Welcome to episode 22 of the Wonder Junkie Podcast featuring Touker Suleyman of BBC's Dragons Den talking all about the new drama "The Founder" starring Michael Keaton.
The Founder is the true story of how Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), a struggling salesman from Illinois, met Mac (John Carroll Lynch) and Dick McDonald (Nick Offerman), who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. Kroc was impressed by the brothers' speedy system of making the food and saw franchise potential. Kroc soon maneuvers himself into a position to be able to pull the company from the brothers and create a multi-billion dollar empire.
Touker Suleyman has 40 years' retail and manufacturing experience and is best known as the founder of quintessentially British menswear brand, Hawes & Curtis and the man credited with reinventing the seminal 90s womenswear label, Ghost.
After a false start in accountancy, Touker kicked off his retail career at the age of 18. He entered into a joint venture in a leather factory and soon after established a clothing manufacturer supplying to some of the biggest names of the British high street.
Touker’s rise in the business world has not been without its challenge. In the 1980s auditors identified significant debt behind one of his business ventures and he had six weeks to find £2 million pounds. Unfortunately, a potential investor pulling out at the last minute, forcing the business into liquidation, and he was forced to start again from nothing.
Touker went on to build a thriving international clothing manufacturer which still sits at the heart of his businesses and is now a serial entrepreneur, backing seven retail and commercial property businesses. Touker has a keen interest in supporting start-ups and invests in a number of small British companies.
And of course, he now sits on BBC Dragons Den and has invested so far in the Den: £575, 000.
So Touker knows a thing or two about business and was a great person to speak to about how much of the film meets reality...