In our latest Portico People Blog Series, we spoke with Operations Support Manager, Anish Patel. Anish works across 15 London and regional offices which cover multiple WSH brands including Portico, BaxterStorey and Benugo.
Anish joined the WSH Group through the BaxterStorey Graduate Programme, where he gained valuable experience across concierge, hospitality and kitchen services which has been key to his current role.
In our interview with Anish, he discusses his career history, experiences, and the future of hospitality.
Hi Anish! Tell us about yourself - what does your role entail?
I am an Operations Support Manager working on a contract which covers three WSH brands including Benugo, Portico and BaxterStorey. The contract includes 15 different London and regional offices and I manage the projects across the estate. These projects range from mobilisation of new buildings to implementing technology such as a new food ordering platform and reusable visitor badge printers.
Fantastic. Tell us a bit more about your career history.
I always knew Hospitality was the industry I wanted to work in. I studied International Hospitality Management at Oxford Brooks University, and after graduating, I joined the BaxterStorey graduate programme. From there I was based on one of our key corporate contracts where I gained great experience across different departments. The experience I gained from the graduate programme has been extremely valuable for my current role as Operations Support Manager as I have a great understanding of each department. On top of that, I have recently completed the first part of my project management qualification and am working on completing the final stage.
Great experience. What do you most like about your job?
The most enjoyable part of my role is working on a variety of different projects. I am lucky to get to work with many of my colleagues from across the contract. As we have multiple WSH brands within the contract which means we all work, collaborate, and support each other.
Well said. What are the challenges you face in your role?
Business is constantly changing and evolving which means we have to be prepared and adaptable especially during the last 2 years. We operate in a fast-paced fashion to constantly develop and improve our services which makes the job exciting!
What has been your biggest highlight at Portico?
There are two key projects that really stand out for me. The first was just five months after completing the graduate programme. It was a significant mobilisation for both Portico and BaxterStorey which saw our client moving from an old workspace to a new, modern building in Birmingham. More recently, I led our expert culinary team of 17 alongside 12 Portico welcome team members, to launch a new 3000 person office in Belfast. Now the building is a flagship site with 15 meeting rooms, two event spaces and two restaurants and officially opened mid July 2021. The project took two years of planning to bring the vision to life and was worth the wait!
In 2021 I was nominated for the Pattenmakers Young Facilities Manager Award – it was completely unexpected, and I am incredibly proud to be shortlisted for the award.
What an achievement! How do you see the future of the workplace changing?
The workplace today is more than just the office – it’s about making things accessible from home and delivering the efficiencies individuals need, wherever they are working. As a team we have had to quickly understand what it means for the individuals we support and determine how we can adapt our services to make sure they receive the best possible service from us. For instance, we recently implemented a Virtual Welcome Services portal which is an online resource that enables the client’s staff to access vital information about their workplace, book rooms and send messages/ flag issues with FM personnel.
What are the key ingredients to premium guest experience?
Taking the time to know our guests and building a real connection. It is extremely important to create a personal, trusting, and authentic relationship. It doesn’t always have to be formal; it’s about getting to know your guests.
What would your advice be for somebody considering a career in guest services?
There is so much variation and job opportunities in the guest services world. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and get involved in projects and initiatives to gain exposure to all sides of the business.
And the most important question yet - what’s on your bucket list?
I would love to host a supper club where I could invite family and friends to come along. Now we can socialise once again, it’s at the top of my list!