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From Aspiring Investment Banker to Energy Procurement Entrepreneur

Aaron Dardi


Powered By:

hsbcinnovationbanking logo

From Aspiring Investment Banker to Energy Procurement Entrepreneur

Aaron Dardi



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Aaron Dardi ENERGYbubble
Full transcript here

About Aaron Dardi

Episode 134: Amardeep Parmar from The BAE HQ  welcomes Aaron Dardi, CEO of ENERGYbubble.

Aaron Dardi's journey from aspiring investment banker to becoming the CEO of ENERGYbubble, a company designed to address energy procurement with innovative, wholesale strategies during the UK energy crisis. Through personal anecdotes and detailed business insights, Aaron discusses the challenges and growth of ENERGYbubble, emphasising its unique approach to servicing a diverse client base.

Aaron Dardi


Show Notes

00:00 - Intro 

01:52: Aaron's original career ambitions and pivot to entrepreneurship.

03:01: Aaron's disillusionment with the academic environment at LSE.

04:01: Benefits and challenges of running university societies.

06:46: Transition out of banking and starting a new venture during COVID.

09:16: Further insights from running a COVID testing business.

11:10: Development and mission of Energy Bubble, focusing on client relationships.

14:51: Final thoughts on ENERGYbubble's impact and future aspirations.

19:02: Branding challenges in a B2B energy business.

20:01: Importance of flexibility and customisation in services.

20:35: Potential of B2B markets and impact on large clients.

21:12: Overview of Energy Bubble's diverse client base.

21:38: Strategic targeting of mid-tier market segments.

22:50: Growth strategies of ENERGYbubble and attracting larger clients.

23:50: Challenges in scaling operations and staffing.

24:38: Importance of enthusiasm in recruiting team members.

25:34: Continuation of team dynamics and knowledge alignment in ENERGYbubble.

26:23: Aaron expresses pride in ENERGYbubble's achievements.

27:17: Impact of energy costs on business transactions.

28:23: Future aspirations for collaborative and innovative energy solutions.

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Aaron Dardi Full Transcript

Aaron Dardi : 0:00

There's a huge gap on energy. Energy is used by all UK businesses, whether it be a small office or whether it be a large factory. There's a much more sophisticated way, by applying wholesale strategies, than just going to a broker and say renew my contract. I really didn't think this is what I'd be doing. I didn't think I'd be in an energy business right now, and we said we'll help them with the energy crisis because we created this concept to effectively help navigate that crisis. And upon doing that, the demand we were getting inbound was outstanding and it quickly became that okay, instead of just helping people, we need to create something, and that's where energy bubble was born.

Amardeep Parmar:
Today on the podcast we have Aaron Dardi, who's the founder of Energy Bubble.

Amardeep Parmar: 0:44

They're an innovative way for businesses to load their energy bills. Aaron grew up wanting to be an investment banker and wanted to go to LSE. He was able to achieve both of those things, but while working in the investment banking industry, personal circumstances meant that he had to leave that and focus elsewhere. He then started a business with his brother during the COVID pandemic, where he was able to learn a lot and they were able to scale very quickly. After this, he worked in a family office where he was able to work with many different family businesses and he was supporting them in different ways. Along this journey,

Amardeep Parmar: 1:18

The idea for Energy Bubble came about, where they noticed that some of the companies were really struggling with their energy needs. Originally, it was just meant to be servicing companies within their own network, but they realised the commercial demands were so big that they had to spin something out and take it full time. Since doing that, they've continued to grow, expand the team and what they've got coming is really exciting. I'm Amar from the BAE HQ and this podcast is powered by HSBC Innovation Banking. So, Aaron, great to have you on today. What I'd love to hear about is like, when you're growing up, did you think that one day you'd be doing something like we're doing today, or what were your ambitions?

Aaron Dardi : 1:52

I really didn't think this is what I'd be doing. I didn't think I'd be in an energy business right now. I was one of those people. It's quite a common story that when you're in high school and you're quite good at maths that I want to be an investment banker and I want to go to LSE, and I became quite fixed on that vision. So majority of my high school life year nine onwards it was driven to getting the grades to get into LSE and to become an investment banker. I hadn't quite thought of the nuances of what investment banking meant and I kind of just pushed on and saw how far I could get with that.

Amardeep Parmar: 2:25

Why was it LSE in particular, because I know that you had a really big fixation on LSE.

