Numatic International, UK, showcased a range of cleaning equipment at the ISSA/Interclean 2010, Amsterdam, from energy efficient and eco friendly vacuum cleaners and scrubber driers to innovative modular trolley systems. “The new trolley system, Nu care, has three sections put together. The idea is to take the trolley to an area to be cleaned where the sections can be detached to carry out different cleaning activities. This is a new concept and no one else has done this before,” said Paul Thompson, Export Sales Executive, Numatic.
Numatic is in the process of introducing trolleys with magnetic doors for usage in hotels. “We will be showcasing the three-in-one trolley in November at the Clean India Show in India.”
The scrubber drier, VarioTTV5565, is also a new product. It is a large 2-in-1 walk-behind machine. It has two scrubbing widths in one machine – 550mm and 650mm. It is a traction-driven machine having 80lt capacity each for fresh and dirty water tanks. This machine can become a replacement to the entry level ride-on scrubber drier and is very cost effective.
Numatic has been supplying machines around the world for more than 40 years now. “We are in 80 countries today. Many of our dealers are with us for 15-20 years. Numatic is a family-owned company and we value relationships. Our relationship with Charnock is also based on this value. Charnock is very professional and experienced organisation and we are very happy with this partnership of nearly six years,” added Jonathan Evans, General Sales Manager, Numatic.
According to Paul, the Indian market for cleaning equipment is huge. “It is a slow process here, but we are catching up. What we find in India is that people are very quality conscious. So we are trying to bring in new concepts in trolleys, especially for the hospitality sector.
Said Vivek Mata, Managing Director, Charnock Equipments Pvt Ltd, “In fact, Numatic specialises in trolleys; it has the widest range of trolleys, including ‘mother trolleys’ for various applications like housekeeping. The trolleys are very well accepted and approved by various hotel chains in India. And the NKL and the Sax series which are introduced by Numatic are of very high quality. Made out of Structofoam, the trolleys need not be replaced for another 20-25 years.”
“If you look at the market in general,” added Paul, “all the equipment manufacturers have almost the same kind of products, the vacuum, the scrubber-drier, etc. But when you look at the janitorial trolley range, the availability is limited. So, this is where we want to tap the Indian market, as our range is big and vast. We listen to our distributors and ask them what they need to fill the gap in their market. In India, Numatic even supplies equipment made specially to suit the Indian working conditions.”
“The brand equity of Numatic in India is very high because people value the brand; they know the products are dependable,” added Mata. “The success of Numatic and Charnock growing or multiplying in India is because we have adopted a very simple strategy of being different from others. We keep a huge inventory of the entire range for the market in India. There is hardly any time, when we have said no to our client. Everything is available ex-stock, which matters the most to the customers.”
Both Jonathan and Paul agreed that in the last three to four years, the Indian cleaning industry has grown in a very big way. Keeping in mind that the customers are also graduating to buy better things, mechanised cleaning will grow in spite of availability of cheap labour.
Jonathan said, “Along with the other BRIC countries, India is an emerging market. It has been an enormous task for us, coming from Europe, to address the requirements of the Indian market with people who are used to simple ways of cleaning with brooms and mops. So we started with common sense products and gradually brought in the more sophisticated or bigger equipment. Here, we have been different from others in not directly bringing in the machines from Europe or the USA.
“Another area we have been concentrating is on the training of the operators and supervisors. We invest in the training of management staff as well. Many get training at the head office. But retaining the trained personnel has been a challenge for us everywhere. The challenge is also in maintaining our credibility with the customers with their equipment operators often being unskilled.
“India has demonstrated that in a few years time, there is going to be a great market with internally produced equipment. India has good technology back up, great brains and I am sure, five years from now, at this Amsterdam show, there will be Indian companies wanting to cater to the European market. That is going to be fantastic.”