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The hospitality industry in India is growing by leaps and bounds, and poised to become the second largest employer in the world by 2019. Housekeeping, which forms the heart of the hospitality industry, is keeping pace with the growth.

The recently concluded 9th edition of Clean India Show 2012 in Bangalore saw the convergence of many members of the Southern Housekeepers Club (SHC), representing the hospitality industry in India. One of the supporters of the Show, SHC spoke to Clean India Journal on the importance of the sector, the challenges they are facing in consolidating it and their plans in making housekeeping an aspiring profession.

Housekeeping is no longer just associated with sweeping and cleaning, it has become an indispensable tool to add value to the hospitality industry.

“Housekeeping has today become instrumental in not only maintaining a property but also keeping its aesthetic appeal intact. There is a dearth of skilled manpower in the industry which can be addressed by introducing housekeeping as a separate and specialized subject,” said Vinutha Sunil, Faculty at Public Education Society’s Institute of Hotel Management.
Housekeeping as a subject is not considered as a prospective career option by the hospitality students.

Performance of skilled manpower has a direct impact on the customer satisfaction. Jayshree Nagaraj, President, SHC said, “Loyalty, integrity and honesty of the staff, along with references are taken into account during the recruitment process. The need to address such issues and to consolidate housekeepers under a single forum led to the establishment of the Indian Housekeepers Club five years ago with its Southern Edition on October 11, 2012.”

The club has taken upon itself the job to promote housekeeping as an attractive career option for students. “SHC has joined hands with colleges to offer practical job oriented training to the students. There are plans to encourage underprivileged students by providing them on-site job training and also helping them find employment,” said Nagaraj.

Coming under one forum has various other benefits like education, networking and vendor management

Bharti Singh Kalappa, Secretary, SHC emphasized, “Meeting with other housekeepers allows us to share professional suggestions, coordinate and network in an efficient way. It provides vendors with a platform to showcase their products and enables us with better vendor management.”

SHC as a forum allows memberships for all stakeholders from the sector for complete representation. It seeks representation from professionals of sectors like aviation and hospitals. “SHC has also launched a newsletter to generate awareness about sanitation and hygiene,” said Nagaraj reiterating the importance of the forum to boost the image of India globally and to showcase it as a clean and attractive tourist destination.

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