Eden Grant – Manager, RevenueInsights
After a great time at Stenden and particularly enjoying strategy with Dr v. Ach (I’m a big picture thinker!), I was a naive and ambitious 20 something-year-old who thought she knew what was up and moved to Joburg:)
From being trained up particularly in data analysis in the hotel sector with an incredible ahead-of-its-time exec team, I became particularly able to create and launch at first tactical pricing tools which grew into a group revenue management job that developed and deployed strategy.
I left my first company, and I was offered work with bigger brands and other 5 star properties but decided it was time for a greater change. I had changed personally and that needed to reflect professionally. That being, I embarked on further studies and I am currently am completing a BTH (a bachelor of theology), which is essentially a degree preparing someone to become a pastor. I think a part of my concern for people’s wellbeing definitely originated already in my hospitality journey.
At the same time, I knew that my skill sets were sought after in the small and medium range sector – particularly non-branded properties. These enterprises have great teamwork, vision and people orientation and I could now offer a modified approach to their business management needs, particularly through revenue management strategy & training, that could be adapted to these property types.
So I started a consulting company about 4 – 5 years ago now, RevenueInsights, which specialises in niche smaller properties trying to enter into the revenue management game! The ‘big dogs’ have the cash flow for systems, but a lot of African hospitality is nonbranded and I am patriotic enough to enjoy serving this way. One of the teams I work with has also been involved in launching women into revenue management at a solid pace, training up analysts and revenue managers – #gogirls.
One thing I’d encourage is that students are wise in seeing this opportunity! One take away I recognised early on was that I tend to actually nett more, personally, than some bigger property managers because I manage my own costs and run my own business. I’d urge everyone to fight the need to be ‘famous’ in their industry and pursue purpose and integral work that empowers and serves in unique but often overlooked areas. Early on, I decided to do things ‘on my own terms’ and not chase prestige which has paid off. This was a big move personally but very liberating. We are far too defined by the thoughts and systems of others which robs us of being unique and taking risks.
The other critical learning from my life in work and generally is the need for integrity in relationships and the strength of good relationships in business. A good name and reputation is hard worked for but quickly ruined, so we should first think about our personal principles – what we choose to live by – and then honour that in both private and public endeavours.
So, essentially today I manage RevenueInsights and take on work that I can manage well while studying towards a degree. I have become a more ferocious reader because I am more aware than ever of my personal blind spots and ignorance.
Whether we are working in hotels, banks or at Steers – we should pursue excellence without crushing others, we should capitalise on business opportunity without diminishing peoples personhood and we should challenge ourselves, at all times, to be a servant to all.