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Acorn winners 2016: Ben Buet, 29

01 July 2016
Acorn winners 2016: Ben Buet, 29

Operations manager, Purple Cubed

Nominated by Jo Harley, managing director, Purple Cubed

Proudest moment "Passing my six-month internship and proving my worth to Purple Cubed. It was a huge challenge as I had to create a job from nothing."

Greatest inspiration "My dad is a massive influence, having worked in operations roles his whole life in successful businesses. My wife and daughter are huge drivers for me."

Ambition "To become a director at Purple Cubed, to lead a large team and help them achieve the success I have had in my career so far."

After school, Ben Buet travelled to Australia to follow his dream of being a cricketer. Quickly realising his real passion lay in developing people, he moved into coaching and took over the management of the clubhouse bar.

In 2009, Buet returned to the UK with an ambition to work for people retention expert Purple Cubed. But it had no vacancies. Undeterred, he offered to do six months' work for the cost of his travel in the hope of a permanent job. It was a risky move that paid off. After four promotions, Buet is now operations manager.

Supported by seven staff, he manages 60 hospitality clients and is a respected advisor to companies such as the Ritz and Hoxton Hotels. He has also led the company's work placement programme, which won a National Council for Work Experience Award, and has masterminded the development of an app to match mentors with mentees.

The bottom line is that Buet has reduced labour turnover by an average of 2% across his client base, representing an overall saving of £600,000. And 90% of his clients report year-on-year increases in employee engagement scores.

As for his own employer, in three years Buet has achieved business retention of 95% among clients and grown sales at Purple Cubed by 321%.

Buet consistently demonstrates his belief that engaging, developing and retaining people is key to the success of any service business. It's clearly through people like him that the industry will attract new, enthusiastic talent.

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