Aaron Dardi : 2:28

I think when you go to see what materials are available online and when you speak to careers advisors at school, it becomes quite clear that they're forcing you to. That is the only real pathway if you want to guarantee success in a specific field, and there's an image that you have to go to this university to be able to have the best opportunity with certain firms. I later learned that that isn't necessarily the case, but that's all I had to go on. Careers advisors were very much like if you want to go into investment banking, you need to go to the very best university. So it became laser focus on that.

Amardeep Parmar: 3:03

And obviously you got into LSE and was it what you imagined it to be? Was it what your dreams come true?

Aaron Dardi : 3:10

I'm not quite sure on the answer on that, but when I was there I felt like it was a very different world. It became nothing at all to do with education and that was broadly fine with me because I saw it as a means to get into the career I wanted to get in. But I really feel like every ounce of creativity had disappeared. It was very much tunnel vision by everybody, a lot of competition and talking about who's applying to what internships. It wasn't, I'd say, the best culture. It didn't promote creative thinking. It didn't promote doing something out of the box. It was very much that when March or February hits and applications open, you are there sending in CVs, cover letters, and it was a bit like running on a running track and it was a bit intense. So it wasn't what I expected it. I didn't learn what I thought I would learn from that, but I took other lessons back, which are really useful.

Amardeep Parmar: 4:01

So you also run things on the side of that as well right and societies, and do you feel like that helped you keep some kind of level of balance or what encouraged you to do those kind of things?

Aaron Dardi : 4:11

I think, for societies. I really got involved with the Sikh Banjab Society because that was quite important to me. Um, my upbringing has been quite cultural, so to maintain that kind of connection it it was really, really good for me. I became president of that society. I think the con of that is university societies pose their own issues and politics and it can sidetrack you from other things that are important. So I think it disturbs the balance. But you have to have the right. You've got to say to yourself that this is what I want out of my university experience. This is what I want out of my university experience, this is what I want out of running the society, this is what I want out of the academic side. So whatever balance I need to strike, I need to do that. But I sometimes got that balance wrong.

Amardeep Parmar: 4:53

Because I think sometimes people who run society universities, it's almost a precursor to entrepreneurship down the line in some ways, because it's testing your skills out. Right, can you run something? Can you be the leader? And, like you said, there's often problems. Societies, right, you don't can't keep everybody happy, and it's just like a microcosm of when you're becoming an entrepreneur down the line. And how do you deal with those issues? How do you try to maintain the peace while also making the impact that you want to make as well? Right, and from your degree, you then went into the banking industry, as you hoped for. How was that process? Was it something which was quite fulfilling for you, or how was that transition?

Aaron Dardi : 5:30

So I managed to get an internship at NatWest. I had a great time. I didn't think I would. I went into that thinking it probably isn't the brand name I was expecting. That was one of the first offers I got and I was applying to other rounds. But as what happens when you're in second, third year of uni, you need to then put a lot of effort into your exams to get the grades you need to. So I thought it was a good opportunity to take the internship and I had an absolutely fantastic time.

Aaron Dardi : 5:53

I then went on to take on the full-time role there and when I first started you're put on to different placements and I was put on to the specialist asset finance team and that doesn't scream sexy. It isn't the investment banking kind of ECM world or M&A that people maybe had their dreams set on. I went in with quite a bad attitude. I think to that that I can't wait for this rotation to be over. I can't wait to be out of this and can't wait to move over to leverage finance. I had perhaps the best time there. The amount I learned the mentors I there, the amount I learned the mentors I found within that team, the kind of deals I got exposure to and a lot of that knowledge I've picked up by using in my life day to day. So what I learned from that is you don't have a preemptive view on what an experience is going to be. You can always make the best out of out of it. So I had a really good time during that experience.

Aaron Dardi : 6:46

I felt that pretty much majority of people in the banking world, when they go into a junior role, they feel like the hierarchy is quite rigid and they don't get the best out of that. The ones who are director and above want to make it known that we were in that position once. I never experienced that. I think. I just happened to meet really really good people along the way and they really wanted to boost my knowledge at every opportunity.

Amardeep Parmar:

How long did you stay in the banking industry for?

Aaron Dardi:

So I was across asset finance, leverage finance, for just under two years and then, for personal circumstances, I had to step away from that role. I was really deep into my role that something happened personally which meant I had to step away from that, and it was in that break that then I went on to doing another venture with my younger brother.

