Ramaswamy: In India, cleanliness per se is not in our blood. People want to use their money purposes other than on keeping the place clean. It is a way of thinking, it will change but it will take time. Global companies are coming into India and unless the Indian companies improve their standards they will not be able to meet the challenge. They cannot produce consistent quality if the workplace is dirty. Take for example, in dyeing unit, any kind of impurity will affect the quality. Similarly, every industry has a cleaning requirement to meet standards. Until such a stage comes where their quality suffers, change is unlikely. But the days are not too far off. Everyone will realize that they need to keep their workplace clean to be competitive and give a premium and reliable product. Until then, people will still resort to getting premises cleaned through demos in times of need like just before an audit or so. Sometimes, we entertain in doing such demos; this is because the customer understand to attain certain standards in cleaning he has to resort to machines. Two out of 10 may buy the machine, if not today may be tomorrow. At the same time, we cannot entertain every such customer.
Dr Chandrashekhar: Roots has introduced a lot of battery operated models which were earlier electrically driven, ride on model for the walk behind machines, and customizing a lot of machines after site doing surveys. This way we are able to give customers real time solutions for specific applications, teach them how to use the machine, support them with after sales services and become a partner to the customer.
Ramaswamy: In India today, the usage of carpets has increased but the Indian conditions are not conducive for carpets. Out of habit, people walk over the carpet with dirty footwear or even throw things on it carelessly. It is tough for facility service companies to clean or maintain carpets. Hence, keeping in demand, we have developed a carpet cleaning machine for the first time in the world using patented technology. We have launched the product in India also and is in the trial run. Unlike the encapsulation technology, where either the powder is sprinkled or liquid is sprayed on the carpet, agitated and then vacuumed after some standing time. This is a time consuming and laborious process. The new machine does the whole process in one go – it sprinkles the chemical, agitates and picks up the dirt with a single process. The machines are being exported to the US and now are being launched in India.
In the US and other countries carpets are maintained but in India, they are not spending enough money or focusing on cleaning but it will change soon. This new product can be used in IT companies, airports, hotels and FM.
Another major innovation is the Wizzard machine, a compact, chord operated scrubber dryer, which we have been exporting for the last 10 to 12 years. Many companies globally attempted to create a battery operated model of the Wizzard but failed. After over five years of R&D we have developed the battery operated machine which is now being exported. The uniqueness of this new machine is its weight. The models developed by our competitors globally are about 25kg AC version and about 35kg DC version, which is very heavy. But the new model wizard is lighter than the AC version and it gives the same performance. We brought about a lot of changes with high efficiency motor which are developed in-house in a separate facility. In India, this product will pick up slowly as it is a bit expensive and people will have to understand the importance of cleaning to accept machines like Wizzard.
Varun Karthikeyan: A few user friendly changes have been brought about in the existing machines. Like in the walk behind scrubber dryers we have introduced a traction system which enables propels the machine forward without having to push it. It reduces the fatigue of the operator. Thus, the performance improves and gets better as the operator will not get tired and retain the same pace of cleaning. The output will be much higher.
Ramaswamy: Globally, manufacturers have installed traction motors in the cleaning machine but the innovative part of Roots machines is that there is not traction motor, it uses a patented traction method which walks by itself. We are introducing this technology in our machine now.
Dr Chandrashekhar: Firstly, we are very close to our customers and we have over 200 in the service department, which keeps us ahead of others. We have an escalation matrix, so that if the service does not happen within the stipulated number of hours mentioned in the contract, they can escalate to the next level.
This is unique model in the industry. No company offers escalation as a part of the service. We have a stamp card index circulated across the branches so that the user can give the SAP number of the spare parts and in turn the service center can create an indent automatically; thus the turndown time for the service department is much faster than the competitors.
Varun Karthikeyan: Maintaining the cleaning equipment is difficult and when the service levels are not met, customers do not appreciate the company. Hence, we understand our customers and right from the beginning inception, we have always focused on service and training our service team. We have a training facility in the head office.
Ramaswamy: With the operators at the customer end frequently changing, the incidence of untrained operators mishandling and breakdown of the equipment is much higher. Hence, providing timely service gets important, even though the operational cost gets expensive. If such a service is not offered, the customers are not happy. We are doing this to build our long term relationship with our customers.
Dr Chandrashekar: We are promoting AMC at very reasonable costs. In the process we educate the customer how better the AMC process is, as it promotes preventive maintenance and the customer stands to benefit. We are also in a position to service better with AMC as it is a scheduled and planned maintenance.
Besides our in house service staff, even the dealers provide service and the respective branch offices take on the responsibility of the services.
We are very successful with our long time dealers in Gujarat.
Ramaswamy: Roots is leading in the Cleaning Industry today in India and will work towards remaining the leader. We will continue to manufacture more and more innovative products for the cleaning market.
After the Bangalore regional office, we plan to have regional offices in other branches too so that the service levels can be further strengthened. Ultimately, our goal is to reduce the operational costs of the customer as much as possible through innovations.
Clean India Show
Varun Karthikeyan: We are expecting a lot of footfalls at the Ahmedabad Clean India Show. We are back in the Show after a short gap and Ahmedabad being the Prime Minister’s home, we have a lot of expectations.
Clean India Journal is playing a pivotal role and is the only journal in the country which is covering everything about cleaning which is critical.
Dr Chandrashekhar: In fact, the issue on Gujarat was very informative, giving a complete picture. Since are also into civic cleaning, an article on the Gujarat civic scenario will be very useful.
Ramaswamy: I appreciate the great initiative taken up and we compliment your team for the efforts. We assure you that Roots Multiclean will stand behind you always.