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Business services 2011-05-26

Cleaning tanks profitably

By Abha Garyali Sub Editor

FASTCLEAN, a unique business proposal of cleaning water tanks has shown remarkable success via franchise expansion. Manoj Agarwal, Founder and CEO, FASTCLEAN, shares the success and future plans of the company with us.

Abha Garyali (AG): Share with us the journey of FASTCLEAN so far? What inspired you to start the company?

Manoj Agarwal (MA): FASTCLEAN, which was established in 2006 offers mechanised cleaning and disinfection of water storage tanks in houses, buildings, commercial complex, hospitals, hotels, schools, and colleges. This is done by trained technicians with the help of high pressure jets, vacuum cleaners, suction pumps etc in a scientific and professional way.  
Till recent times, most of the people used to rely on manual cleaning done by unprofessional workers. This inspired us to address this issue very sensitively and professionally. Through us, the tanks get cleaned faster and better. Today, we have more than 12 franchisees across the country in different cities and these numbers are increasing every month.

AG: What is the scope of cleaning industry in India? What is the USP of FASTCLEAN?

MA: Well, the scope of cleaning industry in India is very promising as there is a huge gap between demand and supply. People and organizations have now realised the importance of mechanised cleaning and readily go for outsourcing these services from professional services. The USP of FASTCLEAN is that it offers solutions to one of the most common problem of the people which was until now neglected or not taken care of properly. We are probably the second company in India to have offered a proven business model through franchising. We have the credit to have prestigious clients like Governor House, Vidhan Sabha, FDA, Govt of Chattisgarh, Apollo Hospitals among others. We maintain computerised data management software which helps us in our day-to-day operations.  We have the experience and expertise to clean and disinfect tanks ranging from five hundred liters to 35 lakh liters.

G: When and what motivated the brand to expand via the franchise route?

MA: While operating our own outlets in different cities of Chattisgarh, we found the franchising model to be more practical as it gives leverage to both the franchisee and the franchisor to use the strength of each other in mutual business interest. While the franchisor has the expertise, experience and brand identification to share, the franchisee has the local contacts and networking apart from infrastructure.

AG: How has been the growth of the company during the last one year? Has franchising helped in attaining success for the company?

MA: Since the launch of our franchise model pan India, we are pleased to share that we have been able to appoint 12 franchisees till now and hope to cross 50 by the end of this financial year. Yes, franchising is one of the most practical and methodical way to expand any business attaining greater success.

AG: How many franchisees do you have in India and in which cities? What are your future expansion plans?

MA: In the last one year, we have appointed 12 franchisees in cities like Rourkela, Bhubaneswar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Indore, Vapi, Nagpur etc. We have a concrete plan to cross 50 by the end of this financial year.

AG: How do your franchisees typically finance the startup costs? Do you as the franchisor offer financing?

MA: All our franchisee have gone for their own funding as unfortunately, our banking system does go for financing a service based concept without enough collateral securities. We do not offer any financing support to our franchisee.

AG: What are the qualities and the criterion for the selection of your prospective franchisees?

MA: Franchisee should be graduate and willing to invest around Rs five lakh and have storage capacity of around 250 sq. ft of space for office. The agreement would be for a term of three years which can further be renewed after three years. Passion for entering into a service based industry and commitment towards client satisfaction is the other pre-requisites we look forward to in our franchisee to make them successful entrepreneurs.

AG: What are the challenges that can be faced by the company? How can these challenges be overcome?

MA: The biggest challenge in execution of our services anywhere is identifying ‘good laborers’ and keeping them after training which is very tricky and needs to be handled very tactfully for which  our exclusively designed ‘Labor Welfare and Incentive Scheme’ is very helpful. Getting orders from domestic clients that need to be handled on one to one basis is difficult. To overcome this we have an innovatively designed survey sample which arouses interest in them about our concept.

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