Describing herself as enterprising, Anita Mifsud, who assumed the role of CEO at Swan Laundry & Dry Clean in October last year following almost a decade at the helm of Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre (MFCC) explains, “I approach everything as a challenge, constantly seeking ways to enhance business operations and motivate the workforce.”

Anita Mifsud’s latest shift in industry represents a new chapter in a career characterised by challenges and milestones, which the CEO looks back on fondly.

Originally hailing from the automotive industry, Anita began her journey with US company Methode Electronics, where she worked her way up to focus on business reengineering, optimising and cost-saving processes. “The automotive industry is very competitive, and I worked with prestigious customers like Aston Martin, McLaren, Rolls Royce, Ford, and General Motors,” she recounts with a smile.

After spending several years at Methode, Anita recalls when the President of the Federation of Industry approached her to help set up the company at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre as it embarked on the move from the Trade Fair Centre in Naxxar to Ta’ Qali. Reflecting on that period, she notes, “it was my first time working with a local company, and it proved to be a very interesting start. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long as I didn’t feel it was the right fit at the time.”

Subsequently, after deciding to temporarily leave the country, Anita went on to spend some time in Dubai, pursuing a degree in Exhibitions and the Management of Events while also gaining valuable industry experience. Upon her return to Malta, she joined OK Ltd, contributing to the set-up of various business areas. Eventually, she was called back to Methode to oversee the establishment of a manufacturing company in Egypt.

“This was particularly challenging because it was during the time of the revolution in Egypt,” Anita reveals, describing it as a huge learning experience. It was during her second year in Egypt that she was asked to return to the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre back in Malta, this time as CEO.

“I was a bit hesitant initially due to my previous work experience locally, but recognised it as a good opportunity for my career development,” she admits. “It was a big change, and an extremely big challenge, given that MFCC had undergone various changes in shareholding and organisational structure. My mission was to elevate this centre to operate on par with international institutions. We implemented extensive changes, ranging from processes to revenue streams, secured numerous back-to-back business deals and successfully repositioned MFCC on the radar,” she adds with a sense of accomplishment.

Looking back on the experience as an uphill battle, Anita reaffirms her belief in the concept, and is pleased with the trajectory, noting that “even after the pandemic, we had a good strategy and managed to save our workforce. 2022 was our reward – as the best year in the history of the MFCC.”

2023 was a good year too, and it was then that Corinthia asked Anita to take on yet another challenge, after almost 10 years at MFCC – as CEO at Swan Laundry & Dry Clean, which has been in the laundry industry for over 30 years. At Swan, her task is to implement an investment plan which will bring this plant into state-of-the-art territory, using automated processes and new technology – and, as ever, Anita seized the opportunity.

Delving into the intricacies of the business, the CEO explains that Swan Laundry & Dry Clean operates across two distinct domains: the hospitality sector and the domestic sphere. On the hospitality front, the plant caters to the laundry and linen needs of the local hotel industry, processing an astounding 20 tonnes of washing daily.

“We deal with very large volumes, so enhancing equipment and efficiency will yield significant improvements. This is where my business engineering background and industry knowledge from my years at MFCC come into play,” she smiles. Despite her relatively brief tenure in the role, Anita has already formulated plans to expand the business into other areas, including housekeeping and landscaping. Clearly, there is a multitude of exciting developments underway.

“My priority is to swiftly transform this plant into a stateof-the-art facility. Given the rapid pace of technological advancements, we cannot afford delays. Simultaneously, sustainability takes precedence as a key focus. By aligning with the green vision of the restaurants and hotels we serve, we aim to integrate seamlessly into our stakeholders’ sustainability strategies,” Anita shares.

Reflecting on the business landscape in Malta and its resilience in the face of global challenges, Anita expresses optimism, noting “Swan normally goes on shutdown during the months of September and October but, last year, business did not slow down. The high occupancy rates reflect the stability of the sector on the island. There’s a lot of activity after COVID-19 – we just need to remain grounded and always be prepared for any unforeseen developments.”

Directing her attention to the future, Anita has her hands full with Swan’s ambitious investment plan, which has begun with the reorganisation of certain aspects of the business and “a lot of feasibility work,” she shares.

“As we provide a service seven days a week and have no plans for premises relocation, we are currently drafting a detailed project plan on the installation of new equipment without interrupting our laundry operations. The endeavour is both challenging and exciting, and we anticipate a growth in revenue in 2024. We are not going to wait until 2025 to see results,” she asserts, emphasising, in no uncertain terms, “as one of the leading laundries on the island, our commitment is unwavering – we strive to consistently deliver an excellent product to our clients.”

This article is part of the serialisation of 50 interviews featured in MaltaCEOs 2024 – the sister brand to MaltaCEOs.mt and an annual high-end publication bringing together some of the country’s most influential business leaders

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