Arslan Malik is the MD of Wastemove, a London-based rubbish removal company. We caught up with him to find out more about the company and its mission.
Wastemove operates around London and is passionate about giving back to the local community. As well as being a pending BCorp, it works with charities in the local area including Habitat for Humanity. We spoke to its MD Arslan Malik, himself a working dad, to find out more.
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial mindset, and setting up Wastemove, my waste removal and home clearance company based in Ilford, was a natural next step in my journey as an entrepreneur. Being my own boss allows me to have control over my work and make decisions that I believe in, and it’s also important for me to be a role model for my children by showing them how I pursue my passion and learn the skills I need to run a business.
When I became a parent, my priorities totally shifted, as many people’s do. I felt I needed to reevaluate my approach to work to accommodate my new responsibilities, and setting up my business has enabled me to push my earning ability higher than if I was still an employee. This wasn’t without risk, of course, but the one thing I knew I could count on is my ability to work hard and focus on growing the business. At the same time, I couldn’t be working all hours as balancing work and family life is crucial. I had to become more future-oriented and driven to secure financial stability and provide a good life for my children, whilst at the same time being able to spend time with them and be flexible according to what my family needed.
Wastemove’s work policy is informed by my own experiences as a father. I offer flexible work arrangements when possible, such as remote work or adjusted hours, and encourage open communication and understanding of everyone’s family and caring commitments. I completely understand that each employee’s needs may differ, so personalizing our approach and ensuring we have regular check-ins are key to this.
Asian workplaces and communities are beginning to embrace flexible arrangements for fathers, recognizing the value of their active role in their children’s lives. It’s important to approach this topic with cultural sensitivity and to promote open discussions to foster positive change.
In the future, I’d hope to see significant progress in paternity and family leave policies, as well as positive changes in attitudes towards dads in the workplace. Speaking more openly about the challenges we face and ensuring that everyone is included in conversations about parental leave is definitely a step in the right direction.
Balancing entrepreneurship and raising a family can be challenging, but it’s certainly possible with the right approach. For young people aiming to navigate this journey, I’d advise setting clear priorities, try to plan and organise as much as you can. Delegating and outsourcing – although often painful for us entrepreneurs who want everything done according to our high standards and particular vision – is crucial if you want to have a life as well as a business. And above all, embrace the flexibility!