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Start-Ups: Making a ‘clean break’ from IT to cleaning business

By Ricky Matthew

photo: Bill Candari of Royal Clean. credit / Migrant News

AUCKLAND – In a country where migrants often find themselves compelled to make a career shift due to factors such as a lack of local experience and outdated skills, one immigrant’s transition from the field of Information Technology (IT) to the cleaning business has been a noteworthy example of adaptability.

Billy Candari, the founder of Royal Clean, a burgeoning cleaning business based in Auckland, reflects on his career journey and the challenges he faced. He remembers the early days of Royal Clean, which began in 2018 as a window cleaning business.

“We started with window cleaning, inside and outside,” Candari explains. “And then we evolved, because customers were asking for more help around their homes.” As more and more requests for services like house washing and gutter cleaning came through, Royal Clean expanded its offerings.

It’s important to note that the company remains independent and is not a franchise.

“We are the business, me and my wife,” says Candari proudly. “We drive growth through Google reviews rather than traditional advertising and today, we have close to 200 positive reviews.”

Candari’s journey into entrepreneurship was an unexpected turn. Although he initially pursued a career in IT, he eventually faced the challenges posed by this ever-evolving field.

“I was made redundant when I lost my IT job,” Candari says, reflecting on the turning point in his career. “I realized that to continue in IT I needed to upgrade my skills and adapt to the rapidly evolving technology landscape.

“You need to go for the new software, new knowledge, and new skills,” Candari says. “The IT field changes almost every year.”

His shift from IT to the cleaning industry was marked by perseverance and determination. When contemplating between starting a junk removal business and a window cleaning business, he opted for the latter due to its lower initial investment. This choice proved wise, as Royal Clean not only survived but thrived, even during the pandemic.

“We started with a very low investment and gradually expanded,” Candari explains. “Today we have a team of 14 and we provide services that have evolved far beyond our initial window cleaning focus.”

Candari’s story serves as a testament to the adaptability and determination required for success in a new land. It offers inspiration to others facing career crossroads, highlighting how a transition between industries can lead to remarkable achievements.

With Royal Clean’s emphasis on high-end customers and luxury homes, Candari’s unique approach has minimized competition and fuelled company growth. The business primarily targets upscale areas such as Mission Bay and aims to solidify its presence in the market.

“We provide services for some property managers and commercial building managers. We service high-end areas like certain parts of Mission Bay,” Candari shares. 

Candari’s entrepreneurial journey showcases the opportunities that can arise when individuals embrace change, confront new challenges, and discover a niche within a competitive industry. As Royal Clean continues to prosper, it exemplifies the success attainable when determined individuals take the leap into a new professional journey.

BACKSTORY: The rapid increase of Filipino migrants settling in New Zealand, a shade over 100,000 according to the Philippine Embassy, has created a corresponding increase in business opportunities catering for this market.

A new generation of start-ups are getting their opportunity to crack into the Filipino and mainstream markets via community events like the trail blazing Halo Halo NZ and other Filipino events. (

Small business heavyweights who have been honoured with the Business Excellence Award at the annual Filipino-Kiwi Hero Awards over the years have included: Lito Banal of Kiwi Roofing Ltd, Oscar and Mercy Catoto of Tres Marias Trading, Edith Carpenter of Planet Earth Travel, Jeths Lacson of Epiphany Donuts and Marjorie Bennett of Boracay Garden Restaurant. (

Copyright – Migrant News

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