Each week, our colleague Maria Franzoni invites one of our keynote speakers to discuss their life, work, current projects and passions. We hope that hearing more about them will allow you to get a better understanding of who they are.
My guest this week is a British household name, he took over his family’s jewellery business in 1984. By 1990 he had grown it from 130 stores to 2500. But everything changed overnight in 1991 when, during a speech for the Institute of Directors, he described a Ratner’s sherry decanter as ‘total crap’.
In December 2020, he published his latest book called Reinvent Yourself co-authored with Rob Moore. It shows you how to embrace change, take the unpopular path and become a business chameleon. Voted as one of the top 10 best public speakers, Gerald Ratner will share his story and the rollercoaster ride that he experienced when he had nothing else to lose.
Please welcome Gerald Ratner
Gerald Ratner — Guest
Gerald Ratner is best known as the former millionaire chief executive of the major British jewellery chain Ratners Jewellery, when he achieved notoriety after making a speech which caused the company’s bankruptcy.
Gerald Ratner based his philosophy of business on his experiences as a boy in Petticoat Lane Market. He observed that “the people who shouted the loudest and appeared to give the best offers sold the most”. On this basis he built up an extremely successful chain of jewellers during the 1980s, Ratners Jewellery, of which he was chief executive. The shops shocked the formerly staid jewellery industry by displaying fluorescent orange posters advertising cut price bargains, and by offering low price ranges.
Maria Franzoni — Host
Maria Franzoni is one of the most experienced speaker bookers in Europe and a recognised speaking industry expert. She has been a part of the London Speaker Bureau since 2000 & is the founder of MFL, a licensed office of London Speaker Bureau.
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