Amardeep Parmar: 7:30

Tell us about that other venture you started off with right. Where did the idea come from? What made you go for that rather than trying to find another job? Or how did that all come about?

Aaron Dardi : 7:37

What happened is my father was travelling and it was becoming a minefield on how do you travel in COVID. A certain country requires you to have a test so many hours beforehand that information isn't that transparent as a consumer, unless you're really well versed in digital and web, you can't find the information. He said. Why don't you set up a business doing the testing? There's many businesses out there very, very large brands doing the testing, but why don't you just make it better, make it more accessible? And my initial view was I will help my brother do it, but this won't work. There's huge brands out there. They will take over all the market. But we'll try it. What is the worst that can happen? And very, very quickly. I was proven wrong again. So we got government accredited. We got the necessary approvals ISO 15189, and everything you need to to run that medical testing business, brought on the necessary expertise and very quickly. We were doing an awful lot of tests and we were dealing with some really great clients.

Aaron Dardi : 8:40

An opportunity we found within that space is corporate clients needed an option on how to test production crews anyone who was still operating in covid and we soon got a lot of corporate clients who were setting sending clients to us for for testing. We set up bespoke booking portals for them, so we just made that customer journey on the corporate side easier and on the consumer side we made it more accessible. We had phone lines set up. We developed our own tool which said that if I'm flying to this country via Dubai or via somewhere else, that it would tell you that you need to book your appointment on this day.

Aaron Dardi : 9:16

We were pretty much the only testing company doing that, because a lot of people took the view that we don't want to take any risk as a firm. Book your test as and when you feel like it and we just give you the results. We don't want any advisory, and that's where we slotted in and that business went really, really well. I mean, covid didn't go on forever, thankfully, but what I learned in that business was was an immense amount of knowledge, because that was a truly operational business, actually operating physical, dealing with multiple counterparties, and I think that was the biggest telltale sign that running a business isn't easy. So if I'm ever going to do it and think of an idea, I need to have every base covered before I jump in.

Amardeep Parmar: 9:57

And how is it running that with your brother as well? Because so obviously you've got the finance background. Your brother obviously brought other things to the table. How did you juggle that and how? Because obviously you've got exposure to things you hadn't done before at the operational side. How did you split those challenges up between you and how did you manage that?

Aaron Dardi : 10:11

I think working with a family member has its own challenges, but overall I think there's huge benefits because running an operational business is very, very stressful, especially the kind of business we were operating where timelines were. The deadlines were very, very important. So by working with someone you can be quite upfront with you can be transparent on splitting workload and you can bootstrap together. If you want to stay up at home in the office till you know three in the morning bashing out reports, whatever you need to do to get the job done, that's very, very easy to do. So it was really good. We have different skill sets Mine's more finance, so I was getting the corporate deals, putting the systems in place. My brother was physically running the locations. Operationally running a business is very challenging. It comes with its own issues, staffing issues and that's something that when you're involved in a career like banking, you're quite distant to. You turn up at an office and you do your work via outlook.

Amardeep Parmar: 11:10

It's it's really hard work but it doesn't present the challenges of running an operational business so once you knew that I was going to start wrapping up right, once there wasn't the same demand as it used to be because, touch wood, things are now better in terms of the pandemic. We're just thinking now like I really love that, I want to do another business in the future, or like that was really hard. Do I go back to something more easy or not? That banking is easy, but something more stable? I guess what was your experience? Like there was? Did you give you that hunger to do more, or was it?

Aaron Dardi : 11:39

I think what it taught me is what I want out of business. I think very early on it cemented that I want to be an entrepreneur of some kind and maybe be involved in multiple businesses, whatever shape or form. But I knew that entrepreneurship would be the overall umbrella. However, what I think the business specifically taught me was what I actually find rewarding. I think a lot of people, especially in the pathway I've taken going to LSE, going into investment banking financial reward is a big driver for a lot of people and it should be. I mean, it's no doubt that we shouldn't talk about that.

Aaron Dardi : 12:13

Financial reward is a really important thing, but when I found myself doing really late nights running a business, what really motivated me is, you know, getting the problem solved, getting the deal done, and that taught me that if I want to be involved in the business, it can't solely be for financial reward, because that's not where my drive comes from. My drive comes from when you know you're working with a client and you eventually solve their problem, you eventually put pen to paper on that contract. That, to me, is the reward. So that's why that was a big consideration. When I was thinking about different ideas. There were a number of ideas. I had ideas which people were willing to support, but the best one at the time, I believe, was pursuing energy bubble and and seeing how that that's grew.

