LSST celebrates its 2017 UWL graduates

Graduation ceremonies, with LSST’s university partners, formulate only the proudest moments of the LSST academic calendar.

Article date: Wed 26 July2017
Photo Source: LSST London

Today’s grand graduation ceremony, at the spectacular site of Wembley Stadium, marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another for LSST’s UWL business and computing 2017 graduates.

The ceremony is a collective time for celebrating the passion and commitment championed by LSST’s students across the country. As a national university community college, LSST is honoured by all of its students’ accomplishments and holds that its collective student effort improves year on year.

Mr Syed Zaidi, CEO and Founder of LSST, announced: ‘I personally congratulate our UWL graduates on reaching this significant milestone. As you celebrate your graduation and consider your next steps in a world of new-fangled and exciting opportunities, remember LSST will always be on hand to provide guidance and support in shaping your promising career.’
Mr Mohammed Zaidi, Deputy CEO of LSST, added: ‘Please take time to reflect on your successes today and, on behalf of the entire team at LSST, I wish to offer you my warmest congratulations and wish you every success for a clearly promising future.’
Dr George Panagiotou, Principal and Head of Quality, said: ‘Today is a special day that is the culmination of the years of dedicated study at LSST. We hope that you will remember your journey with us for the rest of your lives.’ The Principal added: ‘The achievement of a degree is one that is rarely managed without the support of those nearest to us. We also stand united by a shared sense of pride in your achievement and look forward to you joining the LSST alumni community. On behalf of everyone here at LSST, I wish you every success for the future.’
Valerica Balauca, a graduate in BA Business Studies (Top-up), said: ‘I had such an amazing three year vocational journey at LSST. I put in lots of hard work and was always motivated by LSST’s amazing lecturers. I will now endeavour to create a success full time career and will continue to stay in touch with LSST.’
Commenting on UWL’s approach and hospitality, Mr Ali Jafar, LSST’s Marketing and Admissions Director, said: ‘UWL have created a bespoke graduation ceremony in one of the most spectacular and historical settings in the country. We are both grateful and thankful for UWL’s kind hospitality and championed approach to treating LSST’s staff and students as part of its own fabric. Our students and staff have really benefitted from today’s event and it clearly left behind a motivating legacy.’

This year’s UWL graduations come at the end of an astounding period for LSST in which it has achieved its highest number of student applications across its London, Luton and Birmingham campuses and has become one of the most industry-connected and recognised HE providers in the country.

Please email the author of this article for any questions or comments.

Forbes Senior Editor discusses Brand Value with LSST’s CEO

With its widened editorial lens and iconic rank in the lexicon of global business, Forbes is not just a bespoke business platform, but a global media brand bursting with innovation. LSST discovers that alone attracts 50 million unique visitors each month and is one of the most reputable and respected business channels of all time.

Interview date: 20 July 2017
Photo Source: Forbes, used with permission

LSST’s CEO and Founder, Mr Syed Zaidi, discusses brand value with Forbes’ globally respected Senior Editor, Kurt Badenhausen. Mr Zaidi focuses heavily on Forbes’ Brand Valuation List and asks Kurt about the complexities surrounding brand positioning and value in an era of technology-brand dominance:

1. What do you do for Forbes?

I started at Forbes in 1998. I am a Senior Editor and focused mainly on the business of sports covering the money component of athletes, teams, leagues and companies. I also head up several non-sports projects for Forbes including The World’s Most Valuable Brands, America’s Best Banks, Best States for Business and Forbes biennial ranking of the Best Business Schools.

2. Is brand value the ultimate currency craved by companies?

Brand value is the ultimate currency for consumer product companies because it spurs demand and provides pricing power, which trickles down to the bottom line through profits. Take Apple and the iPhone, which sold 78 million units in the fourth quarter of 2016. The average selling price was $695. Pricing for chief competitor Samsung was more than $500 less. The result: Apple earned 92% of the profits in the smartphone category. Brands drive many tech purchases, but luxury goods companies are probably the best example of where brand truly drives purchasing decisions.

3. Tell me about Forbes’ Valuable Brands List and how it can help our students?

Forbes’ Most Valuable Brands list provides a benchmark for what brands are currently worth the most. But I think the real value lies in the trend of the numbers. Who’s up? Who’s down? And why? This is where you can dig in and see the steady decline in a brand like IBM versus a brand like Facebook, which continues on a straight-up trajectory.

4. What methodology was used to compile the list?

We started with a universe of more than 200 global brands. We required brands to have more than a token presence in the U.S., which eliminated some big brands like multinational telecom firm Vodafone and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. Our first step in valuing the brands was to determine revenue and earnings before interest and taxes for each brand. We gathered these from company reports, Wall Street research and industry experts. Forbes averaged earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) over the past three years and subtracted from earnings a charge of 8% of the brand’s capital employed, figuring a generic brand should be able to earn at least 8% on this capital.

Forbes applied the maximum corporate tax rate in the parent company’s home country to that net earnings figure. Next, we allocated a percentage of those earnings to the brand based on the role brands play in each industry. Brands are crucial when it comes to beverages and luxury goods, but less so with airlines and oil, when price and convenience are more important. To this net brand earnings number, we applied the average price-to-earnings multiple over the past three years to arrive at the final brand value. For privately held outfits we applied an earnings multiple for a comparable public company.

5. Apple is set to be the first company to have a market capitalisation of $1 trillion. Any idea of when this may happen?

I’d be in a different line of work if I could tell you when Apple’s market value was going to hit $1 trillion. Eighteen years ago, everyone thought Cisco Systems was headed towards a $1 trillion valuation. Today it sits at $157 billion. A lot can change on Wall Street quickly. But with a valuation approaching $800 billion, it seems like Apple could hit a 13-figure valuation within three years barring a major correction of the market. And if not Apple, someone else will eventually get there with Google and Amazon the two most likely candidates if Apple doesn’t get there first.

6. Why does Forbes value YouTube separately from Google?

YouTube is truly its own brand within Google. I’d argue most consumers don’t even realise that YouTube is owned by Google. We value a lot of individual brands within larger companies like Gillette (part of Procter & Gamble), ESPN (Walt Disney) and Instagram (Facebook) which fell outside the top 100.

7. Why was Amazon one of the biggest gainers at 54%?

Amazon was the biggest gainer this year. The e-commerce giant’s number of Prime members in the U.S. has doubled over the past two years to 80 million and is trending to surpass the number of households with cable TV. Amazon is America’s go-to spot for all shopping needs.

8. IBM had the biggest drop for the second straight year. Why?

Big Blue’s brand declined 20% to $33.3 billion and No. 13 overall after ranking fifth as recently as 2015. The company has moved away from hardware and software to focus on its cloud computing division and it has been a difficult transition. The result: 20 straight quarters of sales declines.

Note from the Deputy CEO:

I would like to personally thank our students who inspired our CEO and senior management team to venture and search for excellence in global editorial leadership.
I send Kurt and his team my gratitude for taking the time out for speaking with LSST and acknowledging our proud partnerships with London Metropolitan University and the University of West London.
Forbes truly maintains a unique voice in its coverage of global business stories and I urge all LSST students and staff to read Forbes if they want rigorous, to–the–point business analysis, published for those who do not wish to read masses of business facts but need to know what to make of them.
Lastly, I wish to thank Ali Jafar, LSST’s Director of Admissions and Marketing and Kunal Chan Mehta, LSST’s Marketing and PR consultant, for setting up this bespoke interview.

Mr Mohammed Zaidi, Deputy CEO, LSST

Note from the Programme Leader of Business Courses

I am truly proud and grateful for Mr Zaidi’s interview with Forbes. I envisage an increase in sound research and referencing from our students across our London, Luton and Birmingham LSST campuses. I will personally inform my staff to engage with Forbes – further than they already do – to instil a mode of contemporary debate and to further fine focus on research facts in terms of brand valuation.

I have full confidence that Mr Zaidi’s interview will leave a lasting legacy on our students and the entire academic team are grateful for this exclusive insight into brand value with Forbes.

Mr Mohammad Haider, Programme Leader of Business Courses

Please email the article author for any questions or comments on this article.

