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10 Questions with... Andrew Large

Q4If money was no object, what car would you buy?

A 1964 Ferrari 250 Lusso for me – but more realistically speaking a Maserati Quattroporte so that I could drive my family about in comfort and style.

Q5How would you improve the cleaning industry?

Each month we ask a cleaning industry professional the Tomorrow’s Cleaning 10 Questions. This month, we chatted to Andrew Large, Chief Executive of the CSSA.

Q1What was your first job? I worked in my local British Home Stores on

Thursday nights and Saturdays when I was in the sixth form at school – and got paid £1.42 per hour for the privilege!

Q2How did you get into the cleaning industry?

I joined the Cleaning and Support Services Association five years ago. Prior to that I had had no involvement in the sector, but have been involved with trade associations professionally for nearly 20 years. I have always been attracted to working in industries that are fundamental to society and cleaning fits squarely within that definition.

Q3Who, in any other industry do you most admire?

Kenneth Iverson. He passed away a number of years ago now, but was responsible for building Nucor Steel up from bankruptcy to being one of the best steel companies in the world. His book “Plain Talk” is a handbook for anyone who wants to strip the “bs” out of how you run a business.

If I could do just one thing I would seek to enhance the reputation of the sector, to build up the confidence of those already working in cleaning and to attract good quality employees in the future.

Q6What did you want to be when you were little?

Either an astronaut or a racing driver. Clichés I know, but I have a rose tinted view of the mid to late 1960s; as a period when anything seemed possible and both the space race and motor racing were at their peak.

Q7What do you do to unwind? I like to spend time with my wife and children –

they see little enough of me as it is. My indulgence is watching motor racing, both modern day racing and historic racing. I have been lucky enough to attend the Goodwood Revival Meeting and watching the cars of the 1950s and 1960s being used as they should be is a fantastic sight.

Q8If you could have a dinner party with any three people, dead or alive, with one other

person cooking and the other person providing the music, who would they be and why? My three dinner guests would be people that would want to both talk and listen. I would have Sir Jackie Stewart from the world of motor racing, Carl Sagan – the cosmologist and Queen Victoria. That should be an interesting night, although I’m not sure what they would get from me!

We would eat at Le Manoir aux Quatre Saisons in Oxfordshire with Raymond Blanc as the chef; as it is an ambition of mine to eat there. As for the music, it can’t be too loud or you wouldn’t hear people, so I would like some Miles Davis.

Q9What, do you think, is the future of the cleaning industry?

I see an industry very much at a turning point. I think it has to focus on being truly sustainable, meaning people and profit as well as planet. In future, the cleaning industry needs to stress its contribution to public health, especially during infection outbreaks in the community. I fear that without a unique selling point to the clients of cleaning services, the industry will become a price driven commodity (as it is already to an extent).

Leigh Mason of Nilfisk asks...

Q10 What do you think have been the most significant developments in the Cleaning Industry over the last 15 years? I think this is a very difficult question to answer because 15 years is a short time frame. Innovations that are still current were actually created some time ago. For example microfibre was invented in 1970 and first commercialised in 1989 by DuPont. I think that the most significant development in the UK was probably the National Minimum Wage, because it began the process, which is still ongoing, of forcing all cleaning employers (not just the enlightened ones) to value their workforce.

Check out next month’s issue to see what Andrew asked our next industry professional...

The future of our cleaning industry | TOMORROW’S CLEANING | 71 REGULAR

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