Overview on Cleaning & Hygiene Industry

 A. Ganesh, Director, Marketing, Diversey Care Providing smart sustainable solutions for cleaning and hygiene through its new technology-enabled services & systems, driving increased productivity, food safety and infection prevention to ultimately enhance the end-user experience.

Cleaning and hygiene today has become much more imperative and sought after by people than ever before. With the rising costs and unavailability of skilled manpower, the approach has now shifted towards mechanized cleaning solutions. In India, the cleaning industry is highly fragmented and unorganized. Owing to this, there is a need for strong representation of this industry at the policy-making level. This industry employs a large number of unskilled people and hence, policy makers should pay more attention to what this industry needs. The cleaning industry consists of organized and unorganized segments. The facilities management industry is estimated to be valued at Rs. 16,500 crore. The housekeeping industry holds a share of about Rs. 5,000 crore out of this. Further, classifying this industry vertical,the cleaning equipments and chemicals segment holds an estimated market size of Rs. 1,000 crore. The SME segment drives this industry. Now a days, the demand is also being experienced from unexpected sectors. Traditionally, sectors like automobile, IT, pharma, facility management and hospitality were key business drivers, but at present the situation is such that there is a good response from any segment, if the solution addresses the hygiene needs and adds value to the current methodology and systems with sustained market efforts.

The cleaning industry is growing rapidly in India. India’s per capita consumption of cleaning product is very low compared to other countries like Netherland and Switzerland where hygiene is very important. Our per capita consumption should be approx 1 or 1.2 dollars but it is 20 cent. Hence, the focus today is to see how customers realize the importance of hygiene in their day to day life and start spending more than what they are right now. It not only helps in market development but also helps in eliminating the risk and avoids illnesses to
its customers and adds value to their business. There are about 10 million people employed in this sector at present and with the sector expected to grow further, more jobs will be created. The sector will get more organized as the market expands. As the world goes digital and the constant tech up gradation, there is also a growing trend of using more machines. Most of the large Indian corporate houses now outsource cleaning work to professional houses with mechanized solutions. As a result, the organized cleaning industry in India has witnessed a growth rate of 30-50 per cent in the last five years with an annual turnover of Rs. 1800 crore.

The cleaning industry is going through a shift by incorporating disruptive technologies that reduce the amount of physical labour required and increase productivity and efficiency of workers.

At present, awareness is the need of the hour for meeting hygiene standards across industries in India. Thanks to the government which has created some awareness by launching the 'Swacch Bharat Abhiyan' initiative. Due to this, a lot of SME companies have started realizing the importance of cleanliness and hygiene. Companies and manufacturers do not want to spend on these hygiene and cleanliness activities due to tough competition in the market. Hence, it is crucial for the government to bring in legislation for set standards of hygiene. Every work place should understand how important it is to provide hygiene solutions in their workforce. They should understand the benefits of deploying hygiene practices which will help in reduction of absenteeism. Employees need to be properly educated for maintaining utmost cleanliness. Posters and stickers for washroom etiquettes and other necessary means could be used. As a company, it is important to look at sustainable developments and technologies which can bring about a revolution towards cleaning and hygiene. Today, the critical challenge is to move the market from being price driven to technology- driven. Climate change, growing competition for energy, stress on water supplies and managing waste are among the leading environmental challenges the world currently faces. The cleaning industry is going through a shift by incorporating disruptive technologies that reduce the amount of physical labour required and increase productivity and efficiency of workers.

Today, the technological revolution has taken the housekeeping operations to a new level of ease altogether especially in the hospitality sector. Companies should adopt next generation concepts such as Internet of Clean (IoC), a platform that connects machines, dispensers, sensors, beacons, and other smart devices to achieve broad insight into equipment, chemical consumption, and operations. These include improved safety and operational performance, enhanced productivity, remote monitoring, visibility of assets, task prioritization, more accurate dosing, reduced use of water and/or chemicals, and increased hand hygiene compliance. IoC offers a user interface which is customizable and highly intuitive. After looking at the usage data, you can actually figure out a way to operate it in a way that there is optimum water usage, which will benefit everyone. The cleaning and hygiene industry is often criticised for its lack of sustainable initiatives, whereas, sustainability lays at the core of everything that it does. The cleaning industry is constantly evolving, and new technology and procedures are improving the quality and efficiency of cleaning and hygiene practice worldwide.