May 19, 2020

Bennett Hay: trends and innovations in corporate hospitality

Brittany Hill
4 min
Bennett Hay: trends and innovations in corporate hospitality

Business Chief talks to Anthony Bennett, Founder of Bennett Hay, to discuss the current trends, emerging technologies and challenges within the corporate hospitality industry.

What are the current trends within your industry?

The corporate hospitality industry is constantly changing, with new trends emerging all the time. Wellbeing, sustainability and the concept of workplace lifestyle are some of the biggest trends we’re continuing to develop. With a new generation of workers revolutionising the office space and how we work, we have entered a time where a season ticket loan and a dental plan isn’t enough, offices must be innovative in order to keep up with the changing demands being placed on them. 

Out of these trends what do you feel will be the biggest disrupter to the industry?

Sustainability is really going to change the landscape of the industry; it’s a subject that’s very prominent and it’s generating some challenging conversations about how service providers can operate in a truly low-carbon footprint manner. It’s an excellent opportunity for us to reflect upon our practices and develop more ethical ways of doing things, whilst continuing to provide world-class service for our workplace guests.

What innovative technology do you see emerging in the near future?

Technology is constantly adapting, not just to innovate service delivery, but also to keep up with public demand and knowledge. Everyone is a sofa surfer and has an opinion of how technology can better serve their needs. Within the hospitality industry, the rise in automation is coming, robotic and AI technology is becoming more prominent in our day to day that it will continue to evolve and further drive change within business and hospitality sectors. Being able to automate deliveries to meetings and having AI concierge at office spaces and events, even to tackle basic admin tasks, would make service more efficient, while opening a wealth of time for development in other areas of business and learning.

What are the biggest challenges within your industry at the moment?

There are challenges in any industry; for us, it’s keeping up with the ways in which workplace changes. The different elements of service provision is growing at an exponential rate, often creating challenges in being able to adapt at speed – as a provider of blended services in a number of workspaces, we strive to frequently update our offering in order to remain at the forefront and providing the best possible environment and (importantly) lifestyle for our workplace guests.


How is your company evolving alongside new trends?

The cornerstone of Bennett Hay is providing excellent service and we pride ourselves on being a great place to work. To do this we are fully committed to making the changes our workplace guests need and that they want to see. Part of that is making sustainable changes throughout offices and workspaces in line with our CSR initiatives, and listening to feedback. There are many elements to delivering an effective and happy workplace, and we are constantly looking for ways to develop and innovate, whether through technology, wellness, catering, sustainability or workplace design. 

How is your company utilising innovative technology (AI, ML, Big Data, robotics etc.)?

It’s something we are exploring; we currently engage our teams and workplace guests across numerous sites using an app to assist in concierge services, however it’s something that has definite room for development. We look at what other businesses are doing and achieving to evolve their efficiency and client needs; for instance, we have been inspired by Starship Technologie’s delivery robots; this is something we could see being utilised across many of our workspaces.

What would you say is your company’s biggest success to date?

At Bennett Hay we acknowledge achievements on all levels, however our greatest success has been our ability to grow and innovate as a company. We provide exceptional service for all of our workplace guests, and have continued to expand our offering into hospitality, catering, concierge and reception services. We have also created engaging workplaces for our guests, creating not just a well-run office, but a workplace lifestyle to better look after people at work, something we feel places us ahead in the industry at present. 

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

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

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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