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What will make the cleaning industry grow?

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We asked the titans of India’s cleaning industry two questions: What will drive the growth of the industry, and how will the market evolve? Their responses have much in common, and are a peek into the crystal ball of a post-pandemic world that prioritises cleaning above all else.

Tony Chazhoor, MD, IP Cleaning India Pvt. Ltd

The growth in demand for commercial cleaning services is evident in the retail sector, public institutions, railways and airports. Construction and post-construction activities have a major impact on commercial cleaning services. Highways, bridges, power plants and housing development projects will require intense construction cleaning.

The industrial production sector is already setting up new production facilities in smart cities. This goes hand-in-hand with the requirement for keeping these facilities clean, leading to growth of cleaning mechanisation in the industrial sector.

IoT-based data-driven cleaning technologies & robotics will increase productivity and efficiency, keeping costs under control. Autonomous Mobile Robots can store thousands of computerized visual data to perform both planned and reactive floor cleaning tasks, thus reducing human weak spots and costs, but still ensuring excellent cleaning performances.

With the adoption of automated/robotics and AI-powered cleaning technology, cleaning markets in Europe, North America, China and Japan are already using automated vacuums, scrubber driers and sweepers. The trend is yet to hit the cost-conscious Indian market, but automation in cleaning is the path of the future.

Mouli Sankar S, Country Head-India, KEVAC Industrial Vacuum Private Limited

Post Covid, we are receiving a lot of enquiries, from SMEs to big corporates, due to changes in their company policy on cleaning and hygiene standards.

Nowadays, industrial end-users are starting to ask for centralized vacuum cleaning systems with auto-filter cleaning mechanisms instead of portable standard industrial vacuum machines, since the movement of portable machines and carrying them into multi-storey buildings is a tough job.

Catarina Wickström, Customer Marketing Director RMEIA & Key Accounts, S&M MEIA and International Key Accounts, Essity Hygiene and Health AB

Six in 10 respondents from a recent survey said their hygiene expectations of restaurants and cafes had increased, and the same percentage felt more secure knowing details about hand hygiene practices in public spaces. According to a research study from Kantar, seven out of 10 employees expect their employer to provide extra cleaning rounds to ensure hygiene. In addition, 77% of the general public say they feel more unsafe using facilities with unhygienic public washrooms due to Covid.

The pandemic has brought new and even higher demands on cleaning quality, operational efficiency and hygiene, forcing the entire industry to perform additional work with the same, or even less, resources. This has made shifting to data-driven cleaning more important. According to data collected from existing Tork customers, switching to data-driven cleaning has helped them to make sure dispensers are stocked 99% of the time, save up to 20% of cleaning hours and more.

Vivek Mata, MD, Charnock Equipments Pvt. Ltd

We see a huge demand coming in from the healthcare, pharma and FMCG sectors. Logistic companies too have potential for growth due to multiplying sales in the e-commerce division.

People want clean homes as well, and are hiring professionals to achieve the high standards of cleanliness that they can’t achieve at home by themselves, boosting residential cleaning services and specialized services. These include floor care, carpet care, upholstery care and window cleaning services.

Samir Sabu, Director, Soma Specialties Pvt. Ltd

The markets that were the most inactive due to the pandemic will bounce back the most and become the biggest consumers of cleaning machines as well as equipment. The FM industry will get a big boost from the hospitality segment, which didn’t get room bookings or host events/functions for a long period, and the IT/Finance sector, which was not operating its offices to full capacity. As services resume, the equipment which was lying idle for such a long time might also need to be replaced, thereby generating demand for a complete overhaul of the housekeeping equipment, be it tools or machines.

Automation is getting a higher impetus among cleaning machines, and customers have started asking for bigger cleaning machines as opposed to buying under-capacity machines in the past. The purchasing trend of customers is towards buying more sophisticated and larger equipment, and showcasing their premises as using state-of-the-art mechanised cleaning equipment.

Manoj Pachisia, CEO, Origami Cellulo Pvt. Ltd India

Smart equipment and devices will come to the fore to provide optimised deliveries to enhance user experience, reduce energy and consumables consumption without the need for manual intervention, ranging from smart HVAC systems to IoT-enabled sensor-operated dispensers.

Raja Mukherjee, DGM, Comac India Pvt. Ltd

The cleaning industry is going through a red ocean scenario where businesses cut into each other; this is not good for anybody. We are being forced into the second leg of growth where new technological innovations will play a major role. Sustainable technologies will be able to optimise the use of resources by eliminating the waste of water, energy, and detergent, reducing noise pollution and optimising the use of time dedicated to cleaning operations.

Fleet management will enable easy analysis, troubleshooting, and preventative maintenance, optimisation of the use of scrubbing machines batteries by monitoring the charging cycles and conditions, reduction of costs related to management, misuse, interventions, and repairs in case of breakdowns, etc.

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