Talk of cuisine or cleanliness, it is largely the women lore as homemakers that come to the fore. As much as this is true in the domestic front, today, there are more men handling corporate kitchens or doing the cleaning business in the commercial segment. However, women are creating their own very valuable space. Chatting with Suprita Anupam are Anjana Vij, Director & CEO-Kibble Enterprises; Archana Bhatnagar, MD-Haylide Chemcials Pvt Ltd; Aditi Singh, Director-Kaps Hygiene Solutions Pvt Ltd and Kaanti B Shetty, Head-Operations and business development, Hygienic Products of India.
Cleaning business in India has evolved to make a difference in just over a decade. There has been a tremendous change since 2004 when I entered into the cleaning business,” says Anjana, adding, “it is all about awareness and people know the importance of cleaning; unlike in the past when getting across ‘conceptualized cleaning’ was a big challenge.”
Traditionally, cleaning being more prevalent as a manual concept, using the humble broom and cotton cloth, the invasion of better methods of cleaning using advanced technology of microfibres and green cleaning aids required constant and patient stress.“Gradually, people have started using these in daily cleaning.”
The contribution of women in this change of attitude is significant, says Archana. “Women have an intrinsic sense of attending to cleaning at all levels. Their quest for perfection in this area, at times make them the most difficult managers to satisfy, but then… that brings excellence. From manpower management to specialised services, women have an open field. Having been engaged in manufacturing cleaning chemicals for about a decade now; witnessing the evolution of this nascent industry since then has been wonderful.”
We have come a long way, agrees Aditi. “Today, cleanliness has become anecessity – the emphasis on hygiene is being re-emphasized. Especially with health being a major concern, the cleaning business has a huge potential. Look at the lifestyles we lead, the unhygienic surrounds we live in… the viruses… Today, everyone understands the implications and importance of cleanliness which is a boost to this industry. But then, the right supply sources are essential to meet this demand.”
Interestingly, Aditi manufactures home hygiene products in a factory located in a remote area where more than 80% of workers are women from the nearby villages. “Women being fetish for cleanliness, know its importance and have better knowledge. In a way it also helps these women contribute better to their families.”
Not just in the manufacturing, “even in the field of facilities management, I think women have better understanding,” affirms Kaanti. “The inherent knowledge of home care and housekeeping and with the required help, women add the aesthetic touch to cleaning. When it comes to dealing with shop floor, women tend to share a much better connection with staff. This aids in promoting better team work.”