"People say I'm extravagant because I want to be surrounded by beauty. But tell me, who wants to be surrounded by garbage?"
This quote was made popular by Imelda Romualdez Marcos, a Filipino politician and convicted criminal who was First Lady of the Philippines for 21 years, during which time she and her husband, Ferdinand stole billions from the Filipino people.
Unlike Marcos, Ronald Musgrave, 38, doesn’t mind being surrounded by garbage. Actually, the more garbage the better. He also intends to work hard for his fortune. As a matter of fact, it took his family three generations of toiling, perseverance and ambition to accomplish it mission.
Glory Glory Trucking Services Ltd is an enterprising waste management company that offers solutions for the collection, recovery and disposal of waste. The services are provided to residents, and organisations in both the public and private sectors.
Musgrave said the garbage disposal side of the business started approximately nine years ago, but the company originally began with transport services three decades ago.
"My grandfather, Rudolph Musgrave (deceased), started it about 30 years ago, and my father, Ralph, took over the reins. My father is still assisting me with the garbage part of the business, but the business started with transport services.
"I would have been involved with my father since primary school. I was his labour when school closed. Back in the days, I would sit on his lap and drive the truck. You know how that went? From junior sec (secondary school) upwards, I was his labourer. I would help him load up the truck, move stuff out houses, the works."
Like every successful business, the Musgraves put in the early mornings and long hours to achieve their goals and to build a clientele.
"We went to every major hardware around Port of Spain to hustle and build a clientele. At this time, we didn’t have a name for the business. One day my dad bought a brand new one-ton truck and when he came home, it had the name Glory Glory on it. The name was inspired because my father is a pastor as well."
After spending three years in the TT Regiment, Ronald decided to be a part of Ralph´s business on a full-time basis and registered the company's name in 2006. It was incorporated in 2016.
"I started as a labourer and driver. My father had one small truck at the time. We eventually sold that and bought a bigger one. We have two three-ton (trucks) now.¨
Growth was always on the mind of Musgrave and he decided to take an educated risk by diversifying the business.
¨I spoke to my father about getting into the garbage disposal business and decided to convert my truck. I built a cage on it, used plyboard, tarpaulin and rope and started worked tirelessly to get contracts in Port of Spain. We officially started the garbage disposal side of the business in 2013. That was when we got our first contract. We did dabble with it a little before that.
"We continued for about three years before we bought our first garbage truck compactor in 2016."
Ronald, who is father of a five-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl, said, "It felt great that your hard work, and hoping every day that you have your own compact truck, finally came through. I felt accomplished. I also felt like I am was fulfilling what my father always wanted. He always wanted us to work together. My sister was supposed to be the secretary. My brother would also be in it. He always wanted it to be a family business but he realised that I took it seriously.¨
The business now has a total of seven trucks, three compactors, a crane truck, a hook-lift truck, a water truck and a three-ton truck.
In 2019 they added the cleaning of yards, power-washing, janitorial services and commercial cleaning to their services.
When asked if there was a hint of pride inside him that dealing with garbage may lower his reputation or embarrass him in any way, Musgrave answered with an unapologetic surety.
"No false pride for me. I was born into this type of hard work. I did what I had to keep the business running. Even though I wasn't born into a garbage disposal business, I have a family to feed. It just showed me that whatever you have, utilise it for bigger things and better will come.
"As a matter of fact, I actually drive the trucks to collect the waste of the clients. I have a very small staff, less than the number of vehicles the company has. That’s because the trucks are really for backup. You can't have people's garbage outside their business (with the bins we rent them) or home for long. So always having a vehicle and crane is a priority. Efficiency is the name of the game.¨
Like every other business in TT, Glory Glory was severely impacted by the constant lockdowns and irregularity of working days and hours due to the covid19 pandemic.
"It has affected about 50 per cent of the business. Most of my clients are in the food business, so with them closed, so is that part of the business. Restrictions in construction have also affected me and you still have your bills to pay and no money coming in."
Despite the challenges, Musgrave has viewed the trying financial times as something good.
"I'm taking the pandemic in a positive way. The road to success wasn't easy and this pandemic is just part of it. It is teaching me to re-evaluate and assess everything. So, when it is over, we will get bigger and better. So I'm not frustrated like many people.¨