real results for people's lives and you can go into a number of retail stores a number of cafe chains and there are a lot of functional shots and beverages which appear on shelf but the barometer and benchmark for me is that if I was to have had to rely on any of these

products to help me recover from the surgeries pain and inflammation that I had as a 17 year old would they have helped and made a difference and the answer is no and the reason for that is because these these products use ingredients which are high in sugar highly processed heat treated and the quality of the raw ingredient which is what it's all about it's about having these ingredients in their rawest form isn't there so

for us, we're in a very unique position. And it's almost like our trade secret in terms of how we're manufacturing and the blends in which we manufacture and the process they're in offers us this really unique differentiation within the market and really unique value proposition. And so, yeah, as I said, the customer testimonials that we receive speak volumes. And as we continue to

reach more and more people, we're fundamentally going to continue to impact positively the lives of more and more people too.

Desi (10:21) Can you take us back to the early days when the idea struck you and you believed this could become a viable business? The health and wellness industry is specifically focusing on functional foods and beverages. It's massive, like it's a multi -billion dollar business. So you must have had quite a lot of confidence in your idea to start this journey. What was it that you were like, that's gonna be a successful business?

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (10:47) Yeah, for us it was seeing what was available on shelf and you know every single supplement or functional beverage which is currently on the market would not be willing to do the research and clinical data trials that we're doing because a lot of them will simply not have a positive impact.

And so for us, we see it's such a massive opportunity to really continue to amplify the work that we're doing. And yeah, as I said, the ability to build that data where whether you're taking a supplement or whether you're taking a beverage or a capsule or a tablet or the latest trends, the big thing for us is, has it been scientifically validated? Is there data?

data and supporting evidence to show the impact that this product has. And we know that ours does have that and we're going to continue to amplify it. And we're working on a research strategy now with one of our research partners to really continue to build that data set and build a resource of information and validation around the use of our product in all different populations.

So not just in elite athletes. How about post -operative care, pre -operative care? You know, the everyday person who wants to lead a healthy lifestyle. How does this product impact them? And so, yeah, it's a really exciting time, but our focus is fundamentally on changing people's lives. It's why we're doing what we're doing. And each positive customer testimonial that we receive gives us more motivation and more belief in the journey that we're on.

Desi (12:41) I follow you on social media and I know you're a huge advocate for a healthy lifestyle. This is part of your mission as I can see with the turmeric coal. I don't know, I'm just like listening to you and how much effort you're putting into kind of fighting this fight of like of healthy lifestyle. I'm wondering how have we ended up in a world where 95 % of convenient food is really bad for you?

What can we do to stop this and to protect our children from the diabetes and obesity pandemic we are currently in? So what is happening? We feed them rubbish with zero nutritional value and years down the line, we start treating several health issues. What is happening? Why are we in these situations? And, you know, relatively small company like yours is almost like starting this fight.

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (13:34) Definitely. I think when you look at the food industry that we currently have, it's an industry which is highly processed and delivering foods which create inflammation and disease for people. It's not a coincidence that one in four children now leave primary school obese. You know, 40 % of the UK population wake up with pain or some form of restriction on a daily basis.

and the fundamentals of that is nutrition. You know nutrition is the foundation yeah nutrition is the foundational cornerstone of all health and you know and there is the famous quote let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. We're firm believers in that and I think from my professional sports background I know firsthand how important nutrition is. If you aren't nourished and you're eating the wrong type of food that's

Desi (14:08) Right, it's diet, what we eat.

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (14:34) has a direct correlation to how you feel on a daily basis but also how your body reacts to stress and therefore inflammation and so by delivering products such as ours into the consumer sphere where consumers ultimately have that option that choice is a massive massive driver for us because when we look back you know you mentioned around if people could make this themselves

themselves, you know, what's the difference? Well, actually, you know, to have to make a turmeric shot every single day to put things in perspective. My father did that for me for over a decade in his kitchen and he ruined dozens upon dozens of blenders. Every utensil. Yeah, extremely expensive. Every utensil in the kitchen is stained yellow. His fingertips were stained yellow. So from a convenience perspective, these times,

Desi (15:22) Ends up too expensive, isn't it?

