A spirit of initiative brings success

8th of January 2024 Article by Anna Garbagna
A spirit of initiative brings success

From Italy Anna Garbagna brings the inspiring story of cleaning industry legend Luigi Marfella.

His name is Luigi Marfella and he is the protagonist of a story worth telling. The son of a lady janitor who worked in a state school, he has always associated his passion for the cleaning world to his moments of childhood when, following his mother in her daily work, he could detect the pungent smell of detergents and the scent of cleanliness in the rooms where his mum had passed by.

But even then the inequalities were obvious: “It has always struck me that my mother, working through a cooperative, had to work so much but earned less than her colleagues. These injustices were my first introduction to the cleaning world,” Luigi recalls.

When he entered the world of construction, he immediately noticed the disorganisation and minimal training of the cleaners in the newly built apartments. Marfella consequently returned to the cleaning sector and started his own company, his goal was to excel in all aspects. He tried to find courses and training to guide him towards the best practices of the sector.

“Despite there being many options available for practical training, there was no entrepreneurial vision,” he explains. And so, in addition to running his cleaning company, Marfella started to offer training courses under the project ‘Serial Cleaner’. This project started the first course in Italy  for the unemployed to reintroduce them into the working world, following 40 hours of theoretical and practical training which leads them to be in touch with facilities that are looking for staff.

There was also growing demand for advice from business owners so Marfella decided to share the lessons learned along his way.

That is how the idea of the book  ‘Ripulisci la Tua Impresa di Pulizie’ (Clean up Your Cleaning Company) came along, in which Luigi Marfella outlines his vision for the future of the professional cleaning sector in Italy, offering practical advice and strategies for growth.

“The book is an attempt to answer the questions I have been asked most frequently, ie, how to increase earnings, how to find the best customers,  how to  reduce manual work in favour of automated work and how to acquire good collaborators,” continues the author, explaining how he wrote the book with the hope that his path can inspire others to elevate the cleaning industry in Italy.

After all, it is good to remember the cleaning market in Italy boasts a turnover of €21 billion and employs over 600,000 people. It is a dynamic and growing sector but paradoxically has deep gaps in terms of professionalism, legislation and entrepreneurship. All of this becomes even more surprising if we analyse the fact that many cleaning companies are still managed as simple family businesses, without any business approach or the necessary  proficiency to prosper in a market which is vast, complex and therefore competitive.

“Why is it that in many sectors, it is considered crucial to have specific training while in the cleaning sector it seems that dustpan and brush are good enough to start?”, wonders Marfella, businessman and trainer, and as of today, also author of the book ‘Ripulisci la Tua Impresa di Pulizie’ (Clean up Your Cleaning Company).

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