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Furthr’s director, Andy Pemberton, inspires LSST students and staff on data visualisation and a ‘broken’ social media

Furthr’s director, Andy Pemberton, is a world-respected content expert with international experience working with organisations such as Cisco, the United Nations and Nestle. He edited Q magazine in London, launched Blender magazine in New York and also edited Spin magazine. He has written for the New York Times, GQ, Esquire, The Sunday Times, The National (Dubai), and the world’s largest newspaper, The Times of India.

Article date: Wed 28 June 2017

Photo Source: Andy Pemberton​’s own

He is also a leading data visualisation expert, and is a judge at this year’s British Media Awards.

Mr Ali Jafar, LSST’s head of admissions and marketing, presents Andy with a set of questions collated from LSST students and staff:

1. What are you doing at present?

I run a company called Furthr. We make data visualizations and other content for brands. Our biggest client is Cisco. Right now, we are working on rebranding their central database which is called Centro. It collects all their data from Europe, Russia, the Middle East and Africa. Our job is to try to persuade folks to look at it.

2. What are your views on social media being broken?

Imagine you’re driving down the road and see a car crash. Of course you look. Everyone looks. The internet interprets behaviour like this to mean everyone is asking for car crashes, so it tries to supply them. The next thing you know, your newsfeed is filled up with ever more bonkers assertions, graphic images and car crashes.

Anyone who has worked in content knows that if you give people what they say they want, you end up in ever decreasing circles. But this is the model of internet content. It rewards extremism – with catastrophic results for our society. I’ve been banging on about this for a couple of years now, but now it seems the idea has finally landed. A lot of people look at Web 2.0 and social media and see that it is meaningful – its changed how we communicate – but it is not profound. It has not yet tried to tackle any significant human problems such as a lack of education, poverty or health. I look forward to the day it does. It the meantime, we have to regulate it. Screening live murder is obviously unacceptable, Facebook!

3. You offer organisations such as the United Nations and Nestle training – what does that involve?

I train a variety of courses including data visualization. Data is ubiquitous now – like oil – but it does not mean much if it is in crude form. It needs to be refined to help people make decisions. Data viz helps with that and I help people make sense of data and share it. We have a few golden rules, but here is a big one: no title, no infographic. If you don’t know what your data visualization is titled before you design it, it’s going to be a long long walk.

4. Does Twitter resemble a global bullying ground?

A recent Pew survey revealed four out of ten adult internet users had been harassed online. If you wanted to design a platform dedicated to bullying people, I think you’d come up with Twitter. Trolling, bullying and abuse seems to be what it is for. I am not the only one who thinks this. Evan Williams, the man who came up with Blogger and was an early investor in Twitter thinks so too. Clearly it can be saved, but first Twitter needs to be cleaned up. Bullying and abuse is obviously unacceptable.

5. If you were not Furthr’s director, what would you be doing?

I am not a frustrated trombonist or anything like that. I have a fairly normal ration of ambition and I find that it is more or less satisfied at Furthr. Having said that, I am sorely disappointed not to be writing hit songs for a living, but hey, that’s showbiz.

6. Our students would love any advice from you on the importance of visualisation in academic work.

At school, I learned to play the trumpet. I was not good. But I did pick up one thing. My trumpet teacher used to say: “if you can’t say it, you can’t play it.” He meant if you can’t sing the part you are working on you will never be able to play it on the Trumpet. (In most cases I could not do either). His words were prophetic. I’ve found that if you can’t close your eyes and see what you want to do – it will be hard. That is why designers make sketches. It turns out it’s called “vision” for a very good reason.

Note from the Deputy CEO:

My personal thanks to Andy and his team at Furthr for their time and for acknowledging LSST’s proud partnership with the University of West London and London Metropolitan University.

Data visualisation seems essential in academic writing and research today. I urge LSST students to implement Andy’s creative approach to data visualisation and to use the many weblinks found in this article. I leave you with a question: will the future synonymously term academic writing and research with academic visualisation?

Mohammed Zaidi, Deputy CEO, LSST

Please email the author of this article for any questions or comments.

For more information see:

For inspiration blogs see:

For Andy’s infographics see:

Follow Andy on Twitter: @andypemberton

Dr Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz

LSE speaks with LSST about its crowdsourcing project inspiring millennials to shape Brexit

Dr Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz

Students and young people per se don’t vote – or so they thought pre-Corbyn and the London voter turnout. Clearly, polling data from the 2017 UK General Election suggest an unprecedented youth turnout in comparison with the Brexit vote.

Photo source: Dr Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz’s own
Article date: Tue 27 June 2017

The Generation Brexit crowdsourcing project is inspiring millennials in Britain and the EU to help shape the upcoming Brexit negotiations and has been launched by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Ali Jafar, LSST’s marketing and admissions director, and Kunal Chan Mehta, LSST’s marketing and public relations consultant, catch up with one of the Generation Brexit project leaders, Dr Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz, from the London School of Economics and Political Science to find out more.

1.How can LSST’s student body gain any value from your crowdsourcing project?

The pan-European project seeks views from a whole cross section of millennials, including Leavers, Remainers, left and right-wingers, European federalists and nationalists. We aim to come up with millennial proposals for a mutually beneficial relationship, reflecting the diverse backgrounds in the UK and EU. We welcome all LSST to take part!

2. What is Generation Brexit?

Generation Brexit is an exciting new public engagement project, based at the LSE’s European Institute that aims to make young people’s voices heard in the Brexit negotiations. Generation Brexit will crowdsource a millennial cohort vision for the future relationship between the UK and the EU. It invites those aged 35 and under from across the UK and Europe to debate, decide, and draft policy proposals that will be sent to Parliaments in Westminster and Brussels throughout the negotiations.

It is especially keen to engage the forgotten, the apolitical and the apathetic – those for whom Brexit has become a moment of political awakening. The project translates academic research findings into impactful and policy-relevant arguments. Unlike other Brexit-related engagement initiatives, this project targets millennials in the UK and Europe alike.

The pan-European dimension captures the reality of the Brexit negotiations. It also underscores the necessity of establishing a mutually beneficial relationship for the future, built on shared ideas from that cohort of current voters who will live with them the longest. In the wake of the Brexit vote, which reinforced the generational divide over politics, and because of increased youth turnout in GE17, millennial political engagement is more vital than ever.

3. Do young voters not vote already?

Between 1992-2005, youth turnout in UK general elections fell from 66 per cent to 38 per cent, only slightly recovering in 2010. While young people may sign a petition or engage in some other form of political activism, they are happy to let their parents and grandparents choose the next government. Any political party that targets young voters is wasting its time. In an election, appealing to the grey vote is what really matters. This reality explains why Brexit is being negotiated by a few grey-haired men with an average age of 67! Democracy is, for all intents and purposes, a gerontocracy in which the old exercise power over the young.

4. What is the ‘youthquake’ about?

The UK has just experienced what pundits are calling a ‘youthquake’. Early polling data from the 2017 UK General Election suggested that turnout among 18-24-year-olds surged to between 66 and 72 per cent. Subsequent post-election analysis indicates that the true turnout may have been closer to 58 per cent. But even this revised figure is significantly higher than the 43 per cent turnout in the 2015 UK General Election. Even more remarkably, this increasing youth vote is not confined to the UK. Within the last twelve months, young voters have played a more important role in three major national elections. They had an impact on both the 2017 French presidential elections and the 2016 US presidential election. Millennials have finally woken up to the reality that real political change is only achieved through the ballot box.

5. Are young people an important subject of sociological study?

The idea that birth cohorts (generations) are an important reference point for understanding processes of social and political change has a long and distinguished academic pedigree. It can be traced back to ancient Greek philosophers (Nash’s ‘Greek Origins of Generational Thought’). Mannheim’s 1923 essay ‘The Problem of Generations’ introduced this concept into sociology. More recently, the generational approach was popularised by William Strauss and Neil Howe in their 1991 book Generations. All of these various studies share the belief that age cohort is a sociologically significant variable because it highlights ‘the relationship between personal and social change and the intersection of biography and history’ (Pilcher’s “Mannheim’s sociology of generations: an undervalued legacy”). Much like social class, the concept of a generation also allows us to interrogate commonalities and differences amongst a group of people of similar (in this case age defined) status. And such commonalities and differences are becoming increasingly salient.

