Meet the MD: Richard Greenwood, ovenu

The number of clients Richard boasts on the ovenu books is breathtaking, and speaks volumes about the potential for growth in his market. The valet of domestic ovens is something that's becoming ever more popular, as Richard appreciates with this franchise business. He tells us a little more about him and what his role entails, and his complex career history.

Describe your role in no more than 100 words
I am responsible for the management of five full-time and a number of part-time professionals who valet domestic ovens, primarily Range and AGA cookers. As part of my role, I take it upon myself, personally, to speak to and get to know each and every one of my 8,000 existing and 1,000 new clients every year. I am also wholly responsible for attracting new business and ensuring my team work to exacting standards in what is a highly competitive sector.

What is it the company does?
Ovenu is the world’s largest oven cleaning business and, in the UK alone, has around 130 vehicles providing world class standards of oven valeting. It offers an environmentally-friendly oven valeting service, primarily to domestic clients.

What do you believe makes a great leader?
Not only having a firm grip on the day to day running of the business, but recognising the huge growth potential within the industry and ensuring strategies are in place to take advantage of the opportunities that are presenting themselves to the business on a daily basis.

What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
To have built up Ovenu in my region over the past six years, from being a parochial player with many competitors, to the premier brand that everyone talks about and wants to use. This has not only resulted in the retention of existing clients, but has attracted significant volumes of referral work.

How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
Walking out of my office and looking out across one of the most beautiful valleys in the country – the Shibden Valley.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A professional golfer.

Any pet hates in the workplace?
Tardiness - namely, if any of my team arrive late to a client’s home or business

Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
Achieving a minimum of 50% growth in the number of jobs carried out annually and a trebling of profit. We are currently taking 34% more bookings compared to the same period last year!

What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Be prepared to live and breathe your business and worry more about what you are doing than what your competitors are doing.

Where did you start your career?
At a multi-national engineering group based in Stockport

Give us a brief timeline of your career so far.
I took graduate and post graduate studies in International Marketing and Modern Languages.

Professionally, I started out as a marketing assistant before becoming a salesman, selling machinery into the packaging industry.

Having started out as a salesman, I became a Product Manager before being promoted to the role of a European Sales Manager in the wire industry in the early nineties. I then co-founded and co-owned Fairbright Industries PLC, steel wire manufacturers, until 20015, and have owned Ovenu West Yorkshire from 2006.