Pixel sat down with Co-CEO and Co-Founder of NJI, Nathan Imperiale, to gain insight on the significance of hospitality in business. Imperiale emphasizes the benefits of incorporating hospitality principles in business operations to build meaningful connections, cultivate strong relationships with clients, and drive business growth.
Why is hospitality an important concept?
Hospitality is a powerful tool used by humanity across the globe to bring people together in a positive way. It involves sharing one’s time, treasure, and talent with others, and in doing so, building meaningful connections. Whether it’s hosting family and friends for dinner or going above and beyond to fulfill a client’s request, hospitality is an essential part of building lasting relationships in both personal and professional spheres.
What tools from the hospitality industry have been incorporated into NJI’s operations?
Since the day we opened our doors, one of our main goals has been to ensure that we provide the same caliber of service as one would expect from a fine hotel. To achieve this, we have derived many operational principles from the hotel industry. First and foremost, we place great emphasis on providing value to our clients. That said, our value is not derived from being a low-budget solution. Our value is derived from the following principles, which happen to be similar in spirit to those emphasized in the luxury hospitality industry:
1. Efficient service.
By being efficient, we provide higher quality deliverables using fewer billable hours and resources. This leads to providing greater budgetary value and better outcomes for our clients.
2. Personalized service.
Our clients do not come to us for cookiecutter services. Our clients want personalized bespoke service that is catered to their needs.
3. Error free work.
We consistently strive to provide error-free services. It’s absolutely essential to building trust with our clients.
We never simply want to “meet expectations”. We strive to overdeliver whenever possible. Providing proactive timely strategy and delivering services on-time or ahead of schedule is critical in our line of business.
What is one of the most surprising things you’ve learned from the hospitality industry?
When I first learned the motto of the Ritz Carlton, I was struck by its simplicity – Ladies and Gentlemen, serving Ladies and Gentlemen. Despite the brevity, you can derive a lot from that phrase. First, the customer and the employee are equally important. Second, employees should treat each other with the same level of respect as they do customers. And lastly, customers should feel a level of privilege to be interacting with a Ritz Carlton employee and, visa versa. All of these things ring true for the culture that we have built at NJI.
How does hospitality help build relationships and drive business growth?
Hospitality is one of the most meaningful tools we can deploy to engage with clients. By employing basic forms of hospitality, we build stronger relationships, better understand their needs, and ultimately provide better services.
For example, when we host an event, or even a simple lunch in our office, we provide a moment of hospitality that can make a strong positive impression. During those occasions, we break bread, listen to stories, get to know individuals on a more personal level, and ultimately increase mutual trust and respect. Moreover, we strengthen existing connections and expand relationships.
What inspired you to apply the principles of hospitality to business?
My grandfather, Luis Lopez ingrained his business lessons in me for over 30 years. Paramount to his success was building close connections through hospitality. He traveled the globe visiting clients up until he retired, spending an immense amount of time getting to know his clients. Those close relationships built friendships, fostered trust, and resulted in mutual prosperity. Like my grandfather, I believe in the incredible value of spending quality time with clients and partners. Further, layering in elements of hospitality makes that time together more enjoyable and often more effective