Amardeep Parmar: 12:56

Look at that as well, so you've now started to wind that side of the business down a bit. Was there a transition period or was it straight into energy bubble so?

Aaron Dardi : 13:04

I took a bit of time out and I helped with family businesses. So my family and family associates operate businesses across a variety of industry. So because of my finance background and strategy as well, which I'd picked up from running the COVID testing business, I assisted and plugged in in different roles there, kind of taking almost on like a COO role of of different arms, and that was that was really, really. I mean, I was involved in some really successful businesses, high turnover businesses. It was really exciting, but the reward was limiting because ultimately the business is running themselves quite well. They're quite stable. Most of them have been running for over 15, 20 years.

Aaron Dardi : 13:50

There wasn't much need for creativity because of the sectors they operated in. However, one thing we found in one of those businesses was there's a huge gap on energy. We faced our own energy challenges in one of the businesses. So why don't we fix this issue? And the first idea we had was why don't we just fix this issue for all our associates Luckily operating in the space? We have as a family and our associates my in-laws family between that network? There's a lot of independent business owners we know in that network and we said we'll help them with the energy crisis, because we created this concept to effectively help navigate that crisis and sophisticate that procurement pathway, and upon doing that, the demand we were getting inbound was outstanding and it quickly became that, okay, instead of just helping people, we need to create something, and that's where Energy Bubble was born. It was a concept we were doing and we spun it out, commercialized it and then started going to market with it, and so far it's going quite well.

Aaron Dardi : 14:51

Can you explain what Energy Bubble actually does, as if we're like five years old, so energy is used by all uk businesses, whether it be a small office or whether it be a large factory. They have to use either electricity or gas. There's other fuels. But keeping it simple, and majority of businesses have pretty much used a broker and said can you get me an energy contract? And they renew that every year.

Aaron Dardi : 15:14

Now for those who're spending quite a bit on energy, where you know some businesses, the first, second or third cost component on the pnl is there's a much more sophisticated way by applying wholesale strategies than just going to a broker and say renew my contract one because you can buy better and one you can be more transparent. Secondly, you can be more transparent and that transparency is something that hasn't been in this industry at all. It's not hard to find an article with a quick google search on a corrupt broker, hidden commissions, hidden fees, bad practices. So being able to shine a light on that and offering a better product made it quite a rewarding product we thought to bring to market.

Amardeep Parmar: 15:57

So once you're getting this demand size to come in, and you're now going to spin this out. I just said you're doing all these different roles for different family businesses and family associate businesses. What made you decide energy bubbles, where I want to dedicate my time and go full time into that, or majority of your energy, so ignoring the pun?

Aaron Dardi : 16:16

is. It's because I needed something where, first of all, to grow a concept because, although we would, we were helping people in our network with it to develop a brand and develop systems that work for actually a commercial product, for a b2b service business. There's so many other challenges and hurdles on the way. Um, you know the amount of legal, legal costs we had to go in to develop our own bespoke agreements, and all of these learning curves for me were motivational. Every day we're in this business, we're growing to do something new or we're speaking to somebody about a unique opportunity, and I need to be involved in a business that's doing that. That's doing something unique, offering something superior that's already there and just generally fun.

Aaron Dardi : 17:02

So, in my role, majority of the time I'm talking to independent business owners, talking about how we can help them, keeping our existing client base up to date on the market and keeping my face out there, and I really enjoy that, because majority of my day is spent to people who've ran successful businesses, grew successful businesses, and I get to pick up tips and tricks from them which they're really happy to share, and majority of businesses are really happy to see a young entrepreneur come out with an idea and really push it, and I've got a lot of British Asian entrepreneurs who are customers of mine and they're really supportive. They're really willing to bang the energy bubble drum for us without asking and for them to share their own experiences, which means as an MD of the business, my role is basically learning every day from clients and from prospective clients as well.