6. What is the dividing line here exactly?

As YouGov has noted, ‘age seems to be the new dividing line in British politics’. Generational differences have been vividly revealed in recent British, French and US elections precisely because millennials in all three states believe their prospects are worse than those of their parents at a similar age. And they are right. As the Guardian pointed out in 2016: ‘A combination of debt, joblessness, globalisation, demographics and rising house prices is depressing the incomes and prospects of millions of young people across the developed world, resulting in unprecedented inequality between generations.’

7. Do millennials have different voting preferences than those of older cohorts?

In the 2016 EU referendum, the youngest voters (18-24) were 73 per cent in favour of Remain – in stark contrast with over-65s, who voted 60 per cent to Leave. A year later, in the 2017 UK General Election, grandchildren were overwhelmingly pro-Labour while their grandparents were equally keen on the Conservatives. Labour was 47 percentage points ahead amongst first-time voters (18-19-year-olds), while the Conservatives had a lead of 50 percentage points among those aged over 70. The lesson here is clear: young people are an important political constituency. Older generations, including most politicians, ignore them at their peril.

In this respect, we could all learn a thing or two from what Jeremy Corbyn did right – and, perhaps even more importantly, from what Theresa May did wrong.

Young people have a voice. Young people have a vote. Young people must be listened to. Gerontocracy is not democracy.

The project can be accessed at and all updates will be available on Twitter @genbrexit and @lsebrexitvote with the hashtag #GenBrexit, and on For more details, contact Dr Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz from LSE’s European Institute at

Note from the Deputy CEO:

I wish to personally thank Dr Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz from LSE’s research-conscious European Institute for his kind time and for acknowledging LSST’s proud partnership with the University of West London and London Metropolitan University.

The work of his team is commended and I trust the Generation Brexit crowdsourcing project will be a great success and assist in the body of research knowledge. I invite LSST’s students to participate and find out more about the project using the weblinks above.

Mohammed Zaidi, Deputy CEO, LSST

Please email the author of this article for any questions or comments.

LSST announces Dragons’ Den event winners


LSST’s students, famed for their firm and fair competitive stance, showcased their astounding creativity skills at LSST’s second Dragons’ Den themed event.

Photo source: LSST London
Event date: Fri 12 May 2017

Four Dragon panel experts hosted the event at the LSST London Campus on Friday 12 May to judge a group of anticipative students who pitched their business with a view to securing some or all of the £1000 development fund set up by the CEO of LSST – Mr Syed Zaidi.

During their 15 minute presentation students contended to convince the panel of the soundness of their plan by providing details of their idea, costings, sales projections and sustainability.

The event provided students with valuable feedback from panel members on the viability of their business proposals. Students were also given tips on how to progress with their proposals in the immediate future.

This semester, four students presented their proposed business ideas to the college:

Ibrahim Sule, FdSc Computing and Business Information Technology,(Y1) – Photography Services
Jaqueline Lewis, BA (Hons) Business Studies, (Final Year)
– Crystal Nails Salon
Peter Varga, BSc (Hons) Computing and Information Systems, (Final Year)
– Harmony Relaxation Systems and Salon
Ashley Barnes, HND in Computing and Systems Development, (Y1)
– Organic Gold C.I.C Cultural Charity


Each presentation reflected on what the students have learnt whilst studying at LSST. Following the event, students had a stronger idea of what would be expected of themselves when approaching banks, backers and other professionals. Students also appreciated the feedback and advice provided by the Dragons.

Three prizes were given to provide the students with funds to support and operate their businesses and organisations:

The top prize of £550.00 went to Peter Varga – Harmony Relaxation Systems and Salon

The second prize of £300.00 went to Ashley Barnes – Organic Gold C.I.C Cultural Charity

The third prize of £150.00 went to Ibrahim Sule – Photography Services

Dr George Panagiotou, LSST’s Principal and Head of Quality, who supported the event, said: ‘My congratulations to Peter, Ashley, Ibrahim and Jaqueline for their excellent presentations and performance at this semester’s Dragons’ Den event. I am delighted to learn that the winners will use the money towards marketing and improving their business ideas. It was a successful event and represents how LSST does its utmost, not only to educate students, but to help them progress further in their endeavours and future plans and progression.’

John White, LSST’s Work Placement Coordinator, said: ‘My appreciation and thanks to the students who took part in this successful event, the staff Dragons and students who attended the event. I extend my thanks to the Principal for his kind support and to Mr Zaidi, our CEO, for kindly providing the development fund.’

First-prize winner, Peter Varga, who presented on Harmony Relaxation Systems and Salon said: ‘I wish to thank everyone at LSST for supporting me and at last I now feel comfortable and confident enough to now market and run my business idea in the UK. I can soon be an entrepreneur and a proper project manager in my own start-up company. I hope I can attend the next Dragons’ Den in the future as a dragon. LSST has really changed my life around.’ Peter has now co-founded his company called Harmonic Synesthesia Limited focusing on what helps people find inner calmness by ‘hearing colours, seeing scents and smelling sounds’.

Dawn Calderwood, one of the Dragons and also a LSST Business Lecturer, said: ‘Congratulations to all the students who participated in the competition. The ideas, talents and innovative approaches have demonstrated the thirst and passion for knowledge and learning within LSST. Selecting a winner was a very difficult, every presentation brought a new spark of inspiration and creativity matched to fantastic entrepreneurial desire. I cannot wait to see the future of these students developing their businesses.’

Jonathan Green, also one of the Dragons and LSST’s motivational speaker and student support coordinator, said: ‘It was great to see our entrepreneurs coming forward to present their businesses. All of the Dragons were blown away by the students and their confidence in presenting pioneering visions and plans. There could only be one winner in this competition – but for me each candidate has the capabilities to be equally successful in the future.’

Note from the Deputy CEO:

I send my warmest congratulations and thanks to Peter Varga, Ashley Barnes, Ibrahim Sule and Jacqueline Lewis for taking time out of their busy schedules to inspire and add so much value to LSST’s student body. You have done a great deal to further motivate not only yourselves but others too. I also thank all the staff and, in particular, the Dragons.

I personally encourage the participating students to use this opportunity to become beacons of the LSST student army and to keep us updated of your success and future developments. I also encourage you to continue to share your ideas with other students across our campuses.

I thoroughly look forward the third Dragons’ Den themed event.

Mohammed Zaidi, Deputy CEO, LSST

Please visit Peter Varga’s website:

Please email the author of this article for any questions or comments.

Millennium Hotels and Resorts visits LSST to discuss hospitality trends


Millennium Hotels and Resorts – a hotel company famous for treating its guests as family – seamlessly blends Asian hospitality with western comfort in over 60 hotels across the world. Today, through its award-winning approach to guest relations, the Millennium Hotels and Resorts experience has become a hospitality industry benchmark.

Photo source: LSST London

David Birkby, HR Manager, Millennium Hotels Group and Maria Olmos Gardillo, HR Officer, Millennium Gloucester Hotel visited the LSST London Campus to discuss the latest trends in the hospitality sector. Over 45 Foundation and Top-Up degree students from the Hospitality School and Business School attended the presentation on Thursday 11 May 2017.

Students attending the debate-led presentation had the chance to question David and Maria about the latest hospitality trends and work opportunities at the Millennium Hotel. The focus of the talk centred on: talent and performance management, current issues in the hospitality industry, coaching and developing employees and employee relations.

David Birkby, thanking LSST students and staff for their inspiring questions, said: ‘HR and hospitality are closely united. I find my role the most rewarding. A day in Hospitality HR is never the same. For example, we work with relevant authorities, to make our customers stay and visit to London both enjoyable and safe, we look at how Brexit poses an recruitment challenge as hospitality experts are now in shorter supply – and we look at what millennials expect in the workplace, in terms of technology, to manage retention rates.’

Mohamad Hassan, Programme Manager for Hospitality Management, said: ‘I would like to emphasise that all of what has been presented and discussed can formulate ideas for research for BA Top-Up Degrees and also provides a snapshot for our foundation students on the modules and topics to be addressed during their studies.’ Mohamad went on to say: ‘Knowing the staff recruitment process increases your chances of being hired as this helps you be better prepared, less stressed and more innovative.’

John White, LSST’s Work Placement Coordinator, said: ‘It was a pleasure to witness the students contributing to the variety of thought-intensive topics on the day. Along with the guest speakers, I was particularly impressed with the variety of real-world experiences our students have in the hospitality sector. Today’s discussion has really broadened the passion and drive in our students.

