Amardeep Parmar and Gurvir Riyat Podcast Transcript

Amardeep Parmar and Gurvir Riyat Podcast TranscriptListen to episode here

Gurvir Riyat: [00:00:00] Let's make this happen. Let's think of a name, a brand, and let's make this for the community because at first it was never about where we're gonna get to from this. It was always about how are we going to help other people get there. And what we noticed really early on is tha, a lot of people who have progressed really well in their careers or the industry across various industries.

Gurvir Riyat: It's all about the netbook and we thought, how do we foster our own network and bring that to the table?

Amardeep Parmar: Welcome to the first ever episode of the BAE HQ podcast. I'm Amar and in the future, I'll be interviewing some exciting podcast guests for you to share their stories and their best advice for you. For this very first episode though, I'm joined by my co founder Gurvir, who's going to give you a bit more insight into what this episode is going to be about.

Gurvir Riyat: So I'm Gurvir and I'm mainly going to be behind the scenes of the BAE HQ. So today in this episode, we're going to discuss together about why this is needed in the community, how we're going to do it and why we're so excited about it and the [00:01:00] various steps we're going to take to make this a success for you.

Amardeep Parmar: It's actually kind of funny because me and Gurvir have only known each other for a few months. Can you tell like everybody listening now, like how this all came about, like why we, where we are today? 

Gurvir Riyat: So funny story, I was sat in the car driving back from Stansted airport, just come back from holiday and my fiance says to me, Oh, um, this friend of mine or something has a podcast and he's looking for guests and he's looking for people between venture and me just sat in the car driving.

Gurvir Riyat: I was just dismissing it thinking, Oh, who's this person first of all, which I don't know, we're going to be soulmates. Yeah. So it all just started from that. And she said, he needs some guests. I said, Oh, why don't you just send me his details across and, uh, I'll have a look at what he's doing. When I went home, I thought still didn't think much of it.

Gurvir Riyat: And I thought one evening, let me just search this guy up on what he's doing. And then when I really looked into it and about what the work you've done on Entrepreneurs Handbook. Straight away rang my fiance. I said, put me in touch with him as I get me on the phone to him. So [00:02:00] yeah, we, we connected together through that.

Gurvir Riyat: And I was working at Kindred capital and working with loads of people from the partners there to portfolio companies. And I managed to get you some exciting guests on your podcast,  right?

Amardeep Parmar: He did. Yeah. And then. So I interviewed them and then after I interviewed one of his partners, we then got a little coffee ourselves.

Amardeep Parmar: I think, I think he treated me to a Thai, if I remember right. And then we're talking about this idea of how there's nothing like this in the community, right? We don't, it's hard for us to meet people to connect with in the same sphere of like people building businesses, people looking at investment. We just found there's no good community for that.

Amardeep Parmar: And we decided maybe we should do something about this. But even then at the beginning. It was like, Oh, this is a great idea, but in your head you're thinking, Oh, are we actually ever going to do this? Here we are, but yeah, can you tell us a bit more about what happened after that? How did we actually get here?

Gurvir Riyat: Yeah, exactly. I think all of this sort of came about because we both had that inner frustration [00:03:00] and those initial coffee meets, we were sort of talking about the same things, about why this isn't happening. I spoke a little bit about the events that I've been to in the community as well. And I was just venting.

Gurvir Riyat: And you actually pushed me to do it. So that's why we're here today as well. That we thought let's make this happen. Let's think of a name, a brand, and let's make this for the community. Because for us, it was never about where we're going to get to from this. It was always about how we're going to help other people get there.

Gurvir Riyat: And what we noticed really early on is that a lot of people who have progressed really well in their careers or the industry across various industries. It's all about the network. And we thought, how do we foster our own network and bring that to the table? So I think the initial steps were just actually being serious about it, right?

Gurvir Riyat: Actually saying we are going to do this, which took a bit of time to get to, took a few coffees. But once we got the ball rolling, um, we actually put our head down and had a first initial meetup where we outlined the next steps. [00:04:00] 

Amardeep Parmar: And the name is quite a funny story as well, because obviously some of you might be listening right now, not sure what the BAE HQ actually stands for.

