Barclays Bank mentoring helps hackney based business

We have spoken to Inan Gokcek.Inan received support from Barclays Bank mentor, Andy Murphy. Inan runs Anares ( and has a small studio based in Hackney, London, his work ranges from furniture design to interior architecture and even small architecture projects such as house extensions, conversions and more. Inan’s main focus is on interior architecture and his goal is to build experience and Anares’ reputation as a business based on this.

We asked Inan what he had taken away from the programme and the mentoring offered as part of this. Inan explained that over the course of the programme he had learned to analyse and assess circumstances, the ability to adapt to new situations and circumstances as well as strategic planning for future.

Inan said “I have learnt to look at Anares as a bigger picture; what it is today and what it isn’t; it’s aims in 3-6 months but also 3-5 years. Additionally, mentoring has also revealed the real values of my business, the versatility and the range of services that the studio can offer that I wasn’t previously very aware of and encouraged and helped me to build my business based on these.”

Mentoring has empowered Inan to give a direction to his business based on his own choices, recognising his strengths and weaknesses. Andy has helped Inan to understand what is needed, rather than applying a set methodology, providing both general and specific support based on the situation.

We asked Inan how his sessions with Andy would usually go “At each session, we set goals, distributed on them on a timeline and moved forward from that. Later we reviewed the progress and created new ones. I also communicated with Andy via emails in between our meetings which provided additional help when meeting in person wasn’t possible. Visualising and listing tasks and reviewing them regularly helped me to keep the tempo.

Over the past year Inan’s mentoring relationship with Andy has helped to build his business and personal skills, we asked Inan about how he looks to carry this momentum through into 2020 and beyond.

Inan’s plans are to realise the full potential of his business by developing the branding via the design studio in Hackney as well as online via the website and social media channels. Inan hopes this will result in increased sales as a result of being well known and respected across the borough and in the longer term reaching those outside of London.

On a personal level Inan has benefitted from the mentoring explaining that he has been able to develop crucial skills such as time management, the ability to prioritise tasks, information management and general business admin. He also started teaching interior architecture at the University of Westminster last September, during his mentorship. Inan spoke with real excitement regarding his new ability to cope and adapt to different circumstances as well as capitalising on business opportunities when they arise.