Amardeep Parmar: 17:52

We hope you're enjoying the episode so far. We just want to give a quick shout out to our headline partners  HSBC Innovation Banking. One of the biggest challenges for so many startups is finding the right bank to support them, because you might start off and try to use a traditional bank, but they don't understand what you're doing. You're just talking to an AI assistant or you're talking to somebody who doesn't really understand what it is you've been trying to do. HSBC have got the team they've built out over years to make sure they understand what you're doing. They've got the deep sector expertise and they can help connect you with the right people to make your dreams come true. So if you want to learn more, check out hsbcinnovationbanking.com.

Amardeep Parmar: 18:29

It's really good to hear that, because I think one of the problems we tried to challenge right at the beginning as well is that a lot of times we find you think traditionally British Asians don't always help each other. So it's great to hear you have an experience where these owners are talking to you and trying to help you especially, as you said, as somebody who's relatively younger than compared to a lot of the other entrepreneurs right, and they're seeing you and taking you under their wing, and you said about there, you've got the legal challenges. You've always different challenges at the beginning. What was something that maybe you had more optimism about, that's been harder than you thought it was going to be and you had to overcome that and get through it.

Aaron Dardi : 19:02

I think one is branding, because one thing we're exposed to a lot is consumer brands, so understanding what is on a billboard and things. Obviously there's people who are experts in that profession, but we all see it day in, day out. So we have a rough idea that if I wanted to launch a cake or something for the general uk consumer, I know what messaging I need to put across, I know what language I need to use, whereas transitioning into a fully b2b business where you've got such a range of clients I mean my clients range from some of the biggest multi-site businesses in the uk to single site cafes I mean that that's the extent of where our business range from so to know how to brand that and how to deliver the messaging. And what we quickly learned is don't be rigid, and I think that's where we've won a lot of businesses compared to some of the long established large consultancies and plcs is because we weren't rigid.

Aaron Dardi : 20:01

If a client needs a report in a certain way or they need data presenting in a certain way, we can do it. We don't have to abide by 10 tiers of process to get approvals to do that if it's very simple. If data needs to be presented in a different way. If something needs to be delivered differently in terms of an explanation or presentation, we can tailor that very specific to the client. So I think that was something that was. It was a very clear challenge having, as, I think, everyone in the uk we are consumers, so to then try and think okay, how does someone who's a business want to buy off me?

Amardeep Parmar: 20:35

so that that's probably the biggest challenge I think we see that a lot as well. Where I talk to early stage entrepreneurs, they'll be talking about their idea and often they are trying to sell directly to consumer, and what I would say to people is that you can sell a thousand whatever to people at 10 pound each and get 1010k. Or you can sell 10 things for £1,000 each and get the same amount of money and it's different cycles and different levels. But that B2B side is quite often overlooked. Where people think about business, they know the brands that they see and they use regularly, but that B2B side can often be, I guess it's like you said it's harder to relate to.

Amardeep Parmar: 21:12

But you can also make a much bigger impact because with the clients you're serving, they're also serving a huge number of customers, so you're indirectly helping them too, which is also a massive impact. You mentioned there about the range of the clients, right. So you've got people who are like individual cafes to massive companies and when you look at that range, was that intentional from the very beginning to have that huge range, or did you target one group of customers at the beginning and then move on to different groups? How did that?

Aaron Dardi : 21:38

strategy work. Our ethos was really to hit the area of the market that's being missed. What happened with the energy crisis is energy prices went up massively, which meant a lot of businesses who I'll take a prime sector, retail, core part of our business. There's a lot of convenience retailers who don't see themselves as sophisticated businesses. They see themselves as having. I've got five shops, I've got 10 shops and I have an energy bill and I pay it. But some of these stores are huge. They have huge energy bills across their whole portfolio of multiple stores. Their energy spend is significant and I've got multiple clients like that who spend over a. If you had a million pound in the bank account, you'd be talking to someone experienced on how to manage that. So our ethos was to help these customers that aren't being talked to by the large consultancies. They're being ignored because they're not. They're not big enough, but equally, they're not small either. So we targeted that market, but what happened is our success in that area of the market. We pushed on and pushed on and then even larger businesses were seeing that on the service side, they're not getting that same treatment from the large consultancies because you become just a number.

Aaron Dardi : 22:50

I think one one thing we wanted to really cement into the energy bubble way of working is having run and being an md of a operational businesses with locations. We understand small things that I have a missing invoice from a supplier, I need it now for you know, the vat return or something. I understand running a business, that I need that now. That's really important to me. It's a small thing but that's important to me.

