In conversation with George Georgiou (MSc Management, 2013)

We caught up with George Georgiou (MSc Management, 2013) to discuss his new innovative startup,  Tourmeric, which provides personalised daily walking tours through your smart phone. He also told us about his time at Bayes and the skills he developed while studying, which have helped him to get to where he is today. 

Please tell us about Tourmeric.

Tourmeric is an app that helps travellers to create their own walking tours and consume content about the landmarks along the way on their smartphones. Furthermore, a user can book tickets to landmarks, tours and activities through the app and effectively plan their trip completely within the app.

Our vision is to create a tool that can take care of all your at-destination needs and make the hours spent on destination research a thing of the past.

How did the idea for it come about?

It was a couple of years ago when I returned from a weekend trip to Seville and a few days later, attended a dinner party. A couple of friends asked me what I thought about some of the city’s landmarks. To be honest, I realised that I had not experienced the city as much as I would have wanted. The walking tour that I was planning to follow was an early morning one and not really compatible with a night out with friends the evening before. When I asked around in the hotel reception, there were not many other alternatives to explore the city. So, I ended up using one of those print maps with icons of the landmarks that you can find at hotels and navigated myself with Google Maps while reading Wikipedia entries along the way. The content was so dry and the experience so unpleasant that very few things ended up sticking to my brain.

Just like me, travellers place more and more importance on experiencing the places they visit but planning trip activities has been reported as one of the biggest stresses they face. It has reached the point that travellers prefer repeating destinations to avoid the pain of planning a trip from scratch. The transport and accommodation problems have been solved through some of the digital tools that are out there already but the activities and tour sectors are lagging behind.

When we researched what is available, we were surprised. Quality content lacked navigation and audio description and vice versa. So, we took it upon ourselves to build the tool we were looking for. An app that creates a custom itinerary and delivers the right amount of quality content for the landmarks you meet along the way.

What have been the pros and cons of launching your own business, and how have the skills that you learnt and developed at Bayes helped you?

Launching your own business is definitely not for the risk averse and faint-hearted. It is an endless cycle of feeling “this goes nowhere” and later the same day “this is going to be amazing.” The ability to do something that you are passionate about, to shape something and take it from zero to one and the continuous amount of problems you have to find innovative solutions for, given the limited resources, provide a landscape that is very stimulating, to say the least. But it is not all rosy. Of course, starting a business, especially a travel-related one during the pandemic, takes a toll and creates a fairly stressful environment. Especially in the pre-seed stage when you see all the savings you made during your career being reduced with no income security. But this is where any entrepreneur needs to show resilience and grit and try to get the business to the “funded” promised land.

During my time at Bayes, I learned many skills that helped me during this period. As I developed further in my professional career, I would consistently link my Bayes experiences to my career and see a clear path to entrepreneurship. One of the key skills that helped me was the ability to focus on a goal and be flexible with conflicting priorities. But outside of core skills, I would say that the network of people I have developed during my MSc helped me a lot as well. Some of my early testers were classmates of mine from the MSc Management course and I was able to refine my idea with them as we were going along.

Looking back, why did you choose Bayes Business School to study MSc Management?

In the early days, my goal was to gain a degree that would help me kick-start my career in London. Having studied my BSc at a Greek university, I was struggling to get my foot in the door of London management consulting industry and Bayes definitely helped me with that. When I was doing my research on UK universities, the rankings helped me to navigate the landscape and of course, the consistently high ranking of Bayes along with its reputation helped me to make the choice.

In the end, it all came down to a balanced choice between curriculum quality, career progression and thought leadership and I made a choice that helped me a lot in the early days of my career.

Did you make use of the Careers and Professional Development team whilst at Bayes?

For all new students, I would advise them to strike a balance between academics and career search since a lot of graduate recruitment takes place at the beginning of the year. The Careers and Professional Development team can help you to navigate that landscape and guide you on how to approach Bayes alumni to gain more inside knowledge of the industries that they are in.

Do you have any standout memories from your time at Bayes?

From an academic point of view, I would say that the one that stands out is our Marketing Simulation course. We were using a marketing tool, where we were able to make decisions on a portfolio of products and when all teams were ready, enter our assumptions to the simulation. It was both one of the most practical courses we had but also a competitive one that helped us learn the lessons in a very efficient way.

What happened after your graduated?

After graduation, I joined a small Strategy Consulting firm for an internship but soon after I was offered a place in the Capgemini Consulting graduate programme that helped me kick-start my career in the consulting industry that was my goal. Since then, I have worked in great consultancies such as CAPCO, Publicis.Sapient and 11:FS, and moved from a core management consulting path to product management. On top of my consulting experience, I spent some time with Klarna in the UK where it was amazing to see the ins and outs of a global business scale up. For the past few months, I have been working on Tourmeric, initially as a side job and lately full-time.

What advice would you give to someone in a similar position as you were after graduation?

Patience, resilience and a lot of research. The graduate landscape is a very hard and intense one and employers are looking for character traits and excitement to join their company. You cannot expect a graduate offer if you do not show genuine excitement about the company and a deep understanding of what they do and how they work.

My most valuable tip would be to keep on trying through LinkedIn to connect with Bayes alumni. Get a real understanding of the companies you are looking to apply to and make sure that you are not using general industry-wide examples but specific ones.

Thank you to George for sharing his story! If you’d like to connect with George, you can find him on LinkedIn