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Charlie Mullins: Becoming an apprentice at 15

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Name

Charlie Mullins

Age

52

Company

Pimlico Plumbers

Company turnover

£16m

First job

Bunking off school to help a local plumber before becoming an apprentice at age 15.

Dream job

I’m doing it now – running my own successful business that creates employment and offers excellent service. Once a plumber, always a plumber. Common sense tells me to do what I’m good at!

Car

Bentley Azure convertible.

Economy, business or first class

Economy or private jet – nobody likes sitting still on a plane for hours, so can’t see why I’d want a slightly bigger place to sit still in, for a lot more money. Easyjet is a great way to get to my villa in Marbella. And if I want to push the boat out, putting the family on a private jet makes more financial sense than going first class – and it’s much better, too.

Most extravagant purchase

My villa in Spain, although I’m looking out for a Drophead Rolls Royce, which might take over first place if I can get it past “the accountant”…

Most-played song on your iPod

(iPod? That’s one of those gadgets for music, right?) Whatever’s on the wireless!

Best business book

‘Walking On Water’ by Brian Clough

Worst business moment

Leaving school at 15. I should have quit and gone plumbing at 14!

Proudest business moment

Restructuring Pimlico Plumbers after almost going to the wall in the 80s and building things up to the £16m per annum company it is today.

Your business mentor

Bill Ellis, the plumber I used to work for when I should have been in school. He was the only guy, in the area I grew up in, with his own car and enough money to go on holiday.

Next big thing

Getting hold of more of the market share in London. 

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