Renata Monike Carvalho, Student Union President and Business Management (Y1) student, said: ‘The event really helped me understand the latest opportunities and challenges the hospitality industry faces.’

Hugh Smith, LSST’s Student Union Coordinator, who also attended the event, said: ‘I was really impressed with the thought-leading interaction by the students. It was the best I’ve seen. The speakers were enlightening and the overall feedback from the students was really positive.’

Anna Zouvelou, LSST’s HR Administrator, said: ‘I believe the speakers were really informative. I found the examples – given in the realm of Hospitality HR – were very interesting to my own work. I was really impressed by the solutions to HR issues that both David and Maria had for recruitment, retention and grievances. The talk certainly assisted students with their research – but helped me directly with my HR work at LSST.’

Note from the Deputy CEO:

David and Maria from the Millennium Hotels and Resorts have helped LSST students and staff in numerous positive ways – I would like to personally thank them for this.

LSST is not about ‘random war stories’. We go further. We want to run events that lead academic debate, discussion, research, team-building, cross course interaction (in this case both business and hospitality management students came together in one arena) so the event ultimately adds value to the student experience at LSST.

I send my ongoing commendations to those staff who helped put together this inspiring event and I look forward to learning about, and supporting, future such events.

Mohammed Zaidi, Deputy CEO, LSST

To find out more about LSST’s Hospitality Management courses visit:

View the Hotel’s career pages here:

View the Hotel’s offers here:

Read the Hotel’s blog here:

Read an event blog from John White – LSST’s Work Placement Coordinator – here:

Please email the author of this article for any questions or comments.

Cancer Research UK visits LSST’s Health and Social Care Students


Leading cancer charity, Cancer Research UK, visited the LSST London Campus for a talk with Health and Social Care students about the latest developments in cancer research and cancer care.

Photo source: LSST London

Over 50 Foundation and Top-Up degree students from the Health and Social Care School attended a presentation by Dr Tony Selman, UK Cancer Research Ambassador, and Dimita Patel, Events Organiser, on Wednesday 26 April 2017.

Public Health and Health Promotion and Public Health and Social Care students attending the presentation had the chance to question Cancer Research UK staff about the latest research of the charity and the opportunities for working at Cancer Research UK.

Dr Tony Selman said: ‘With today’s aging population, more than one in three people will, at one point or another, get cancer. However, due to better treatment and technology, cancer survival rates have doubled in the last 40 years.’

Dimita Patel added: ‘It really is such a pleasure working at Cancer Research UK as a volunteer. Once you become part of the organisation you never want to leave as each day becomes more rewarding than the last.’

Cancer Research UK has also been involved in a number of ground-breaking events in the political field. It has ensured, through lobby campaigns, that cigarettes are now out of sight and in the same packaging wherever sold. The charity remains at the forefront of cancer research and care for cancer patients and practitioners.

Lara Fontclara, Public Health and Social Care Foundation Degree (Y1), student said: ‘It was such a pleasure to hear first-hand from Cancer Research UK about the various ways in which students can help with cancer care and treatment.’

Barbara Chinyani, LSST Programme Leader in Public Health and Social Care, said: ‘A clear focus of the health and social care programmes is to develop the student ability to use evidence to inform their decisions and to be able to understand critical health and social care issues. Cancer Research UK have paid a real tribute to this and we are all truly grateful.’

John White, LSST’s Work Placement Coordinator, said: ‘Students are encouraged to undertake voluntary work and apply for possible placements that are suited to use on their Foundation and Top-Up Degree courses.’

After the event, numerous students signed up to be Cancer Research UK volunteers and to actively take part in the annual Relay for Life Race – a fundraising challenge bringing communities together to beat cancer.

Note from the Deputy CEO:

The talk from Cancer Research UK is both touching and thought-inspiring. All that cancer is associated with is, today, more than personal, emotional and physical in that its magnitude is felt by every student and staff alike.

Cancer Research UK has enticed a moment of reflection today: Do you have friends or family that have been diagnosed with cancer? Have you lost loved ones from this disease? Please take a moment to support and engage with the work of Cancer Research UK.

I send my personal commendations to the charity for all that it is doing for cancer patients and for their friends and family – as well as the first-rate support it provides for healthcare practitioners.

Mohammed Zaidi, Deputy CEO, LSST

To find out more about LSST’s Health and Social Care courses visit:

For cancer patient resources visit:

Follow Cancer Research UK:

For Cancer Research UK jobs visit:

Please email the author of this article for any questions or comments.

The Independent’s Economics Editor Elucidates Article 50 for LSST

Ben Cru’s

Ben Chu is The Independent’s worldwide respected Economics Editor. Holding a high global ranking for his first rate reporting and research abilities, few can match his editorial style and passion. He has reported from China, Taiwan, Germany, France and Switzerland and also Ireland. Ben is the author of the widely acclaimed book: Chinese Whispers – why everything you’ve heard about China is wrong.

Photo source: Ben Cru’s own

Ben Cru writes for LSST News:

The immediate financial implications of Theresa May’s Article 50 letter are unlikely to be very dramatic.


The date of the delivery of the Prime Minister’s missive to European Council President Donald Tusk was revealed by ministers on 20 March – offering the dopiest of traders time to “price in” the event. The reality is that markets had already done that anyway after parliamentary resistance to Article 50’s launch finally crumbled.

The key economic significance of this moment is actually political. The two-year cut-off point for these talks means that the hourglass has been upturned.

And whatever Brexiteers say, the UK has far more to lose economically than the EU if the clock runs down and there is no “comprehensive” trade deal by March 2019.

It’s true that the terms of Article 50 allow for an extension for talks if both sides agree to allow it. It’s even possible that Article 50 is legally revocable by the UK. But law and politics are separate things.

There could be a transitional deal, enabling the existing trade status quo to continue after 2019 while the details of the new arrangement continue to be hammered out.

Some noisy and influential Brexiteers are even already agitating for a “no deal” departure, where Britain would simply choose to trade on the most basic of World Trade Organisation terms with the rest of the 27 members of the EU.

There would be instant and intrusive customs checks at the border, creating long backlogs of lorries and disruption to UK industrial supply chains.

If a sense crystallises that this is going to be the destination in the coming months, financial markets could get volatile.

That’s why some financial analysts think sterling could have considerably further to fall against the dollar.

Another 15 per cent decline in the currency would push up the rate of inflation still further, putting another constraint on consumer spending.

Additional business investment would probably be frozen too if we seem to be heading in the direction of a “cliff-edge” Brexit.

This would drag down the overall growth rate, possibly towards zero.

Brexiteers, emboldened by the robustness of the economy since last June’s vote when many economists warned of a recession, will dismiss this as more crying of wolf. But they should remember that in that fable the issue was one of timing, rather than substance. The predator really did arrive in the end.

Ben offers LSST an abridged version of his article that originally appeared in The Independent.

Read more at:

Follow Ben on Twitter: @Benchu_

Note from the Deputy CEO:

I personally send Ben my heart-felt gratitude for taking out his time for connecting with LSST and acknowledging our proud partnerships with London Metropolitan University and University of West London.

Ben’s editorial stance indicates that numbers have meaning only in context – and that context is almost always impossible without comparisons to other numbers. His work is valuable and useful as it is based on valid-information rather than pondered-disinformation.

Brexit will take at least two years to process. It is worth noting that no country has ever left the EU before and that the consequences of Brexit and its aftermath are yet to be discovered. Yet, the media voice, en masse, will play a large part on the psychological mood-sets of key stakeholders.

I request students and staff to utilise Ben’s first-class work to assist with research, debate and professional growth.

Mohammed Zaidi, Deputy CEO, LSST

Please email the author of this article for any questions or comments.

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ chief economist debates the UK economy with LSST


John Hawksworth is the globally respected Chief Economist at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Writing especially for LSST News, and taking time from his busy schedule dealing with the global media, CEOs and senior politicians, John debates the UK Economy from his recent ground-breaking UK Economic Outlook report:

Photo source: John Hawksworth


1. Where next for the UK economy?

UK economic growth held up better than expected in the six months following the Brexit vote, particularly consumer spending. But there have been signs that growth may be beginning to ease in early 2017 as inflation has risen, squeezing household spending power.

There may be some offset to this from higher household borrowing in the short term, but there are limits to how much further this can increase, bearing in mind that net household borrowing in the fourth quarter of 2016 reached its highest level in 30 years.