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (15:34) of raw functional truly good for you ingredients aren't readily accessible in the fast -paced lifestyle that we all lead. You know we all have jobs, we all have commitments, we all have families and actually trying to prioritise that in a healthy manner with the current food options which for the most part make up the food industry is very difficult to make health conscious consistent decisions.

decisions. And so what we have done is basically made a very highly functional, natural and fresh product.

available that slots easily into consumers lifestyles and that's for us where we truly win because the product is a high quality product, it's effective, it's clinically validated but most importantly it's easy to consume on a consistent basis and anything which is nutrition related and also health related is all about consistency. You know disease and ailment is not an overnight thing.

but the same goes for health. So if you're choosing health, you have to consistently make health conscious choices and drive positive adoption and positive habits into your lifestyle. And so the best way that we can see for consumers to begin that journey is by having a turmeric shot each morning to start their day. And as I said before, the results that we have seen within our existing customer base have been profound.

Desi (17:13) Amazing. What have been some of the biggest challenges you faced while scaling up the company in the last few years?

How have you overcome them? Maintaining high product quality while scaling up production, I suppose, can be quite challenging, especially in your case. So how are you managing to uphold these standards throughout your business growth, allowing quality to not hinder in the sake of growth?

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (17:45) Yeah, I think the biggest challenges that we have faced is really making sure that working hard around maintaining product quality is a fundamental. And that's not easy, particularly when we live in a very competitive industry when it comes to food. And examples are a lot of the big corporations who manufacture food beverages, they're constantly looking at cost reduction measures, regardless of product quality.

and their remit is actually to reduce cost but maintain taste and so we know that taste is a fallacy when it comes to health you know the priority of a product of course it has to be palatable you want to enjoy it but fundamentally whatever you're putting into your body is nourishing your body and when the majority of beverages are made with highly processed high sugar high preservative and high sweetener ingredients

typically on a very cheap base if not tap water which is the base of a lot of juices on the market you're not going to get any form of beneficial health from that and so yeah the biggest challenge for us is how do we continue to scale maintaining quality and we've done that you know the capability that we've shown from our manufacturing perspective you know is something that we're immensely proud of and something that we will

continue to deliver because everything we do is about the product not necessarily about the taste not necessarily about the cost but again obviously all of those are important and you have to get them right but it's the product quality which is paramount to us.

Desi (19:35) What are some of the key moves you made as a company and maybe the strategic decisions that have helped you to grow over the past few years? Obviously maintaining the quality of the product is a paramount for you, which completely makes sense. But you've raised around just one million in the recent series A funding round, which is definitely not a typical VC back business, yet you've been growing amazingly well.

Is it the quality of your product? Is it your personal brand? Is it like a really marketing superhero that you have in -house? What have been the key growth factors for the company so far?

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (20:16) Yeah, I think there is no single...

component which drives success you have to be strong across all components of any business or any brand and and so you know what we do have is a very passionate team who understands the impact that we're having and so with that and with that culture and core belief we're able to do more than the average person or the average company and so you know you mentioned there you know around our

to grow and scale and continue to service at the highest level, that's fundamentally simply down to the team. And, you know, it's that focus, aligning that focus with that vision that we have. It really can move mountains. And I think we're not the typical consumer packaged goods business where we're selling a snack or selling just a random, you know, water beverage. Like these are products that make a difference. They're products that make a difference.

products tailored to heal. And so, yeah, we're in a very unique position, particularly with the awareness increasing across society around the importance of health and nutrition, the importance that a lot of big organizations are putting in terms of delivering healthy products. You know, there was a recent report done around, you know, the large corporations within food such as Britvic and PepsiCo and Unilever and their

remit is to increase the healthy products that they make available and a lot of these companies when you actually strip down to the products they deliver 90 to 95 percent of these products fall into a HFSS crack category which is high fat sugar salt and so you could argue that their products are hampering the health of society and not contributing to it and so for us we see a real differentiation

as a company and organisation in that our products are tailored towards consumer health and are fundamentally having a positive impact on society and that's something which for us is a massive USP and a massive differentiator and having that as a core of everything that we do, the decisions that we make, the direction that we go in, who we engage with, whether it be a partner, an ambassador, an influencer,

or customer have to all be aligned with that common value. And so, yeah, I would say, how do we, how have we done it? It's the sum of all parts, but making sure that each and every single one of those parts are facing and leading towards our vision and our core values.

