How Rubbish Removal took Junk Hunters London from 1 Van to a National franchise
Founded in 2008 by Harsha Rathnayake, a university graduate based in London, Junk Hunters started from the ground up, just like many other businesses.
The founder had ten years of experience in the waste management industry, having worked for a removal company in 2004 as a part time driver while studying at Kingston University to be an automotive engineer.
It was while working there that he realized that there was money to be made from disposing of rubbish. As of then, one of his biggest challenges was his inability to understand English. He overcame this by learning through online courses and YouTube videos during his spare time.
After the completion of his studies, Harsha launched his first venture in waste disposal, having had a decade of experience in the sector. Because of his passion to help others, he opened a waste removal company in London with the aim of helping the residents and commercial customers to remove any rubbish that the council could not take care of.
During the start of the business, he had no employees, so he handled all parts of the business himself such as picking up rubbish, receiving calls, invoicing and payments. But the biggest obstacle he came across was obtaining finance from banks. This was particularly difficult for him because he had no credit history, so he had to fund the business himself by working two jobs at 19 hours per day including weekends, for a year. That quickly paid off because he managed to generate around £70,000 after a year of starting the business, allowing him to ditch his part time jobs.
After the first year, Junk Hunters began expanding by buying new trucks yearly. Making it one of the fastest growing rubbish removal companies in London. Whilst growing they have put more emphasis on environmental awareness and good customer service.
The company operates on the basis of a two-men-and-a-van rubbish disposal service, offering flashy trucks, friendly and uniformed staff, guaranteed arrival window of two hours, upfront pricing, and providing a complete service (even sweeping up after completing a job.)
Junk Hunters has now grown into one of the biggest rubbish removal and collection companies in the UK also being the first of it’s kind to franchise. The headquarters currently takes care of both large-scale and small-scale rubbish clearance for those residing or working in London, while other franchised areas operate on the same core values and excellent service.
The company is dedicated to collecting and disposing of rubbish in a responsible and professional manner. After having many successful years removing rubbish from the streets of London, Rathnayake decided to make his business a national franchise by taking it to other parts of the UK – thus the launch of Junk Hunters (formerly London Junk). Junk Hunters maintains the same high standard by having a strong stance towards protecting the environment and ensuring the customer is always put first.
Becoming a national franchise has meant the achievement of the goal of the company which is to become the standard in the UK in waste management, by providing efficient and environmentally friendly services that are affordable. In addition to disposing of waste materials, they are also involved in recycling and reusing junk, successfully recycling over 80 percent of the materials they collect.
Other items that are intact and can be reused are offered to charity organizations. As a rubbish removal company in London, Junk Hunters comes across a lot of ‘hidden gems’ while going about their work including £500 pounds worth of Chalres Dickens books!
Harsha’s decision to become a franchise came after he realised the need for the Junk Hunters service in other cities across the UK. He envisions it as an easier way of managing growth, and thus created two franchise structures. The first is as an operator and the second as a management role. Those franchises are estimated to make a profit of £278,000 after 5 years.
With such a humble beginning, Rathnayake serves as a source of motivation to many today that with hard work and passion, all dreams can come true. He grew his business from a one van junk disposal service to a successful rubbish removal company in London that carry out rubbish removal such as house clearance, garden clearance and construction site clearance.
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