Servicing residential complexes are simpler, though there are challenges, say Ajay and Sapna Rao of Ambience Services, Mumbai
With more and more housing societies opting for professional housekeeping, the volume of business in this sector is increasing rapidly,” say Sapna and Ajay Rao, whose housekeeping company Ambience Services has established itself as a reliable service provider of apartment blocks. Since its formation in 2003, the company has grown to service over 45 clients and has a staff strength of 350.
“The margins may not be that huge here, but we receive payment on time. In most societies, the members take interest in maintaining cleanliness. Often, we need to co-ordinate with just one person and that helps,” says Sapna.
The Raos come with strong housekeeping experience having put in many years in established housekeeping companies. At one point, Ajay and Sapna wanted to start their own company and their hands on experience and business acumen formed the foundation for Ambience. “The name Ambience has relevance to what we do – maintaining the ambience and peace of a building.”
In the initial days, Ambience was servicing many corporate houses along with residential buildings, but today, the number of the latter has grown rapidly. In spite of seven days a week schedule, servicing the housing societies is simpler because of workable systems in place, feels the duo. The societies serviced by them include Hiranandani Properties, Hill Greenge Society (Hiranandani), Green woods Co-Operative Hsg Society, Apollo Co-operative Hsg Society, Oxford Co-Operative Hsg Society, Avon Co-Operative Hsg Society and Wellington Co-Operative Hsg Society.
Some of the housekeeping services provided by Ambience are waste management, garden maintenance, tank cleaning, pest control, security & detective services and façade cleaning. “We offer one time free Water Jet Spray Service during monsoon season. We deploy Jet Spray machines, Auto Scrubbers, Wet & Dry Vacuum Cleaners and Aqua Injection Extraction Vacuum Cleaners (carpet & upholstery Cleaning) and Glass kit.”
When it comes to chemicals, the company takes special care. “Very often, the tiles in the buildings are of low quality. So we go for soft, water based chemicals and environment friendly cleaners from companies like JohnsonDiversey, Care Clean, Amway or Haylide.
“We are also into Home Care Services, a one time deep cleaning package for apartments, row houses, bungalows or offices. Deep cleaning includes floor scrubbing with machine, sanitising washrooms & toilets, dusting of all furniture and fittings, cleaning of glass panes, wall spotting (if possible) and dry vacuuming of carpet and upholstery. Cupboards will be cleaned from outside.
What about retaining manpower? “Of course, some at the supervisory level leave to start their own companies. But, by and large we have a good, stable team. Before starting work on any new site, I appoint boys one week in advance and give on site training apart from the training given at our office premises. The boys are provided with uniforms and identity cards,” says Sapna.