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Arts + Lifestyle

From The Desk Of… Rebecca Masri MBE, Of Little Emperors

Founder of Little Emperors, Rebecca Masri joins us for the latest instalment of From The Desk Of...

Following a seven-year stint at Goldman Sachs, working in new markets, Masri left the city to launch Little Emperors, a members’ only luxury hotel club. “Offering access to preferred rates and guaranteed benefits at the most exclusive hotels around the globe, handpicked by a team of travel advisors and luxury experts” LE is right up our street.

Masri joins us desk-side to discuss tech-first travel, daily rituals, and luxury stays.


How do you start your days?

With a shower. And I don’t check my phone until I’m done!

What’s your go-to uniform?

Mid-length print skirt, black blouse, army boots.

Describe your workspace/ workplace…

We work from home Mondays and Fridays. Home is in Marylebone in a quiet mews, with a lot of light. Tuesday through Thursday the team all meet in the office, also in Marylebone, and also with a lot of light, windows, and plants.

Identify something in your workspace that’s special to you (and why)…

My dog Louis. He has been with me since I left the City to start Little Emperors, and really is part of my team!

What are your workplace essentials?

Light, plants, high ceilings, a good desk height, and space to pace.

What time of day are you at your most creative? 

Very late at night.

What’s your go-to lunch order?

Depends… Currently a poke bowl.

 

 

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What is the most rewarding part of the job?

Being able to travel as much as I do (now that we’re finally able to!), whilst making great friends and being introduced to new hotel partners all over the world.

And the most challenging?

Work / life balance. I’m still clueless!

What did you study in school/university?

Maths, Further Maths, and then Business Management with French.

What was your first job?

I went straight from European Business School London to join Goldman Sachs where I spent almost a decade working between its Investment Banking and Private Wealth Management divisions.

Where are you from originally?

My parents are both from the Middle East, and I was born and raised in London.

 

 

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What first sparked your interest in travel?

I have always loved to travel. I find travelling the best form of education and of relaxation, and have always preferred spending my time and money on new travel experiences, meeting new people, and familiarising myself with new cultures and religions. I have learned my best lessons travelling and was fortunate to travel extensively when I was with Goldman Sachs, which is what planted the seed for Little Emperors, when there was a fundamental shift in the corporate travel programme office the back of the crash of 2008.

Do you have a mentor or inspirational figure that has guided or influenced you?

Margaret Thatcher.

What were some hurdles you had to overcome in the early days of Little Emperors?

In the City I was surrounded by the most brilliant people from whom I learnt so much. I had to go from that, where I was the one asking the questions, to forming my own team from scratch, who was looking to me to answer their questions. I no longer had a structure; I had to create the structure and very quickly become a leader and be responsible for others.

What’s the most important business lesson you’ve learned?

How to take risks.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t wait for the rain to pass; learn how to dance in it.

 

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What are you working on right now?

New technology for the MyLE app. Technology continues to drive Little Emperors forward and is where I maintain investment to ensure it remains cutting-edge. I feel lucky we got into travel tech as early as we did, and have been able to create some brilliant tech for our members.

What’s next for you/ Little Emperors?

The roadmap for Little Emperors is very much focused on new features to include incredible content, visuals, and filters, in addition to an integrated logic to be relevant to our members when they search, delivering value and speed in bookings, as well as accurate advice and recommendations. I am often considered controversial in the travel industry replacing the ‘human touch’ with tech, due to the industry’s pride in the familiarity and personalisation of customer engagement. However, tech has always sat at the absolute core of everything I do. My goal is for the app to become 100% personalised to each member and 100% tech; to find that perfect balance between integrating tech YET maintaining a luxury feel and a completely personalised experience.

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