Nana Osei’s venture to the UK from his homeland, Ghana, marked the start of an extraordinary journey.

Equipped with an impressive undergraduate degree, an unwavering drive for success, and a passion for embracing diverse cultures, he had no idea of the remarkable journey that lay ahead.
From a part-time cleaner to attaining the esteemed position of Regional Operations Director, Nana’s ascent is certainly inspiring. However, it was not without its share of challenges and hurdles.

Today, Nana stands as a revered industry leader, reflecting upon the path he’s taken, the obstacles he had to overcome, and the resilience he needed to succeed.

We'd love to hear about your career journey that led you to your current role. Could you share your proudest professional achievements and any challenges you've encountered along the way?

After finishing my degree, I was eager to come back to the UK and explore growth opportunities. Starting as a cleaner, I was hungry to showcase and develop my skills. I jumped at every chance to grow and quickly earned certifications in health and safety, COSHH, and due diligence. Senior management noticed my dedication and promoted me to supervisor, where I learned to manage people and bring out their best.
I’m proud that I’ve never been afraid to challenge the status quo for efficiency and results. I feel this, as well as my reputation for upholding high standards with integrity played a major role in reaching my current position as Regional Operations Director. It took years of pushing myself and putting in hard work to get here, but it’s been worth it

How have your own experiences influenced your leadership style and approach?

In the industry, there’s this culture that sometimes values an aggressive leadership style. But for me, what’s always mattered is treating people with respect and maintaining integrity, regardless of my role. And you know what? It’s paid off. By staying true to these values, I’ve set myself apart and achieved outstanding results.

Who are the individuals that have inspired you the most?

Who are the individuals that have inspired you the most?
Family has been a big inspiration for me in terms of my core values and maintaining them in my professional practice. I also find the adversity I’ve faced in my life a big inspiration to consistently achieve more.

“You can imagine how challenging it has been for me as an immigrant from West Africa to pull myself up from that bottom rung, but every setback has taught me a lesson and I use those lessons an inspiration to find better ways and develop my own skills set.”

Can you provide us with more insights into your role as Regional Operations Director and the range of responsibilities you have?

Can you provide us with more insights into your role as Regional Operations Director and the range of responsibilities you have?
My role as a Regional Operations Director involves communicating with a wide range of people, from the cleaners that operate in our sites, all the way up to the owner of the company.

In addition to my role in supporting our team, I actively engage with clients to attract new business and ensure their satisfaction. I’m working closely with retail clients and companies in diverse markets like health, leisure, and entertainment, to make sure they receive a service that meets their changing needs in a demanding market.

What are your goals and aspirations for the future?

I hope to play my part in cementing SBFM as a company that upholds excellent relationships with their clients so we can continue to maintain existing contracts and increase our portfolio.
Our company is fortunate to have an outstanding team of dedicated people, and I’m enthusiastic about their development. In the upcoming year, I want to place a strong focus on implementing mentoring for our current operatives, managers, and anyone aspiring to advance within the organisation.

What does Diversity, Equality & Inclusion (DE&I) mean to you?

Well, it’s clear that there are legal aspects in place to protect individuals from discrimination, ensuring equal treatment, especially in the workplace. But simply following the letter of the law doesn’t entirely eliminate inequality.

That’s why, in my view, diversity, equality, and inclusion go beyond legal requirements. It’s about treating people fairly and equally, regardless of their faith, gender, sexuality, or ethnicity.

As a black man, race and ethnicity hold a personal significance for me. I genuinely believe that by having more leaders who look like me, we can inspire those who have faced disadvantages. Diversity, equality, and inclusion should also be about providing inspiration to those who need it most.

Why is Diversity, Equality & Inclusion (DE&I) important in the workplace? And how does it specifically impact leadership positions?

You know, it’s interesting how when everyone has the same background and experiences, things can get pretty stagnant and monotonous in an industry. That’s why diversity is like a breath of fresh air – it brings in new perspectives and ideas that can truly drive innovation and shape the future.

What can we do to support the next generation of leaders from diverse backgrounds?

I strongly believe that representation plays a big part in all of this. When young people, and even children, see people who resemble them in positions of leadership, it opens their minds to the possibilities available to them.
Equally important is providing opportunities to emerging talent from underrepresented groups. By doing so, we empower them to become the trailblazers for future generations, creating a cycle of progress and inclusivity.