Aaron Dardi : 23:15

Small service questions on what does this mean over response within five minutes. That means a lot to me. So because we were doing that for that kind of mid-tier customer, large customers were coming our way and saying the big consultancies aren't doing this for us. We ask a question and we get a response in two weeks' time or we get a report that we don't understand and they won't explain it to us in a different way. And we've picked up so many large businesses where we do bespoke reporting for them. We develop their own bespoke platforms with our IT team and that's what's kind of transitioned us from just doing that mid-sector to basically across the board.

Amardeep Parmar: 23:50

And the amount of demand. You've got inbound as well. How have you dealt with that? How have you been able to scale the team or scale the operations to deal with all of that inbound that's coming in so quickly?

Aaron Dardi : 23:58

Staffing in any business is really, really hard and I think, as any founder, you should look to pay a premium maybe, or give away equity to those who are more experienced. When you start your own business and you're, you might start, as I don't know, a 50 owner, 100 owner waiting to raise money you can sometimes watch the bottom line, maybe too much, and you can be a bit tight, let's say, and every pound matters and that's really important, but it can be quite a short view when you look at staffing. Sometimes you've got to give away equity to bring on the best talent and they'll teach you how to manage these inbound inquiries. Bring on people who have that experience.

Amardeep Parmar: 24:38

It comes at a price, but long-term that will stop you tripping up months down the line and have you been able to find these people and I guess, as you said, because you're relatively young and I've seen sometimes people who are much older, much more experienced have you been able to manage those conversations in a way that you're making sure that you're getting the right people on board?

Aaron Dardi : 24:57

I think it comes from one enthusiasm and one knowledge sharing is I don't know everything, and people I speak to don't know everything, but there's elements of their life that they've seen a lot more. I speak to people who have lived and breathed the energy industry since it was created, basically, and we've got people like that involved in our business. I will take that necessary information from them to help better myself, better the business, take that necessary information from them to help better myself, better the business, and they will lean on our experience on how Energy Bubble's set up to support them with dealing with customers the bespoke reporting side. However, they need to help customers they speak to.

Aaron Dardi : 25:34

So I think, in terms of talent and bringing on the right talent, it's very clear when there's a synergy between knowledge gaps, where somebody might have the knowledge but might not have the tools to go to clients mean there's, there's somebody we're bringing on quite soon to the team and they've been in energy for for a very, very long time and they some of their clients over the years have been pretty much all the big household brand names. But what they're finding, having worked in a large consultancy for the last few years, is they almost feel a bit chained. They can't be that creative in their suggestions Because we can offer that they're really excited about joining us. So I think with talent, if you're not excited about having that person on board because of their experience and they're not excited about bringing you on board, it doesn't come to pay or reward. You need that excitement for that talent to match.

Amardeep Parmar: 26:23

You've mentioned, you've got like the wider age of clients. Now you have to service them. What would you say you're some of your biggest wins so far, like? Here's an opportunity to just share some of the things that you've taken pride in and what the business has done so far.

Aaron Dardi : 26:33

I think one thing which I'm personally quite proud of is I we like to support other businesses and that comes first and that helps us have a successful business. By just keeping that at the forefront, that we want to support businesses. That really drives us to gaining more business. Naturally, one thing we pioneered was an energy due diligence service, which is where businesses can use us. This came from my finance working in the bank and we can operate with Chinese walls set ndas when they're considering a transaction and they want to assess the impact of net zero costs on the acquisition, the impact of energy cost changes versus what the business was previously contracted at. Just a bit of clarity on that.

Aaron Dardi : 27:17

If a business in a business transaction takeovers, you do a lot of dd. You know you would have read so many dd packs. However, energy was never really that much on the cards because the price stayed relatively flat, but since the crisis, if you're taking over a business which is on pre-crisis rates, you need to budget for further costs for what's going to come, and what we created is a platform where businesses can trust us through process to assess that element of the transaction for them and because of that platform, we've supported on some pretty high profile transactions. I mean one we've supported on recently is Freshways, which is an independently owned business, Asian, british, asian owned. They took over Milk and More from Muller Group, weller group, well-known, well-known brand. So we did the due diligence for that, that transaction and you know we've done a lot for other takeovers and being involved in transactions like that it's quite, it's quite rewarding for myself. We're supporting on transactions which is helping other businesses grow and we're giving them the knowledge to do that carefully and creatively.

