Winner: Prithika Selvadurai, Salisbury (part of Atlas FM)
Sponsored by: Jones FM
“Is cloning a thing yet?” Asks Glenn Marree, director of FM at University of London (UoL), a client of Salisbury Group. You suspect he’s only half joking. Glenn has worked closely with this year’s IWFM Manager of the Year, Salisbury’s Prithika Selvadurai – nicknamed ‘P’ – and, if he could, he’d like to see more ‘P’s, please.
Having taken on the role temporarily across several different contracts, Prithika was formally made an account manager by Salisbury in early 2022, joining the UoL contract at a time of contractual transition. Prithika was given the responsibility of providing a point of stability and continuity; in this role, and in the absence of both account and contract managers, she was “simply magnificent,” observes Marree.
The statements provided in support of Prithika’s nomination read like account manager status was only ever a matter of time for ‘P’. She started out with Salisbury in 2015 in a customer services role and has since been repeatedly promoted throughout the customer service team so that she is now running several contracts. Colleagues and clients alike point to Prithika displaying a particularly high level of maturity which, coupled with strong client relationship skills, have brought her to prominence across the Salisbury operation.
Along the way, Prithika has:
- Personally sponsored a case that won pay rises for a team who felt unrewarded;
- Co-wrote business proposals to increase Salisbury’s contract administration teams;
- Helped mobilise contracts quickly in response to the abrupt end of a previous supplier’s provision;
- Organised rapid legionella testing for over 110 sites;
- Dealt with a sensitive security issue by first dealing compassionately with the individual involved and putting in place communication controls to avoid reputational damage;
- Helped restructure two teams into one.
Ultimately, it is in the respect she routinely earns from others that has in turn earned the respect of clients, contractors and colleagues alike. In her eight years at Salisbury, Prithika has developed a strong ‘voice’ within the business that people listen and take notice of.
To be judged IWFM Manager of the Year is a huge honour, one that will typically require respect to run in both directions. Allan Fourie attests to just this. Having worked with Prithika for four years, he comments that “being part of the senior team, one is inclined to think you’d only learn from your senior management – but I’ve learned so much from Prithika during this time”.
In her own words:
“Due to my longevity in Salisbury, I am well-known among colleagues as someone who approaches new roles with complete openness to learning and improving myself. I’m a natural optimist and self-starter who enjoys advancing personal knowledge and understanding.”
“I strongly believe in a culture where my team feels supported and heard. This allows them to feel respected and like valued team members. I am careful to ensure that people’s opinions and feedback are not only taken into consideration but shown to be so.”
What Prithika’s colleagues say:
“Her commitment to her work, her unparalleled ability and reliability, combined with her bright and sunny disposition have had a clear impact on me and my team. Prithika is a pleasure to work with and she always looks to the positives and without fail finds a solution to even the most demanding of challenges.”- Glenn Marree, director of facilities management, University of London
“Prithika is one of the most exceptional young leaders I’ve had the pleasure of working with in the course of over 25 years. She displays great maturity and humility at all times, and every client that she meets or interacts with is left with a positive impression. Prithika is a credit to the workplace services industry.” – Andrew Lunt, group managing director, Salisbury