Q1. How long have you been in the interior plantscaping industry / your background in a nutshell?
I started out in the interior plantscaping industry as a seventeen year old around 1980. My father started the company and during the school holidays I had to earn my keep. I subsequently went to Sydney University and studied agricultural economics and then Ryde TAFE to do a certificate in Horticulture. Before I knew it I was working full time in the company and have to this stage not managed to escape.
Q2. What are the main changes you’ve seen in the industry over this time (for better or worse)?
I would argue that there has a movement away from the cheap and cheerful planter with a large plant, to a much more sophisticated and elegant planter. This has enabled smaller plants to be used so there is less cost of servicing with most of the margin being derived from the planter. There have been a lot of changes to compliance costs with respect to workplace health and safety. I have also seen big technology and innovation improvements in our industry over time.
Q3. What are some of your proudest business achievements?
The fact we are a family owned company that has been within the industry since 1980 is a significant achievement in itself.
I am proud that our company has also been an early adopter of technology, for example we introduced:
- computerised invoicing very early on in the evolution of Lease A Leaf when the desktop computer was only just in production
- Barcode scanners about 15 years ago to track the servicing of customers
- The installation of GPS trackers in vehicles and
- Have recently introduced a phone app with all data within the app using NFC tags to log in and record the servicing of clients in real time.
Q4. What is your vision for the interior plantscaping industry for the future – where do you see the opportunities emerging?
I think we will see more consolidation within the industry. The cost of land within Sydney (and all capital cities) will mean that companies will need to have a significant client base to warrant the cost of the property – consolidation will be one way to achieve this. Lease A Leaf is fortunate to have its own property close to the CBD. Green Building construction gives opportunity for increased growth for the industry. Of course there is also the widely promoted Green Wall fashion at the moment. I am also interested to see how the franchise industry pans out in the long term.
Contact Details: David Gritching, LEASE–A-LEAf Pty Ltd 4 Larool Road Terrey Hills NSW 2084 Ph: 02 9486 3160 Fax: 02 8457 8985 Mob: 0413 672 858 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.leasealeaf.com