Interview With An Operations Manager

It’s important to own that drive and excitement, and belief in what you do

Have you ever driven past The Prop House and wondered, “What on earth do they do in there?” Maybe you’ve seen beautifully styled events, mall windows or shop shelves and wished you knew more about how it was done, and by whom. Well, we are here to answer all of your queries!

This month’s warm, honest and hilarious interview is from our fearless Operations Manager, Krishna. Heading up a team of strong creatives, Krish is responsible for the often unseen (and uncelebrated!) side of events and VM – the manual labour, logistics and on-site styling. Today we’re turning the tables, and putting Operations in the spotlight where they belong!

Krish, talk us through how you found your way into this role. What was your experiential background?

I didn’t really have experience in this scope of work, it took me like 6 months of constant searching to finally hone in on the one thing I really wanted to do in my life which was Visual Merchandising!

Funnily enough, I signed up for the VM course here at The Prop House (senseless plugging) about 4 years ago. I called Jano personally not long after and begged her for a job – well I didn’t beg! I asked if The Prop House was looking for work, I managed to wiggle my way into the wonderful world of  events and HERE I AM!

What does a typical day look like for you (or does it even exist?!)

Every day is different, which sounds cliché but there’s always that first thought when waking up ‘what will happen today?’ – because I know it’s probably going to change 10 times throughout.

A typical day could range from prepping for a range of jobs, an install, a dismantle (or both/many) general housekeeping, logistics, paperwork, rostering, just generally keeping up with co-ordinating a department.

You have so many different scopes inside the one company: Theming, Props, VM, Christmas. These guys have many branches, so to speak.  One day could be breezing through and kicking goals and the next could be coming up against every challenge or curve ball known to man! The really “juicy” days are when its a combustion of both – there comes a sense of adrenaline, stress and excitement – it’s about getting that recipe just right.

What are some common misconceptions about your role?

I don’t really know if would call it a misconception, but if I didn’t understand what Operations did, it would look like we are just a body of “doers”.

There is constant logistical thoughts chatting around (maybe that’s just me) “this needs looking at, we need to execute it that way to be more productive, I need to sort through that”. You have to be thinking all the time as well as doing. It takes a mental and physical balance to keep things running at a harmonious level – or several cups of coffee will do too ????

What has been one of your favourite jobs or experiences as part of this role?

I would definitely have to put a highlight on the “experience” factor. I have personally had so many rewarding moments working with The Prop House.

It comes from the first nostalgic experiences of being a part of something I so totally love to do and knowing this was what I wanted to do as a career.

When the ideas/plans have come from our sales and style team seeing our installations and creations come together – and finally when the client sees what we do, and gives you that kudos for the work we put together.

Do you have a favourite prop?

I love a lot of props here at The Prop House. But I’m going to slide in here and say what one of my favourite tools would be instead. Being a part of the operations team I want to give some kudos to the unsung heroes that make our lives a little more better. That would be my love of Fishing Line ????

Yup! The same stuff you use for catching your blue cod on at the local fishing spot.

Now this little gem can hang almost anything into a space required. It creates depth, different heights, different view points, show cases an item like it is effortlessly floating in mid air. I have no idea where the world of styling, VM and events would be if we didn’t have it.

What advice would you give to someone considering becoming a part of an Operations team?

It’s a physically demanding job, the hours at times can be very long. So you have to have the will to be active and possess stamina.

Lifting, pushing, pulling, a lot of sweating! Moving, moving, moving (did I mention sweating?!) So if you like sitting at a desk all day, this job isn’t definitely not for you.

It’s a very team-oriented scope of work. You have to be able to listen and work in that team dynamic.  That’s the beauty of events and the work that we do – not everything goes to plan. So being adaptable to quick thinking and change are helpful.

Being able to listen to instructions and take initiative are great aspects too! It’s all about jumping in or hitting the ground running.

A bonus is it’s also about being creative and being able to stand back once it’s all done and I say “I did that”.

It’s important to own that drive and excitement, and belief in what you do ????