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Housekeeper Speaks:Changing Perception


Digvijay Chauhan Velan K

How did you get into Facility Management Services?

Digvijay: With BHM, freshers opt for a career in hospitality which is assumed to be a glamorous field. However, I found facility management services more satisfactory. My BHM degree empowered me to deliver quality services. I belong to Rajasthan and have been lucky that my parents always let me do what I wanted. Every decision in my entire life has been my own, but they have given me full support whenever I needed that.

Velan: My father expired in 1980. As I grew, I felt an immediate economic urgency in the family. I could not study more, so opted for a part time job as a janitor in 1995.

What were your initial experiences after getting the job?

Digvijay: Initially, I found it similar to what I had learnt in BHM. As both, hospitality and housekeeping are service oriented, I could integrate myself in the day-to-day activities. Spending six to seven years in this sector, I am able to now understand the business.

Velan: Initially, my salary was quite low say, `800/month. I was aware of the need to do more, to

prove myself. This inspired me to do better in terms of my work quality.

First Onsite experience

Digvijay: My first experience was quite disappointing because of the lack of experience. The clients have expectations from a vendor, which have to be fulfilled. That could have been frustrating, but I had the feeling that I was more qualified to do the job with respect to others. I was very confident.

Journey So far…

Digvijay: Though I am here for the last seven years, there is always some curiosity to look for what is next. When I joined Avon as Deputy Manager – Operations, the company was not very big. Today, I am satisfied to see my hand in the company’s growth. When I joined I was assigned to manage only one site of a client. Today being the DGM – Operations, I look after PAN India Operations with 2000 plus accounts. I would like to keep it – enriching the company and the rapidly growing Indian cleaning industry.

Velan: I have worked at the sites of Siemens, Cypress Technology and other companies too. I joined as a Janitor at the Cypress site where I was even offered a job on completing 10 years. In fact, I have even been offered an office job at Avon itself. As I was getting some extra income doing field works, for quite some time I rejected the offers. At that time, my boss cautioned me once, “Don’t expect things to remain the same. This extra money you may not get it always.” From a Janitor, Office Assistants, Supervisor, Site Executive to Sr. Executive – Operations, it has been a great journey and I never looked back. Now, I am handling more than 15-16 sites.

How do you see it now?

Digvijay: Perception of end users about the Industry is more or less same. The dignity of labour is not maintained; having said that I found it glamorous and attractive. There is a tremendous growth on all the levels. Every time, you get to learn from somebody or teach someone.

Velan: Adding to that, we are happy to help many people in getting jobs. Think about a guy who cleans the littered garbage and gets his food rather than sitting on the garbage searching for some food from the garbage. I feel proud of doing that.

Life has now become more comfortable. My son is studying in Std IX and daughter in Std VI, I want them to study more as much as they want.


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