“The world has changed dramatically. Companies have to adapt.”
Interview with Ryan Howsam, founder of Centro House
It’s not all about selling a stunning location: Behind the shiny chandeliers of Centro House’s plush interior sits a very astute business mind.
Ryan Howsam is a seasoned entrepreneur, founder of a market leading insurance group, Staysure, major stakeholder in The Legends Tour and investor in several other companies. Centro House was his business vision. What was once no more than two buildings is now an extraordinary space, uniting creatives, entrepreneurs and international businesses in Marbella.
We spoke to Ryan about his plans for Centro House and his thoughts on the future of work.
What is Centro House?
If we do say so ourselves, Centro House is a networking and business community like no other in the area. We attract those who appreciate good design, who want to work in an environment that stimulates their creativity and growth and who want to rub shoulders with like minded entrepreneurs. (Don’t believe us, see what you think on our Instagram!) But never mind what we think, what does the founder think?
Ryan’s vision was to create something unique in Marbella. The result? A venue that has the feel of a private members’ club yet allows people to work in a wonderful atmosphere. Centro House answers the needs of modern international businesses who spend some or all of the year in Marbella.
Ryan has a passion for property as well as business. This is an additional reason why he invested, acquiring a space which is unique in the area. Now he’s developed it in such a stylish way to raise its value for the long term too.
So Why Marbella? Why now?
Ryan tells us he chose to create the venture in Marbella due to its up and coming tech scene. Several large tech giants are moving to Malaga and more and more digital nomads are coming to the area. He wanted to create something that was lacking here.
Ryan also spends a significant amount of time in Marbella, partly due to his love of golf. He told us that it makes sense to him to have a state of the art centre to house some of his European operations. Centro House does just that!
Ryan’s Thoughts on the Future of Work
Ryan believes that you have to adapt to keep a workforce happy and to progress. The pandemic has had its impact globally. For Ryan, who employs around 1000 people through his group of companies, it’s changed the face of his working policies for the better.
Ryan has identified the following four trends in the future of work:
#1 Flexible and Remote Working
Ryan tells us that in his market leading insurance group, employees spend about 20 to 40% of their time in the head office and the rest from home. He welcomes the move to flexible working practices and yet acknowledges that nothing beats face to face interaction for building trust. He sees more companies adopting remote and hybrid models for this reason.
At Centro House, we do love hybrid working as it gives the best of both worlds, and in fact many of our packages have been designed with flexibility in mind.
#2. Software that Unites Teams and Keeps People Focused
Ryan stresses to us that now there is more remote working, getting people focused is paramount.
He tells us it’s all about having a clear vision and ensuring all the employees know it, understand it and are working toward it. He uses an OKR based system with his own teams that he developed himself, called 90 Days.
Using a combination of flexible office and home- based policies and his pioneering system, 90 Days, Ryan has seen productivity and performance increase dramatically over the past two years. He tells us that you don’t necessarily need everyone in one place as long as you have a clear plan and all the employees at every level of the organisation know what the single most important thing is that they can do to make a difference.
It’s that focus that he instills in his teams with his software, 90 Days. Ryan tells us the app and method is only available for his internal companies at the moment but it is going to be rolled out to market later this year. (Watch this space, we are trying to persuade him to give it to Centro House members to skyrocket performance!)
#3 A Shift to Balance not just Business
Focusing on every area of your life, not just business, is extremely important to Ryan, and in fact it’s a key part of his 90 Days system. He has a plan for every area, from health to wellbeing to spirituality.
His prediction? More and more companies will recognise the importance of life outside of just business. It’s not just about giving employees extra classes and skills but actually empowering them too. He tells us he’s learnt through his own experiences that encouraging others to go for their personal goals as well as those of the business is a win-win.
#4 Opportunity Creation
Ryan insists that with the future of work comes opportunity, both for the employer and those seeking work. In his insurance group, new modes of work with remote elements mean there are more jobs for those who might not have been able to apply before when timings and locations were stricter. Parents who can only work certain hours for example or those with other reasons why they cannot come to a physical office will benefit. Now, the new way of working will open up their earning possibilities. For the employer, this makes perfect sense too, attracting groups who have plenty to offer but who have been overlooked in the past.
At Centro House we are all for new opportunities. Just message us to start your next chapter here!