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The Bottom Line


Evan Davis hosts the business conversation show with people at the top giving insight into what matters

Evan Davis hosts the business conversation show with people at the top giving insight into what matters
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Evan Davis hosts the business conversation show with people at the top giving insight into what matters




The Future of Commercial Aviation

How can the aviation industry marry sustainability with increasing passenger numbers? Since the deregulation of Europe's airlines in the late 1990s, more and more of us have been flying every year. Whilst this may be good news for the airline industry, it's not good news for the environment. Manufacturers are trying to make models lighter and more fuel efficient, with a pledge by IATA to cut emissions to 50% by 2050. Nevertheless, experts say we are at least fifteen years away from hybrid...


Lessons of Theranos

What can we learn from how one medical start-up fooled Silicon Valley and the world? Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of Stanford University at 19 to start Theranos. She promised investors and the public a revolutionary blood diagnosis machine which would be less painful, accessible and affordable than ordinary lab tests. She managed to raise $9 billion in funding. Now the company is worth nothing. Holmes and her business partner may face up to 20 years in prison for fraud. How did she manage...


The investment industry - luck or judgement?

You trust financial professionals to grow your long term savings and pension pot. But how do you know if they are investing it wisely? The UK investment industry is awash with complicated terms and conditions, and unclear and sometimes high charges, which can eat into your monetary returns. The woes of star fund manager Neil Woodford, who has temporarily frozen one of his funds to its investors after poor performance, highlights just how complicated an industry it is. Is some clarity...


The discounters

Poundland, Lidl, B&M Bargains and Primark are thriving successes on the High Street, while more mainstream retailers have seen their profits hit. Just how do the discounters keep their prices so low? Keeping the business model simple, supply chains lean and costs down are key parts of the story. Guests: Barry Williams, Managing Director of Poundland Simon Arora, Chief Executive, B&M Bargains Catherine Shuttleworth, Chief Executive of Savvy Marketing



Can a sudden change in direction save a new company? Evan Davis and his guests hear stories about the start-up's nightmare: the original product is not selling, and cash is running out. Can changing focus - with a new service or product - pluck success from the jaws of doom? Speaking to entrepreneurs and experts, he learns about how in a range of sectors, from sanitary products to event ticketing, the key is to shift while staying true to the original vision. Guests: Celia Pool, cofounder...


Commerce and Crime

From Somali pirates who've turned kidnapping into a global enterprise to cybercrime and fraud - the worlds of business and wrongdoing potentially have much in common. Clever criminals build business empires and fraud is sometimes carried out by well paid workers at legitimate companies. What the two worlds can have in common is a pursuit of profit and a series of apparently rational calculations. Evan Davis and guests explore why some bright, talented people try to get rich the wrong way,...


The Fitness Industry

Who wins and loses in the cut-throat exercise market? Looking good and being fit has become more important as we have become more wealthy. Yet most new gyms and fitness centres fail. Evan Davis and his guests work out the secrets of success in this growing industry, which is is worth over £5 billion in the UK. GUESTS Stuart Broster, CEO, Anytime Fitness UK Tommy Matthews, Managing Director, Be Military Fit Dawn Tuckwell,, Director and Co-founder, Action PR PRESENTER: Evan Davis PRODUCER:...


The Last Mile

The package brought to your door may have crossed the globe - but the most expensive and fiddly bit of the journey will undoubtedly be what's known as 'the last mile'. Delivery firms are constantly innovating how they do this - using electric vehicles and e cargo bikes, robots, or offering customers a click and collect option at a local store of their choice. Consumers take it for granted that they will get free delivery in many cases. But is the whole 'last mile' industry sustainable?...


Anti-Biotic Resistance

Antibiotic resistance is a global problem but there have been no new drugs produced since the 1980s. So who is to blame? The public's over-consumption or the current economic model for drug research and production? Evan Davis and guests discuss. GUESTS Seema Patel, Medical Director, Hospital Business, Pfizer, UK, Ireland and the Nordics Lord Jim O'Neill, Chair Anti-Microbial Resistance Review (2016), Former Chief Economist, Goldman Sachs Professor Colin Garner, Co Founder and Director,...


