Since the demand for qualified cleaning services outstrips the supply, there is an unlimited scope for anyone entering the commercial cleaning industry. In an interview Manoj Agarwal, Founder and CEO, FASTCLEAN, an initiative of Water Care Services talks about the company and its future plans.
Abha Garyali (AG): Brief us about the inception and success of ‘FASTCLEAN’.
Manoj Agarwal (MA): FASTCLEAN (started in 2006) as the name suggests offers mechanised cleaning and disinfection of water storage tanks in houses, buildings, commercial complex, hospitals, hotels, schools, and colleges through multi step cleaning process done by trained technicians with the help of high pressure jets, vacuum cleaners, suction pumps etc. in a scientific and professional way.
Till now, most of the people used to rely on manual cleaning done by unprofessional labours in the absence of a proven mechanism and lack of awareness. We are addressing this issue very sensitively and professionally. Through us, the tanks get cleaned faster and better.
AG: From where did you get the inspiration to start the unique concept of FASTCLEAN? What is its USP?
MA: I found that the water storage tanks often get neglected due to lack of awareness or absence of a professional tank cleaning service provider and hence found a wide scope in this line and started this work. Few of the USP we can certainly be proud of are:
AG: What can you foresee about the future of water care services in India?
MA: Cleaning industry being a service based industry has wide scope in India as corporate and institutions have started outsourcing services even in tank cleaning. There is a wide gap between the demand and supply. The potentiality is perpetual as cleaning caters to the basic and essential need of every human being.
AG: What motivated you to opt for franchising as a mode of expansion?
MA: I started with an outlet of my own at Bhilai two years back, and received a very good response. However, the franchising route can be considered more practical and methodical as it gives you an opportunity to develop a team of entrepreneurs who work for themselves as well as share success with the franchisor. Presently, I cater to entire state through my different units but would love to develop a franchise chain across the country and share my knowledge, experience, expertise and of course success.
AG: How many franchisees do you plan to have in the coming years?
MA: After more than five years of practical experience and research, we have recently launched the franchising module and are in the process of appointing minimum 50 franchisees across the country in the first financial year. Currently, we have two company outlets.
AG: What are the qualities that you are searching for in your franchisees? How much investment is required by an aspiring franchisee?
MA: Passion is the key of being our franchisee. Franchisees should love working in a service based industry and should have basic knowledge of entrepreneurship. We do the rest. The franchising module of FASTCLEAN is simple. The franchisee needs to bring an initial capital of Rs four to six lakh which includes our license fee of Rs One to 1.5lakh and the rest is invested in equipments, mobile van and other accessories and expenses.
AG: In what ways do you plan to support and train your franchisees?
MA: We will assist right from the concept to conclusion including training of the technicians, marketing man in a uniquely designed marketing and operational manual. This manual has been developed after years of practical experience and research. The franchisees will also benefit from the goodwill of our brand, procurement of equipments etc. We can also provide assistance in procuring large orders, comprehensive brand promotion and consistent up gradation of technologies and procedures.
AG: What are the challenges that can be faced by a franchisee in this business? How can they overcome these challenges?
MA: The biggest challenge (if you really call it a challenge) that a franchisee might face is commitment towards services offered. Most of the franchisees fail to respond professionally and sincerely to customer’s needs and that too within a stipulated time. The biggest advantage in our concept is, every satisfied customer knocks your door again after four to six months for repeated cleaning and also gives a lead of four to five prospects. The more sincere is your approach, the longer is your list of clients.