The latest visitor to the sofa of success is Nindar Johal who is the founder of the Signature Awards and, more recently, the Nachural Business Awards. Who better to give us some insider information on awards and what they are all about.

Video Transcription


Good morning. Good Morning. It’s Rach here, an award-winning award writer with The Awards People. Now, continuing our fabulous people sitting on the Sofa for Success, which is beginning to get its own fan club. Soon there’ll a blooming Facebook page too. I’m telling you. I keep gettin’ people now emailing saying, “Can I come sit on the Sofa of Success”? Not can I come and talk to you, Rach. Oh, no. It’s all about the sofa. I’m being outperformed.

N: It is a nice sofa.

RH: I’m being outperformed, Ninder, by a sofa.

N: Nice sofa.

RH: Well, yeah. Yeah, it is. It’s our sofa. Pete thinks he owns it, but he’s only got, you know, rights to it, degree 00:44 to it. But I have Ninder here from the West Midlands, people. He’s come across counties to see us. But before I get lost on all the things that you are involved with—

N: Sure.

RH: – tell my mum and our viewer in Warwick who you are, what you do, and how people can get in touch with you. No, we’ll get the logo and the content details at the end.

N: Sure.

RH: Tell them your name, rank, and number. [Laughs]

N: Okay. Er, my is Ninder Johal. Er, you’re right. I was born in Birmingham.

RH: Birmingham.

N: So, I’m from the West Midlands, and, erm, but I spent quite a bit of my time in the East Midlands because, er, in the early part of my career I was, er, selling records, music.

RH: Wow.

NJ: So, I was traiping 01:27 up the M69 every weekend selling records. And you may have remembered a term called music cassettes—

RH: Yes.

NJ: – and CDs?

RH: Yes.

NJ: Erm, so, we used to sell—we had a number of customers in the East Midlands, in particular, Leicester.

RH: Oh, I did not know that.

NJ: And so I know Leicester quite well in that sense.

RH: Great.

NJ: Belgrave Road and Norbury Road.

RH: Yeah.

NJ: And so, yeah. So, erm, I’m a West Midland who spent quite a bit of time in the East Midlands.

RH: [Laughter] You’re welcome. You’re always welcome.

NJ: Thank you. Thank you.

RH: And what about, er, nowadays? I mean, I obviously know you from—

NJ: Yeah, yeah.

RH: – a couple of different things. But yeah. Tell us—tell us what you’re all about now.

NJ: Well, er, so, so, from music—erm, and we did quite well with music. We charted in the UK.

RH: Wow.

NJ: Er, we charted number five. So, Top of the Pops. Do you remember Top of the Pops?

RH: I do.

NJ: Yeah. So, Top of the Pops Number 5.

RH: Good grief.

NJ: Er, we’ve been number seven in the US with a—

RH: Blimey. That’s an achievement.

NJ: We had a certain individual called Jay Z.

RH: Uh-huh.

NJ: He featured on, he featured on the track. Er, we were number two in Italy—er, sorry. One in Italy, two in Germany, and we registered a fairly num 02:25—nine number ones.

RH: I’ve known Ninder for years. I didn’t know any of this.

NJ: So, there you go. So, when it comes to, er—

RH: You dark horse, you.

NJ: – when it comes—well, listen. I—it’s probably too late for your transmission, but on this Friday on the BBC, they’re doing a documentary about my role and other people’s role in the development of the music industries. Check it out.

RH: No, I’ll check it out, but you can always catch up on iPlayer or whatever the heck it’s called.

NJ: Absolutely.

RH: What’s it gonna be called?

NJ: Er, it’s called, er—that’s a good question. Pump It Up Something: The Asi—the British Asian sound.

RH: Ooh.

NJ: But it’s on BBC, er, channel four. BBC Four and BBC Two.

RH: Wow.

NJ: I think. So you can see what I’ve got up to.

RH: I’m gonna do that.

NJ: So, there you go.

RH: I’m gonna do that.

NJ: So, so, from music, er, obviously as a musician I understood lighting, sound, and, and, er, video production and projection. So, once we’d had our hits and I thought it’s not gonna happen every week. So then we, erm, we moved and diversified into event production—

RH: Uh-huh.

NJ: Erm, and then the next logical step was doing your own event production as opposed to doing other people’s.

RH: Yeah.

