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Q&A: Marcus Aniol, J S Wright

J S Wright’s managing director talks about carbon reduction targets, closing the skills gap, traffic wardens and Guinness.

Who would you most like to shoot with a paintball gun?

Traffic wardens. They used to help keep the roads safe and traffic flowing. Now their job is to give motorists a hard time and raise revenue for local authorities.

You’re God for the day. What’s the first thing you do?

Ensure the UK meets its carbon reduction targets by insisting on a maximised green agenda for all construction projects. I’d put in place financial incentives to help keep us on track.

Who is your hero?

John Shilrock Wright, a jobbing plumber who founded J S Wright in 1890. He would think nothing of pushing a handcart many miles to work each day - and he was at the forefront of tackling Birmingham’s Victorian slums, bringing clean air, pure water and amenable heating to the population.  

What has been your worst business decision?

Chasing accounts with low returns. We are skilled and experienced enough to be more selective.

And best?

Creating a new tier of directors to ensure that our increasing workload is carried out to the highest standards and our people have a clear career pathway.

Who or what are you enjoying listening to?

My baby grandson Sebastian giggling and gurgling!

What is your favourite book or film?

It’s a Wonderful Life.  It’s a wonderful film that sends out the timeless message of being thankful and living life to the fullest.

What would you take with you to a desert island?

A plentiful supply of Guinness – and a solar-powered drinks chiller!

What characteristic do you most dislike in others?

Arrogance, with greed and impatience close behind.

If you were blessed with the necessary talent, what would your dream job be?

A professional rugby player or racehorse trainer.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Treat others the way you would want to be treated.

What should the construction industry be doing to help itself in the current climate?

Tackling the skills gap by employing people from diverse backgrounds, reducing workplace stress and providing development training for all employees.   

What’s the best work-related thing you’ve done recently?

Launching our Foremen’s Academy and winning a £6.5m contract to design and install the mechanical services for 441 new apartments at Ealing Road in Alperton. The project in north London will help create a new gateway to the West End.                

How would you like to be remembered?

As someone who contributed to the professionalism of the building services industry.

Marcus Aniol is managing director of J S Wright

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