Nominated for:
Big Heart

Best Business to Work For

Charlie, the Pimlico Plumbers CEO is very hands on in the day to day running of the business, but Pimlico Plumbers has always been a family business from the beginning and, as time passes, more members of the family have become involved. This includes Charlie’s son Scott, who is the operations director, son Samm who runs Pimlico Plumbing & Heating Merchants, two daughters, Alice and Lucy and his son in laws Marc and Dave. Charlie’s grandchildren are the most recent additions to the team, plumbers Ashley, Charlie Jr, and Daisy who is now a call centre assistant manager. Pimlico Plumbers is a family business through and through with a kinfolk’s ethos amongst staff – where Charlie goes above and beyond to make all staff feel like part of the family. Pimlico Plumbers is the home maintenance company of choice to celebrities and politicians residing in London – simply due to the quality of work that staff produce. In the early days, Charlie set out what he expected from staff within the company and over the years it has filtered through the ranks. Now everyone knows how high the standards are and as a company Pimlico won’t compromise on them, ensuring customers are always at the forefront of the business. And for the workers, they know the expectations, and it becomes second nature and producing high-quality work is the norm. This first-class work, Charlie believes is as a result of treating staff like family, and reward staff for all the efforts they put in.

From the beginning Pimlico Plumbers set out to change the image of the plumbing industry, which Charlie says was plagued with ‘plumbers who turned up late, driving rusty old vans, dressed in untidy clothes, providing sub-par workmanship and ripping off customers’. Pimlico is different and has strict policies that are the opposite of all that Charlie perceived to be wrong with the industry, and is what the company has become famous for. Also, being a family business, the company has a natural way of offering a personal touch to all services. Charlie has been at the forefront of Pimlico Plumbers since founding it in 1979 and continues to do so today. He has led the business through everything, including difficult times in the recession in the early 1990s, through to today’s £40 million turnover operation. He now uses his experiences to give advice to other businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs, sharing what he’s learnt as key-note speaker many different events, conferences and panel discussions. This not only includes other businesses but young people too. Knowing what a great opportunity his apprenticeship was, Charlie has gone on to campaign for more young people to be able to get the same chance he had. He’s involved with various local colleges and youth projects, as well as holding inspirational talks for young budding entrepreneurs. A big part of his influencing agenda has been in his push for the government to introduce an effective nationally funded apprenticeship scheme, making it easier for businesses to take young people on, and giving them a skilled career.

Charlie’s impact in both the local community and further afield can also be seen in his past work as patron of The Prince’s Trust and founding member of the Trust’s Enterprise Fellowship. Here he not only provided financial support but invited youngsters to Pimlico Plumbers for work experience placements, and continued to give them all the advice he could after. Aside from many charitable causes, Charlie also supports various small business campaigns and has recently supported his son in branching out to set up a Pimlico Heating & Plumbing Merchants, a trade only plumbing wholesaler.

Now with hopes to run for Mayor of London, Charlie is looking to take his company ethos, and use the same drive and determination shown within Pimlico, and apply it to handling the difficulties facing the City Of London. Believing somebody has to stand up for London and ensuring the voices of Londoners heard and appreciated, Charlie also hopes to guarantee that businesses, small and large are supported by Whitehall.

What town/city are you based in?
Pimlico, London (South East)

Number of generations
1st generation

Industry
Plumbing & Home Services

Number of employees
400

Twitter
@PimlicoPlumbers

Website
www.pimlicoplumbers.com