Amardeep Parmar: 28:23

So you said the idea for energy well was come from about a year and a half ago. Right, but it's obviously, although what you've achieved so far, you're still quite early in your journey. What's one of the things that you're excited about for the future, like, let's say, you come on again in one year's time or five years time? What would you hope to be talking about?

Aaron Dardi : 28:40

I think one thing we've really pushed is how we've pushed buying as a group. As a concept. We use energy buying group for our retail side of the business, which is quite a big arm of the business. I think where I want to see it go is leveraging size again. So bringing customers together to say can we consider doing this as a collective how we've bought energy? Are there other angles where we can lever that unity to perhaps save money or do something in a better way, improve process. So I do think that's a way the business will go. I think it will stay in the energy arm.

Aaron Dardi : 29:20

But there's a variety of things how businesses cope with net zero. Is there a possibility to do carbon capture projects as a group rather than individual businesses take that challenge on their own? So I think that group concept, I think that's something that is exciting for Energy Bubble in the future, Because we have customers that operate in similar spaces and we deal majority with independent businesses so they can make decisions like that. And that's sometimes the problem with limiting your clients to only the largest brands or plcs is, if you have a creative idea that requires your client's input, it's pretty much impossible you're going to get on that journey, whereas if you've got clients who are really happy to be creative, that can help you develop your own business.

Amardeep Parmar:

So been great to hear your story today and we're going to go to a quick five questions now.

Amardeep Parmar: 30:09

So first one is who are three British Asians you think are doing incredible work that the audience listening right now should be paying attention to?

Aaron Dardi : 30:17

So a very good friend of mine, met at LSE, still a very, very close friend of mine Aranvir Singh Nerwan, um, they had a family business in shoes. He's taken that and kind of flipped it on its head and found a real niche, focusing on on wide fitting shoes and how that's marketed. You know we've all seen high heel adverts on on the web but he's taken a bit of a different approach to to what sector they've gone in um and he's having great success and I think what he's doing is quite interesting. Second, again, somebody I met at LSE. I haven't been in contact for a few years but gentleman called Harish Malhi. He is founder of Good Speed and they're ai no code app developer.

Aaron Dardi : 31:00

Why I'm mentioning him is I've seen the way they've grown and he's ex-google and he's bootstrapped and he's done some pretty clever things and even the way he markets on LinkedIn I find quite smart. So I think that that's definitely one to watch. And another which brand people will probably know is Wingstop, Herman Sahota. Don't know them personally, but the way they've grown and if you look at the story on how they bootstrap their way to, I think touching 100 locations or something like that, is quite inspiring and it just shows that if you have a idea, bang the drum loud enough and it can spiral quite quickly.

Amardeep Parmar:

Yeah, awesome to hear those stories and hopefully we'll share some of those on the podcast as well one day.

Amardeep Parmar: 31:41

So next question is if people want to hear more about you, hear more about Energy Bubble, where should they go to?

Aaron Dardi : 31:46

Energy Bubble team are reachable from all the details on our website. I'm personally trying to be more active on LinkedIn, so anything you want to contact me about regarding energy or transparency, or even just a question on how something works in the industry, our team are more than happy to help.

Amardeep Parmar: 32:04

Is there any way that people listening right now would reach out and help you Something that you need help with, or Energy Bubble Nips help with?

Aaron Dardi : 32:10

I think if anybody's got an idea for something that's creative in the energy industry, we'd be really happy to support that and help somebody launch a business in that area. We're in, I'd say, the top level of the what energy services is in the UK, getting people their energy procurement but now with all the net zero requirements, carbon reporting requirements, there's a huge gap for softwares to be developed, unique products such as, you know, carbon projects abroad, where, if you're backed, you can be quite successful and I think because we have the client base where it's clear they'll have demands going forward. If you have an idea which can service that business going forward, bearing in mind net zero, then we'd be really happy to talk about that and even consider backing an idea like that.

Amardeep Parmar:

Awesome so thank you so much for coming on today.

Amardeep Parmar: 33:02

Have you got any final words for the audience?

Aaron Dardi : 33:04

I think the best advice I've got is not necessarily be pessimistic all the time is people are really willing to go to university and risk university fees. So why not just, if you've got an idea, risk taking a bit of time out and trying that? We all take risks. It's just considering it in a different way.

Amardeep Parmar: 33:24

Thank you for watching. Don't forget to subscribe. See you next time.

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