“Today, every employee in the organization has access to the top management. I get calls from housekeepers in Delhi and Chennai, who share their problems and seek assistance. It is a matter of having that human touch which is largely missing in this industry,” says Iyer.
“In fact, with lack of skilled manpower who are now engaged in IT and other sectors, we get our resources in a very raw form for FM services. That is precisely the reason why all our lines are open to all workers 24/7. What disturbs us most is not the call received at midnight but why such a situation has risen causing worry to our workers,” adds Lt Col Jadhav.
“The trend today is in deploying more machines and reducing dependency on manpower. In the coming years,Vigours will also engage extensively in mechanized cleaning. However, the clients are not very sure about the advantages of cleaning with equipment. Cost of cleaning is still a determining factor and thus the pressure of working with constrained budgets. Only segments like the Railways, and Airports are doing mechanised cleaning on a large scale. Clients from retail, industries or corporates are going for professional cleaning with equipment. Often companies prefer to employ four people instead of buying the cleaning equipment.”
Nevertheless, Iyer feels that there are visible changes in the mindset of the end-user companies. “There is a difference from where I started. People are more cleanliness conscious; what should be cleaned and how it should be cleaned, what chemicals to be used, etc. The market is definitely growing. In the chemical and machinery market, new players are coming in with new technology and products.”
Vigours caters to banking, corporate, builders and retail sectors. “Schools is another sector we are offering services. We have about 41 workers deployed at the Poddar International School in Mumbai. We are providing both security and housekeeping services here.”
The Vigours Group has three verticals Vigours Hospitalities Services Pvt. Ltd, Vigours Security Services and Repair Maintenance and Technical Solutions.
Challenges in maintaining a contract
“Clients do expect a certain standard of service. But they do not realise that there is price attached to it. They want the best performance in the lowest price. A client often gets caught in the systems of L1 and L2 and does not talk about the performance. Again, it is important that only licensed agencies should be allowed to provide security services. There should be clear processes and procedures and the owner should have the required qualification.”
Facility services sector has mostly been unorganized. Iyer feels that the service providers should come together like how the Security companies got collected together, tried to be organized and even procured the license. FM companies should stand collective so that they can avoid being taken over by bigger companies.
Vigours aspires to be the name and company where anyone would feel pride in seeking employment. With a clear growth plan set Vigours is targeting the `200 crore mark in the next five years. “We never compromise when it comes to bagging a contract with the right margins or paying the right wages at the right time. We believing in empowering our staff and giving them the right knowledge and training as they grow along with the company.”