Sometimes all that sparkles really is gold. Meet Robert Tateossian, whose eponymous jewellery business in central London has been running for 27 years.
What is it the company does?
Tateossian is a British jewellery business, based in the heart of London. We produce our own collections, spanning across an array of product categories for men and women. All our jewellery has a sense of playfulness and free movement, and we frequently use unusual and rare materials to create innovative and unique pieces. We also carry our private label work for a number of high profile global brands, including Zegna, Canali, Eton, Harrods of London and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Describe your role in no more than 100 words
I am the managing director here at Tateossian, and I am responsible for overseeing every single department within the business. This includes, but is not limited to, design, sales, marketing, pr, production, distribution, finance and digital. i am very heavily involved in the day-to-day running of the business, regardless of where I am in the world, maintaining constant contact with all departments.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
After graduating from university, I worked at the school of finance followed by 7 years of banking at Merrill Lynch. In 1990 I made the bold move to change direction in my career and established Tateossian, which is the company I have been building for the last 27 years.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
A great leader in my opinion is someone who listens to others, motivates employees and leads by example.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
The two biggest challenges I have faced in my current position are people management and cash flow management. These are 2 areas that have been the most challenging in running a successful business.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
I always make time to exercise regularly, which I believe is incredibly important with such a busy work schedule. I also enjoy entertaining at the end of the day to take a break from normal business matters.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to travel the world, and I’m proud to say that is a dream I made come true and continue to live as I am constantly on the move.
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about them?
Resignations are my pet hate, as they usually happen unexpectedly and they can disturb the harmony of the business, affect the smooth running of operations and cause disruption within the office.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
Over the next 5 years I would like to see the company continually grow, with a particular emphasis on expanding our retail presence in the key cities around the world such as Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York and Milan.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
You have to hold a strong belief in what you are doing and pursue it regardless of what people around you may say. Believe in yourself and follow your instinct.
What do you wish someone had told you when you started out?
Many of our jewellery pieces are made from silver, so I wish someone had told me that the price of silver was going to be $16 and I could have bought it at $4.83 when I set up my business in 1990, and capitalised on a huge profit.