Amardeep Parmar: And I went to actually an event. I won't name the company event because I was bored out of my mind. I paid a lot of money for it. I was into people speaking on stage who were clearly just there to self promote. They didn't really care about how it's going to help me or help the audience. So I was daydreaming.

Amardeep Parmar: And one of the tough things about this right. He's trying to define who's our audience? Because BAE actually stands for British Asian Entrepreneur. Now, if you're listening and you're not British Asian, it doesn't mean you can't listen. It doesn't mean this couldn't still benefit you. It's just, we need to define it in some way because we know that that community is underserved.

Amardeep Parmar: And the same thing, the word entrepreneur, I think that scares some people. But an entrepreneur is anybody who's trying to build their own thing. You can include, if you're trying to build a charity, if you're trying to build a side hustle, anything like that. And it might be that you're not there yet, but in the future you want to be there.

Amardeep Parmar: So they didn't allow that word entrepreneur to scare you [00:05:00] because we can all be entrepreneurial. It doesn't mean we have to give up our day jobs or do anything crazy or be like Elon Musk. But we can all have that creative spark inside ourselves. And it was when I was trying to think of what to call the audience.

Amardeep Parmar: That's where I kind of came up with British Asian Entrepreneur. I was like, well, that's a really long name. Like people aren't going to, that's not very catchy. People aren't going to remember that. And I was like, Oh, what's the initials. And then it's BAE, right? And obviously you've got the pun with BAE and the other connotations that has, so like Gurvir is obviously my BAE too, um, and it kind of clicked.

Amardeep Parmar: And once we had their name and then we told it to people and people loved it. Like this is something which we can take forwards now. And we've got a brand and a name to go alongside that. 

Gurvir Riyat: Once  we had a name, then we really realised, we've got to make this work now. 

Amardeep Parmar: The reason why it's important to make this work is because of the community, right?

Amardeep Parmar: Because this isn't really about us. Both of us have got to positions where we've got to. Partly because of our networks, because of the people we've known, the lucky breaks we've had. But a lot of people don't have those lucky breaks. [00:06:00] And that's who this is for really, right? Is that you might have a great idea right now.

Amardeep Parmar: You might know exactly how you think it could change the world. But if you've never had anybody who's going to mentor you or nobody, who's going to like, take your idea and be like, Oh, wait, why didn't you do this? Or why couldn't you do this? Or I can get in touch with that person. Then it just stagnates, right?

Amardeep Parmar: And that's not really fair. Can you expand on like why it's so important for everybody to go there?

Gurvir Riyat: I think to have that connectivity in the community is so important. I think from my personal experience, where I've got to, I wouldn't be here without the community around me. So even when I was, uh, just prior to university, um, just reaching out for an internship.

Gurvir Riyat: All of it came from connection and it didn't really dawn upon me at that time, but after graduating, I was looking for a job for a year. I couldn't get anywhere and I thought, why don't I reach out to people on LinkedIn that look similar to me or have come from a similar background? And I was astounded that so many people were willing to help and, uh, how I got my first break into private [00:07:00] equity, which is notoriously hard to get into.

Gurvir Riyat: Some people say, uh, people traditionally go down the investment banking. Big forward and then maybe get, get in, but mine was all just from chatting to people. And I think people often underplay how important that is. So I think once I realized that I realized how important connections are. And I think with this, we can empower the community further by building those connections and strengthening them in the community, because so many of us are doing well and so many are willing to help, but there is just no method for them to connect together.

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. And  like a really big point about the network as well is that there's a lot of people who are networkers are trying to build a network, but the problem is it's too transactional. Right. And it's something we really believe in. It's just getting people together with who are like minded and maybe there's not obvious benefits straight away, but by building those friendships and those connections, you're building that goodwill.

