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Get to know… Hallam Payne

September 19, 2010
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How did you get your start in the cleaning industry?

In August 1972, Bajan Cleaning Enterprises became the first cleaning company in Barbados.

My vision was to create a company that would be well respected for high-quality service and have name recognition, both regionally and nationally.

A small equipment loan and one service vehicle marked the humble beginnings of my company, and since then — even with its limited facilities and resources — I have created a company that generates at least $2 million in sales annually, a feat that many small businesses in Barbados cannot boast.

Through hard work and a dedicated staff, my company has been able to dominate at least 95 percent of the commercial and residential sectors.

Tell us a bit about your position and the organization.

I serve as managing director of Bajan Cleaning Enterprises, Ltd., based in Bridgetown, St. Michael, Barbados. We have been in business for 32 years and currently employ 60 people.

We offer a multitude of services, including: Contract cleaning for commercial and industrial buildings, carpet cleaning, hard surface/tile cleaning, garbage management, and automotive services, just to name a few.

What specific challenges do you face in your position?

One of the main problems that we have experienced is building owners who don''t see janitorial cleaning services as a "true" profession, which is reflected in their unwillingness to pay for services, poor treatment of the janitorial staff, and an overall disregard to maintenance procedures and building-related illnesses.

It is also very challenging to find an adequate staff that you can depend on to show up for work everyday. That is truly the biggest challenge.

What is your most/least favorite part of your job?

A favorable situation is when a problem that seems impossible in the customer''s eyes is rectified by our services.

My least favorite part of the job is dealing with customers that always pinpoint the negatives, but never the positives.

For instance, our employees once found a bag of money in the trash at one of our contract locations. We were able to notify the bank manager that same night, but they never said thank you for returning the money.

However, let there be a fine layer of dust on ledges and we wouldn''t hear the end of it.

Tell us a bit about your personal life.

I have a very close-knit family. My wife of 31 years has been with me from the company''s inception. She stands alongside me in running the company and has been a great support to me and the entire staff.

We have three beautiful children, two of which are presently working with the company and will be at the helm in a couple of years.

Currently, I am branching out into real estate and building contracting services.

In my free time, I like to write and sing Calypso music and have entered into our national carnival which takes place every August.

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