The Story Exchange, Mary Gaerty, Green Skip ServicesYour Name: Mary Gaerty

Business Name: Green Skip Services Ltd, a waste management facility

Type of Business: Waste Management and Environment

Business Location: Maghtab, Malta


Reason for starting
Quite by coincidence! But my initial advice to a friend turned me into an entrepreneur. After research I realised I liked what I found and decided to go for it.

How do you define success?
Success is fulfilling, bitter when times are difficult, terrible when you loose a client and exhilarating when you win a tender or a deal or contract you had worked hard for. Success comes after hard work and long hours especially at the beginning, and you know that but the many voices you hear and know on the phone are part of your success and therefore success is there as long as you want it, because the clients are there only if you look after them. No job or client is unimportant or too small, because all the clients form part of your success and the business. Success is fragile because one false move can put you back or destroy years of hard work that you had painstakingly built. One’s success also belongs to the persons or family who helped you achieve it. It will be a great mistake to forget this or forget the day that led to the success. Success is to be enjoyed, but kept in check.

Biggest Success
There was not one big success but there were several that together made one big success. I remember when the company was just set up and we won our first contract and then, when we purchased land to develop our facility. Next came the large contracts that gave us the leap to another level and Malta’s accession to the EU made it possible for us to strengthen our market position. My four children are however, my greatest success in life.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
The greatest challenge that in my opinion a company or a business face is competition. Competition in itself is healthy and should be encouraged as this stimulates the consumer to being more selective, as to purchases or service. The greatest challenge is the unlevel playing field. In this scenario one must therefore be more creative and inventive as to how one presents his products or services. Overcoming the hurdles that are presented in an unlevel playing field however make you think more or take another perspective. One word that I never accede to is the word ‘impossible.’ Somehow or other there is always a solution or remedy, one must look from all the angles. On a personal level it is the balancing act of work and family that poses a great challenge, as this must be faced continually.

Who is your most important role model?
I cannot say that there is one role model that I admire. There are women role models who I admire for different aspects and there are men that I admire for other aspects. I prefer to pick out what I like and admire from different persons. My own family, my mother for her calmness in bringing up a family of nine children and running a large shop at the same time, my father for his vision and business acumen that I have always admired, women and men entrepreneurs who have started out with a dream and are today successful businessmen and women.