Desi (23:08) You switched to a subscription model not too long time ago. Is this having like positive impact on growth as well? Why did you make this decision?

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (23:20) Yeah, I think subscription models.

Online are key for any business because when you are generating online sales, you typically have customer acquisition costs. And so the key for delivering a successful e -commerce business is to make sure that you have repeat purchases from customers you have acquired and you're able to really have positive lifetime values of that customer. So again, there's lots of different ratios in the e -commerce space around, you know, customer

customer acquisition costs over lifetime value but really making sure you understand these metrics and how your current business performance sits within them and then you want to optimize and tweak towards retention and lifetime value because again you know you can acquire customers and you can pay you can pay a little bit or you can pay a lot for acquiring customers but if that customer

doesn't stay around then it's very very hard to deliver a successful business based on any form of margin. So yeah I would say delivering a subscription model into our customers and rewarding customers for being a subscriber whether that be through price or through exclusive access and content or through innovation are fundamentals to really delivering a successful subscription model.

but I would say any business which is looking to get started e -commerce, deliver it as a subscription model and you know be quite you know bold and focused around delivering that as a key offering within the business.

Desi (25:14) I can see how kind of determined and passionate you are for your business. And I'm a firm believer that every entrepreneur has their own edge and what makes them successful. And in your case, inevitably, this is surely huge part of it is down to your background as a professional athlete, as a footballer. Now I want to take you back to your previous life. If you wish, tell me a little bit more about your

childhood and who you are and how you decided you wanted to be a footballer before you turned entrepreneur.

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (25:53) Yeah, sure. So as young as I can remember, I was always extremely passionate about football. I'd always have a ball in hand and be kicking the ball, whether it be up against the wall or with my teammates or friends. And so, yeah, I knew very early on that my dream and my vision was to become a professional footballer and to play in the Premier League. And...

Yeah, I think obviously the adversity that I experienced in the early days of trying to become a professional footballer with the surgeries that I had really solidified the ambition and made me realise how much I wanted it. I think in any, whether it's a business venture or a profession, a lot of the time it simply comes down to how much do you really want it? And a lot of successful people,

You know, they won't necessarily be the most talented, the most gifted, the most skillful or even the most knowledgeable. Really what it is is that how willing are you to persevere through adversity on a consistent basis? And often, more often than not, the successful person is the person who's willing to continue to persevere because we all face adversity every single day.

You know in our lives day -to -day work professions ambitions goals. You're always going to face setbacks. But how willing are you to overcome that setback and continue to persevere? And I think that's a really important message which You know isn't readily available available and and spoken about right? It's like yeah, you know just try harder or you know, but it's not it's like you're going to face setbacks and if you're willing to just continue

to work willing to continue to turn up regardless of those setbacks all you're doing is increasing the chance of eventually being successful and yeah I would say you know that that's a really important message from myself and something that I've experienced firsthand and looking at a lot of successful athletes and sports persons and women and a lot of successful entrepreneurs and business owners a lot of the time

they're just willing to continue to grit their teeth, persevere and have you know belief and faith in their goal and having that knowledge that you know if they're willing to continue to do so they will eventually be successful.

Desi (28:32) So is that it what shaped you coming from your football career to your entrepreneurial journey this kind of tenacity, discipline, work ethic, resilience? Is it are these qualities that you brought from your football career to your kind of business life now?

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (28:54) Yeah, I think, you know, to caveat that as well, it's almost like...

you know, if you're rea... if you're not passionate about something or you don't really want to do it, you know, the first setback that you're going to experience, you're going to give up. And so, you know, what is the foundation to be willing to persevere through adversity and ultimately work towards triumph is making sure that whatever it is that you're doing, whatever it is that you're setting out to achieve, you're passionate about. And so,

Desi (29:04) Right.

