As mergers and acquisitions consolidate the positions of FM industry giants, how are the smaller players faring? Here is how.
One client segment whose demand for services from the organised sector has dramatically increased is residential real estate. The ad-hoc cleaning done by untrained personnel has been ditched in favour of professionals who know what they are doing. Apart from housekeeping, security and maintenance services also ensure that residents, tenants and visitors feel safe and secure at all times.
The development of gated communities and townships to appeal to various consumers has led to a demand for facility management services to manage common areas, security, landscaping and utilities.
Other clients who are approaching smaller players include smaller industries, community centers and malls.
Services in demand
The common services in demand by the above client groups include housekeeping, technical services, utilities maintenance, security, landscaping, pest control and facade cleaning in case of high-rise or glass-fronted structures. Food services were a major source of business before the pandemic; with the hybrid work culture in place, clients may now be turning to larger service providers who offer more flexible, niche food services.
The specialised requirements from the residential segment include cleaning of basements, parking areas and play areas and underground/overhead water tank cleaning.
Clients have become very conscious about the materials used for FM. Green, environment-friendly and neutral chemicals – which do not cause harm to surfaces and groundwater, and can be gentle but effective in cleaning – are the preferred choice.
“Since cost is a major criteria for equipment selection and adds to capital expenses, procuring India-made products instead of imported products is a new trend that the market is witnessing”, said Vivek Sanglodkar, Asst VP, Property Management Solutions Pvt Ltd. “Eco-friendly, pocket-friendly and easy to operate are the boxes everyone wishes to tick.”
Vijayakumar, General Manager, Li Ions Elektrik Solutions Pvt Ltd shared a list of equipment clients ask for: “Different types of brooms/mops, and regular machines like vacuum cleaners, sweepers, scrubbers and pressure jets are requested. Regular floor cleaning detergent, degreaser, hand wash, toilet bowl cleaners, glass cleaner, air freshener and carpet shampoo are in demand.”
With the entry of multiple new players in the organised FM space, competition has been intense. Based on the balance sheets of the past two years, Sanglodkar expects a steady growth of around 5-8% in the upcoming two-three years. Vijayakumar is even more optimistic, with a forecast of 10-20%.