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From service provider to service partner

Rupal Sinha

Can the very identity of an FM service provider be encapsulated in two pages? Yes, when it is Rupal Sinha, CEO IFMS, Quess Corp Ltd, who is answering the questions. Read on to understand the pillars on which her company has built its foundation, which serve as the source from which its choices and philosophies emanate.

 

 

Between March 2020 and March 2022, what are the ways in which Quess IFMS has evolved and grown?

We have significantly moved up the value chain, from being perceived as just a facility management service provider at the bottom of the pyramid to positioning ourselves as a tech-enabled facility management solutions partner, facilitating our clients’ ongoing transformational journey and sustainable workplace strategy.

The year 2020 witnessed a surge in ‘alternate workplace adoptions’, where Quess partnered with its clients in instituting Business Continuity Planning (BCP) and Emergency Response Planning (ERP) by establishing remote working for their employees at their home.

The pandemic has forced companies to reset workplace requirements with a growing need for automating FM processes. Our homegrown FM technology platform underwent rapid customisation and multiple upgrades, integrating many applications and generating AI to assist in remote to real-time people management, security and surveillance, flexible space management, visitor management and asset management to name a few.

As organisations prepare to reopen, work modules will be built around a hybrid model, making the workplace a dynamic environment with varied occupancy. We are offering our clients a single ecosystem that integrates every asset, device, sensors, HVAC units, doors, windows, lights, CCTV etc., bringing operational efficiency with data analytics generated through AI.

Integrated FM has been the byword for a few years now. Under this model, please explain how Quess offers the widest possible range of services to a single client.

In the large project segment, Quess manages 8.9 million sq ft area for a prestigious client where our engagement starts with preparing and projecting the annual budget for managing the entire township.

Besides providing general facility management related to janitorial and electro-mechanical services, security & surveillance, horticulture, food and cafeteria management to this particular client, we broadly provide waste and water management, energy management, fleet management, project management for property renovations, ISO certifications, asset lifecycle forecast and vendor management.

Customisation of services is the rule rather than the exception. Can you share a few examples of how you have designed services to fit the client’s needs?

Each building is unique, and the occupier’s nature of business drives strategic FM planning. Hence, there will be an element of customisation required when a client chooses the integrated model best suited to them, measuring performance on pre-agreed SLAs and output delivery.

Recently, our digital application to manage facility management for a large network of learning centres underwent customisation to incorporate the client’s time and motion study on footfall. For a remote university campus, we have recently launched night canteen services that run on a digital app, solving the client’s major concerns related to health and security of on-campus students.

You have been speaking about the need for certification and accreditation of people and processes in FM. What is the rationale behind this?

The return to work has raised expectations, with a focus on health, hygiene and a safe environment. The renewed business models are building resilience around risk awareness and crisis management, where facility managers play a vital role.

One must incorporate best practices chartered by the British Safety Council, ISO and WELL for efficient handling of spaces in the post-pandemic world. The ‘COVID Safety Assurance Certification’ sets detailed SOPs, covering grading of chemicals and tools used, frequency of usage, maintaining indoor air quality, space management and sustainability quotient, preparing facilities for full occupancy in the post-Covid regime.

On-site managers and supervisors must be trained and kept abreast of the massive technology enablement driving FM processes. One such training has been to certify chosen on-site managers as ‘First Medical Responders’.

Quess Corp is a listed company which has certain obligations. How do you adhere to sustainability and diversity norms?

At Quess Corp, we strongly believe that what is good for society is good for our business. Our sustainability philosophy has our people at the core.

Even though we are a low carbon-intensive business, we manage 4.2 million sq ft of greenery. Our entire back of the house is paperless, and we are committed to being minimal on e-waste.

Equally, we are committed to building an inclusive environment that automatically meets our diversity norms. In terms of gender diversity, we are currently at 25% at associate level, which is above the industry average of 15%.

What service verticals and client sectors will drive Quess’ growth in the coming year?

E-commerce, manufacturing and healthcare will continue to be the winning sectors driving growth. More and more demand will be for an integrated tailor-made FM solution for clients that is backed by sophisticated digital enablement, making operations efficient and more productive.

Finally, as someone who heads one of the largest workforces in the country, what is your personal management mantra?

I work on the 3C principle, making a ‘Choice’, giving the choice a ‘Chance’ and bringing about ‘Change’ from practicing the choice made.

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