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (29:31) And so, again, using myself as an example through my own experience as a professional footballer or a young budding professional footballer, I was very passionate about achieving my dreams. That's what I dreamed of. I was willing to go above and beyond to make that happen and realise the dream of playing in the Premier League and playing internationally at the highest level of football. And then into business, what is our fundamental driver and passion?

it's having a positive impact on society. You know, if we can impact 100 million customers globally, we will have over 15 million life -changing reviews, you know, testimony, and that is a positive dent on society. And so we're very passionate around doing that and achieving that dream. And so that allows you to persevere, continue to face adversity, but ultimately use adversity as a...

opportunity because that's fundamentally all it is.

Desi (30:35) Right, so you've been through Arsenal Academy, then you played for Reading, you played in Premier League, you played for Wales as well, internationally. How old were you when you retired from football?

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (30:52) So I retired as a 31 year old, which again in football terms was relatively young. However, you know, was at the time running the ceramic co and yeah, we were seeing a lot of growth opportunities which needed me to really focus on the business.

Desi (31:00) Yeah.

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (31:14) and personally I also have a young family as well so running the Turmico alongside playing professional football which I did for three years was very rewarding but also very challenging and so yes it just allowed me to focus in on achieving this next ambition and yeah like as I said professional football is the best career in the world and you know I

look back at it now as a massive privilege to have experienced what I experienced, played in major tournaments, played against some of the best players in the world. You know, that's just an honour and yeah, for me it was that next phase of my own personal journey was around how do I begin to have that positive impact on society and reach even more people in a positive way.

Desi (32:11) Yeah, so football and kind of being a professional athlete and growing on sports, it's a very time consuming thing if you're really serious about it. And it leaves very little energy for other activities and many young athletes, they don't just make it to pro level or they make it and then they're just completely confused and lost. What's next?

So your story is quite an exception rather than the rule. What have you and probably your family done differently for you to have a successful career after sports? Because you're saying you retired at 31, but you're already a businessman at that age. Many people in your situation, they're completely lost, so they never make another career after that. What advice would you give to athletes preparing for a career after sports? And also, what have you done differently?

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (33:05) Yeah, I think...

As an athlete, you are fully focused on your role and on your job and you have to be because you're playing in a very competitive industry. The margins of success and failure are minute. You know, so you'd sometimes talk about winning or losing could be decided on an inch. You know, if you miss that opportunity or, you know, eventually score that goal. A lot of the time it's literally so, so

Desi (33:28) Bye.

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (33:37) close to the wire. And so, yeah, I would say, for me personally, having that passion, but also understanding, you know, what that looks like in that next phase of your life. Although professional footballer or professional athletes in all sports around the world, it's very, very demanding, but it is a

quite a small career when you look at the window. I think the average age of retirement in professional football is 35 years of age. And if you were to compare that to someone working in finance or someone going into some form of doctor or healthcare, at 35, you're still beginning to learn your trade and beginning to take on more responsibilities and seniority within that organisation.

But you're still very young in terms of life terms in relation to that job or role and so Yeah, I would say as an athlete any age whether you're in your teens or whether in your 20s or early 30s is really just understanding You know, what is your passion? Outside of the sport and I mean outside of playing the sport and that might mean that Actually, your passion is coaching or education

or some form of management.

or it may be a business endeavor outside of that but as I said before, you know, just making sure that whatever it is that you're doing, you know, it is truly your passion is a really important aspect around that because for 20 years, you know, you're pretty much as an athlete, you're pretty much told where to be, when to be there, what to eat, when to sleep. And so when you step outside of that, it can be

extremely daunting in trying to figure out what it is that you want to do so I would definitely say any professional within sports should always have an eye in terms of you know what they want to do post career and if you can incorporate that into your lifestyle while you are still playing you can almost have the best of both worlds for a period and really understand if that new passion is

indeed a passion for your life. So yeah.

Desi (36:13) Just allowing enough time and energy for additional activities and additional hobbies, if you wish. And make sure you pick your hobbies, right? So playing FIFA is not one of them. Do you think the academy system could be or should be doing more to support those who dedicate their youth to sports? Or is it just purely kind of personal responsibility and family responsibility?

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (36:42) the academy system is doing as well as it could be doing with the current infrastructures in place. I think.

