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Cleaning companies have a bright future


G4S India is part of the G4S (Group 4 Securicor) World wide having operations in 110 countries with over 570,000 employees. Listed in the London Stock Exchange, G4S has a turnover of about £5 billion and is the leading international security solutions group. In India, G4S is the second largest employer in the private sector with 130,000 people on the payroll, says P.R. Mehra, Managing Director, G4S Facility Services (India) Pvt. Ltd, one of the group companies. The other companies include G4S Security Services (India) Pvt. Ltd, G4S Security Systems (India) Pvt. Ltd, G4S Cash Services (India) Pvt. Ltd and Indo British Garments (Pvt.) Ltd.

Your area of operations

Perhaps, G4S Facility Services (India) Pvt. Ltd, is the largest player in the facility management sector in India, operating from over 30 offices and servicing from all the regions. Starting operations in 2000, we now provide a range of need-based services: cleaning services, drivers, backup staff and maintenance services. It is all need based and that is our strength. Most customers today want to outsource their cleaning needs because having an organised cleaning company ensures that quality parameters are met from one focal control point. Basically, the quality parameters are the same in all companies. Cleaning companies have a huge future and thus should shift focus to becoming organised with better quality, better deliveries and understanding.

What are the issues before the industry today?

The basic issue today is skilled manpower. The workers we have on the ground are not professionally qualified or educated. Moreover, this business has a very high rate of attrition. To deliver quality services, we give onsite training which is being conducted by the Quality Executive and monitored by GM, Quality.

What are the types of equipment you use?

For better facility services it is better the service provider provides for all the things. Like, we normally use our vacuum cleaners and scrubbing machines on sites. Even, chemicals, now we have user friendly and green chemicals to choose from.

We are now creating a data so that deliveries are better and the maintenance is easier. So we are trying to patronise one company, having pan India offices which can help deliver better service.

How do you meet the expectations of the client and how do they define the standard?

When we sign a contract, we survey the offices; define the areas for cleaning, the kind of manpower and the sort of deliveries required. In this business the parameters change everyday! When we sign a contract, we list down the SOPs but then with the current attrition rate it poses a problem. The client could always complain that the agreed operating procedures are not right or not being met with. In such cases, we modify it as per the client’s requirements. We are more client-centric than company-centric. Further, the training department equipped with quality people at each branch does the auditing of the site regularly.

We also have a system of sending mailers with varying parameters for feedback. Even though we may not actually meet a client, the feedback helps us understand where we lack, what improvements/rectification could be made and accordingly send our people for training or for site inspections. Though our employee attrition rate is high, our client attrition rate is just about two to three per cent.

For cleaning, we have different specialists for different sites. If it is corporate, the approach is different, chemicals are different and equipment is different. Our people are well versed with the needs and deliver accordingly. When it comes to maintenance, we have a different team headed by a technically qualified person, who gives solutions in consultation with the builder. There have been cases where we have suggested change of air-conditioning system to improve energy efficiency.

Also, we ensure our team performs to the level of expectations while managing crisis like floods.

Schools form one segment which is yet to be tapped fully.

Schools have a different hygiene need and the approach and attitude of the cleaner, supervisor and manager has to be different. The products used should be safe, since we are dealing with children. The children have to be given a helping hand whenever necessary. We need to go beyond our sphere of duty and help the children, especially the small ones, who spoil the area and ensure infection does not spread. Though the need is huge, outsourcing has not really been done. We would like to go in a big way here.

What about hospitals?

Yes, we are doing hospitals – the wards, rooms and also providing assistance for transporting patients from the ward to the OPDs. We are not doing the critical areas but provide male nurses, ward boys, cleaning & maintenance services and others.

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