Q&A with Andy Hart, founder of Epping-based EcoFactor, a company that specialises in environmentally friendly air con

Andy Hart EcoFactor Epping

Andy is proud to be an east end boy who left school at 15 - Credit: EcoFactor

Tell us a bit about your background, where you're from etc. 
I’m very proud of my cockney roots, being an east London boy.  As a young child my family moved from East London to Essex.  I Attended Valentines High School in Gants Hill and left at 15 to start an apprenticeship in refrigeration and air conditioning.

Was a strong work ethic instilled in you from an early age? 
At the age of ten I started my first employment, delivering local newspapers in my neighbourhood. At 12 I employed my sister and both of us would go car washing.  This was the grounding for a work ethic that I have had my whole life.

What steered you into your profession? 
Let’s say I was not the most studious pupil in my school.  A series of events led to my dad taking me, at aged 15, to his friend who owned an air conditioning and refrigeration business. This is where it all began.

Who has inspired you along the way? 
My first boss, Albert Danan, taught me all the basics of my industry, he also taught me the fundamentals of business.  Another inspirational figure was my friend, Joey Bromley, who took me under his wing when I had nothing and helped me on my journey. And of course, not forgetting my dad who instilled my moral compass.

How did EcoFactor come about? 
After honing the skills of the trade at several different jobs and travelling the world for a few years, I decided to set up on my own. Putting my nerves aside and with an optimistic ‘never-say-die’ attitude EcoFactor was incorporated in 2005.

How would you describe the service EcoFactor offers? 
We are a progressive company, that prides itself on offering the latest technology.  As our name may suggest we are conscientious of the environment and are dedicated to lowering emissions and protecting the planet.

How is it different from other air conditioning businesses in the areas? 
We are more than just an air conditioning company. We offer our customers bespoke systems that fit their needs in a friendly and informative manner. We are on hand to answer any questions that our clients may raise with a patient and considerate approach. 

What is the most important lesson being in business has taught you over the years?
That honesty is the best policy.

In one sentence, can you describe your own personal business style? 
A keen eye for detail and a positive attitude to deliver the best job our clients could expect.

What aspect of your career so far are you most proud of? 
I am most proud to list amongst my clients the NHS, The London Underground, The Bank of England and ASOS to name a few, and that’s not bad for an east end boy made good.  

closeup mud mountain bike wheel and legs of cyclist

A 30-mile mountain bike ride through Epping Forest helps alleviate work stress - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

How do you deal with work-related stress? 
I find that a good 30-mile cycle through Epping Forest on my mountain bike helps me to unwind from the rigours of business life. 

Are you a natural networker? 
Yes. Give me a Tequila Sunrise and I will network for England.

Any advice for someone thinking of entering your profession? 
My industry offers great rewards for individuals that are prepared to study and work hard and have a natural enthusiasm for engineering.