NJ: And that’s where the idea came out of doing the Signature Awards which are in Birmingham, the Nachural Entrepreneurship Awards which are in Leicester, and the Nachural Business Awards which are in the Black Country in, in the West Midlands. And really the only difference was whereas I’d spent decades promoting artists and my own band as one of those artists, I’m now promoting businesses. And why is that important? Well, businesses bring wealth creation.

RH: Mm-hmm.

NJ: They employ people, and by employing people, they make communities sustainable.

RH: Mm-hmm.

NJ: And by making communities sustainable, you have, er, taxes—they have the ability to pay taxes. With taxes, then you can fund the public sector. And if the public sector’s doing well and the private sector’s doing well, then we have what we call a very harmonious society, and everybody’s doing well. And, therefore, the chances, or the probability, of having social tension becomes much reduced.

RH: Wow.

NJ: So, the role of business is critical—

RH: Mm.

NJ: – to the functioning of not only a region, not only a country, but actually global prosperity.

RH: Now, did you mention on the QT—am I going to steal your thunder by mentioning something about awards in London coming up soon?

NJ: Yep. Yep. So, so the journey’s been that, erm, so I f-, fell upon the idea of doing one in what we call the Black Country in the West Midlands.

RH: Yeah.

NJ: And over two or three years, they did really, really well. So, people in Birmingham, o-, only 12, 12 miles away said, “Can you do one in Birmingham?” So, I said, “Okay. I’ll do one in Birmingham.” And during this duration, a number of people from Leicester kept coming, and Nottingham, saying, “Can you bring one to Leicester?” So, okay. We’ll bring one to Leicester. And, of course, since Leicester’s been happening, then people of London have said, “Why aren’t you doing one in London?” So now, we’ve got a date set, 2020, erm, and so we’re going down to London. And, of course, there’s people now in middle east saying, “Bring it up—so, wow.”

RH: Wow.

NJ: So, it’s all mushrooming and growing quite well, but listen. The, the, the underlying theme then is still is having sustainable communities. And that can only happen if you have a flourishing economy. And that can only happen if you have brilliant entrepreneurs who take the risk—

RH: Yeah.

NJ: – and stretch the boundaries.

RH: Hm. Well—

NJ: And that’s what the awards are all about.

RH: Absolutely. And I, I certainly think in Leicestershire/the East Midlands and I’m sure the West Midlands—I’m not as familiar with the West Midlands, obviously, as you are, but, but certainly from what I see from my clients, you know, er, business is, is good. Forget what The Guardian

NJ: Mm.

RH: – Manufacturing Section says end of May 06:08. Business is good. We’ve got some great pushing—er, and now we’ve got Midlands Engine, of course as well. It’s, it’s really beginning to push the whole region forward. And I think, obviously, the awards play a big part in that as well.

NJ: Yeah, yeah. Abs—so, so, so the awards that I, erm, set up have, er, er, three elements to it.

RH: Mm-hmm.

NJ: So, there’s a, a learning element.

RH: Mm-hmm.

NJ: So, hopefully you’ll hear—So, last year, in Leicester we had, Sir John Peace—

RH: Yes.

NJ: – who’s Chairman of Burberry. So, obviously, people heard about his journey with Burberry, his journey with other businesses like GUS—

RH: Mm.

NJ: – and his views on what you judge referred to as the Midlands Engine. So, there’s a learning element.

RH: Mm-hmm.

NJ: Then with 500 entrepreneurs in the room, there’s a networking element. And a third element, and not the only element, which is what you tend to find at awards night, but the third element is one of celebration.

RH: Mm.

NJ: So you celebrate winners and entrepreneurs and businesses who’ve done well over the last 12 months or even a longer part of the journey. So, there are three elements. So, people may come for all three, or one or two, erm. So, that’s, I think, is firstly, it’s unique in its format. It’s also unique—I’m pretty certain of this, that the people in that room are from diverse backgrounds.

RH: Mm.

NJ: And it’s unlikely that you’ll find the same lot of diverse communities in people at another event, so you have access—

RH: Why do you think, why do you think that is?

NJ: Erm—

RH: Do you think it’s because of your own background and touching in to, to different societies and groups of people and cultures? Or—

NJ: Well, well, it’s interesting because—

RH: You think it’s ’cause it’s in Leicester, and we are a very diverse population?

NJ: No, no. It’s, it’s also the case with the other two events I do as well.

RH: Wow. Okay.

