Today, new facility services companies are trying hard to sustain in the market place, which is not only price sensitive and volatile but also mired by high attrition rates. Sandeep Palwankar, Director, Clean Sources shares his views on the industry and his future plans with Clean India Journal.
Even small residential societies today are engaging cleaning service providers with a mandatory eight-hour work schedule. Even though the standard of living has risen in the past few years, competitive pricing is an important driver when it comes to engaging service providers.
“Corporate clients go by minimum wages payment, which is a major impediment in growth prospects. We cannot afford to give benefits like PF to staff, as employee benefits contribute majorly to company costs,” regrets Sandeep Palwankar.
The biggest challenge facing the industry today is termination of contract. “In case the services do not meet the expectation of the client, the services are terminated even in three months of commencement.” There are around 6000 service companies in the market and the competition is high.
Manpower is another important aspect which cannot be ignored in today’s business scenario. The administrative department of any corporate client generally looks at the amount of human resource available with the service provider. This is one of the main reasons why service providers engage in more manpower rather than mechanised cleaning. The hotel segment, however emphasises more on cleaning results rather than only on manpower.
Today, anybody can open a FM company with a very low investment and a staff of four or five people. This makes the market competitive and price sensitive. “The FM segment should get consolidated in order to deliver quality services to the customer, which will prove to be a value for money proposition for the end user.”
Cushman & Wakefield, Jones Lang LaSalle’s, Spain Consulate, Rustomjee, Pride hotels and Marks & Spencer are some of the major clients of Clean Sources. It has operations in Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore. “Even though we have a reputed list of clientele like Rustomjee, Natraj Rustomjee, Dudhwala group of companies & residential societies, we are still new in the market.
In order to strictly adhere to quality standards and accountability, Clean Sources has customised SLA / SOPs according to the company’s requirement
“We offer customised solutions in the form of well trained and professional manpower. Complementing the manpower, we also focus on mechanised cleaning by deploying auto scrubber, single disc and high jet pressure machine in corporate houses and hotels. We regularly conduct staff meetings on Saturdays to look into the service delivery aspect of our human resource.
Training is an important aspect of human resource. That is why we have put in place our own standards and guidelines for cleaning.”
Clean Sources also conducts in house and on-site training in specific modules, which spans over a period of two days, in which employees are also paid during the training period. A checklist helps employees to deliver services in an efficient way. The company today boasts of a staff-strength of 550 people and has plans of expansion in Hyderabad and Chennai.
Clean Sources in most sites uses Diversey and Revachem chemicals after approval from the client. “We have been promoting
eco-friendly chemicals, especially newly introduced green products by Diversey.
“Most of the business that we do today has been acquired through word of mouth and not through any kind of market research or promotion.”