Amardeep Parmar: And we believe in this idea of like the rising tide lifts all ships and we're not competing with each other. [00:08:00] And we're going to get organizations on this podcast, or we're going to collaborate with because if they're doing something good then we want to collaborate them. We want to lift up their ideas.

Amardeep Parmar: So their ideas reach more people. And that's another really important part about the BAE HQ is that this is for us. This is for the community. It's not for me. It's not for Gurvir. It's not for the BAE HQ itself. It's for the people trying to serve, the people, like you, right? And if you've got good ideas or you've got somebody you think we should collaborate with somebody we should get on the podcast, let us know.

Amardeep Parmar: That's the whole point of this. We're going to be covering news as you'll find out later on. And if you've got a news item, we think, Oh, this person's done really well. Can you cover that? We'll cover it. That's, that's what we want. We want more engagement. We want this to be a community, not just a one way conversation.

Gurvir Riyat: Yeah, I think that comes back down to why we're really doing this because we have that burning passion inside us. This isn't some monetary goal that we're trying to get to. Let's make money from this and let's see how far we can take [00:09:00] this just based on money. It's about we are actually passionate about helping each other.

Gurvir Riyat: And I think we get a lot of satisfaction knowing that we've helped one other person or two other people. And that's, what's going to be driving us with this podcast. 

Amardeep Parmar: And part of the reason that we believe the BAE HQ is going to work is because the community already around us. We've been pretty lucky that we know some pretty amazing people.

Amardeep Parmar: So the BAE  HQ, we might be behind it in the co founders, but so many other people can rely on, who are going to keep helping us. His fiancee, for example, and you might be listening to thinking, okay, so it's a great idea. The community really needs this. But how are we actually going to make this happen? Like how, where so many other people have tried to do something like this and maybe hasn't lived up to your standards.

Amardeep Parmar: What's going to make us different? And I guess that's where our backgrounds come into it. And this is going to be a bit where we talk a little bit about ourselves. But it's just to give you an idea so we can build that trust with you. This isn't anything to do with bragging or anything like that. So, so my own background, right. I was born and bred in the UK.

Amardeep Parmar: I [00:10:00] was raised in East London. My parents both came over from Punjab when they're both little kids. So they went to school here, they went to university here and everything. And then I went to university in Bath and that's where I studied economics. I then went to work for the bank of England for a placement year.

Amardeep Parmar: And then after that worked in consulting for seven years. So that was very, very much down the corporate, so your soul kind of route. And then I just started writing online in January 2020 and everything took off from there. So on the writing platform Medium, which is the biggest long form blogging site in the world.

Amardeep Parmar: I was the second fastest person to 50, 000 followers after Barack Obama. So when I'm doing the news coverage for this, I know what I'm doing. And with the podcast, I've already recorded over a hundred podcast episodes for other things, including some of the people that Gurvir hooked me up with. And then I've also done the founders of Netflix and the founders of Twitter.

Amardeep Parmar: So I'm experienced at this. And now what we're doing with the BAEHQ is all be in person because it's all about that in person interaction. And that's what we can do with a British brand. [00:11:00] And as part of the Entrepreneurs Handbook, which is where I've interviewed some of these big names. I've been running an online publication with over a million views per month and over 20 million views since I took over.

Amardeep Parmar: So this is going to be huge. This isn't something which we're just starting out for a bit of a laugh and we're not sure what we're doing. And the weaknesses that I have, I don't have say an investor background. That's exactly what Gurvir covers me and he can tell you a bit about himself now. 

Gurvir Riyat: So yeah, my background is I'm originally from West London.

Gurvir Riyat: My parents came in the 60s and 70s, originally from East Africa. And before that, my grandparents were from Punjab and started out in West London, still living there now, uh, went to a very Multicultural primary school and then went to a Church of England high school from that. I did my A levels and went to university at City University.

Gurvir Riyat: Um, some may know it as Cass business school where I studied economics. And after that, I mainly went down the path of being interested in finance and going down that whole route, but where [00:12:00] my foundations really lay has always been in West London, helping out in the community there, getting involved with charitable projects where I can.

