Below is the interview that Bob Dickinson from IRS recently gave to Croydon Chamber of Commerce for their newsletter about his history and relationship with the Borough.
Who are you?
Bob Dickinson, Managing Director of IRS since founding it in 1995. We specialise in commercial space, improving workspace for the wellbeing of staff, finding and relocating companies to new office spaces and optimising the use of existing space for users, landlords or developers.
What is your connection with the Croydon Chamber of Commerce?
A supportive long standing member of Croydon Chamber.
What was your first job in Croydon?
This is going back a few decades now, but I was an office furniture salesman for a large local stationery company.
Which one business achievement over the last 12 months are you most proud of, and why?
Working in Croydon! Although we have always been based in Croydon generally our projects have been in Central London and within the M25. I am happy to go where the work takes me, but I wanted IRS to be part of the regeneration of the borough and began spending more time meeting people and making connections within the borough and consequently am now delighted to actually feel like a Croydon company with lots of projects in the borough, as well as our new office/showroom in New South Quarter.
If you could change one thing in your business/sector what would it be and why?
The supply chain and payment terms. This part of the construction industry has been highlighted by recent events and how contracts are priced and then paid for needs to be addressed. Undercutting to be awarded contracts and then lengthy payments terms for subcontractors is just not fair or sustainable. Let’s bring back some decency into the industry and pay fairly both in terms of pounds and time.
If you were advising a young entrepreneur, which business person would you suggest as a model?
The problem with many successful entrepreneurs is that they can have a side to their character that is not always pleasant or visible. Don’t model yourself on any one person in particular, learn to understand yourself and become your own role model.
If you were Mayor of London for the day, which one thing would you change?
I’d lower local business rates and allow businesses to invest more into the future of their own companies.
What is your favourite and least favourite thing about Croydon?
Diversity of cultures is my favourite Croydon thing. My least favourite is the lack of opportunities there is to mix as a whole.
Is there any question not asked that you would like to answer?
What are the latest trends in the workplace?
Two really big trends that are headlining currently are the use of biophilia on the workplace and resimercial. Biophilia is the use of natural materials such as cork and wood, combined with plants. Resimercial is the combining of the best parts of residential styling with that of the office, for example the use of cushions, sofas, patterned wallpaper to create a home-from-home environment.
What does the future hold for your business and how do you intend to capitalise on that?
The last two years have been very successful and we are now looking to take on more people and build a team to help grow and develop the business further. It is important to keep up to date, not only with our industry, but more importantly people and so, as time allows, I will continue with the regular networking and building relationships with partners like the Chamber.
To find out more
If you would like to find out more about how we can help develop your dream office space, give us a ring on 020 8405 0555 or send us a message.