I started a swimming squad, coaching swimming in the latter years of attending school. Getting the best out of my young athletes and learning that every person is motivated in a different way, was a valuable leadership skill I picked up on the pool deck.
My first introduction to facilities management – 13 years ago – was in private equity and from there we partnered with InnuScience SA for the South African market. I then moved to the UK shortly after as a co-founder of InnuScience UK situated in Milton Keynes, which brought me into the UK FM sector. I’ve met some truly interesting and wonderful people working within the industry over the past decade. It has also been encouraging seeing the swing and gaining momentum to sustainability.
I’m a passionate advocate for sustainability and training. Over the years we’ve challenged the use of outdated products and packaging, ensuring our products placed into the market have formulations that biodegrade rapidly and use recycled packaging. In regard to training, we have made training quick, practical, and pictorially based.
I think the changes we’re all going through being Covid-19 and Brexit, has set us all with different challenges that both – being dealt with at the same time – present the industry with the biggest changes that has been seen in years. As we slowly start to come out of Covid-19, hygiene and its relevance will be far higher up on the agenda for our clients and approaching the market in this way is key. With the potential labour shortages that will be created by Brexit, it will be interesting to see how individual companies adapt their recruitment strategy to attract talent which will be paramount to their success. I would predict that the companies that are agile on this and really take a different approach and use this change will gain market share.
I’m a big admirer of fellow South African, Elon Musk and the changes he’s made in the automotive industry, revolutionising transport in a more sustainable and economical way.
With a very young family I don’t often get to watch films, but I am able to catch documentaries about history and the odd series. My favourite series is currently The Crown as I’m an enormous fan of the Royal family.
Our sales director, Alison Minter, is a lot of fun and humour is key to any good dinner party. Winston Churchill, for controversy and conversation and Princess Diana, to get the ins and outs in terms of how accurate the Crown series is!
Spend as much time as possible out in the field with cleaning operatives, gaining understanding in their challenges and what can be done to solve these.
I’ve spent time in this field in a number of other countries who have labour shortages; in these markets I’ve seen a far higher use of technology, such as robotic vacuum cleaners and self-cleaning toilets.
I’m really excited about the investment made over the past year in remote learning and development globally in other industries. If this could be correctly harnessed for the FM industry, I think it could be invaluable in upskilling existing operatives and training new talent as new people join our industry.