Gurvir Riyat: And that's where all my family's from and based. 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. So we'll tell you a bit more now about the different pillars of what actually the BAE HQ is, right? Because we need to tell you how we're going to serve you so that you know about it. And then you can make the best use of what we've got. So obviously we've got the podcast and the podcast itself.

Amardeep Parmar: What we'll be doing is going to be interviewing some of the top entrepreneurs, leaders, investors who are from a British Asian background. So they can share their advice and how they got into what they're doing and maybe the imposter syndrome they had, and then also give them the tips. And one of the important things about podcast too, is I'm going to be asking them what ways can they serve you so that you can get in touch with them.

Amardeep Parmar: And then also asking them for what they need, because if you're somebody out there with a skill, which you don't necessarily know what to do with yet. You might be able to help one of our podcast guests and that will give you that stepping stone to then create your own business and to go down that path.

Amardeep Parmar: Can [00:13:00] you go for a second pillar, Gurvir?

Gurvir Riyat: Sure. So one of the pillar is the guides that we're going to write. So this isn't on a specific sector that we've got it defined or a specific industry, but we've got to create a series of guides to help uplift each other. So that could be everything from accounting 101.

Gurvir Riyat: To how to start a podcast, to how to make a YouTube channel, to how to scale your business. Um, what are the various funding rounds for your business? And with all of that stuff, we're going to put it in a digestible format. So it'll be everything from a blog to social content, which will be reels on Instagram, Tik Tok, all of those platforms and make it really digestible and simple because a lot of the information we found out there is quite wordy and hard to understand.

Gurvir Riyat: So we're going to break that down into simple terms. 

Amardeep Parmar: Okay. And, and that's like our third pillar here, right? It's the social content, because there's no point in us telling you, Oh, there's these guys, this is a podcast. ‘Cause we've got to find you where you're at, right? Where do you spend the [00:14:00] most time?

Amardeep Parmar: Because that way we can help more people. And this is the whole idea, right? Is how do you help as many people as we can to actually do things that they want to do? And social content is a great way to do that. We'll be collabing with some of your favorite Tik Tokers, YouTubers, everybody, right? And if you want to collab with us as well, let us know, we'll be happy to do so, just slide into our DMS. And the next pillar let's talk about is the in person events, because I know that I missed that a lot after the pandemic and Gurvir is really excited for this too.

Gurvir Riyat: Gurvir Riyat: Yeah, definitely. I think we talked a lot about connecting people and obviously, modern day society, we're doing a lot of that online and the pandemic has sort of pushed that further as well with lots of our communication being online, but we're really excited about hosting in person events. So at these events, we're going to have speakers from all different backgrounds, speak about a variety of topics, and we'd like the community to attend them to help further their knowledge on those areas.

Gurvir Riyat: But if not, even if they're not interested, it would just be a great way for us to network [00:15:00] together. And I think what we're trying to do is to make that a regular occurrence because there are other examples out there, but we want to make it a regular thing, say monthly. 

Amardeep Parmar: And it's coming back to what we mentioned earlier, right?

Amardeep Parmar: It's that both me and Gurvir have been to many of events and we kind of found a lot of common ground and what's wrong with them and we're trying to change that, right? We want events to be serving the community, right? You want to come to these events because it's actually beneficial to you. You're going to make friends there.

Amardeep Parmar: You're going to make connections. You're going to actually like further your career from this. And even if you don't further your career, you can have a lot of fun at least. And that's the idea, right? Is how do we connect like minded people who can support each other and help each other grow? Because that's what matters at the end of the day of all of this, right?

Amardeep Parmar: It doesn't matter if it's me helping you or Gurvir helping you. If it's somebody you've just met at one of our events or one of the podcast guests, then that's a benefit for you. And that's what this is all about. Fifth pillar, let's see this test of my knowledge. Now, the fifth pillar is in use because as [00:16:00] I mentioned earlier, there's so many British Asians, incredible things, but you just might not hear about it, right?