NJ: And, and I suppose I fit in both camps, if you don’t mind me using that term—

RH: Mm.

NJ: – erm, that I’m—[Laughs]. To an outsider who meets me for the first time, this guy has a Birmingham accent, but looks like he’s just come from Mumbai, if that makes sense—

RH: Yeah, yeah.

NJ: – to somebody who’s not met me. So, so, so I think we—and I regard myself as quite fortunate that I have two backgrounds.

RH: Mm-hmm.

NJ: I have a background that I’m British-born, so I understand British culture, but I can’t forget the background of my parents—

RH: Yeah.

NJ: – what they bring. And in a post-Brexit environment, I think the role of people like me will be important as we seek further export opportunities in countries like India—

RH: I think the role of people like you, as you’ve just said, is gonna be bloomin’ vital.

NJ: So, in that respect, and I, and I, and I suppose that—look, look, we’re all. We’re all human beings. We tend to liaise, communicate, work with people that look like us.

RH: Mm-hmm.

NJ: So, I suppose I would have a propensity to attract an audience that looks like me, er, but because I’m mainstream, because I was born here, educated here, erm, and I live here, I’ve lived all my life here, erm, that also earns British—I have, er, an inherent British culture. So, therefore, I’m comfortable to people like Rachel. I’m comfortable to other people. Er, I’ve been Past President of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce.

RH: Ah.

NJ: I sit on, erm, my local LEP. So, you have a LEP here. I sit on what we call the West Midlands Growth Company.

RH: Yeah.

NJ: So, I’m a governor at the Northampton University. I’m a Vice-Chair of SandwellCollege. So, so I tend mix—

RH: How do you find the time?

NJ: Yeah. Right. Yeah. Quite difficult. Er, and I’m a chair of a couple of charities. So, when you take all that into account, so I pretty well move—

RH: He’s a well-connected dude. That’s what he’s saying.

NJ: [Crosstalk 09:39]. Well, well, that’s nice of you to say so, but I—

RH: He’s a well-connected dude.

NJ: – I tend to move around quite a bit. And I suppose, therefore, because I am promoting the events, then I tend to get people from all those backgrounds—

RH: Mm.

NJ: – attending. So, that’s why, I suppose. You said well, why? It’s probably because of my background and the, and the diversity of my background—

RH: Mm.

NJ: – the diversity of the sectors I work in—

RH: Mm.

NJ: – from, erm, education towards the creative industries, erm, and, and businesses also. That’s probably why I get that wide array of attendees.

RH: And how long, er, have, er, the, the awards been running for, and, and how have you seen—I am absolutely presuming that there’s been growth over those years—how have you seen them grow over those years?

NJ: Yeah, it’s interesting. So, if, if I take, erm, the ones in the Black Country. I started about 2012, 2011, 2012 [10:27]?

RH: Mm. Okay.

NJ: So, it’s been about seven years. So, I, I remember the first was about 2011 [10:35], and we were right in the smack in the middle of the big recession—

RH: Mm.

NJ: – the global meltdown.

RH: Mm.

NJ: And, erm, I was amazed how many turned up in spite of the environment we were all operating in. Erm, but the—so, so the Black Country one has grown incredibly. So, it’s, it’s around 600 people. Er, the one in Birmingham, which is now in its fifth iteration—it started in 2015 [11:00], if the numbers make sense. Er, so next year with its fifth iteration, we hope to have about 550 there.

RH: Gosh.

NJ: So, we’re, we’re, so we’re at maximum capacity in all the venues. Er, and the Leicester award which was last year, it was the first year—

RH: Mm.

NJ: – we hit 400.

RH: Gosh.

NJ: So, it’s first year. So, we’re hitting some good, healthy numbers and they are increasing. And, of course, as the brands grow—

RH: Mm.

NJ: – then not only do you get more people attending, but brands—other brands want to support—

RH: Mm.

NJ: – what is seen to be a growing brand.

RH: Mm.

NJ: So, yeah. I’ve seen growth.

RH: Brilliant. And in terms of the companies that are being nominated and are, or are putting themselves forward, are there different names coming forward to you?

NJ: Yeah, yeah. I think the one thing I suppose I’ve not been keen to push are the big multi-nationals—

RH: Mm-hmm.

NJ: – because I don’t think they need it.

RH: Mm-hmm.

