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Strathclyde Business School Strathclyde Business School

Taking advantage of the Glasgow powerhouse

By Scott Arnot - Posted on 13 December 2017

Scott Arnot, Operations Director of Kained Holdings and recent graduate of our Growth Advantage Programme discusses why he thinks Glasgow is a powerhouse for new business opportunities. 

Glasgow has a real sense of community. Despite being the largest city in Scotland, it’s Glasgow’s collaborative and friendly nature that encouraged us to start our business here. Kained Holdings employs 180 staff in nine venues - eight of these in Glasgow - and being located in this city plays a key role in our success.

Community is one of our three core values as a business founded in the city where we operate. Glasgow has a rich history of shipbuilding and trade in which teamwork, innovation and creativity played a huge role, as well the importance that was placed upon family connections, and it’s these foundations that have helped to shape our business today.

We strive to engage with customers from our communities on a meaningful level and use a trusted team of local suppliers within the city to help us with this. It’s the quality and collaborative relationships that we have with these suppliers that allows us to be innovative with our menus, sourcing food and drink from Scotland's amazing natural larder. People are becoming more aware of the importance of the quality of ingredients and it’s this integration with our supply chain, and their support, that allows us to create great experiences for our customers in Glasgow.

We know that ‘People Make Glasgow’ and for us, our employees are the epitome of this statement. As well as supporting the communities in and around our venues, we place a great emphasis on making our Team feel valued. As a company, we recognise the importance of our people and providing them with the opportunity to learn and develop which is why we set up our Training Academy. This provides our staff with the opportunity to learn everything from basic bar training to creative drink development. In a nutshell, we want our employees to feel empowered and entrepreneurial in their own right and try our very best to support this whenever we can, contributing to our second value of continuous improvement.

What’s more, as a forward-thinking business, I took part in the Growth Advantage Programme at Strathclyde to help scale up our business and further invest in our team and the growth of Kained. The GAP programme is a great example of how business and education can work together to make Glasgow a powerhouse of successful business, innovation and growth.

We respect honesty, our third value, whether that be feedback from customers or suggestions from staff about how to do things better. Glaswegians are renowned for their honesty, happy to give praise where it’s due but also not shy about providing constructive feedback - these are both fantastic qualities for us to embrace as a business. Equally we actively celebrate our own business successes as we’re keen to play a key role in driving Glasgow’s, and indeed, Scotland’s hospitality sector forward.

There is always more to be done to ensure that Glasgow continues to grow and flourish. The implications of Brexit are already affecting the labour market. This is why we’ve done all we can to demonstrate the support and value of our employees through education and support in order to retain and attract the fantastic people in Glasgow within our businesses.

There is also a distinct lack of funding for growing hospitality businesses and this is a gap that requires to be addressed to encourage entrepreneurs to continue opening businesses here in the city. The sector continues to be plagued with the impacts of rate rises and licensing challenges.

Overall, Glasgow is a great place to do business. With innovative people, local suppliers and drinks companies and a friendly and collaborative demeanour, Glasgow has all of the right ingredients to be a fantastic city in which to start and run a business!

Glasgow Powerhouse is an initiative between the University of Strathclyde Business SchoolPwC in Scotland and Invest Glasgow focusing on the key growth sectors within the city looking at current trends and a future of opportunity. The series discusses with academia, professional bodies, industry and local authorities how Glasgow is a powerhouse across each of these sectors.



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