In our main scenario, we project UK growth to slow to around 1.6% in 2017 and 1.4% in 2018 due to slower consumer spending growth and the drag on business investment from ongoing political and economic uncertainty relating to the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

Offsetting these negative factors, the weaker pound should boost UK exports and the pick-up in the world economy since last summer will also help here. So we should not be too gloomy about UK prospects over the next few years – but what about the longer term outlook for jobs?

2. Will robots really steal our jobs?

Our analysis suggests that around 30% of existing UK jobs could be affected by automation due to advances in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and related technologies by the early 2030s.

The possibility of automation appears highest in sectors such as transportation and storage (56%), manufacturing (46%) and wholesale and retail (44%), but lower in sectors like health and social work (17%). Since men are much more heavily represented than women in the first two industry sectors, they could prove more vulnerable than female workers to the march of the machines.

However, in practice, not all of these jobs will actually be automated for a variety of economic, legal and regulatory reasons. Furthermore, new automation technologies will create many totally new types of jobs just as past waves of technological progress have done – who had heard of a website designer or a cyber security expert when I left university in 1986?

Automation will also boost productivity (if not, why do it?) and so generate additional wealth and spending that will support additional jobs of existing kinds across the wider economy, primarily in services sectors that are less easy to automate.

The net long term impact of automation on total UK employment is therefore unclear. Average pre-tax incomes should rise due to the productivity gains, but these benefits may not be evenly spread across the population – people with higher and more adaptable skills levels are more likely to gain, others may lose.

There is therefore a strong case for increased investment in lifelong vocational education and training to help people adapt to increased automation. Someone leaving university today should be prepared to switch careers and upgrade their skills more often than their parents or grandparents to keep one step ahead of the machines.

For more information, please see PwC’s latest UK Economic Outlook report here:

This article was written for LSST by John Hawksworth, chief economist, PwC on 06 April 2017 and was coordinated by Mr Ali Jafar, LSST Marketing.

Note from the Deputy CEO:

PwC remains a landmark professional services network and a rightly respected global auditor. To have its Chief Economist make such a sound and solid contribution for LSST’s students and staff is an immense honour.

I urge students and staff to visit the UK Economic Outlook report and to visit, with frequency, the PwC website to aid research and debate during one of the most uncertain economic and political times in British history.

Mohammed Zaidi, Deputy CEO, LSST

Please email the author of this article for any questions or comments.

Luton Mayor visits LSST’s Luton Campus

Luton Mayor

The Luton Mayor, Cllr Tahir Khan, visited LSST’s Luton Campus to assure students and staff of his personal support for their positive contribution to the community.

Photo source: LSST Luton

The Mayor, outlining his responsibilities, addressed LSST Luton students and staff: ‘I am a great believer in education as one of life’s great stepping stones. We are always learning, so it’s never too late to learn.’ The Mayor went on to say: ‘I congratulate LSST for providing exemplary support platforms for its students.’

LSST Luton students learned about the importance and value of education from the Mayor. There was also advice on the upkeep of a sustained strong community spirit within the LSST Luton Campus. The Mayor, after a keynote presentation, took questions from students and went on to spend time with LSST Luton staff.

Mr Aqeel Syed, LSST Luton’s Associate Dean, said: ‘The Mayor’s visit is a tribute to the hard work of our students. The Mayor’s motivational message of community-cohesion has left a lasting sense of raised solidarity between our students and staff.’

Mr Ali Hamadani, LSST Luton’s Operations Manager, said: ‘The students really engaged with the Mayor and valued his kind support. Thus, events like this are very useful for our students because they develop into a useful network.’

Councillor Tahir Khan has been member of Luton Borough Council for over 10 years and has, upon his election, become the first Mayor of Luton from a Bangladeshi heritage. He is also on the Board of Directors at London Luton Airport Limited and has served as a school governor for over 15 years. His special interests include young people’s issues and providing opportunities for them to partake in positive activities.

Note from the Deputy CEO:

I express my sincerest thanks to the Luton Mayor, Cllr Tahir Khan, for visiting our Luton campus (Wed 15 March 2017). The Mayor’s encouraging words have left a lasting positive mark on LSST Luton and we look forward to future visits and strengthening our association.

The Mayor’s visit will not go in vain. I urge LSST Luton staff and students to take full heed in the advice and become a beacon of Higher Education within the Luton community.

I especially congratulate both students and staff for being such organised and welcoming hosts to the Mayor.

I applaud Mr Ali Jafar, LSST’s director of marketing and admissions, and his team for coordinating and supporting this event.

Mohammed Zaidi, Deputy CEO, LSST

Follow the Mayor of Luton:

Link with the Mayor of Luton:

Please email the author of this article for any questions or comments.

Baroness Shami Chakrabarti talks about human rights with LSST students

Guardian newspaper

Human rights are the very rights and freedoms that belong to everyone regardless of gender, place, age and life-style. These rights are based on values such as fairness, equality and respect. Yet, although these rights can never be taken away, they can be restricted.

Photo source: 39 Essex Chambers, photograph by Roddy Paine

Today both human rights and civil liberties are synonymous with Baroness Shami Chakrabarti – the esteemed shadow attorney general for England and Wales and former longstanding director of Liberty – the National Council for Civil Liberties.

For her exemplary work, Baroness Chakrabarti has been honoured with numerous doctorates, an honorary professorship and a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). She writes habitually for the Guardian newspaper, regularly appears on televised debate panels and is the author of On Liberty. No wonder Baroness Chakrabarti is considered Britain’s leading human rights campaigner.

Mr Ali Jafar, LSST’s director of marketing and admissions, presents Baroness Chakrabarti with a selection of challenging and topical questions from LSST students:


1. What do you do as a human rights lawyer, campaigner and Labour’s Shadow Attorney General?

I spent eleven years as director of Liberty – the civil liberties and human rights advocacy group – fighting for the rights of individuals during a markedly authoritarian political decade and helping people to better understand their rights and freedoms. During this time, Liberty successfully campaigned against proposals to extend the number of days an individual can be held in custody before being charged, the illegal practice of ‘stop and search’ and the introduction of ID cards, which threatened data protection and privacy.

I intend to continue this work, protecting the vulnerable from the powerful and upholding checks and balances, from within the office of the Shadow Attorney General. I have always been concerned with holding government to account – from where better to do this than as part of the Shadow Cabinet?

2. You stated that your next frontier is an online world that respects human rights. How is that going?

The internet is the greatest technological innovation of our lifetime, it has had a profound effect on our society and continues to shape the world around us. Like the printing press before it, it has been a huge force for freedom, equality and democracy, allowing unprecedented access to information and giving a voice to previously unheard peoples. In equal measure, however, the internet has proved a largely-unpoliced platform for misogyny, racism, xenophobia and legion other forms of hate. Protecting rights in this cyber-forum is a new challenge for legislators, for law enforcement and for society and in so many ways, society, politics and law seem slow to catch up with and respond to the new online world. This leaves a dangerous void. The answer is not blanket-surveillance or restrictions on free speech but police and prosecutorial authorities who are educated on the dangers and consequences of online abuse and sufficiently resourced to act to protect rights as well as freedoms in this new world.

3. Are the rights of the ordinary Briton under serious threat from the challenge to the Human Rights Act?

The Tory pledge to replace the HRA with a ‘British Bill of Rights’ represents an existential challenge to both rights and freedoms in the UK. Repeal of the HRA would leave every man, woman and child in this country incredibly vulnerable to abuses of power, robbing us of the opportunity to hold the government to account through judicial challenge. The HRA is a gloriously simple and vital piece of legislation, which protects all of us. The substitution of the word ‘human’ for ‘British’ undermines the universality of human rights and is about nothing more than pandering to xenophobia – an impulse that we must resist even more forcefully in a post-Trump world.

4. What will Trump’s executive order hold for the future?

Trump’s use of executive orders to limit the reproductive rights of women; to spurn desperate refugees; to single out specific Muslim countries (those which Trump does not have business ties to) for discrimination, stigma and abuse; and to build a wall along the Mexican border has tested the limits of law and executive power in the USA. The successful judicial challenge to the unilateral order on immigration, which saw the Ninth Circuit of Appeals uphold a temporary restraining order blocking the Trump administration from enforcing their motion, represents a significant victory for the champions of the rule of law and due process. However, the assault on liberal and progressive values (and the media) launched by the new US President in his first thirty days in office demands that we guard those British values of democracy and human rights even more closely. The PM’s response to Trump’s policies – poignantly illustrated by the ‘hand-gate’ incident – have been lackluster at best, though this is little wonder given her own record on fundamental rights and freedoms. This stands in sharp contrast to Jeremy Corbyn, who has a spent his lifetime in public service campaigning for human rights. Surely, now more than ever, we need a leader who will stand up for the essential values that uphold our democracy?