Planning for uncertainty

Every business faces uncertainty. In the final programme of the series Evan Davis and guests ask what businesses should do when faced with uncertainty. Guests: Jeremy Bentham, Head of Scenarios, Shell Nick Allan, CEO, Control Risks Dr Sandra Bell, Head of Resilience Consulting, Sungard Availability Services


Feedback frenzy

It's hard to buy anything these days without being asked to rate or review it. Evan Davis and guests look at how have businesses such as Tripadvisor, Feefo and Checkatrade have altered the relationship between companies and consumers? Do you trust the wisdom of crowds more than an expert's view? Guests Matt West, Chief Executive of Feefo Rob Paterson, Chief Executive of Best Western Hotels GB Caroline Wiertz, Professor of Marketing and Associate Dean for Entrepreneurship at the Cass...



For many graduates an internship has become the default route to full-time, paid employment. But getting a good placement is competitive and in some cases poorly paid or unpaid. What does this mean for social mobility and diversity in the workplace? Evan Davis and guests discuss the pros and cons of internships. GUESTS Sarah Churchman, UK Head of Inclusion, Diversity and Wellbeing, PwC Amalia Illgner , Freelance journalist and a former intern Oliver Sidwell, Co-founder, Rate My Placement


The personalisation revolution

Technological advances have made it easier for businesses to offer us more personalised goods and services, from customised cars to clothes that fit better and pioneering cell and gene therapies to target serious illnesses. How far can this personalisation revolution go? GUESTS Darrin Disley, Chief Executive of cell therapy company, Mogrify Georgina Silvester, Chief Operating Officer (designate), Handelsbanken UK Karl Howkins, Managing Director, Citroen UK Kate Ancketill, Chief Executive...



There are more than two-and-a-half thousand consumer and business magazine titles on sale in the UK. What is the appeal of magazines and how does the business endure in spite of falling advertising revenues and declining circulation figures? GUESTS Wolfgang Blau, President, Conde Nast International Terri White, Editor-in-Chief, Empire Magazine Rebecca McGrath, Senior Analyst, Media, Mintel


Are auditors fit for purpose?

What's the point of an audit if it fails to detect when a company's about to go under? The sudden collapse of BHS, Carillion and Patisserie Valerie has dented public confidence in the firms that audited them and prompted calls for a shake-up of the audit industry. Would more competition in the sector, which is dominated by four big players, drive audit quality up? Do accountants need to be more robust in challenging company figures? Joining Evan Davis for The Bottom Line: Bill Michael, UK...


Behavioural science in the workplace

Understanding how humans think and what makes them tick can be enormously helpful if you're running a company. Luckily behavioural science is on hand to do just that. How far can its use improve decision making in businesses? Joining Evan Davis are: Octavius Black, CEO and Co-founder of MindGym David Halpern, CEO, The Behavioural Insights Team Kim Atherton, Chief People Officer, Ovo Energy and CEO and Founder of Just3Things


University Businesses

Higher education in the UK is an astonishingly successful British industry, with an income of almost £35 billion a year. Universities have expanded hugely with more students from home and abroad. But uncertain times lie ahead. Tuition fees are under review and some people in the sector argue Brexit may make it harder to attract students from EU countries. Are universities sustainable as businesses? Guests: Professor Nick Petford, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Northampton Professor...


The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things promised to revolutionise the way we live and work but what has it delivered and what more is it capable of doing? Join Evan Davis and guests as they discuss The Internet of Things. GUESTS Kevin Ashton, Author who coined the phrase the Internet of Things Caroline Gorski, Global Director of R2 Data Labs, Rolls Royce Plc Paul Beastall, Head of Strategy, Cambridge Consultants


Business in the era of #MeToo

Has the #MeToo movement made businesses change the way they deal with sexual harassment and gender equality claims in the workplace? Does the law around non-disclosure agreements - often used to hush up this kind of behaviour - need to be changed? Evan Davis and guests discuss. GUESTS Samantha Mangwana, Employment Lawyer, Partner, CM Murray Zelda Perkins, Campaigner and Theatrical Producer Octavius Black, CEO and Co-founder, TheMindGym


Super-premium drinks

There has been an explosion in the number of craft ale breweries and small-scale gin distilleries in recent years. The so-called super premium alcohol sector is growing. Why are these drinks popular among consumers? Is this a passing fad or is the drinks business facing fundamental change? Evan Davis and guests discuss. Guests: Tina Warner-Keogh, partner and co-owner of Warner Edwards Gin Distillery Laura Edwards, general manager at Meantime Brewing Company and Andrew Geoghegan, global...