Avin Rabheru

Founder and CEO, Housekeep

Avin Rabheru is an entrepreneur, early-stage investor and non-executive director. He is Founder and CEO of Housekeep.com, which became the UK market leader in the £10 billion house and office cleaner market 3 years after launch. The business has raised two VC/angel investment rounds, winning Deal of the Year in 2014, and has since raised cleaner earnings 2x and received 250,000 5* customer reviews. Housekeep has won multiple awards including Service Business of the Year and Avin was named a StartUps Young Gun in 2016. The Financial Times named Housekeep the 6th fastest-growing business in Europe in 2019. Prior to launching Housekeep, Avin was a venture capital investor and remains an active angel investor, with 40+ investments in consumer technology businesses. Prior to this, Avin worked in strategy consulting, investment banking and read PPE at Oxford University, where he won the Harold Wilson prize.

1. What values are most important to you as a leader? 

Integrity: it’s ingrained in me to try to do things right and to do the right thing. Of course, integrity matters most when the going gets tough – which happens many times when trying to scale a business at pace. As a leader, I think that requires you to hard decisions fast, whilst being clear, honest & open with everyone around you.

2. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

I’ve been fortunate to work with some outstanding entrepreneurs and investors from many different fields and have learnt something from everyone I’ve come across. However, the biggest inspiration is undoubtedly my two little children – they’ve added a renewed purpose in what I do and remind me that we should be optimistic about what the future holds.

3. Best piece of advice you have been given?

I think the best advice tends to be remarkably obvious in retrospect. I remember hearing John Roberts, the founder of AO.com talking, who said it’s not about customer-first, but about putting your people first, then your suppliers, then your customer experience follows. I think he was spot on and it’s certainly relevant for a business like Housekeep. We’ve sought to build a team of bright, driven and nice people, who in turn look after our service providers, who in turn look after our customers.

4. What would you tell your younger self?

I would try to remind my ambitious, impatient and hungry younger self to slow down and take in the sights along the way. I’ve often been so busy trying to get to ‘the end’, or to reach the next milestone, that I didn’t take time to look up and to enjoy the journey and progress along the way. I’m still in tune with my younger self well enough to realise he would likely ignore me though.

5. What has been your most important or profound lesson as a leader?

I think the most important lesson is to realise that the lessons keep coming, or as it was put to me recently, “growing as CEO is like a cake-eating competition where there’s no trophy and the prize is more cake-eating”. I don’t really like cake all that much, and so a life of relentless cake is … a good analogy for how I feel sometimes. I’ve tried to embrace this by proactively embracing learning, whether from reading, talking to others or spending time reflecting.