5. You are considered to be the most effective public affairs lobbyist of the past 20 years. What drives you?

I continue to be driven by my values and my belief in dignity, equality and fairness.

Note from the Deputy CEO:

LSST wishes to collectively thank Baroness Chakrabarti and her colleagues for their valued support and acknowledging LSST’s proud partnerships with the University of West London and London Metropolitan University.

Further, I individually thank Baroness Chakrabarti for her value-added efforts in challenging and changing, in part, the human rights agenda; and for motivating so many practitioners in the sphere it houses.

LSST is clearly an apolitical organisation but human rights are for every person at every moment from birth to death. It is a debate to be had for every academic institute as human rights are not just ‘political’ abstract concepts – they are rights protected by law.

I again commend and congratulate LSST’s marketing team for supporting and motivating our students in such an inspired way.

To take part in future interviews with senior managers, editors and company executives please email who will be happy to assist you.

Mohammed Zaidi, Deputy CEO, LSST

Read Baroness Chakrabarti’s articles at The Guardian here:

For more information on human rights visit:

Please email the author of this article for any questions or comments.

GfK expert discusses GB Inflation Watch with LSST students


Inflation and its ‘uncertainty’ are the topics of term for LSST’s business and management students. The effects of the Brexit vote and resultant inconsistencies with academics, politicians and industry experts has seen one of the greatest ‘what’s next’ debates of modern times.

Joe Staton, a leading consumer trends expert at global market research firm GfK, helps global brands understand their consumers today and anticipate the future. Joe gained his experience at leading agencies including JWT, Leo Burnett, Interpublic Group and Havas, and is now at GfK. His background means he is ideally placed to discuss the future consumer and what impact they will have on brands. You will find Joe regularly quoted on the BBC News, Sky News, The Daily Telegraph, FT, The Times, The Guardian and The Economist.

Photo source: Joe Staton’s own

To further assist student research, debate and development, Mr Ali Jafar, LSST’s marketing and admissions director, presents Joe with a series of challenging questions from LSST’s students:


1. Why have you created your GB Inflation Watch research product?

Inflation has become very topical. Many of us are wondering why inflation is rising? We want to know how quickly it’s happening? More importantly, how do we think inflation will behave in the future? Will it slow down, reverse or race ahead?

2. What did your survey about consumer perceptions of inflation find?

It’s not a separate survey as such. We routinely capture perceptions of past and future inflation in Britain through our Consumer Confidence Barometer that we have run for the EU since 1974. As inflation has become so topical since last summer’s EU Referendum, we decided to publish the findings on this topic.

Our findings were that nearly three out of four GB consumers (74%) surveyed in January 2017 think prices have risen over the past 12 months. This is 22 percentage points higher than a year ago. The same percentage (74%) expect prices to rise in the coming 12 months, with this figure up 19 percentage points compared to January 2016.

More than one in three people surveyed (34%) said they expect future consumer price increases will happen “more rapidly” than the past 12 months. This is more than three times as many as the 11% that thought this in January 2016.

3. Does inflation matter to people in the street?

Yes, there’s no question about that. Inflation impacts everyone everywhere regardless of age, income, gender or address. We all buy food, we all need to eat and we all need transport of one kind or another.

Inflation was triggered on this occasion by the fall in the value of the pound sterling since the Brexit vote. Immediately after the vote, there was speculation among both business leaders and consumers alike that we will see accelerated price inflation filter through to Britain’s high streets this year. Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows that consumers have already been hit by higher food and energy prices because the weakness of sterling is raising prices and reducing consumer spending power.

This has affected a range of typical purchases from Marmite to Majorca summer holidays. A third (34%) of GB shoppers anticipate rapid rises across a wider range of goods will impact spending, making us all even savvier in comparing prices for every day purchase decisions. This is good news for brands that represent value-for-money in consumers’ hearts, wallets and minds, but does it mean tough times ahead for everyone else?

4. Does your GB Inflation Watch look at regional variations?

Yes, and there were some interesting differences. Nationally, 34% of all respondents expect consumer prices to increase “more rapidly” over the next year. But in London, a much larger total of 45% believe this whereas in the North the total is lower at 30%.

5. How are the inflation perceptions changing over time?

The idea that we are in for more rapid inflation in the future has picked up over the past 12 months. Only 18% in London thought this was likely in January 2016 but the total a year later is a hefty 27 percentage points higher at 45%. In Scotland, only 5% in January 2016 thought inflation would be more rapid over the next year. But there has been a huge increase since then of 36 percentage points to 41% as of January 2017.

GfK GB Inflation Watch: regional variations
January 2017 January 2016
LONDON 45% 18%
SOUTH 34% 13%
MIDLANDS 34% 12%
NORTH 30% 7%
SCOTLAND 39% 10%
WALES 41% 5%
Source: GfK GB Inflation Watch

6. Will inflation stop us going to the shops or treating ourselves when we can afford to do so?

We’ll all notice the price changes. But consumers can be remarkably inflexible if they wish. As market researchers, we know from experience that when there is any kind of economic uncertainty or especially when inflation rears its head that shoppers are loathe to compromise on their quality of life. So, those who can afford to spend will continue doing so. For companies, if they can find ways to help consumers avoid cut-backs then they will win consumer approval.

Note from the Deputy CEO:

On behalf of our students and staff, I personally thank Joe and his research team for such a detailed narrative on inflation. Not only has Joe answered the challenging and stimulating student questions with first-rate expertise – he further justifies them with his seminal research from GB Inflation Watch.

I would like students and staff to really think about how inflation impacts the UK economy and society in the pre/post-Brexit era. I especially encourage students to find out more about GfK’s careers and its research (see hyperlinks below).

May I also congratulate Mr Ali Jafar, LSST’s marketing and admissions director, for supporting our students in such a creative way and hope to see more of such work in the near future.

To take part in future interviews with senior managers, editors and company executives please email

Mohammed Zaidi, Deputy CEO, LSST

Find out more about GfK:

Careers with GfK:

GfK’s UK Consumer Confidence Barometer:

Office for National Statistics (ONS):

Please email the author of this article for any questions or comments.

Vice President of Mars talks business with LSST’s Founder and CEO

Vice President

Mars is one of the world’s fastest growing consumer packaged goods companies that constantly delivers on quality and value. It owns brands from Wrigley’s to Bounty to m&m’s to Uncle Ben’s and ranks as one of the best places to work through its ‘no walls, no borders and no limits’ approach.

Photo source: Andy Pharoah’s own

Mars is famed for not having employees – it has Associates!LSST students have already noted that only through excellent leadership and management can Mars’ products be responsible for bringing so much pleasure to hundreds of millions of people around the world.

To find out more, Mr Syed Zaidi, CEO and founder of LSST, interviews Andy Pharoah – the globally respected Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Strategic Initiatives at Mars:


1. What do you do for Mars, Incorporated?

I joined the Mars Leadership Team as Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Strategic Initiatives in September 2016. Mars is based in McLean, Virginia and Mars has net sales of more than $35 billion and business segments in Pet care, Confectionery, Food, Drinks and Symbio science. We operate 421 sites in 78 countries.

Mars was founded in 1911, when Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen. In 1932, Forrest Mars, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom and built a diversified business based on the objective of creating a “mutuality of benefits for all stakeholders.” This objective is one of the Five Principles of Quality, Efficiency, Responsibility, Mutuality and Freedom that serve to unite and guide more than 80,000 Mars Associates as they do business every day.

My role has two core parts. Corporate Affairs stewards the company’s communication, government relations and stakeholder engagement. Strategic Initiatives leads management team effectiveness and helping to lead delivery of transformative strategic initiatives for Mars, Incorporated.

Prior to my current role, I served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Sustainability & Strategy for Mars’ Wrigley business since 2009. My responsibilities encompassed all aspects of Corporate Affairs, leadership of Global Sustainability, and leadership of the development and deployment of Wrigley business strategy.

