In today’s occupational hierarchy, it is a rarity to find organisations nurturing those in the unskilled cadre to acquire managerial proficiency to rise up the ladder. Vigours Hospitalities Services Pvt. Ltd, an eight-year-old facility management company, has chalked out the roadmap not only for its growth but the entire team starting with the security man at its door. Ably guided by Managing Director MMani Iyer, Vigours Group has made discipline, quality, teamwork and trust its founding pillars, passion for uncompromising service its driving force and venturing into newer spaces its growing strength. Iyer tells Clean India Journal that his company has set out to reach the Rs200 crore mark by 2022.
The advent of the millennium saw many security companies entering housekeeping as an additional business. It has been often stated that those engaged in security seldom offer quality or professional housekeeping services. However, this can be highly disputed in the case of Vigours Group that is successfully offering security as well as facility management services since 2009. “The journey has been very challenging. Housekeeping services is all the more challenging than security services.”
“One of my clients, who motivated me to start my own company also gave me enough business with opportunities to grow. Within no time I had a manpower of over 150 housekeepers. And we started expanding.”
The strength of housekeeping is trained manpower. No two workers are the same, be it at the education level or performance level. “We take raw people and train them off site and on site before putting them on the job. We are investing a lot on manpower training. Like in the army, our workers start from the bottom and rise up; from janitors to supervisors to facility executive.”
Even at the managerial level, MMani Iyer’s staff engages in dedicated work even beyond working hours during trying days. “When it comes to completing work, I don’t mind even if it is late, as we get escorted home and there is always a call from MMani sir enquiring if we have reached home safely. Today, I have grown in the accounts department and am a team leader now. There is no doubt that I will grow under the able guidance of my seniors and would like to remain in this organization forever,” said a candid Neeta Gurav, Team Leader-Accounts, who is working with Vigours for the last two years. The feelings are similar with almost everyone in the organization. “It is a great learning experience at Vigours Group. With constant guidance from the seniors, I have grown to become the team leader of HR and aspire to rise to become the Group Head in HR,” said Reshma Manchekar, Team Leader-HR.
Besides manpower, another governing factor in the success of a facility management service provider is technology and mechanization. “Today, the talk is all about Smart Cities. It is nothing but Technology. Our Prime Minister is very clear in his vision and is directing the country towards technology. We are far behind many of the developed countries where technology is concerned.
“The skill development programme is unique and will actually help all those who are struggling to come up. This again is not just a campaign that the prime minister can achieve alone. We facility management companies or every citizen have to contribute extensively. It is with this contribution that India will grow.” FM today provides employment to such workers in large numbers.
– MMani Iyer
If today we are looking at how to convert sea water drinkable, it is technology. FM too is technology-driven and skilled manpower is required for it. “Recently, we were talking about introducing FM software for better and timely service. Soon, at Vigours we will be installing apps where requirements or areas that require attention can be immediately looked into.”
Richard Lasrado, Vice-President IFMS, Vigours Group, adds, “We will have only skilled manpower. Instead of engaging 10 people, we will have five people doing the work with the help of technology. This is all about going Smart. Earlier it was more of manpower based contracts, even now it is prevalent but the future will be only SLA based FM.”
Manpower earlier again was available in abundance and was exploited but today things have changed. Skilled manpower is scarce and smart. “We need to take care of our workers. When we do take care of them, they will take care of us. This is what growth is all about,” adds Iyer. At Vigours, this quality of caring and sharing goes right from the top to the bottom. Richard as a vice-president does not hesitate to correct the operations head on how to treat the workers. He would say “don’t shout at them. Treat them with respect. Teach them to do it correctly”. At the same time, Lt Col (Retd) SV Jadhav, COO, would personally go to the security guard and explain to him the benefits he should get against his services.