Munish Kumar, CEO, Quess OAM/IFMS/Food/Industrial/Security Services – Division offers a bird’s eye view of the scope for business services in India, followed by a granular perspective of what his organisation has to offer to harness this potential.
In your experience in business services, what have your Top 3 lessons been?
For any business to be successful, it needs a few important ingredients:
The first is obviously people. People who are empowered and who are driven by common values, people have to be led by strong processes to ensure repeatable results, and technology has to be the focal point of how the people and processes interact.
Then comes the customer being the core of every company’s initiative. Customer focus has to become customer obsession. A business needs to always put the customer first and design its services and offerings around what this customer needs (not necessarily what they may want). There has to be a focus on solving a problem and creating a win-win partnership as a business engages with the customer. This has to be done with complete transparency.
All of this has to be constantly evolved through innovative solutions to stay ahead of competition at all times. Innovative solutions ensure businesses bring market leading solutions and offerings to deliver the customer ‘wow’ factor.
In terms of service offerings, sites and other parameters, in what ways is Quess IFMS set to grow?
India is growing rapidly with 80 new airports, 100 new educational institutes, 157 new medical colleges, close to 3 million more hospital beds, 1,000 km of approved metro rail plan and 1,045 km of proposed plans. These are just some of the developments planned over the next 3-5 years. In addition, there are highways, train infrastructure development, manufacturing units, etc. With so much action in the country with respect to development, we are well poised to be part of India’s growth story through the facility and asset management business.
Opportunities are many but our key levers are customer satisfaction and profitable growth. These are the two key metrics that we will measure ourselves against over the next few years. We have restructured and realigned ourselves to leapfrog this business to take advantage of the fast unfolding economic growth in India.
What new offerings and innovations can we expect from Chef on Wheels?
Our food service business ‘Chef on wheels’ is evolving its offering from mass food services to micro segments offering in an organisation. By micro segments, we mean catering to the evolving palette, from fast food/street food to healthy high protein diet, vegan diet and plant-based protein. Catering to micro segments in a corporate setup makes it far more challenging and exciting for a food services business like ours.
On the technology front, we have implemented location-specific ordering apps from the property kitchen which are successfully rolled out at client hospitals and educational institutes. App-based ordering helps us understand which dishes are most popular, while we experiment with more curated menus for quick feedback.
We will also evaluate scaling the centralised kitchen service model which was successfully launched in Bangalore, to other cities. We will tread this path with caution as we will need multiple clients to be located within 45 mins of the kitchen for this model to be successful. Each kitchen can cater to around 3,000 servings.
As part of your portfolio, you are also in charge of the Quess security business line Terrier Security Services. What is the future of security services in India?
The security services industry has embraced technology at a remarkable pace. Hi-tech devices, data analytics and predictive modelling are the future of security services, which will result in services moving away slowly from man guarding to tech-based monitoring. The journey will significantly reduce dependency on man guarding, while manpower will be used for remote monitoring and data analytics.
Terrier Security Services plays an important role in security for People and Property & Assets. Terrier has made the shift to man-tech solutions for our clients, resulting in improved service levels and enhanced experience for clients. Over time, we have added technology that can cover larger areas with limited human presence and that can be monitored remotely from our Centralised Command Centre, where we remotely monitor close to 250+ sites.
The hybrid model is where we have man guards at all entry points & access points, while we use cameras and other monitoring devices to cover larger zones. This is the current trend, keeping costs under check from the client’s perspective and increased efficiency from the service provider’s perspective. There are still cost challenges, as the equipment has to be bought upfront to provide the desired services, which is where Terrier offers its services of installation, maintenance and surveillance to ensure access to hi-tech devices to our clients. A complete technology will be the way forward for all the security services; manpower will be used for monitoring and deployed only if necessary.
How has Quess OAM’s journey in the healthcare, education and industrial segments evolved?
We have an interesting mix of offerings for these sectors. Today, in the Operating Asset Management platform, we take care of every aspect of our customer’s premises. Right from the security at the gate to the technology that operates and monitors the access points and the entire premises, to the landscaping that you walk through, to the reception help desk, to housekeeping, maintenance and pest control of the premises. We are a prominent player across the above mentioned segments and other segments.
As part of our food services business, we provide dietician prescribed patient meals and nutritious dishes for their attendants, at some of the large, well-known hospitals. We also cater our food services to an impressive number of premium education institutions where we serve around 46,000 students every day. We operate mega industrial kitchens where we serve meals for more than 35,000 workers per day. Apart from this, we service luxury guest houses and VIP dining areas for a large number of renowned corporates.
Our industrial division manages the complete operating assets of metal plants, power plants and oil & gas establishments. This ranges from regular maintenance to shutdown services and also being in charge of the complete throughput of some of the plants we work with.
As part of our sustainability agenda, we work closely with our clients on reducing their carbon footprint.
In the coming year, what will be your target segments, and why?
With the IT industry getting back to working from base locations, our focus will be on the sector to scale quickly across all our businesses from facility management, food services to security solutions. Apart from IT, we are carving out a clear strategy to enhance our presence in the healthcare sector, where the services provided will be differentiated through technology embedded with streamlined processes at every point of the patient journey.
We are also evaluating the retail sector as a segment to take advantage of the 12 million retail outlets in the country, of which only 10% are branded retail. A large number of these counters are below 500 sq ft, which is our target to ensure superior quality of work and back up resources to avoid absenteeism. In the first two sectors, our food services have good success stories while there is work to be done by security and facility management to become a leading service provider in these segments.