2. What are your long-term goals for Mars Inc?

Mars is an amazing company with a dynamic business and with a very differentiated approach to doing business. I see my role as primarily about helping Mars have the conversations that any world leading company needs to have with employees – that we call Associates and also consumers, local communities, governments and the media.

3. You are a globally renowned leader in corporate affairs, why choose Mars?

I joined Wrigley in Munich 2008 as European Corporate Affairs Director. I joined from Hill & Knowles who I’d been with for 13 years including my final four years leading the Corporate Communications Practice for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Before that I’d worked for a Trade Association and a UK Political Party. What attracted me to Wrigley was that I felt that communications could make a difference to the company and the role was set up for success organizationally plus I thought it would be interesting and it certainly has been.

When I joined Wrigley it was an independent public company but seven months into my new job Mars acquired Wrigley – and since then it has been run as one of Mars divisions. I was a little unsure at first of what this might mean. But I discovered pretty soon that I really liked the company and, importantly, the company liked me. Within a year I was promoted to lead Corporate Affairs globally for Wrigley. Mars is amazing place to work. There is incredible opportunity to make a difference and have fun.

4. What are the Principles in Action at Mars?

Mars is incredibly principled in business. The Five Principles are the key to our culture, and we strive to live by them each and every day. They serve as a compass to help guide our business decisions and unite us across geographies, languages, cultures and generations. The result is stronger relationships with everyone — our consumers, customers, business partners, communities and each other.

Our Principles in Action are about how we do business and in doing so make a positive difference to people and planet.

We care about commitment. Our company and Associates have been committed to The Five Principles of Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom for generations, and we know they’re going to continue to guide us to our best future.

Our principles of Mutuality and Freedom are what set us apart from the crowd. Mars goes beyond what’s normally expected of companies with our commitment to creating mutual benefits for all those involved in our success. And as a private, family-owned business, we have the freedom to be bold — making long-term investments to tackle big issues like climate change and food security for the benefit of everyone. We believe we can create a successful and sustainable future for all by working together.

5. What inspires you to be your best?

I’m inspired by the company I work for, what it stands for, the difference it makes and people I work with.

6. What motivational advice do you have for LSST’s students?

Be curious, be principled, never assume anything and be willing to speak your mind. Plus remember there is a good deal of truth in in the Woody Allen quote that “80% of success is showing up”.

7. Can LSST students and staff have some free Mars chocolates please?

Nice try…

To see more go to:

For careers visit:

For Mars Principles in Action visit:

Note from the Deputy CEO:

First, I would like to personally thank our students who inspired our CEO and senior management team to venture and search for excellence in global corporate leadership. Second, Andy demonstrates that Mars Inc is clearly a stand-out organisation with its Associate – not employees – stance as well as its no-walls approach to global business. I personally send him my heart-felt gratitude for taking the time out for speaking with LSST and acknowledging our proud partnerships with London Metropolitan University and University of West London – despite having his offices in Washington DC!

Perhaps the next time you eat one of the many chocolate products made by Mars – consider the findings of this interview and how it can positively impact the way you work and succeed in life.

Mohammed Zaidi, Deputy CEO, LSST

Please email the author of this article for any questions or comments.

The Guardian’s Business Editor inspires LSST’s students


Fiona Walsh is the revered business editor of and has dedicatedly worked for a number of national newspapers, including the Sunday Times, where she was deputy City editor.

LSST’s business and management students coordinated a series of scoping thought-provoking questions with LSST’s Deputy CEO, Mr Mohammed Zaidi, for one of the country’s most respected business editors:

Photo source: used with permission Fiona Walsh


1. What work do you do for The Guardian?

I’ve been the Business Editor of since October 2006. I initially started on the newspaper but was offered the opportunity to edit the business website, which I jumped at.

I had a long career in print journalism, from the Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph to the Mirror, the Mail and the Evening Standard, but was itching to make the switch to the rapidly-developing digital world.

2. How does online journalism differ from print journalism?

It’s a lot faster. You need to make swift decisions but must never sacrifice accuracy for speed.

There are so many exciting ways to tell stories online, with interactive, video and audio. One of the most popular features of our online business coverage is our daily live blog, which covers all the big events of the day in real time.

It’s a really good way to deliver the news in times of crisis, when events are moving fast, such as the Eurozone crisis a few years back, or the fallout from the Brexit vote. On a really big day, the business blog will record more than a million page views.

3. What will be the key trends in the business world this year?

Brexit, obviously, and also the impact of Donald Trump’s arrival in the White House.

The dire warnings about the catastrophic impact a vote to leave Europe would have on the UK economy have not proved accurate, certainly not as yet.

But negotiations on new trade deals for the UK will clearly be crucial for the future of the UK economy. We have a long haul ahead.

4. Where do you get your news from?

We use all the traditional news sources – company accounts, Stock Exchange announcements, brokers’ notes, news agencies such as Reuters and the Press Association, as well as sources developed by our reporting team. We keep an eye on social media and on what the competition are doing.

Our readers are often sources too – we encourage comments on our articles and it’s always interesting to hear what they have to say. They are also very good at spotting any mistakes!

5. How can websites such help LSST’s students?

The days when text books and academic journals were the only valid references for research are long gone.

News websites such as Guardian Business are a fantastically useful research tool for students – as well as covering the latest news, our keyword pages curate all our stories and opinion pieces on specific companies, sectors and trends, from retailing to banking, executive pay, economics and the Eurozone crisis.

This enables students to access news articles going back a number of years and, where possible, we try to link to the various reports and sources for our stories.

Research the latest business news at:

Follow Fiona at:

Note from the Deputy CEO:

My warmest thanks to Fiona for taking the time to answer questions from our business and management students. We commend her support and enthusiastic answers.

Adding to Fiona’s views, in today’s continuously changing world, academic research in both business and management needs to stay as close to real-time as possible. I feel by using her business pages on a regular basis students will be able to do so with ease.

To take part in future interviews with senior managers, editors and company executives please email

Mohammed Zaidi, Deputy CEO, LSST

Please email the author of this article for any questions or comments.

BAE Systems’ Corporate Responsibility Director speaks with LSST

LSST’s students are fully aware that creating a successful business requires more than just financial results. BAE Systems is the world’s most advanced technology-led, aerospace and security solutions company. BAE Systems places its importance not just on what it does – but, rather, how it does. Responsible business is embedded within its strategy and is supported through its Corporate Responsibility (CR) agenda.

Mr Mohammed Zaidi, Deputy CEO, and Mr Ali Jafar, Director of Marketing and Admissions, present Dr Deborah Allen, Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility at BAE Systems, with a series of questions from LSST’s business students:​

Photo source: used with permission Deborah Allen


1. What do you do at BAE Systems?

We provide some of the world’s most advanced technology-led defense, aerospace and security solutions and employ a skilled workforce of some 82,500 people in over 40 countries.

Working with customers and local partners, we develop, engineer, manufacture and support products and systems to deliver military capability, protect national security and people and keep critical information and infrastructure secure.

2. What does CR mean at BAE Systems?

Corporate Responsibility (CR) is part of our core culture and values. It enables us to generate sustainable, long-term value for our shareholders, our customers, our people, our suppliers and the communities where we operate.

Our CR report describes how we approach CR – to benefit our business and wider society – under the themes of trust and integrity, our people, health and safety, resource efficiency, product stewardship, supply chain and community investment.

3. What is BAE’s focus on corporate ethics and governance?

Ethical behavior as demonstrated by a company is seen as a key means of maintaining the confidence of external stakeholders. Governance in this area is of growing concern to shareholders, customers, employees, communities and governments.

The place of ethics within a business is seen as a key measure of its legitimate licence to operate.

Employees across all levels of the Group, including our Board, are trained to understand how the Code of Conduct applies to them. We also operate a 24/7 Ethics Helpline and each of our businesses has Ethics Officers, who monitor performance and provide help and guidance if an employee has a concern.

4. How do you identify and recruit talent?

Our business needs employees with a wide range of skills, from electrical engineering to marketing and from software to human resources. This, in turn, means that we have strong relationships with education providers in our key jurisdictions.

This ranges from working with schools to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects through to partnering with trade associations on education initiatives.

We also offer our own training curricula and maintain a strong emphasis on skills development for all employees.

