Efficiency is infectious. First it was the software and IT-enabled service companies that chose to change the look and feel of the 'Indian office' by outsourcing their non-core activities. Now healthcare, real estate, airports, malls and retail stores have all jumped on the same bandwagon.
When you walk up and down the corporate corridors of Microsoft, Intel or Coca-Cola offices in Bangalore or Gurgaon, the interior and the environment are much the same as those of their offices in the United States or Europe. That is the miracle of a somewhat nascent culture of facility management in India.
With the increasing presence of multinationals and the rise of the big Indian corporates, companies are looking at not just productivity of employees but also efficient house-keeping, security, horticulture within the office premises, office automation and so on. "But the scope of facility management goes way beyond just these peripheral services. While security and house-keeping form just 10 per cent of the industry, there is a large chunk of business that entails consulting services. This includes estate management where we have to advise the clients on re-location to areas with lesser rentals or on account of ceiling," says Captain Ravee, CEO of Fireball India, one of the leaders in the business.
The niche market for facility management is estimated at about Rs 300 crore. There are international players like CB Richard Ellis, Haden, Knight Frank, Jones Lang LaSalle, Colliers, and home grow ones like Integrated Property Management Services Ltd, a Mahindra venture.
"Domestic players in the market today are moving away from piece meal contracts and looking at strategic alliances. By ensuring a conducive work environment, facility managers will play a vital role in the efficiency of any company," said Nimish Malhotra, vice president, Vipul Facility Management at a seminar on facility management organised by the CII (Northern Region) on Friday.
But the space is fraught with challenges. "Most of the international brands are present only in name as they are working through franchisee models, sub-contracting work to smaller players in India. They neither play a part in training not scaling up of the Indian sub-contractors. Thus the space is still striving to meet international standards of service," adds Ravee.