It’s not just the quality of work but also the attitude of housekeepers working in the facility that makes all the difference, says Rajendra L Shinde, Managing Director, Supreme Facility Management, Pune.
In recent years, with growing awareness, the facility management segment is booming in India. The mushrooming of IT companies and manufacturing units with state-of-the-art infrastructure and interiors has necessitated good housekeeping services, which is also a part of the facility management.
Says Rajendra, “We were initially concentrating only on housekeeping services but with increasing demand from clients for more value-added services we have expanded our offerings.” Transport, canteen, gardening and façade cleaning are some of the major services provided by SFM.
“SFM was established by Lalasaheb Shinde, three decades back. This whole business is based on trust. Tata Motors were the first to trust us when we started business. We had no knowledge or experience in this field. It was difficult at first with no manpower, contacts and materials or knowhow. But we took it as a challenge and plunged into the market.”
Even today, SFM does not have a marketing team and the company has been receiving contracts because of its good reputation. SFM is among the first few companies that began mechanised cleaning services on a big scale. “At Tata Motors car factory we invested Rs1.5 crores and are providing mechanised cleaning services till date. We have deployed a range of mechanised cleaning equipment, including road sweeper and ride on scrubbing machines. In some of the sites, now we are working with a combination of mechanised and manual cleaning services.” The other major corporates SFM is servicing include Infosys, Bajaj, Cummins and SKF among others.
SFM is also servicing schools – Mercedes Benz International School and Vidya Niketan School of Tata Motors. Housekeeping at schools is a job with much more responsibility, says Rajendra. “Here the hygiene standards maintained in toilets, corridors and other areas are much higher. The cleaning frequency is higher. Cleaning staff also have the responsibility of safe keeping of the things forgotten and left behind by the children in the classrooms. “Thus, it’s not just the quality of service offered but it is also that the housekeeping staff has to be more kind, truthful and patient as they are handling children.”
Self grooming and a pleasing personality are a must for janitors working in schools. At SFM, janitors are given training at the site in order to give them a thorough rundown of their work profile. “We also have a specialised training room at our office where operations manager, field officers and office staff receive training.” Right from self grooming to the knowledge of handling clients, knowledge of using appropriate cleaning agents, equipment and tools are included in the training programme.
“With more than 4500 staff working with us, we have business spread over Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Uttaranchal, Orissa, Assam and Jharkhand. We are growing rapidly in this business and are confident of achieving our target of Rs200 crores by the end of 2012.”