Charlie decided at the age of nine that he wanted to be a plumber, after noticing that his local plumber was well respected, had a great lifestyle and money. So, he took to ‘bunking off’ school to earn ‘two bob a day’ working with the local plumber.
After leaving school at 15 with no qualifications (he always says that was a big mistake, he should have left at 14!) and completing a four year apprenticeship in plumbing Charlie started out with a second hand van and a bag of tools. In 1979 he started Pimlico Plumbers from a basement of an estate agent in Pimlico.
"I set out to change the image of the plumbing industry and get rid of the stigma associated with it, i.e plumbers who turn up late, driving rusty old vans, not wearing uniform, arses hanging out their trousers, bad workmanship and ripping off the customer," says Charlie.
He's very direct, opinionated, controversial and has a no-nonsense, black and white attitude. He doesn't sit on the fence, is a quick decision maker and promptly puts plans into action. His dislikes include meetings, negative attitudes and bankers.
Whatever he does he is 100% committed to and is a strong believer in "the more you put into something the more you get out." He wants to be the best at everything, always set his sights high in life and business and uses a common sense approach.
“The way I run my business isn't rocket science, it's common sense. The only problem is that common sense ain't that common."
He's very much involved with the day-to-day running of the business, keeping his finger on the button and has a clearly defined management structure that he has 100% confidence in.
His exacting standards and determination ensure that Pimlico’s second to none quality customer service and 100% transparency is provided right across the company. "We always endeavor to provide the highest levels of customer care & satisfaction; our reputation is important."
At the core of his philosophy is to keep things simple; to do the right job, at the right price, at the right time for the customer. And he says it's important to know that my team are "all drinking out of the same teapot."
Helping Young People
He is strongly focused on apprenticeships and is a firm believer in giving young people a chance to develop their skills, in order that they reach their true potential.
He has a work placement programme in place for The Prince's Trust's youngsters, carries out mentoring and gives inspirational talks.
He has also met with members of the Government including Prime Minister David Cameron, George Osborne, Chris Grayling and Theresa May and also Boris Johnson who have all been very supportive in helping young people into training and Pimlico's Big Society project.
Charlie has come up with The Pimlico Apprenticeship Scheme and has put this forward to the Government as he believes it would dramatically cut youth unemployment. This plan turns Jobseekers Allowance into a Job Achievers Incentive, i.e the Government pays the employer the Job Achievers Incentive to use as part of a minimum wage salary for an apprentice.
Charlie is a Patron of The Prince's Trust and is a sponsor and fund-raiser of The Rhys Daniels Trust and charities that featured in Secret Millionaire and various others.
“I've been fortunate enough to be in the position to be able to put something back into society by helping others. The work that all the charities carry out is amazing and so many people in need benefit from them, which is very inspiring for everyone.”
TV and Media
Being a archetypal entrepreneur and having a reputation as one of the UK’s most outspoken and controversial businessmen has attracted a lot of TV and media attention over the years. He has his own in-house PR team and is also represented by Recognition PR and Phil Hall Associates Media.
Charlie regularly appears on TV, on various news channels, Daily Politics, Panorama etc giving his response to the latest topics and featuring in debates. He has also featured in several TV documentaries including Channel 4's Show Me Your Money and The Secret Millionaire, BBC's Young Plumber of the Year as a judge and BBC 1's Posh Plumbers.
He also regularly features in national press, various business magazines and has regular columns in top business publications and websites.
Charlie is regularly on the radio and is also often used as a speaker/panelist/judge at events.
Pimlico at Present
Pimlico is now London's largest independent plumbing & service company, providing all trades and serving all of London, with a workforce of over 200, 160 vehicles and £20 million turnover. It is the UK's first branded plumbing company with a clientèle including, Simon Cowell, Dame Helen Mirren, Joanna Lumley, Joan Collins, Keira Knightly, Daniel Craig, Richard Branson and Various others.
He is still enthusiastic, passionate and ambitious about Pimlico Plumbers and is working with his team to achieve the following:
Pimlico to continue to increase it's market share in the service industry and achieve a turnover of £100 million.
Pimlico to continue to be recognised as the UK's leading plumbing and service company.
Contact Charlie: To enquire regarding Charlie’s availability , please contact Karl Plunkett, Public Relations Manager (In House), on 020 7928 8888