Meet the MD: Paul Kelly of AS Homes

Meet the MD: Paul Kelly of AS Homes

Paul Kelly took over the family businesses shortly after graduating from university, and has now been the MD of AS Homes for 20 years. He told BQ about how he got started, the challenges he has faced and his plans for the future of the business.

Describe your role in no more than 100 words.

My role as Managing Director of a small company involves overseeing all aspects of the business, such as business development, securing new clients, land deals and liaising with key stakeholders. I also look after my team of 15 employees.


What is it the company does? 

We are a family-run, Glasgow-based housebuilder with a strong track record of delivering high-quality homes on time and on budget. My dad started the company over 20 years ago, and initially we built private homes, but during the economic downturn we had to adapt to survive, and so began to build social housing for registered social landlords. Now that the market is improving, we’ve begun to build a mix of social and private housing. At the moment we have planning permission for 180 new homes.


Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?

I’ve spent most of my career at AS Homes, joining in 1996, a year after the company was formed. Between graduating in Business Economics and Marketing from the University of the West of Scotland and joining AS Homes, I spent two years at the Daily Record as a Sales & Marketing Manager.


What do you believe makes a great leader?

Someone who makes time to listen to others, who encourages his co-workers and team, but can also make decisions.


What has been your biggest challenge in your current position? 

Without doubt, steering the company through the economic downturn.


How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?

Golf and spending time with my family.


When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A footballer, but sadly I wasn’t good enough!


Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about then?

Not particularly. We generally have a good atmosphere in our office.


Where do you see the company in five years’ time? 

The construction industry in Scotland is looking much healthier than it has for a while. If the economic conditions stay favourable, we expect to grow steadily as we increase the number of private homes we build, as well as continuing to build social housing. Our headcount has doubled since 2010 and we are looking to recruit at least two new employees in the near future.


What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader? 

Plan, work hard, listen to your team, develop people and have the courage to make decisions.