Amardeep Parmar: We, if you're on Instagram or TikTok, you might hear about some of the names from that, and sometimes that kind of sets your ceiling. Maybe we don't realize it's actually people doing building great businesses that are really transforming people's lives. And that's where we come in. Right. Because. This is a mission based product, right?

Amardeep Parmar: This is a mission based brand. So if we can bring on those names, cover their news stories, and even for you, right, if you're building a business, you're doing a new launch, um, you, for example, the, the kid who was in Burberry, right. That was such an important moment for many people in the community because it was just showing like, look, 

Amardeep Parmar: we can do this, right? And people are always worried about being underrepresented, and if we can shine a light on those people who are actually getting out there doing things, then it can inspire you, it can inspire the next generation, and that's really important to us as well. And then the final pillar is the newsletter, and Gurvir can just kind of give you an idea of that, where it's just rounding everything off really, isn't it?

Gurvir Riyat: So the newsletter [00:17:00] will summarize all the news, it will put it in a nice easily digestible format, which will be sent to you on a weekly basis, and it will cover all the top stories from the week to anything else that's been happening in the community. Really new funding rounds for businesses, just new ideas coming out of the community, spotlights on interesting individuals, and maybe some promotions as well for individual businesses.

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. And that's another thing, right? If you've got a business and you'd like to collaborate with us and maybe you could give our audience a discount or something like that. That'd be great, right? Because then we can use our audience to then help grow your business. And we just love to do that. And it would also be in the newsletter too, it's just showing you what you've missed that week.

Amardeep Parmar: So the podcast episodes, all of our content too. And that newsletter would be like the hub thing that brings everything together. 

Gurvir Riyat: Yeah. We've been talking about this for a while and we've been doing some market research ourselves for the last six odd months, just generally about what people think about this platform and whether it's needed.

Gurvir Riyat: And we've had honestly [00:18:00] a great response. Everyone we've spoken to has pretty much added that this is really needed in the community. And I think that's what's pushed us forward even more and what's made us really excited. And along the way, um, things have been delayed on certain ends. And Amar will tell you about one thing that's really driving us to make this work as well.

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. And I guess for me, the BAE HQ won't fail because, so it's dedicated to my dad. So last month as we're recording this, my dad passed away and he was going to be a big reason behind why I was doing this in the first place, because my dad, like I always say this, my dad is the one who really had the hard times, right?

Amardeep Parmar: He came over here to this country when he was only five years old. He had to work his way up. He was the first one to go to university. All of that kind of stuff, right? Which I know many people can relate to in their own families. To provide a better life for me, right? He's the one who was, enabled me to go to a good school, to do after school activities, everything like that.

Amardeep Parmar: [00:19:00] And we had this idea before, obviously. But when I was in the to him about it, I was telling him about it, and he was like loving the idea. He's never come on any of my other podcasts, but he wanted to come on this one because. It was a mission that he really agreed with and when he passed away, there was a lot of his clients who said about, they were breaking down in tears, right?

Amardeep Parmar: It's just, I never expected that from somebody's client to kind of break down because they just said how he'd helped them when they're in a bad place. And that's why I want this to be right. I want this to be this kind of organization that truly makes that difference to people's lives, right? I want this 20 years time, people to remember.

Amardeep Parmar: Oh, like when I started out, like the BAE HQ really helped us. They connected with somebody that made a difference or the advice they gave was what built us to where we are. And it doesn't need to be about me. It doesn't need to be about Gurvir. It's about that community. And I want people to remember, like, there's a community available of people who want to help you and that's going to keep growing, keep building.

Amardeep Parmar: And that's why this isn't going to fail. So [00:20:00] we really hope you come along for the journey with us and you'll be excited to see the people we have coming up soon, but remember, this is a two way thing, right? Keep, keep messaging us, tell us what you want, tell us what problems you're having. And we'll try to make the guides for that.

Amardeep Parmar: And we'll try to cover those areas and we'll bring on the podcast guests that you want and cover the news about your businesses, because yeah, at the end of the day, this isn't about us. This is about you. It's about a whole community.