13 July 2021|Brand Story, Latest Posts, Meet the Successful Founder
People’s Captain is a new range of craft beers, founded by professional rugby player, In 2019, Founder Greg Bateman addressed his personal battle with depression on social media, and candidly opened up about his mental health struggles. He set his sights on producing a range of craft beers, that not only taste great, but also build something strong, positive and long-lasting that really makes lives better. All People’s Captain beers sold help support The People’s Captain Foundation. The charity will take a % of the sales to raise £1million to help boost Britain’s mental health as well as provide brave and brilliant initiatives for those that need it most. We caught up with Greg recently to discover more about his entrepreneurship journey.
Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?
I’m a professional rugby player by day and I suppose some have called me an entrepreneur, for me it’s always been about exploring my curiosities and what I’m passionate about. People’s Captain was born out of a moment, when having a beer with my best mate probably saved my life. I finally opened up about how I was feeling and got on the path the getting some help. It’s with this spirit that People’s Captain has been born.
How did you achieve awareness?
We’ve not really been concerned with ‘awareness’ as an end unto itself, most of our campaigns have been fun competitions, or us talking to customers and connecting with them in meaningful ways that matter to them. I’m fortunate to have some fairly influential friends who do help push things from time to time.
How have you been able to gain funding and grow?
We’re actually in the process of doing our first round of funding as we speak which has been an eye opener! To be honest, I expected it to be a really difficult testing conversation but we’re not in the business of flogging cans of beer, we’re trying to make having a beer with your mates count and the reaction we’ve had from trade customers as a result of our values based business has been astounding so the natural step is to scale up operations to meet the demand we’re creating. One of our founders is very well connected in London finance which helps get us in the right room – but honestly the guys we’re talking to are people we WANT to collaborate with and help bring our vision to life.
What are the key successes?
We’ve won some awards which is amazing but after our first launch – the thing we celebrated hardest was a guy emailing, saying he’s watched my story and read what were trying to do and was so inspired he bought him and his 4 mates a box each to ‘get real and make them count’ – that, for us is success.
What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?
Focus is tough when starting up – because there’s so many things you want to achieve – the 3 of us are all so excited by what we want to do we’ve had to keep each other honest (mainly them keeping me honest!) from time to time. It’s been unquestionably challenging starting a brand in a pandemic, from the purely practical things like getting photos done, meeting partners but also don’t underestimate the emotional challenge of us working together on projects via zoom or teams does dampen the enthusiasm from time to time! Funding is an obvious one, but all we’ve done is focus on our values, what we’re trying to do, the impact we want to make and the conversations have been quite organic as a result.
What are your plans now/for the future?
We’re still so young we know the way we execute our strategy digitally will change with the times, whether that’s new types of tech or offerings. Trade conversations have been really promising along with plenty more hot brews in the pipeline!
What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?
Know what you’re truly passionate about – I don’t think you can pretend to be interested in something when you’re trying to sell a vision or an idea. There’s plenty of ’sage advice’ out there, take a view on it but don’t be easily put off
Can you share you top tips for entrepreneurial success?
1. Know your strengths – go all in on them
2. Find and partner with people who’s strengths are your weaknesses
3. Have a solid sense of self – don’t put all your emotional eggs into the ‘entrepreneurial’ basket
4. – I actually really rate having something like INSIGHT personality profiling done on yourself to understand yourself more but also for people you’re doing work with.
5. Figure out what ’success’ is for you – are you motivated by the craft (growth mindset) or the end goal of success… not saying either is right or wrong but knowing what you’re starting out with is important.
Who are the 5 people who inspire you the most?
Rob Bell @realrobbell – Someone I find constant inspiration from, his podcasts, books and films are fantastic
Mark Manson @markmanson – both of his books I’ve read are excellent but also his take on ancient philosophy is super interesting
Ryan Holiday – @ryanholiday – similar to the above – the dive into the ancient wisdom of stoics and philosophy is interesting
Stephen Fry – @stephenfryactually – although my particular period of historical interest is the viking age – his work on the classic, Mythos, Heroes & Troy were all amazing reads – also with him being open about his mental health I find inspiring.
Fearne Cotton – @fearnecotton – similar to Stephen about the openness but her podcast always has some great guests on and she’s just a really cool interesting person to listen to!
What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?
I went to see Ricky Gervais with some mates before and he finished his show with Win, Lose or Draw – if you think something’s funny you have to say it and accept you might win some, lose some or draw the odd one. But I think that’s true with life – have a go!