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Bringing home the Multiplex

Did you ever imagine a day would come when expert housekeeping teams from a premier multiplex chain would be available to service homes and offices on demand? Neither did Asha Pathania, AVP Housekeeping, PVR Limited. This is the story of V-Pristine (‘V’ from PVR, Pristine = as good as new, the condition in which the team leaves the facility), a professional cleaning and sanitisation service from PVR.

When the pandemic struck, PVR invested a lot of time and money in acquiring equipment for sanitisation and disinfection, to make cinemas safe for employees and patrons alike. Between the first and the second wave, this investment allowed its multiplexes to function smoothly wherever permitted.

But the second wave forced cinemas to shut again, and Pathania was inundated by calls from employees of multiple family members testing positive. She realised that her team was sitting on a huge cache of highly specialised ULV machines (among others), with medical-grade disinfectant, and the required PPE; her management allowed her to offer housekeeping services to employees and their families, particularly in homes where someone had tested positive or was returning from hospital.

“The CRM, Accounts and Housekeeping teams initially coordinated to offer this service to friends and family of employees at a small charge, to cover costs. We are now testing and finalising the commercial model, and scaling up on technology and training, so that anyone can book our services”, said Pathania.

Three core teams, each with 3-4 members, service six locations per day, in the Delhi-NCR region (Gurgaon, Faridabad, Delhi, NOIDA, Ghaziabad). A maximum of 11-12 locations can be serviced daily.

What’s in the toolbox?

From general cleaning to specialised services like upholstery shampooing and leather nourishing, customers can avail of a range of offerings that have been tried, tested and are implemented at PVR’s theatres. Like cinemas, homes and offices too have mind-boggling combinations of surfaces, from premium carpets to expensive electronics, none of which can be damaged during the process.

Broad-spectrum chemicals like hydrogen peroxide with activated silver, or neutral pH chemicals rule the roost. “We ask the client for all details about the site in advance, and then carry specific machines, tools and chemicals for specific surfaces. We have a checklist of over 150 items that need to be carried for deep-cleaning of a home”, said Pathania.

Washroom cleaning

Although washrooms tend to be the most frequently cleaned parts of homes, water tends to leave marks on tiles and in the shower. The V-Pristine team is called upon to use specialised chemicals to remove stains from WCs, steam cleaners to remove grouting and hand-held power tools to remove scaling caused by steam. Colour-coded dusters are used, as is a fresh WC brush that is opened at the site, and left behind after the service.

Cleaning validation

At a surcharge, customers are offered the option of testing a surface of their choice, before and after the service, with ATP meters. This on-demand swab test is the ultimate test for disinfection. Gloss meters to measure polishing are similarly used.

Homes vs multiplexes

Cinema housekeeping teams are used to working behind the scenes, at night. In their new avatar, they find themselves inside homes, working in front of curious and concerned people observing them all the time.

The team is trained to cause the least possible inconvenience to customers. Considering the scale of homes as compared to theatres, small and specialised power tools have been acquired. Less noisy, smaller machines are also deputed for this purpose.

Post-pandemic, what?

V-Pristine is not a temporary, keep-afloat response to the pandemic. “We are serious about scaling up. A V-Pristine app and website are on the way. We will work in all Category A cities, and are aiming for 20-25 cities in the first year itself”, said
Pathania. “This way, we will transform housekeeping from an expense department to a revenue one.”

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