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For this edition in our Day in the Life series, The Style Sheet spends a day with James Gannaban. James is the Director of Marketing & Communications for hospitality powerhouse Pirata Group — the brains behind Starstreet favourites TMK, Pici and The Pizza Project, along with many more. James is also a yoga teacher at Pure Yoga, and has garnered an active following on Instagram thanks to his scenic array of impressive yoga poses and engaging commentary.

Join us to discover a typical day in James’s weekday schedule.

Pure Yoga teacher and Pirata Group Director of Marketing & Communications James Gannaban sets up his day with a short meditation


‘My day begins with a five-minute gratitude meditation, followed by a visualisation of what the perfect day looks like. By doing these, firstly, I make sure I’m coming from a place of strength and abundance; secondly, I set clear intentions; and thirdly, I’m oriented towards correctly aligned priorities. I then have a liquid breakfast consisting of a smoothie, coffee and vitamins. I listen to music on the 30-minute MTR commute from my Sheung Wan home to the Pirata Group support office in Wong Chuk Hang, as a way to prepare my brain for an intense day of problem solving.’

James often visits Pirata restaurants such as TMK Rap & Roll for a meal and to network


‘I double check my calendar before anything else, then I tag my emails for pieces of communication that require an immediate response, particularly media and guest-related enquiries. I drive a multifunctional department that supports 27 restaurants with digital marketing, PR, social media, graphic design, photography, guest relations, central reservations and events sales, and the top of the work day is when I hold my coordination meetings for ongoing projects and stretch goals that involve multiple stakeholders. When specific one-on-ones are required, I also make it a point to schedule them in the morning to allow the rest of the day to flow more easily.’

The visits are also a way to check in with the team and business partners — and to have a treat like truffle pasta at Pici


‘Lunch is when I combine a restaurant visit with networking. I usually host a potential external collaborator, be they from a social enterprise, a brand or a creative industry. So much can happen in Hong Kong in an instant; such openness brings about opportunities that can either bear fruit instantly or serve as a bridge to something else down the line. When I’m not hosting, I enjoy our free staff lunch prepared by my colleagues at our satellite kitchen, The Loft. It’s a fantastic work perk.’


‘Post-lunch is a great time to do venue walkthroughs with landlords, and to audit our surface marketing and see how else we can leverage each other’s target audiences and platforms. I also get quality time to be immersed in words in the afternoon, writing and reviewing materials from anything such as press releases and newsletters to job specs for senior leadership hires. I usually also try attack larger pieces of strategy such as go-to-market planning for new restaurants or products in the afternoon.’

James teaches evening yoga classes at Pure Yoga, whose Starstreet location is the first with a rooftop

Early Evening 

‘I’m at the Pure studio by seven o’clock. I teach two classes a night: Hot, Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin — you name it! Of course, planning is involved in what I’m going to teach, but the primary job of a yoga instructor is to hold space for the bodies in the room. So, I have to be observant, agile and fully present for my students in meeting them where they are in their practice, and challenging them appropriately. Leading a department and teaching yoga is similar in this respect.’

James’s yoga practice is the perfect wind-down before getting home to make dinner and create content for his Instagram followers


‘I get home at around half past ten. I make dinner, tidy up the kitchen, review my calendar for the next day and pack my work rucksack accordingly. Then I make tea. I’m also an Instagram content creator, so once my tea is ready, I bang out some content and engage with other creators — only for 15 minutes max, after which I completely turn my phone off. Netflix is my final stop — a boring documentary with lots of narration — to lull me to sleep.’