Globetrotter: Jasmine Montgomery of Seven Brands

Jasmine Montgomery, CEO of marketing consultancy Seven Brands, spends so much time aloft she is writing a book about branding, in-flight.

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

How many business miles have you clocked up over the year?

About one million. That's from going twice a month to places such as Africa and the Middle East.

Favourite airport?

A tiny airstrip in Sarara, northern Kenya, which essentially is just a piece of dirt. It's nice to land and be in the place you want to be. It's a ghastly bore having to go through shopping malls in big airports.

In flight - booze or no booze?

I spend so much time on planes that if I had a glass of champers and put my feet up, my productivity would be shocking. I'm writing a book on branding in emerging markets which I'm penning exclusively on planes. So far I've written about 50,000 words.

Do you ever take the train?

I'm partial to the Eurostar but I wouldn't be caught dead on a train in some of the places in which we do business.

Do you travel alone?

Sometimes, but mostly with a colleague. Our strict policy is that what happens on tour stays on tour, which is why I won't go into too much detail about the time we ended up going for dinner with clients at a brothel in Chad.

Worst travel experience?

It's not strictly travel, but recently I pitched to a client in Kenya. On the way my colleagues and I visited an elephant orphanage. Unfortunately, it started pouring with rain and we got soaked through. We stopped at a hotel to dry ourselves and thought we'd got away with it, until the end of the meeting when the client pointed out that I had a large elephant trunk mark in mud across the backs of my legs.

Worst job you've done for a client?

I did some research on beauty habits in Tanzania and had to interview 30 women in their homes over two weeks. Although we begged them not to feed us, hospitality demanded it. I sat there day after day and ate some frightful things. The worst was a hairy goat's meat curry. Another had something which I thought was a potato but turned out to be an enormous lump of fat. I can taste it now.

Jet lag remedy of choice?

I suffer badly from jet lag. Quite often I'll be found lying by the pool after I land - apparently the way to tell your body it's daytime is to get the sun on the back of your knees, so it's completely justifiable...

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