The broadening spectrum of facility maintenance has redefined the business of the service segment, taking it from a mere manpower supplier to housekeeping services and security supplier to a total facility management service provider. “It is time for a change to keep up with the changing trends,” says Sanjay Khanvilkar, Chairman & Managing Director of Sanjay Maintenance Services, which has evolved to become a leading FM company in India.
Looking back, Sanjay Maintenance Services has witnessed changing seasons of the service segment the late 60s until today – times from when housekeeping was more of a part-time or a sweep-and-swab service to the modern day professional and skilled service using machines and methods.
“We have seen the changing role of the service segment since inception in 1968, when we began as a labour supplier and housekeeping service provider. The shift to FM started in 2000, the year which saw the advent of MNCs stepping up standards of cleanliness and hygiene in their premises,” says Sanjay Khanvilkar. The whole concept of housekeeping department commenced with globalization. Earlier, the focus was on operations, but today it is more on presentations. The presentation of a well-groomed and well-mannered janitor symbolizes the professionalism of the service company. “It will be no surprise, in decades to come, we will be talking about robotic cleaning.
“Today, right from soft services, MEP, security to catering and other services, we provide everything that is required to maintain a facility. The overall transition from mere housekeeping into a software-driven total facility management called for a makeover. Hence, it was time to reposition SMS with a new look,” explains Sanjay.
SMS, while retaining its basics, is aptly pursuing its tagline “Rising Excellence Since 1968”. “In a complete revamping, we have redesigned our logo after over 30 years by adding more colour to the ‘eye’ for cleaning … in keeping with the new era. We have redone our entire operating systems which are software based and centralized.”
Headquartered at Mumbai, SMS has central processing systems driven by in-house software and controlled centrally by the corporate office. “The software developement based on my 24-year experience in this industry, enables monitoring staff right from entry to exit or client’s PO to contract completion; drawing MIS reports and integration of all activities, be it HR, uniforms, supplies, purchase and so on. Entirely system based, to the extent that every employee even those in remote places receives salary every month in his/ her bank account.”
Our 16,000 workforce has grown with the company over the years — housekeepers growing into a supervisors and managers and to general managers too. “The first thing I did from the very early days was to call housekeepers as housekeepers or housemen rather than a jamadar or mukadum and provide them with soothing uniforms that no one would want to treat or address them with names like jhadoowala or safaiwala other than housekeeper. The growth for each of them is tremendous at SMS. The houseman who was cleaning Express Towers in the early days, is part of the management today. We identify the workers’ shortfalls and uplift them. I am proud to say that my entire housemen are using laptops. They are my brand ambassadors.” With attrition rate as low as 3.5%, staff at SMS have stayed for over two decades.