The Express Avenue mall in Royapettah, Chennai is an e-hotel spread over an expansive 10 acres of land replete with a high rise on 1.75 million sqft with shopping, food and entertainment spaces. Hygiene and safety are at the core of the mall’s cleaning perspectives. Aroon Kumar, CFO, Express Infrastructure Private Limited, Chennai gives an overview of the mall’s principles and practices in cleaning and maintenance, in an interview with Vijayalakshmi Sridhar.
KEEPING IN view the dynamic usage, a perfect cleaning regimen that is efficiently divided with clear responsibilities and shifts is carried out and supervised at the EA mall. Broadly, the regimen includes the cleaning of the most traffic filled areas, including the three basements, the toilets that are manned continuously with a specific number of toilets allocated to each janitor and the common areas such as lifts and corridors.
About 250 retailers occupy the four levels in the mall and the management is very particular about the retailers’ approach towards cleanliness. The housekeeping managers and supervisors keep a constant watch over the goings-on.
The organic wastage for the mall comes solely from the 50,000sqft food court and is close to a tonne per day. Through a process of regulated segregation, the organic waste is separated, crushed and taken to the cold room.
“Cleanliness in Express Avenue Mall is driven by the strong and dedicated management. It happens in a well-coordinated and networked manner. The food court, where majority of our waste generation comes from, is manned and methodically cleaned. Used plates are removed within five minutes. Even the retailers are expected to follow our stipulations. It encompasses their everyday utility and business practices,” Aroon explained.
[box type=”shadow” ]A 15-member trained team oversees each and every safety aspect in the mall and follows a formal certification process. We also do third party audits to review all our installations in terms of safety, list down the lacunae and work on them. The safety norms are strictly applicable to the retailers too. We keep raising the bar there. Overall, it contributes to our brand image.
– Aroon Kumar
Similar to internal, external cleaning also happens on a clockwork precision and routine. The façade cleaning, done by a team of 20 happens twice a year and the painting once in four years. All the cleaning and maintenance activities at EA are outsourced. Agencies that have the essential infrastructure and training to provide the services to the mall’s expectations are put on the job. Accordingly, different agencies, and OEM supported service providers are engaged. There is a dedicated ratio of man and machinery that is functional in EA.
Says Aroon, “The challenge lies in having unobstructed service. Traffic is at its peak during festivals. That is when absenteeism is also high. In a decade, the cleaning industry workforce scenario is likely to change drastically. Though India is a populous country, as people upgrade their skills, their aspiration to grow is high.
“Our current CAM expenditure is quite high, on the crushers and dish washers and it is close to crores per annum.”
A very stringent in-house regulation in terms of safety for staff and events is part of the EA protocol. “A 15-member trained team oversees each and every safety aspect in the mall and follow a formal certification process. We also do third party audits to review all our installations in terms of safety, list down the lacunae and work on them. The safety norms are strictly applicable to the retailers too. We keep raising the bar there. Overall, it contributes to our brand image.”