Yeah, it's very difficult to say an academy system should do more for players who aren't able to make the grade or have a professional career or just have a professional career at the early stages but eventually aren't able to compete at that level. But yeah, I would say in life, I think it's really important that you take ownership and responsibility of where it is that you are and where it is that you want to get to, you know, so to rely on.

an academy system to do more for players who don't make it that player who doesn't make it still has to go on and find their own journey whatever that may be and anyone who has done that realizes that

it's down to them and they would have done that regardless of whether an academy system was in place or not for that individual. So yeah, I think it's really difficult to say but a lot of investment I know goes into academies and into players, into education but fundamentally again it's down to the player or the athlete to take that opportunity and make of it as they will.

Desi (38:09) and have this kind of personal responsibility. It's a very different environment as you're saying. You're told what to eat, where to go and to when, which is very different from being a founder and a CEO who you are at the moment. What do you think is the hardest part of your job or maybe what's been like the hardest adjustment for you in this process from a footballer to a CEO?

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (38:36) That's a really good question. I would say the biggest thing that I've learned is not to compromise your own standards. And what I mean by that is, you know, when you're building a team and you rely on people within an organisation,

sometimes particularly early on as a startup you know it's it's it's just a pleasure having people supporting you on that journey whereas as you evolve as a business and you scale and grow what you really understand is that it's so important that you have people who are as good as you if not better within that specific function of the business and a lot of the time as CEO

Desi (39:24) Night.

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (39:27) or founder.

you, it's your decision in terms of who's aligned with the organization, who sits in what role and you know what fundamentally they're doing. So I would say the biggest thing for me was really understanding that and it took me a few years to really understand it and what that actually means is that you have to make some really tough decisions and you have to...

Desi (39:56) Give me examples. What are tough decisions that you had to make?

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (39:59) Yeah, so an example would be, you know, an individual who maybe sits in a role, you know, it might be marketing, it might be production, it might be logistics, whatever it is, but that individual is giving their best, you know, they're wanting to do well, but their delivery of work and their ability to work within that role isn't at the level that you need, okay? And so what you can do is, you know, offer them training,

Desi (40:25) Right.

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (40:29) you can really try and give them a path to really understand the requirements but sometimes that person just isn't capable of delivering to the standard that you need and that might be quality, it might be efficiency, it might be effectiveness, it might be all of the above but when that is identified it's so vital that it is addressed and what that means is that sometimes people will leave the company.

Sometimes you have to make tough decisions around whether people are joining the company. And so...

But it's difficult because, and it means that you're not always everyone's friend and you're not always seen as a nice guy. A lot of the time, you're gonna be in those situations considered not the nice guy, but actually what you're doing, you have to make decisions for the best interests of the company. And so I would say, you asked what are the difficult areas for growing and scaling a business, it's...

being willing to make those tough decisions and not only make them but also identify them and so what that

creates on the flip side is that you begin to create a high performing culture who really are aligned with the core values of the business but also these individuals within the business sit within their unique ability and a unique ability as a description is it's effortless it's easy so people make that role and that task

Desi (42:11) Bye.

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (42:16) easy and it doesn't feel like work and that's when you find that is what truly is unique ability and so when you have those people within those seats who are sitting within their unique ability i .e the right person in the right seat what you can create and what you can achieve is limitless but it's very difficult to get there in the first place because you have to make those tough decisions.

Desi (42:21) you

No, absolutely. And you have to be thinking about the morale and the motivation amongst the people who are actually putting the extra mile, who are working hard and who are really passionate. It's really difficult to make a decision when you see like people just not in the right place. They're not motivated enough. You can't teach passion, right? I mean, if you're really passionate about something, you will find a way to deliver.

If you're not, I mean, whatever you do, whatever KPIs and target you set, it's just very difficult to make someone excited about something they're not.

Yeah. What advice would you give to someone looking to start their own business in the health and wellness sector? Are there any lessons you've learned that you wish you had done, you had known when you started?

