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10 QUESTIONS WITH... PAUL RIDDEN


Each month we ask a cleaning industry professional the Tomorrow’s Cleaning 10 Questions. This month, we chatted to Paul Ridden, Managing Director at SmartTask.


Q5


HOW WOULD YOU IMPROVE THE CLEANING


INDUSTRY? Being such a people heavy, low margin industry, cleaning providers often struggle to justify value to customers when bidding for contracts, so I would aspire to help them demonstrate that their service is worth that bit extra – whether that’s through providing transparency or through adding innovative new services.


Q6 Q1


WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB? I left school to join Marconi


Avionics as an apprentice in telecommunications systems. Many happy years and a good grounding in the practical realities of making complex technical things work. I’m convinced that the foundations of good practice and persistence that I learned there have helped me throughout my career.


Q2


HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE CLEANING INDUSTRY?


As with all good business ventures,  and a smattering of luck. We have been working with a number of FM providers for some time, and    the cleaning industry.


Q3 Q4


WHICH THREE WORDS DESCRIBE YOUR


PERSONALITY? Practical, tenacious and easy-going.


IF YOU COULD VISIT ONE PLACE IN THE WORLD,


WHERE WOULD YOU GO AND WHY? I’d love to take my family on an adventure to northern Canada, canoeing down a river and experiencing the great outdoors. Ideally capped off with some heli- skiing in the mountains.


66 | 0 QUESTIONS Q7


IF AN INTERN WERE TO START TOMORROW,


WHAT’S THE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE THEM? Don’t be afraid of failing: in my experience, many young people don’t want to be seen to fail, so they limit the scope of their activities to those in their comfort zone. Be bold, try new stuff and don’t give up, odds are you’ll enjoy it.


IF YOU WON THE LOTTERY TOMORROW, HOW WOULD


YOU SPEND YOUR FORTUNE? I’d spend the money on life experiences and improving the lives of friends, family and the less fortunate. Having said that, I might just treat myself to a fast car if there’s anything left.


Q8 Q9


IF YOU COULD HOST A DINNER PARTY AND INVITE


ANY THREE PEOPLE, DEAD OR ALIVE, WHO WOULD THEY BE AND WHY? Gene Wilder, John Cleese and Michael McIntyre in the hope they would make me laugh.


WHAT, DO YOU THINK, IS THE FUTURE OF THE


CLEANING INDUSTRY? In the future all customers will want to be able to see how their investment in cleaning services is being executed at the press of a button, they’ll want you to ensure the cleaners you send  their GDPR and safety commitments. They will expect to be able to interact with you from their smartphones to


report issues, adjust services and evaluate quality. This has already started and will start to become the norm over the next few years.


Ceris Burns, Managing Director at Ceris Burns International, asks:


Q10


IF YOU DEVELOPED A PARTNERSHIP WITH


ANOTHER INDUSTRY, WHICH SECTOR WOULD YOU CHOOSE AND WHY? The cleaning industry needs to develop a closer partnership with the information technology sector as  drive down admin costs and develop new and innovative ways of delivering valuable cleaning services.


www.smarttask.co.uk


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


twitter.com/TomoCleaning


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