Helping Star Hotels Stay Sleek

(News taken from The Business Standard, India: March 17, 2006)

Helping Star Hotels Stay Sleek

S Bridget Leena / Chennai March 17, 2006 - Malaysian-based Sinar Jernih banks on outsourced market of facility management in India.

If the sleek buildings of five-star hotels arrest your attention, credit the facility management companies for making it happen. Facility management business is now a lucrative business, especially with outsourcing widening its spread.

Sinar Jernih is already reaping the benefits of this business. The company has been providing facility management services to the Taj Group of Hotels for the last five years.

J S Shekhar, executive director, Sinar Jinah, says that the 90 percent of the company’s turnover, close to Rs 11 crore, comes from providing services to the hospitality sector.

The facility management is a growing business in India with the high-end niche market for the cleaning industry outsourcing in the country being estimated at Rs 300 crore annually, he adds. Indicating this growth potential, the employee strength of Sinar Jernih India, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Malaysian-based Sinar Jernih, has grown to 2,000 from 40 in the last five years.

The company offers an integrated facility management service ranging from men, machines, materials to management. Shekhar says the reason for five-star hotels outsourcing such services is to maintain a consistency in quality which becomes difficult with a high attrition rate in the hotel industry.

Training of staff in facility management is also another issue faced by these hotels. Therefore, they prefer to outsource it to companies like Sinar Jinah who have core competency in this field.

Sinar Jernih India plans to focus on providing its services to hospitals as it sees it as a potential growth segment. Currently, it offers facility management services as well as patient assurance services to Wockhardt Hospitals. The company is also in talks with CRMI Hospitals to offer these services.

While patient assurance services involve patient movement, pre-surgery services, medical services and ambulance services for patient, management of facility in a hospital is quite different from that of any other segment such as hotels or corporate houses as it needs a special technical know-how for clinical waste management, he added.

Shekhar points out that handling clinical waste requires special skill sets as it is not like handling other dry waste of corporates or hotels. The waste from hospitals needs to be carefully disposed of so that the discarded products such as medicine, syringes, cotton among others are not re-used and do not pose any environmental hazard.

The biggest challenges, however, he says is that many people do not understand what facility management means.