‘More red tape helps professional firms’

Glenn Currie, of Waste King, with one of the Medical Detection Dogs.
Glenn Currie, of Waste King, with one of the Medical Detection Dogs.

Glenn Currie, 30, managing director of specialist collections, clearance and recycling company Waste King has seen his Hemel Hempstead firm double turnover in the last two years. Here we find out what makes him tick.

Town where you live:

Hemel Hempstead

What are your business qualifications?


Do you think business leadership can be taught or is it something that comes from a natural instinct?

Everything is teachable with the right mentor but experience is key. I believe follow your gut feeling and always make a decision on calculating the information you have to hand. We have team meetings regularly and always allow all the team to express their constructive criticism and leadership is also listening to your team and supporting them.

What is the name of your main business and what does it do?

A specialist collections, clearance and recycling company, Waste King serves the domestic and commercial markets. It focuses not only on providing a friendly, efficient, cost-effective service but also one which is environmentally friendly. In particular, Waste King’s uniformed, Environment Agency-licensed staff takes time to ensure that the maximum amount of waste can be recycled and that all the waste it collects is disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.

What was the turnover of your main business in the last reporting period?

2010: £333,000, 2012: £683,000

Where would you like the business to be in 10 years’ time?

We have planned to set up a new branch and also increase our customer account base by 45 per cent.

What positives can you extract from current economic conditions?

We have noticed a decline in household waste removal as fewer home owners are moving or renovating homes to save money. This naturally has a knock-on effect but we have noticed that maintaining our service levels over our competition gives us an edge to win business.

What motivates you to get up in the morning and go to work?

For the grandchildren.

What is the most important thing in life and why?

Support your friends and family and they will support you.

At what age do you aim to retire and what will you do after that point?

89 years old. I plan to always have projects and keep busy.

If you have a partner, what do they do:

Partner’s name: Kay Tomlinson. She guards the house

What is the most important thing you learned at school?

You need to be patient when teaching people new roles.

What extra subject should be placed on the curriculum?

Life skills, you can have all the skill in the world but if you don’t have the will – what a waste!

Have you ever had to sack someone on the spot and why?

No not yet.

What percentage of your success is inspiration?

70 per cent. Inspiration is your passion and gut feeling.

What percentage of your success is perspiration?

30 per cent. It’s about both working harder and smarter.

Who is your inspiration in business and why?

Top sportspeople, such as Andy Murray, who demonstrate application and concentration to keep on trying to succeed – until (and after) they do. Their passion for what they do drives them on and helps them overcome obstacles and setbacks. That’s a good model for anyone who’s trying to build a business.

What time do you get up on a working day?


How do you switch off and relax?

I like to play sport and exercise. Working away in the garden is always a good channel to switch off.

How do you measure business success?

Everyone in the organisation knows what to do and your product you promote has great value to your clients.

What is your favourite piece of business jargon and why?

‘You will never work in a place like this again!’

What is the most pointless piece of red tape you’ve had to deal with?

None – yet. Ours is a heavily regulated industry but we need to look after our environment, so it’s a good idea to have increasingly strict regulations. It encourages the more professional firms in our industry to continue to invest in their professionalism and so remain as market leaders. It also helps to safeguard the environment as much as possible.

Where does your confidence come from?

Confidence is your self-image and belief in you.

How do you ensure that people don’t go to sleep in meetings?

Sugary cakes and croissants. Our meetings are quick, informative and everyone is engaged.