NJ: I think they do what they do. These are for SMEs of all sizes, whether they’re start-ups or at the upper end of SN—SME. One, we want to reward them and inspire the next generation, erm, but also those who are now on a good journey, we wanna recognise that journey so they get a bit out of what they’ve done to date. And I think one of the things, and you’ll, you’ll know this, I think one of the things about putting an application is it forces you to reflect on your journey.

RH: Yes, absolutely.

NJ: And as it forced them to reflect, then questions the future of their business strategy because, for once, they’ll have to sit down and holistically look at. Erm, so I’ll give you an example—

RH: Mm.

NJ: – of people who say, “That’s a waste of time.” So, I’ll give you an example. So, erm, the Sunday Times, erm, run a Non-Exec Director of the Year. And so, the Chamber of Commerce said, “We’re thinking of put-, nominating you going forward.” And, of course, you sit back and say, “Well, okay. Let’s look at any negatives.” There aren’t any.

RH: Yeah.

NJ: For entering awards, there are no negatives. So, it’s—

RH: Some would say, “What if I lose? What if I don’t get—?”

NJ: Right. Okay. So, here we go. So, I’m gonna tackle that for you.

RH: Brilliant.

NJ: Right. Right. So, yeah. I might lose. So what? Erm, so we said, “Let’s go for it. Erm, we’ll give it a shot.” And, amazingly, we got through the first stage.

RH: Brilliant.

NJ: And then, erm, they said what? We now need X amount of rigorous approach.

RH: Mm.

NJ: So, we sent the second one. Amazingly, we got through to the next one, and so well now, it’s an interview basis. I got through the interview as well. So, now, you’re in the final of the Non-Exec of the Year. I thought, “Oh.” Now, here’s the big one. We came second. Now, people said, “Well, that was all a waste of time.” I said, “No” because I tweeted on the night congratulating the winner. I, I came runner-up, but we got a lot of press from the fact that I tweeted the winner. So, people suddenly knew I was runner up. The local press called [indiscernible 13:48] Leicester Mercury did a big piece on it, so I said, “No, I came second.” And then the Sunday Times rang me and said, erm, just a couple of weeks ago, we’d now like you to be a judge.

RH: [Laughs] Fantastic.

NJ: So, so go back and I decided, “Oh, this is a real waste of time.” Now, here’s an example of so much PR created even though I didn’t win. And now I’ll be judging the Sunday Times Non-Exec of the Year, and you can imagine the kind of people that’ll be sitting around the table.

RH: Wow. Yeah. I mean, talk about profile boosting. Not that you particularly need profile boosting—

NJ: No, but, but—

RH: – but, you know, it’s always nice, isn’t it, to get a little bit more.

NJ: Yeah. So, there’s, so there’s an example I now say to people who say, “Well, what’s the point of doing something when I might not win?” Well, if you use a class example of someone who didn’t win—

RH: I say it to my clients all the time.

NJ: – but the, but the, but the, the fallout after that has been nothing but positive.

RH: Mm. Mm. I had a charity client who entered Leicester Mercury Business Awards and they, er, they were up against some—Rainbows, who are huge, and the Matt Henson Foundation, huge.

NJ: Yeah.

RH: And they were like, “No. We’re not gonna win. We’re not gonna win.”

NJ: Yeah.

RH: I said, “Do you know what? This might sound crazy but bear with me. I don’t care if you don’t win because you will be in that room with 800 people. Everybody who’s still sober will be seeing your video—

NJ: Yeah.

RH: – the logo in the [whistles] program. Er, you’ll be able to put “Finalist at” on the bottom of email.” Er, obviously, er, they did that before ’cause they’re very switched-on people. Erm, I don’t care if you don’t win. [Indiscernible 15:15] [squealing sound] down the phone at me. I’m going who? What? Er, w—because I, I couldn’t be there on the night. I had another client meeting.

NJ: Sure.

RH: I’m like, what? Er, is that you? You’ve won? Oh, my god. So, we all did the girl squeal thing, which I don’t do. I’m not a girl-squealer but I did on that night because they were so excited. But I said, “It doesn’t matter if you don’t win. We can get the publicity from the whole process.”

NJ: Correct.

RH: I absolutely agree, and what’s to say, actually, you know what? You might win.

NJ: I mean, the classic example also, if you think about music, some of the people have come second in some of the Britain’s Got Talent, and—

RH: Done better than the winners.

