How I Got Here: Guy Ivesha

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Guy Ivesha CEO of Maslow's group discusses his career

Related tags Maslow's Guy Ivesha Fine dining Restaurant Hotel

The CEO of Maslow's group, which recently launched Nessa in London's Soho, on the importance of being curious, going it alone, and the benefits of recruiting beyond the UK.

Why hospitality?
I was born into it and while I was encouraged to pursue a different path from a young age, I guess my destiny was decided for me. It simply came very naturally to me. My father is a hotelier and he was a major source of inspiration for me growing up.

Tell us something you wish you had been told at the start of your career?
I still feel like I am learning everyday but from a young age both my parents prepared me for what it takes to create and build something. My mother and father are both hard working and have great discipline. I grew up in a household that encouraged me to work hard for what I wanted to achieve and that nothing comes easy. There are no shortcuts in life. I think one of the most important qualities is to be curious and learn from others and that is what I would tell my younger self.

What’s your favourite restaurant or group of restaurants (besides your own)?
JKS is a group I respect for many reasons. Seeing three siblings create something and work together in harmony is quite special. They are very entrepreneurial and use interesting models for growth. I love everything they do. Their restaurants are professional yet unpretentious.

What motivates you?
Making people happy. Creating unique moments and settings that enable serendipitous interactions. Seeing drawings become tactile, lived-in spaces.

What keeps you up at night?
The heel of one of my children in my face.

What time do you wake up?
6:30am.

Coffee or tea?
Herbal tea in the morning and evening and coffee after lunch.

How do you let off steam?
I play tennis, basketball and workout regularly.

What’s your signature dish to cook at home?
Pizza. I recently got a Gozney oven and I make pizza for my kids weekly.

Describe a typical Sunday?
Hang out with my beautiful wife and three kids.

Favourite holiday destination?
Croatia.

What are you currently reading?
Setting The Table​ by Danny Meyer.

Which colleague, mentor or employer has had the biggest influence on your approach to the hospitality business?
My father has had the most influence on me throughout my life. We may have a different approach to hospitality but what we have in common is how to treat people with respect, irrespective of who they are. I have acquired that quality from him. Ultimately hospitality is about people and how you make them feel, being your employees or your guests. I also believe my wife Tammy has made a tremendous contribution to the person I am today. We have been together for 21 years. She is very creative, spiritual and intelligent. Tammy has taught me how to see things from a completely different perspective which has had quite a significant impact on my personal and work life.

What's been your best business decision?
Ironically the single most important business decision I made was to leave the business my father co-founded. I loved working with my father, every day was a true joy, but I always intended to do something of my own and that wouldn’t have been possible had I not left. He was extremely supportive and allowed me to follow my ambition of doing something on my own.

And the worst?
Luckily none yet and I hope this will not change. I have obviously made many mistakes and continue to do so but I believe all were important lessons.

What piece of advice would you give to those looking to climb the rungs in the business?
Choose something you love and are passionate about. Don’t work from home. Social and business interactions are extremely valuable. Be curious. Be humble. Surround yourself with people who push you up and not pull you down.

If you could change one thing about the hospitality industry today, what would it be?
I would allow UK hospitality businesses to recruit from beyond the UK with special hospitality visas. I love the diversity and inclusivity that defines the hospitality business. We shouldn’t lose that in the UK.

Bio

Born in London, Ivesha studied Hospitality at the University of Surrey and later took on an internship at the Mandarin Oriental in New York. He begun his career as a consultant at TRI Hospitality (now part of CBRE Hotels), and later went on to work as head of acquisitions and development at the PPHE Hotel Group. He launched Maslow's in 2016. Alongside Nessa, which it opened in London's Soho earlier this year​ in partnership with chef Tom Cenci, Maslow's also owns Mortimer House and Mortimer House Kitchen in Fitzrovia.

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