The CEO of Ennismore gives lessons on productivity

The Ennismore CEO Sharan Pasricha

Sharan Pasricher, the founder and chief executive of Ennismore, the hospitality developer behind Gleneagles and trendy hotel group The Hoxton, talks shark diving, juicing and going meetings-free

I’ve got a borderline insane personal trainer. He pushes me to the brink most mornings at the gym, but that’s my big escape. There’s no question of using a phone as he completely bans it, so I have no choice but to be fully engaged.

I was not good with my greens as a child. So I smash one of these coldpress juices that invariably have broccoli, spinach, cucumber, celery and all the greens I can think of. I hope they give me enough nutritional value because they don’t taste very good.

I used to play squash nationally in India. I hadn’t played for a good 10 years, I’ve just restarted and it’s one of those unforgiving sports where if you’re not fit you just move like an elephant – but it’s one of my favourite de-stresses.

I was planning to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with a buddy, but I realised that we were probably not fit enough to climb 6,000 metres above sea level with two weeks’ training.

We went shark diving off Cape Town instead. Literally jumping into a cage with some bloody tuna around it to attract great white sharks is slightly freaky but my buddy is something of an adrenaline junkie. As for me, I’ll try anything once.

I got rid of my computer two years ago. I simply have an iPad and my phone now and I’m a lot more productive. I try to engage with the individuals around me.

I have way too many meetings so I’ve started to strip back. On Mondays I tend not to have any meetings before 11am to get my head in gear for the week, and I tend not to have meetings after 4pm on Friday to wind down and start thinking about the weekend.

The best place to spark creativity is outside of the office. As wonderful as our office is, when we really want to go leftfield we go up to Gleneagles, which is the only hotel I have where I can work and play at the same time.

We hang out and dive into deep issues. We’ve got 1,000 acres and the most amazing highland areas and we spend time cycling, hiking, off-roading, falconry and shooting – it’s all in our backyard.

I don’t break creative blocks on my own. I surround myself with people smarter than I am. I love throwing in a curveball and involving somebody who has an interest in an area but absolutely no experience – it makes them feel more engaged and keeps them fully abreast of the issues we’re facing.

We adopt the Google philosophy where if [employees] are smart enough they’ll just figure it out. I think when you have that ability to rely on people’s passion, commitment and smarts, as opposed to length of service and experience, that makes for interesting conversation.

I’ve had this thing for years called an ‘ideas sheet’. Wherever I go I take pictures and write stuff down and absolutely blast them to my team. It could be an amazing dish or an incredible tile but my graphic design team know to expect multiple, heavily coded emails with pictures… which sometimes leaves them with more questions than answers. 

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About author

Hannah Gresty

Hannah Gresty

Until she left the magazine in August 2019, Hannah Gresty was the assistant editor of Director. She previously worked on a local news website and at a fashion PR company before joining the Director team as editorial assistant in 2016.

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