Find out more about BAE Systems’ corporate responsibility:

View exciting career opportunities at BAE Systems:

Please email the author of this article for any questions or comments.

Sir Simon Jenkins reviews 2016 with LSST’s Deputy CEO

Simon Jenkins

Sir Simon Jenkins is a leading journalist and author who needs little introduction at LSST.

His thought-provoking articles for The Guardian, as well as broadcasting for the BBC, form fundamental enrichment for LSST student research. He has edited the Times and the London Evening Standard and chaired the National Trust.

Sir Simon Jenkins looks back at memorable moments of 2016 with LSST’s deputy CEO, Mohammed Zaidi, and director of marketing and admissions, Ali Jafar:

Photo source: used with permission Simon jenkins


1. Can we start with your opinion on Brexit?

David Cameron’s wild European gamble failed. He and the British establishment took democracy for granted. They lined up all the toffs and boffins, the chief executives, tycoons and clever-clogs in the (south of the) land, and asked the nation to pat them on the back. The invitation to a punch in the face was too good to miss.

2. Are serious newspapers now breaking apart financially due to the internet?

Conventional wisdom holds that the golden age of press investigation is coming to an end. Editorial mediation is giving way to “the democracy of the web”. Free online is wrecking the finances of many newspapers. But the economics of a free press have always relied on the ups and downs of the marketplace. Newspapers have never been secure. Free speech is inherently vulnerable to power. The British government is still ham fistedly trying to curb investigation by imposing on it compulsory libel costs – an attempt that must surely now be laid to rest.

3. Your investigations into The Panama Papers show how it is left to investigative journalists to reveal the truth and spur on reform. What are your views on this?

Fifa corruption, Snowden and surveillance, Rotherham child abuse, drugged athletes, Stephen Lawrence, WikiLeaks, MPs’ expenses, phone hacking, HSBC, cash for questions, cricket fixing, extraordinary rendition, Olympic bribery, Slater Walker share fixing, DC-10 crashes, thalidomide, corruption at the Met: if power had had its way, none of these stories would have come to light.

And now we have the Panama Papers. A cloud of stinking dust rises as another wall in the edifice of unaccountability crashes to the ground. No thanks are due to any government or police force, to any minister or regulator. The instigator is that musketeer of the digital age, the whistleblower. But even the whistleblower depends on the press.

4. Are we getting good old-fashioned Republican isolationism with Trump?

Britons are never happier than when ridiculing the vulgarity of American politics. Donald Trump’s acceptance speech at the Republican convention in Cleveland was therefore a gift. It was as vacuous a catalogue of cliches as Barack Obama’s “Yes we can” speeches in 2008.

This is colouring-book oratory, and intended as such. A more serious question is, what would a Trump presidency be like for the outside world?

As far as Britain is concerned, Trump welcomed Brexit, albeit as a token of his own popular defiance against a ruling class.

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Note from the Deputy CEO:

I would like to personally thank Sir Simon Jenkins for taking the time to connect with our students and acknowledge our proud partnership with London Metropolitan University and the University of West London.

Editorial efficacy is paramount in academic writing and by following Simon’s work I am certain that students will grasp a greater knowledge base and understanding of ​strong writing skills​​ and a wider outlook on government and corporate affairs​.

I will be speaking with lecturers about using such work appropriately with academic rigour early in 2017.


Mohammed Zaidi, Deputy CEO, LSST

Please email the author of this article for any questions or comments.

Marketing Week offers bespoke business advice to LSST’s students


No matter what you are studying at LSST – marketing ​can always be an integral part of your career.
​Marketing Week is the industry leading brand delivering news, insight, trends and tactics in print, online and at live events to the marketing industry.
​The publication now reaches an audience of over 130,000 marketing professionals every week via the magazine and website.

Mr Ali Jafar, Director of Marketing and Admissions, caught up with Russell Parsons, Editor of Marketing Week, to find out more about the publication and how its knowledge-bank content, research and job sections can assist LSST’s students wishing to set up or develop their own business.​

Photo source: used with permission (C) Russell Parsons 2016


1. How did you get started on Marketing Week?

I joined as a reporter in 2009 before becoming news editor in 2011. I was named editor in 2015. I regularly contribute to the national media on marketing matters and have recently taken part in high-profile European panels on trust, brand purpose and loyalty. Prior to Marketing Week I worked at Travel Trade Gazette, Financial Times Business and Institutional Investor.

2. How many people work at Marketing Week?

There are 10 people on the editorial team.

3. What are the key trends in marketing for 2017?

There are many things we will see become more a part of marketers’ thinking and jobs in 2017 – new team structures, measurement shifts and price inflation, to name just three – but the big one will be accountability. As post Brexit economic uncertainty continues, marketing budgets will come under more scrutiny. With this we see companies demand more from marketers. The need to demonstrate effectiveness of spend will increase and will see more brands introduce “zero-based budgeting”, a cost management system that requires marketers to earn budgets by justifying commercial imperative for spend. This is a big shift from having budgets on the previous year’s spend or revenue. This demands a more business orientated approach.

4. Many of our students have small businesses, how can they undertake marketing on a small budget?

Start with the basics. Insight – who are your customers, what do they need and at what point can you most influence them. Don’t start with a media plan and work backwards to strategy, you may end up spending money you don’t need too on ineffective media. Also, understand that marketing is more than promotion, there are so many other ways to be different and distinct and engage with customers. From delivering a better multiplatform experience to better data and insight, through product enhancement to improved targeting.

5. How can Marketing Week assist our students with their research and assessments?

Through and Marketingweek magazine we have a huge archive of news, insight, analysis and opinion tackling the biggest issues, challenges and opportunities of the day, whatever the day.

Explore the magazine at:

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An inspirational message from the Mayor of London

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The Mayor of London, Mr Sadiq Khan, offers inspirational advice to students about London’s future.

Photo source: London Mayor Sadiq Khan

I grew up on a council estate in South London and my parents both worked incredibly hard to save up so they could buy their own home and give my siblings a good state education. We all benefited from that education, and their support. It gave me the grounding to study law before going on to work as a human rights lawyer before serving as a local councillor and then as the Member of Parliament for Tooting.

Now, as Mayor of London, my burning ambition is that every Londoner gets the same opportunities that this great city offered me. And our fantastic universities play such a crucial role in doing just that. London is the higher education capital of the world, with more leading universities and international students than any other city and I want to make sure it stays that way.

The vast majority of students who come from abroad to study in London leave as ambassadors for our city, Londoners in their own right, spreading the message across the globe that London is a fantastic place to live, work, study and visit.

That’s why I’ve said loud and clear to the world that even after the referendum vote that London is still open for talent, business and ideas.

It is so important to me that all our international students and academic staff know that London is open. I value the enormous contribution they make to our city and I will continue to work with London’s higher education institutions to ensure their needs are properly understood and reflected as we negotiate the right settlement with the EU for our international students and staff.

But there is more that I can do as the Mayor. I know that rent costs and transport fares are a cause for real concern too. That’s why I’ve made it clear that tackling London’s housing crisis is my number-one priority and why I’m paving the way for more affordable homes to buy and rent across the capital – I want students to be able to work towards owning their home when they graduate as well as being able to afford to live in the city while they are studying.

From my first week as Mayor, I was also determined to get on with the job of cutting the cost of transport in London which became the most expensive in Europe.

I’ve frozen TfL fares for the next four years as well as urging Government to do the same on the rail networks that they control.

My new Hopper fare means that if you are travelling by bus then you can make two journeys for the price of one within an hour, saving Londoners millions in the process.

The launch of the Night Tube means that whether you are studying late, partying or working you can get about our city at any hour quickly and safely.

And one of the best things about our city is that London’s best restaurants, cafes, pubs and cultural hotspots are not just confined to Zone 1 and central London.

I would urge you to make sure you get out and about and discover different parts the city – there’s always something new and inspiring popping up around every corner. London is the world’s cultural capital, sports capital, entertainment capital and much more, offering a fantastic education in itself.

Dedicate time and accumulate the knowledge from the lectures and read books on the subjects. It’s your life so aim high.

Enjoy every minute of it. Sadiq Khan

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Mr Ali Jafar, Head of Marketing and Admissions, wishes to personally thank the Mayor and his colleagues for providing this statement to LSST.

Please email the author of this article for any questions or comments.