NJ: – have done better than the winners. So, people—

RH: Less pressure.

NJ: – people must look beyond just what happens that night. It’s what happens beyond that night—

RH: Mm.

NJ: – and what you do with it irrespective of where you come. Erm, so, you know, a lot of people said, “Oh. You, you were a finalist at the Sunday Times.” Well, now I can say, “Well, actually. I’m a judge.” I mean, that’s the profile [indiscernible 16:15]—

RH: Oh, yeah.

NJ: So, there’s an example of somebody who might’ve dismissed the very thought. Erm, and I was up against some stiff competition—

RH: Oh, I bet.

NJ: – but congratulations to the guy who won—

RH: I bet.

NJ: – but there you go.

RH: Brilliant story. Absolutely brilliant story.

NJ: So, there you go.

RH: So, where’s, where’s Ninder right now in life? What are you doing? It’s all about the Leicester ones, is it?

NJ: Well, yeah. So, the Leicester ones, I think, by the time this gets transmitted, probably the Leicester ones will be in its last couple of weeks.

RH: Yeah.

NJ: Erm, and in terms of West Midlands, our next will be the Signature Awards at the ICC.

RH: Yeah.

NJ: And then we do the Wolverhampton version, and then we’re moving into London. And what I have discovered, which has been interesting, is that because now we got four or five events happening, there’s a lot of what I call “cross-pollinisation.”

RH: Yeah.

NJ: So, events tend to be largely regional—

RH: Yeah.

NJ: – because people are reluctant to drive more than hour, so probably they’ll never go to another event in another region, er, but because they’re familiar with our brand—

RH: Mm.

NJ: – then they will take that punt.

RH: Yeah, the brand, and it’s, it [crosstalk 17:23].

NJ: – knowing that. Yeah. And then they’ll follow it. Yeah, so they follow it. So, now we’re getting people from Leicester, Nottingham, Derby coming to the West Midlands. We’ve got the West Midlands now coming to the East Midlands. So, it’s a classic case of east meets west.

RH: [Laughs]

NJ: And then, obviously, what we’re then trying to do is connect with the South—

RH: Oh, lord. Not the South. Good lord, if you do that one, you’re—well, I was gonna say you’re a better man than me. Well, clearly you are a better man.

NJ: And so, and so, obviously, what we’re—the big picture really is to try and get people to increase their business—

RH: Yeah.

NJ: – by looking outside of their normal hinterland—

RH: Yeah.

NJ: – you know, where they can travel within half an hour, but to look beyond there to understand the big regional and national picture. To understand that.

RH: Yeah.

NJ: To think on a much more macro level.

RH: Mm.

NJ: To think more innovation.

RH: I love it.

NJ: To think more leadership.

RH: Yeah.

NJ: And so the awards is a, only a segment, but the big picture is how can we improve the productivity of a region and a country. And that can only happen when you meet other people, learn from other people, and connect with other people. And that’s what really the awards are about. It’s that big picture rather than homing in.

RH: That’s what I love about it. That’s what I love about what, what you do is it is that big picture. Small detail, big picture. I, I—it just—I just love it. Erm, one thing that we have been hearing a bit about, and being as you are the organiser of awards, I’m gonna ask you this question, and there is no offense intended here, but it comes up quite often when I’m talking to people who are considering people entering awards. Quite often, they’ll go, “Yeah. Well, you know. It’s not about how good your submission is. It’s about how many tables you have or whether you’ve sponsored the awards. And I know that “X” sponsored “Y” and they got the award.” And I’m like no, no, no, no, no, no. I’m not saying that never happens because that would be foolish. I, I don’t have that macro view on it, but what would you say as a person who organises awards?

NJ: Okay. Right. Okay. Now, if I wanted to maximise my return, it’s very easy. All I would have to do is have 30 categories, have [indiscernible 19:27] 10 nominations in each—you do the numbers.

RH: Mm.

NJ: And even if I manage to secure three or four tickets, I’ve got a full house. So, that’s 30 awards. I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t—

RH: Oh, that’s a long award night.

NJ: Yeah. I wouldn’t bother putting anybody on video. Why spend the time and the cost of that? So that’s an easy route in.

RH: Mm.

NJ: And if you wanted to augment it, you could sell, sell a few tickets to—sorry, fellow—sell a few awards to sponsors. Three things happen. Firstly, you will have no credibility left.

RH: Mm.

