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10 Questions with Jean-Henri Beukes


Jean-Henri was recently interviewed for an article in Tomorrow’s Cleaning, read the Q&A below.

  1. What was your first job? My very first job was as a Chef at Fleur Wood Café in Sydney, Australia. My first management role came when I took over a small family business, which manufactured car care products.
  2. How did you get into the cleaning industry? Having sold the family business in Australia, I joined my father in the UK to run an Ecocleen franchise in South Wales, as he had already acquired the South West of England region. My father has been involved in the cleaning sector for the better part of 40 years.
  3. Which three words describe your personality? Candid, driven, emotionally intelligent.
  4. If you could visit one place in the world, where would you go and why? It would be amazing to one-day climb Mount Everest as it is one of the ultimate challenges and really is the top of the world.
  5. How would you improve the cleaning industry? Increasing cleaning staff wages would have such a huge impact not only on the cleaning sector, but also on the lives of many thousands of low-income earners. It is the responsible thing to do and would also help address staff shortages and retention issues, while improving service delivery and productivity levels.
  6. If an intern were to start tomorrow, what’s the one piece of advice you would give them? The journey is hard, but ultimately rewarding.
  7. If you won the lottery tomorrow, how would you spend your fortune? I find entrepreneurial endeavours hugely satisfying and challenging, so I would continue to grow the business and diversify into new industries. At the same time I would spend a good amount of time in both the northern and southern hemisphere, while definitely remaining in the UK, to broaden mine and my family’s horizons and personal education.
  8. If you could host a dinner party and invite any three people, dead or alive, who would they be and why? Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey, Gordon Ramsey – all of them are incredibly inspiring people in different ways, so I would love to hear about their personal experiences and learn something from each of them.
  9. What, do you think, is the future of the cleaning industry? Moving forward I think we will definitely see a greater focus on stronger partnerships with clients and also better wages for cleaning staff.

Barrie Torbett, Master, Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners, asks:

  1. What is the most frustrating ‘if only’ moment you have had in your professional career?

There hasn’t been one major ‘if only’ moment as yet. I don’t really have regrets – I always act on my instincts and go for what I want. Therefore, I would have to say my ‘if only’ moments tend to be related to ‘if only my vision could be implemented faster’!

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