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (43:36) and

Again, I think that that's always a difficult one because you have to go on your own journey and you have to experience and learn what works, what doesn't work and make those corrections as you're going. So there's no magic bullet, no magic formula and it goes back to the willingness to learn, willingness to persevere and willingness to create opportunities out of adversity. So yeah, the only advice I would give is what I've given before is just whatever it is that you're doing, you know, don't jump on

Desi (43:42) Yeah.

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (44:07) don't jump on fads, don't try and do something which really isn't aligned with something of true purpose because if you do find that person that's when you as a founder and entrepreneur can sit within your unique ability so it doesn't feel like work. So when I work 16, 18 hour days it doesn't really feel like work it's just what I do. I'm able to do it relatively easy but anyone looking for a job

in or anyone trying to do what I'm doing would think that it's pretty much insane but as I said because it's aligned with my vision aligned with my passions I'm able to do that but also replicate it consistently and at scale.

Desi (44:56) Thanks so much for your time Thomas. It's been absolutely inspirational to see your passion, to see your dedication and how from a footballer you turn to a successful entrepreneur and I see nothing but success in front of the turmeric. Before I let you go, can you share any routines or practices that help you stay focused and energized and have this passion of working 16 hours a day? Other than loving what you're doing, I want something else.

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (45:24) Well apart from taking my tour back shot first thing in the morning, which is how I always start the day. But yeah, no, I think really being open to learning and being open around mistakes that you may make and being willing to correct them is key. A lot of entrepreneurs and a lot of managers and business leaders and even coaches, you know, they have egos and unfortunately if you have an ego,

Desi (45:28) Absolutely, we start from there.

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (45:54) you know, you're less likely to get to solutions and get to work. You know, remove the activity, just focus on the work, you know, and really having that discipline to do so. But yeah, I would say aligned with that is then knowing that, you know, you know nothing, you know, the Turmikko, you know, we've scaled the business, we're, you know, servicing tens of thousands of people on a daily basis. But we've made all of this up.

created it from scratch you know so there's no right or wrong way of doing things it's just what we see as the best way to move forward and move towards that vision so yeah I would say you know really really making sure that you're open to continual learning and in manufacturing speak they talk about lean manufacturing continuous improvements and what that is is that's actually about reducing waste and increasing flow and you can actually

do that in every single function or every single business or every single project or career and so having that willingness to continually improve and therefore continually learn and increase your knowledge is key and so you know resources, books, you know looking at various different business leaders and what they talk about in terms of you know whether it be culture, process, you know vision, brand,

sales like there's lots of different areas where you can continually learn and with the resources that we have within the world ie the internet you know now we've moved into AI you know that you truly have knowledge at your fingertips and it's just how willing you are to open your mind to that knowledge and so what that means is being willing to learn and then relearn you know so you do something this way

way, if someone explains a better way of doing it, a lot of people will say, that's just the way I've always done it. So I'll just continue to do it. But actually being willing to say, okay, I'm going to open my mind, I'm going to look at a new way of doing things to optimize, improve, increase efficiency, increase optimization, opportunities is a real unique space to be in. And if you can integrate that across a group of people, that's when you really

can move mountains and you know iron sharpens iron so does one man sharpen another right and it's like so true what that basically means is if you have a standard that you're not willing to drop below that standard becomes the norm and so you standardize the standard and then if you then have a mentality and a mindset around continuous improvement all you're doing is increasing and improving that standard all of the time and that then creates an A -star culture

with A -Star players within an A -Star team.

Desi (48:58) Love that, Thomas. Stay humble, stay curious, keep learning and keep your feet on the ground. Thank you so much for your time. Where can people find you online other than obviously ordering the shots from the Turmeric website?

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (49:12) Yeah so you can find us at theturmick .co online we're also across all social channels just type in the Turmick Co you can follow me Robson Canu across all of the various social platforms I'm also on LinkedIn as well which is fantastic for building awareness and sharing the messages that we're creating but yeah feel free to drop me a DM reach out to me anytime and it's certainly an exciting period but one which is also

demanding but we enjoy the process.

Desi (49:45) That's the way I learned about you from LinkedIn. I absolutely love your daily updates. Thanks, Thomas.

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu (49:49) Thank you so much, Desi. Appreciate it. Thank you for having me.

Desi (49:53) Same here.