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A cleaning company boss with clients all over the North East of England has won a major industry award.

Chris Blewitt, owner of ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services North East, impressed the judges to take the Great British Franchisee Award, placing him among the industry’s elite.

Starting with just an empty office and no staff – but following the proven business methods developed over years by ServiceMaster – Chris has turned his franchise into a thriving office and commercial cleaning business with a million-pound turnover and 124 employees.

Unusually in the world of franchising, Chris expanded his operation not by buying an additional franchise territory but by taking over another related business, that had plateaued.

Chris drew on his years of experience in running factories and supply chains and transformed the acquisition into a profitable part of his own franchised business.

“The business was nearly twice the size of mine but not very profitable, with a lot of low contract prices,” Chris recalls.

“It allowed me to operate not only in Durham and Teesside but right across the North East region.

“We have just had our record month, turning over £109,000, and we’re only a short way into our franchising journey!”

He’s distinguished himself as part of the ServiceMaster network, too, picking up the title of Rookie of the Year in 2019 and the Award of Excellence In 2021.

Chris said ‘’I am delighted to pick up this distinguished award on behalf of the team. Not only does this acknowledge excellence in our own industry but across all sectors of franchise business. Our story, in just over 4 years, is testament that, with a lot of hard work, franchising really does work and you can build a sizeable, professional service business’’.

The owner of ServiceMaster AAA has been shortlisted for Leader of the Year in the 2022 European Cleaning and Hygiene Awards amongst a record number of entries.

Coming straight off the back of winning Business Person of the Year at the SME National Business Awards, Siva Kugathas of ServiceMaster Clean Contact Services AAA has been shortlisted for Leader of the Year in the 2022 European Clean and Hygiene Awards.  

The European Clean and Hygiene Awards are a pan-European event that is designed to recognise excellence within the cleaning and hygiene industry – a sector that has only become more important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Needs and demand for quality cleaning services have grown rapidly since March 2020. After the 2020 awards were postponed due to the COVID crisis, the upcoming awards will be the first to acknowledge the work of companies like ServiceMaster AAA during the pandemic. Entries for the fifth awards event opened in April 2021 and will be held this spring on 28th April 2022 at the Le Plaza Hotel in Brussels.

The awards were founded by ECJ (European Cleaning Journal and Environment Media Group) and champion a wide range of businesses in the cleaning sector. The ten different awards categories are judged by ECJ editor Michelle Marshall, industry expert Lynn Webster, EFCI president Juan Díez de los Ríos de San Juan, and industry expert Frank Veneman. To be nominated for the leadership award, entrants like Siva had to be put forward by an individual working with them within their organisation. Finalists then had to demonstrate excellent leadership skills that impact positively on their employees and business.  

Of the finalists, judge and ECJ editor Michelle Marshall said:

“We are delighted to be back for 2022 and with a record year for entries. It was an incredibly difficult job for our judges to narrow down to a shortlist but we feel our finalists really deserve recognition for their dedication and commitment to our industry over what has been a challenging few years on the frontline.

Siva’s leadership skills have seen his team through a difficult couple of years and ensured that ServiceMaster AAA remains a shining example of quality cleaning services. Siva’s contribution to the ServiceMaster Clean business can be no better exemplified by the growth he has achieved in his five years as a ServiceMaster franchisee. He purchased ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services Guildford in January 2017 with an annual turnover of around £111,000 and has grown his business year on year since. All whilst investing in further territories in Bracknell, Thames Valley, East Kent, Luton, Watford, Ipswich, Colchester, Humberside Lincolnshire and Doncaster.

In speaking to his team, it is immediately clear that Siva’s leadership motivates them all to better themselves and reach new heights. Sathya Thuraisamy, Operation Services Manager at ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services AAA, and member of Siva’s team says that Siva is an inspiration to his staff and that they all feel a great sense of pride to work with him; as part of such a great team:

What Siva has achieved through his accomplishments is exemplary. He gives us opportunities to improve ourselves and also motivates all to achieve new heights along with him.

Gauri Lather, Marketing Manager for ServiceMaster Clean Contact Services AAA also says Siva’s mentorship has been central to the journey and success of ServiceMaster AAA and its staff:

Siva’s competitive and kind nature has always inspired me. It has helped in my ongoing transformation and to gain a competitive edge – all while freeing me to focus on the core business. He is always focused on expanding our business by strengthening customer relationships and continuing to supply high standards of service to this key market. Overall, my, and my team’s journey at ServiceMaster wouldn’t have been this smooth if we didnt have Siva as our mentor.

We are delighted to congratulate Siva on yet another outstanding achievement and wish him the best of luck in April.

If you’d like to learn more about our award-winning business and the services we offer, you can find out here, or visit our blog for more updates on our services and successes.

The Marion E Wade Award (Franchisee of the Year) is the most prestigious award ServiceMaster presents and is the pinnacle of achievement for a franchise within the company.

The award was given to Kevin this year as him and his team displayed the highest achievement in pursuit of excellence and professional management in the ServiceMaster tradition.

Kevin has been trading as ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services Mercia since November 2008 and has grown to become a multi-million-pound business in that time, purchasing new local territories along the way.

The business cleans over 140 offices, medical centres, schools and warehouses across the East and West Midlands and employs over 300 cleaning staff to complete these regular jobs.

Kevin said –  “We are particularly proud to receive this award in 2021 when we have all faced very difficult challenges due the Covid -19 pandemic. Our management team and all their support workers have really stepped up to the mark this year. It is due to their efforts and dedication that we have been able to not only service our loyal customer base but also grow our business in this difficult business climate”.

Guy Strang, ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services Brand Manager added,

“Kevin is a model franchisee that is always looking to improve and expand his business in any way he can. I’d like to personally congratulate Kevin on winning the Marion E Wade Award and look forward to seeing what the future holds for him and his business.”