Driven by Demand? (or by Awareness too?)
The way, the global cleaning industry bounced back in the year 2010 after a spell of slow business in the previous year, is indicative of the fact that it was able to redesign its service and product offerings to suit the financial and functional capability of the end users. Compared to other countries, it has now been proved that, India recovered faster. Indian cleaning industry registered an overall growth and could meet the demands from all the sectors. Further consolidation led to mergers, joint ventures and take-overs. The year also saw the awareness for green cleaning catching up, though not so much the implementation in its full sense. There is still a lack of clarity on the green cleaning concept – in terms of lifecycle cost and usage. This is perhaps one challenge Indian cleaning industry will grapple with in this year too.
According to a survey by a US magazine, 64% of building service contractors want to buy products that contribute to sustainability – ie, products that are green during its lifecycle. It’s even more important to in-house cleaning departments as 76% want to buy these types of products. However, is India ready for ‘sustainability’? Our industry replies affirmatively. Sustainability is not just in the manufacturing of green products or in the usage, but also in supporting activities contributing to protecting the environment. In spite of the availability of battery-operated equipment, cable operated machines are sold much more in India. There is a market for indigenised and low cost equipment to cater to specific requirements.
While in the year 2011, the Indian Cleaning industry will continue to tackle the existing issues like the need for cleaning standards, lack of trained cleaning workers, low margin contracts and uneven wage structure, it will also have to take up on itself the task of educating the clients to understand their requirements and ask for the correct solutions – green or otherwise. Clean India Journal spoke to a few cleaning industry professionals to get their views.
The year gone by was particularly good in comparison to 2009 and saw an over all growth in all sectors. Most customers have expressed the need for sustainable cleaning solutions and this is not new. It is only now that the need is being expressed explicitly by customers. The demand for sustainability is here to stay and India is ready for it. This trend will continue and will be the need of the future.
A host of new products will be introduced by Diversey in the coming years. These products will be in line with the sustainability mission of the company and will provide the customer unique and cost effective solutions in line with their needs.”Abhay Desai Director- Marketing Diversey India Pvt Ltd
The year gone by was good and the recession is over. While the trend remains more or less the same, customers are increasingly looking for new green products which are environment friendly.
We are launching quite a few innovative products in 2011 including the energy saving two speed vacuum cleaners. They are cost effective and very silent machines meant for hotels, hospitals and call centres. Besides, we would also be bringing in a few housekeeping trolleys and introducing laundry chemicals into the Indian market.
Finally, even though the customers want new, good quality and green products, they are not willing to pay the price and land up buying the cheapest products available in the market. This is a catch 22 situation.Vivek Mata Managing Director Charnock Equipments Pvt Ltd
Almost all the market segments have shown growth last year compared to 2009. Business was good. The Indian customer is realising the need for mechanisation and optimising use of the most essential element – the human resource. The ride-on machines have gathered momentum even in sections of mopping machines. Market is responding well to productivity-based equipment. Abroad, the demand for ride-on machines is higher compared to walk-behind machines. This trend has now begun to show in India though it has a long way to go.
In the field of technical services, dependency on tools such as thermography and remote sensors is gathering momentum. Customers want to rely more on preventive maintenance.
Human capital costs will shoot up even more in the coming year. Inflation will play a major role in awakening the need for accelerated revamps. Rising costs of facility services will prompt customers to differentiate between needs and wants. Proposals will be fine-tuned to cater to such specific expectations. However, the growth will be good owing to the expansions and global focus.
The sectors that we would be focusing on are the IT/ITES and manufacturing sectors.
Accepting the rising standards and costs in tandem with adopting mechanised or green cleaning is an important step towards progress. A feeling of responsibility and accountability between the customer and service provider has started coming out clearer.”Vinay R. Deshmukh CEO Forbes Facility Services
In the past, we have seen a good demand for solid waste handling equipment, perhaps driven by a need to clean up major cities, environmental concerns and possibly JNNURM funding. Sweeping machines are fast replacing manual sweeping for superior cleaning and cost effectiveness in large establishments. Mechanisation is introduced in collection, transportation and dumping of waste as well.
There are certainly huge opportunities with the growth in infrastructure by way of roads, airports, SEZs and townships coming up – all of which will need to be maintained well. A high level of “awareness” with regard to the need for cleaning & maintenance with a definite inclination towards mechanising this activity is increasing being felt.
At the one end, we have world class housing properties/ townships and leading hotel chains coming up and cleaning is taken for granted. There are no set standards of hygiene being followed. On the other, environmental issues are gaining prominence and most new establishments are laying great emphasis on maintaining the environment. Outsourcing cleaning services has become the norm rather than an exception and this could result in a win-win situation for all concerned.
Some of the industries looking at waste solutions are Railways, Pharma and upcoming townships. We have recently launched a litter picker machine to cater to inaccessible areas (mainly pavements) and are also looking at the Railways for certain niche applications by offering customised solutions.”Hemant Ogale Vice President Kam-Avida Enviro Engineers (P) Ltd
Business was very encouraging in 2010. Clients were showing awareness for outsourcing to organised service providers that followed the social security norms like PF/ ESI / leaves/gratuity/ bonus on 100% minimum wages. Clients have started talking about mechanisation and eco-friendly products especially from the Pharma/Food industries. The government is also shifting towards mechanisation especially in the Railways.
The coming year looks to be very encouraging. As we have entered into the Indian market with a global prospect, we will be client focused and continue to follow 100% social security resulting in motivating employees and satisfied clients. We went into ISO certification to have better systems and procedures.”Pradeep Mehra CEO & Managing Director Walsons HR Solutions Pvt Ltd