3 mins read

Keisha Francis: Operations Director, SAI Global Assurance

Keisha has over 12 years of experience in the certification & regulatory industry, and she joined SAI Global in 2018 to lead the Field and Client Services team for the Assurance business in the United Kingdom (UK).

How did you get to where you are today?

My Dad always tells me with luck; however, I think it comes down to hard work and having the right attitude. My background has always been within the Testing, Inspection and Certification (TIC) industry. I worked for two other certification bodies in previous roles in technical and account management before transitioning into operational management.

During her career, Keisha has led and worked on some exciting projects, from training technical reviewers in India, auditing companies in Dubai, and facilitating overseas operational support in Bulgaria, India, and Poland.

“The most interesting project I’ve worked on to date was being part of a team that was tasked with setting up a renewable energy installation franchise model,” Keisha says. “This involved recruiting and training franchisees, supporting them through concept to commercialisation.”

Joining SAI Global

Keisha joined SAI during the latter part of 2018, just when a new technology platform was introduced into the UK agricultural business. “Some would say that’s terrible timing, but for me it was absolute perfect timing,” she shares. “Not only did I see a team of people really pull together and work on a challenging project, it also enabled me to ramp up quickly and support the business.”

Joining SAI was also a way for Keisha to make a positive change in her work/life balance. She previously worked in central London before this role, which was a long daily commute from her home. “Having young children and managing the commute daily was a challenge,” she says. “The hiring manager here at SAI was so understanding and accommodating and assured me that I was applying for a company with a real ‘people first’ culture.”

How would you describe your leadership style?

“I would describe my leadership style as direct, and I strive to lead by example,” she says. “I encourage my team to take the rein on their projects, but I always coach and stay involved in what’s going on so I can be there for them whenever they need it.”

What motivates you?

“Being successful is what motivates me, even if that sounds contrived,” Keisha shares. “No matter what I put my mind to, I think it’s important to always believe that I WILL achieve it, and to learn from my failures if I don’t.” Personally, Keisha finds purpose and motivation from her children. “They motivate me to get up and get moving every day,” she shares. “Knowing that I’m responsible for nurturing and influencing two young boys most certainly gives me the motivation that I need to accomplish my goals.”

Who inspires you?

“My inspiration and someone that I really look up to is my grandmother,” Keisha says. “She arrived in a country with no familiar faces and ‘not a penny to rub together’ as she described it. Yet she managed to build a successful life and career which is truly inspirational to me.”

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