Ecolab, dealing in premium commercial cleaning and sanitizing products, has drawn out its long term plans for India and is setting up infrastructure in terms of supply chain, sales team and after-sales services to meet the growing demand. The Ecolab product range is seeing increased demand despite the inflationary panic created on price rise. “The raw material price of say phosphoric acid and caustic soda have almost doubled but that does not affect our costing as the prices are set at an international level,” said Stewart.
The products imported to India come from Europe, USA or Singapore and “we don’t have any definite plan at present to set up a manufacturing unit in India. As of now we would concentrate on improving our marketing proficiency. The increase in demand for our products is more to do with sales and service we offer.”
Ecolab products are not new to India. “But we plan to bring proven products from overseas and set up India as a model country for the rest of Asia.” Ecolab is planning to introduce new product range for housekeeping, enhance the range for laundry and products for the stewarding section “to meet the needs of top five star hotel chains and provide them with what is being offered in the US or Europe.”
These products are already being offered on a selective basis. The Oasis Pro for the housekeeping is more innovative, with improved technology and less-expensive dispensing system. It can be easily mounted on to the wall and easy for staff to use, as it is available in low concentration, is colour coded and accompanies on-job training session. “There is much demand for dispensing system in India and we concentrate on training. Like this five star hotel where we have spent hours on training and we wouldn’t mind doing it as we believe in investing in our customers, brand protection and customer satisfaction. Also, we want to ensure that international guests in five-star hotels stay comfortably with their laundry done by Ecolab, dishes washed by Ecolab and the rooms prepared by Ecolab.”
The predominant focus of laundry chemicals will be the hotels, as commercial laundry in India is not all that developed. In the laundry range, Ecolab powdered laundry chemicals are already being distributed in India, but “we have to move on and dispense laundry chemicals”. Eco Star laundry range has laundry softener called Cleani Soft and an emulsifier called Clout.
With liquid chemicals, the quality of water has to be regulated. “The TDS in the water in India is very high like the Middle East and the US. We do not customise the products to suit the water conditions but provide solutions to make it easy for the customer. We have suggested hotels to go for a RO plant in order to reduce the hardness of the water.”
Ecolab, having decided to go direct, has set up a warehousing facility in Bhiwandi from where orders are supplied throughout India. “It may take eight days for the consignment to reach Shimla but our customer is sure to get the right and good product in the specified time. We are still very small and this way we cut down on our logistic costs.”