NJ: Secondly, in an ultra-competitive environment, people can choose other events to go to. And thirdly, your event, not only because of the first two, will no longer stand out.

RH: Mm.

NJ: You have on your hands a failing business.

RH: Mm-hmm.

NJ: So, integrity, credence, and authenticity is the number one. If your brand loses one or all three of those, it’s gone. So my, my job, therefore, as somebody who organises, is to ensure that those three elements stand out.

RH: Mm.

NJ: And to date we’ve never had a sponsor who’s been allowed to enter for that precise reason. And also probably a sponsor won’t feel too good other people thinking that. And, equally, I won’t feel too good other people thinking that. Erm, so, so that instance, erm, it’s never happened. And in terms of people buying tables, that’s their decision. If they win on the night and there’s only one person there, they’ve just lost out on a huge PR marketing exercise because if they’d brought their best clients, they probably would’ve—and so it’s how much confidence they have in it. And we’ve never insisted on tables you buy. Er, and some of our award winners have only bought two or three tickets but they’ve actually, in the end, they’ve realised they had made a mistake by not bringing. And, and, of course, an event, if it’s put well together, its execution is good, people walk away happy, then generally they walk away with a good experience.

RH: Mm.

NJ: And if you’ve hosted a table and those people have walked out and said, “That’s a great night,” in fact, they’ve just said to your personal brand and your organisation’s brand, “Thank you. That’s a brilliant night out.” So, you know, we try to make sure that our event is a must-attend event.” And 70 percent of our attendees have nothing to do with the awards.

RH: Mm.

NJ: They just come for the good night out. And that learning and networking element is what attracts them. So, we don’t have to depend on and rely on tables being full to, to nominees. That’s not our modus operandi.

RH: Yeah, it’s not your business.

NJ: It’s not our business. So, you know, we could, I think, if we really pushed it, we could probably do the events without the awards. So, so if that’s the case, why would we have to ensure people buy tables in order to win an award.

RH: Great. I love it. It’s just—not because you’re backing up what I’m saying, but I think it’s just, it’s just so nice to have somebody who runs such high-profile, such well-respected awards be able to say, “Yeah. I can answer that with no problem at all. It’s, it’s just these are the reasons.”

NJ: Yeah.

RH: Yeah.

NJ: And that’s what our attendance record will show when you look at people. Erm, and already for the Signature Awards which is what, about six months away, we’re already, I think, halfway through our tables.

RH: Gosh.

NJ: And, and guess what? We haven’t launched the awards yet.

RH: No. [Laughs] I know that ’cause I’m on every alert that you do.

NJ: Yeah. We haven’t launched the award yet, but they know the date.

RH: Yeah.

NJ: And tickets are being bought already.

RH: Yeah.

NJ: We haven’t even told people what the awards categories are.

RH: We will be flashing up Ninder’s details and the different websites with the details on, er, the different awards at the end of the video as we always do. So, don’t worry. You will be able to find out more about the awards, find out more about the categories, erm, and, er, and enter. We’re gonna have to up our game with our clients.

NJ: No problem.

RH: We’re gonna get—

NJ: No, I’m sure they’ll be a high quality.

RH: Always. Always. Erm, in fact, I’m going to put the last one in tonight.

NJ: Nice.

RH: So, er, that’s what I’ll be doing when I leave here.

NJ: Nice.

RH: Just got their, er, amendments back. So, erm, we ask three questions to everybody who sits on the Sofa of Success.

NJ: Okay.

RH: Er, I won’t pretend they’re anything other than a bit of fun.

NJ: Okay.

RH: The last one may be interesting for us—

NJ: Okay.

RH: – but we’re gonna go for it.

NJ: Okay.

RH: So, the first question is, and you’ve got to pretend—it’s a bit, a bit of let’s pretend now, you’re gonna have to pretend that instead of being the organiser of the event—well, actually, you don’t have to pretend ’cause you-, your Sunday Times one just recently was your experience. So, you’re at a table, er, as a finalist. Somebody’s standing on stage, and they say, “And the winner of this award is Ninder.” When you get up, do you high five your colleagues on the table or bear hug them?

NJ: Okay. Erm—

RH: You’re overthinking this. [Laughs]

NJ: Okay. I would—oh, okay. If you push me, bear hug. Bear hug.

RH: I’m gonna push you. Erk 24:21.

NJ: Bear hug.

