As the Sumeet Group celebrates 29 years in the FM industry, Clean India Journal asked its Founder-Chairman Dr Prabhakar Salunke, Vice Chairman Summit Salunke and CEO & Director Amit Salunke about the past, present and future.
What have been the milestones of your journey?
Dr Salunke: At an early age, I started working as a labourer along with my late father at a rubber plant. I got my first job after a lot of pain so I had a dream of creating jobs for others. The foundation of Sumeet Group was laid in 1992, with an initial investment of INR 5,300.
Summit: To begin operations with two employees, and eventually reach a 40,000+ workforce was not easy. We started off in Pune as a labour and manpower supply company; today, we are a leading Integrated Facility Management company. We have grown not just in terms of revenue, but have also expanded across geographies. In the last five years, our growth has been exponential. We have diversified into new value chains.
Amit: Today, we are making data-driven decisions. We have transformed service providers to strategic partners, analysts and support systems for both the workplace and the workforce. We were the first company in India to get ISO 18788 certification (for security management services), and ISO 41001 (for facility management services).
What have been the lessons from your years in this industry?
Summit: Our people are our greatest asset. Taking care of the well-being of our employees, paying them on time and attending to statutory responsibilities — these have been our prime responsibilities. We do not default on any of these things, which is why we have survived in this industry for so long. Bringing in new practices to deliver the best services in the best possible response time is important.
Amit: The customer is firmly in the driving seat; with it comes a change in how you build and nurture relationships with potential and existing customers. Close communication with the client can fix any issue. Our team is in constant touch with our clients on a day-to-day basis.
How are you helping the warehousing and logistics segment in their essential operations?
Amit: We take care of their security, electronic security and total facility management (which includes MEP services and labour supply). Right from material handling to logistics, everything is taken care of by us at a lot of client locations. Because services are integrated, it is easy for us to take care of operations and let the client focus on their core activities. This integration is one of the reasons why clients prefer us.
Summit: We are working with companies like Mahindra Logistics and Amazon in the logistics and warehousing sector. We provide some clients software solutions to manage their warehouses. Their material movement is tracked, from the time it is picked up to the time it is unloaded, on a digital platform.
How are you contributing to upskilling the industry?
Summit: Training and skill development is the primary way in which we differentiate our people from the competition. We are working on a multi-diverse platform, which includes a state-of-the-art academy set up in Pune. We also have an innovation centre where we train our people to handle the latest electronic equipment.
Dr Salunke: We have established the DSTA Foundation to provide training and offer jobs to unemployed youth who have completed primary education but could not continue their education due to constraints.
Amit: We are working on an e-training module through which people can be trained at home through video modules. At the end of this, they will go through a questionnaire, based on which they will be scored.
We are also developing a syllabus for training in facilities management and securities management in affiliation with the University of Pune. We will be able to certify people trained in our academy; this will improve their job prospects.
What is Sumeet Group’s Vision 2026?
Summit: Our prime objective is to go for a public listing. We are planning to bring one of the biggest IPOs in our industry, for facilities, security and environmental services business. By then, the Sumeet Group will be INR 3,000 Cr in size. We are already at INR 1,000 Cr at a consolidated level.
We also plan to enter new, thriving markets like UAE and Singapore. Our ambition is to be present in all emerging markets like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Myanmar, Philippines, Indonesia and Bangladesh.
Amit: We are also looking at employing at least one lakh people and reaching out to one lakh families through them. This way, we too will be a part of nation-building.