A few years back OCS Facility Services introduced TFM into the Indian market and has been retaining a double-digit business growth. Constantly engaging in the right solutions for its customers, OCS is also encouraging digitalisation of services, says Sumit Sabarwal in an exclusive interview with Clean India Journal.
What are the developing markets which OCS is focusing on?
India is seeing phenomenal investments in infrastructure. For example, with the government’s UDAN scheme, we see substantial developments in the aviation sector every month. Metro networks are coming up in every nook and cranny of India. The Smart City Mission is also fuelling a lot of growth. We are also focussing on energy consumption and how to optimise it, by using the right equipment, and maintaining it properly. This is a huge value driver for some of our clients.
All this drives demand for quality service providers. There is a lot of global expertise and indigenous innovation entering the industry right now. Our job is to put the right solutions, at the right places, at the right time. That’s what we’re constantly driving towards, and it has become our team’s second nature.
What has OCS’s growth rate been in the last few years?
A double-digit growth-rate has always been maintained, but more important are the value-drivers that we’ve been able to demonstrate for our clients in the marketplace. OCS has taken long leaps in the last couple of years when it comes to our clients recognising us as preferred partners for many of the services they need.
Largely based on a self-delivery model and very effective training mechanisms in place, the latter of which is also in collaboration with our partners; we excel in the service part, but our partners add to training related to equipment and machineries.
What is the distribution of the hard and soft services provided by OCS? What sectors are you focusing on?
I would say about 65% is hard services, the rest would be a combination of hard and soft services.
I’ve seen a lot of focus on the residential segment, and a lot of expectations of residents staying in facilities are going to the next level. They require automation, and services within a certain turnaround time, along with a certain level of quality. OCS has been able to live up to the expectations of this segment in a big way.
There is focus on aviation, which is coming up in a big way; we are in discussions with hotels, as well as educational institutions. And of course, we continue to invest in the manufacturing industry, as well as commercial spaces.
Healthcare is another sector of focus. With an Asia- Pacific healthcare advisory board in place, and a centre of excellence for it as well, we have healthcare-focussed discussions especially on bringing about substantial change in infection control using interventions such as UV lights, what are the most common microorganisms ignored while cleaning, etc. Our services are based both on patient experience and employee experience. A specific training module for hospital soft services is used to train people, certify them and only then send them to work.
What role does Digital Facility Management play in the services your company offers?
We need a lot of data, we require a lot of analysis, and we need a lot of feedback, in terms of information we gain after analysing data from sensors. We then align our service delivery based on this feedback, so that it affects the right parameters.
The traditional way of providing services is changing very fast. Customer expectations are rising very quickly. The time span within which services need to be delivered is shortening. So, a technology intervention becomes very necessary.
Talking about technology, the next steps after mechanised services are robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data. In the very near future, it is time to understand how blockchain works; how something like digitalising could be leveraged for delivering services in India. Meanwhile, we do have software technology that have been implemented in various areas.
Does the software require customisation for each client?
The technology roadmap for the OCS is set. The top five to six areas for technology intervention have been identified, both internally as well as client-facing.
For this, we are partnering with the right service providers in India, as well as globally. Some of the global best practices are taken from our global partners, while for some very practical things — which are needed in the Indian environment, and which are different in different States of India — we partner with our Indian partners. This is both for the software aspect, as well as the hardware part like machineries.
Very sophisticated robotics may not be appropriate for India right now, but we can do it in a small way. Right now, OCS is providing robotic-based services for some of its Indian customers. These are not very high-end robots, but are customised, which could have value for the money put in by clients.
What are the five to six focus areas that has been identified?
One of the areas is predictive maintenance. Traditionally, there are equipment for managing the hard services part, which is a major part of OCS’s business in India. How to collect data from these machines? What are the kinds of sensors required? Is H-computing a solution or do we have a centralised command centre? Those are the gradual roadmaps that OCS is building up.
Second is end-customer experience. How does he or she rate us? What aspects of our services are utilised? So, customer data analytics becomes another important service area.
The third is utilisation of workforce. In a large infrastructure facility, not all parts of the facility may require the same intensity of a particular kind of service. There are about 80 different types of services that OCS provides. Say, if one talks about maintenance of a chiller, the level in one wing of a building may be different from that of another wing, because the level of utilisation may be different. In today’s time, there is no common solution. Analysing differing requirements, ensuring the right schedules are formed, and then optimising those services parameters is the mainstay of this focus areas.
Fortunately, OCS has partnered with large, global organisations which are already developing or rolling out new technologies. In a few years, we will also introduce blockchain, when the market is looking for these technology interventions.
What has been OCS’ story until now?
We are a 100-year-old company, and we are present in major markets across the globe. Hence, we have a lot of in-depth global experience. The sectors that are being focussed on get us insights from the success stories of global best practices, which enable us to take services to the next level. A very few companies in India are able to do this.
We are about 19,000 people in India, and globally, about 87,000. Engineering service providers form of a bulk on them. Focusing on the customer’s success and adding value to each stage of delivery is really exciting, and keeps us going as a team.
Our industry is undergoing a lot of positive change, which is being driven by the actual end consumer. Getting into the client’s shoes and walking a mile in them help us better understand on how we can enable our clients. Most of the India market is still in-house. The expertise of an FM partner can greatly improve the experience of someone using that facility.