RH: Bear hug. He’s a bear hugger, but he thought. You know why you thought? Because it was a Non-Executive Award, and I’ll bet you were thinking, “Who’s around the table?” [Laughs]

NJ: True.

RH: [Laughs] I’m joking. Erm, you’re on the—you go up to the stage, do you go on your own? Do you take your team with you?

NJ: Take the team with you.

RH: Yeah, I thought you might be a team-with-you person. Now, this one might be the tricky one because I think, like me, you’re a non-drinker. The last question is, and I’ll ask it, and we’ll a do a the-, theoretical one and then you can tell me what you really would drink. I’m at the bar. “Ninder! You’ve just won!” Champagne or Prosecco?

NJ: Yeah, no. See, I’m stuffed.

RH: [Laughs]

NJ: It’d have to be an orange juice.

RH: Orange juice. There we go. I had to do the same thing [indiscernible 25:02] actually. [Laughs]

NJ: Erm, it might’ve have been water until I saw this program last night, I don’t know if you saw it, on healthy eating and drinking.

RH: No.

NJ: Oh, it was extraordinary because I was of the conception, or misconception, that the best drink for you—

RH: Yeah.

NJ: – is water—

RH: Yeah.

NJ: – because it dehydrates 25:18.

RH: Yeah.

NJ: Well, actually, there were three options given, and they did a, a real-, really good scientific study on this.

RH: No, what’s going on?

NJ: So, there’s juice.

RH: Yeah.

NJ: Is juice the best dehydrator 25:29? Is it water? Or is it coffee? And the fourth one was milk. Come on, then. Which one? Er, which of those four, if you drank regularly, would keep you the best, most hydrated?

RH: Well, I’m kind of thinkin’ the answer’s not water but that would, is what I would go for.

NJ: Yeah, which is what I would’ve gone for, which I’ve always gone for, but not the water.

RH: Juice.

NJ: Nope.

RH: Do not tell me it’s coffee.

NJ: Nope.

RH: Well, it’s gotta be milk then.

NJ: Milk. Apparently, the more milk you drink, the more hydrated you are.

RH: Was this sponsored by the British Milk Marketing Board?

NJ: [Laughs] No.

RH: Is there such an organisation? I might have just made that one up. [Laughs]

NJ: Extraordinary. So, now you might have asked the question what? If you’ve just won, would you like coffee, milk, juice, or a Prosecco?

RH: [Laughs] I’m gonna have to rethink question three for the non—those we know are possibly non-drinkers or we suspect non-drinkers because, you know, if I was asked that, I’d go, “Well, Cham—” Well, I was asked that, but Champagne, but, actually, I stopped drinking eight years ago, so it would be a glass of water. Well, now because I’m vegan so I can’t do milk. I could do oat, oat milk. Almond milk.

NJ: I know.

RH: I’ve just won a major award and I’ve got an almond’s milk. My, er, it’s, it’s not going to fly, is it?

NJ: Probably what matters more is what’s in the other hand which is the award.

RH: Yes. Whoop! Whoop! Yes. On that note, I really ought to think about putting The Awards People in some awards, shouldn’t I? But anyway, let’s concentrate on clients for now. Thank you so much—

NJ: Absolutely not a problem.

RH: – for coming and joining us the Sofa of Success.

NJ: Nice, funky set-up.

RH: Isn’t it brilliant? I’d love to say it’s ours, but it’s not.

NJ: It’s a nice, funky set-up.

RH: My office is about that big which is why we film here.

NJ: That’s fine.

RH: So, yeah. Thanks to Pete for letting us have his office space again and sit on his Sofa of Success which is really ours. In its heart, it’s ours, but actually, legally, it’s owned by Pete. Erm, come and talk to us again.

NJ: No problem.

RH: Erm, let’s, let’s get you back on the sofa next time you’re over this way—

NJ: Fantastic.

RH: – and talk about what else is happening because it’s a fast-moving world.

NJ: It is.

RH: And what is happening with the middle east. I mean, wow. That’s just crazy man.

NJ: Let’s see what happens.

RH: I know. It’s so exciting, isn’t it?

NJ: Watch this space.

RH: I’ll watch this space but only for a minute ’cause it’ll all change. [Laughs] Right. Let’s let Ninder get back into doing whatever the heck he’s doing next. It’s a busy diary he has. Until next week, friends. We’ll catch you then. Take care.