“We’re very fussy about who we employ,” says Mullins, who founded London-based Pimlico Plumbers with his wife Lynda back in 1979. “They need to have done an apprenticeship and have five years of experience. And they have to be presentable. If someone turns up to an interview stinking of BO and booze, they don’t have a hope in hell of getting a job with us. I want top plumbers, not layabouts.” Earrings, tattoos, pony tails, trainers, shorts and low riding trousers are banned. Mullins issues each of his plumbers with a corporate uniform, branded with the company logo. Mullins has five female plumbers on his payroll and is eager to hire more. “Female and elderly customers feel much more comfortable with women plumbers. There’s a huge demand for them.” But Mullins admits he has to tread with care: “We don’t just send them out to any old customer – there’s a lot of nonsense out there. We have security procedures in place.” Over the next year, Mullins hopes to expand the business up to the M25 and get another 45 vans out on the roads. This interview is part of the My First Million series that Real Business is running in association with Orange. Look out for the full article in the April edition of Real Business magazine.
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