“We have established ourselves in this powerhouse economy at an opportune time,” says Crest’s Managing Director Grant McLauchlan. “As the Indian economy becomes more sophisticated, customers, particularly international corporates, are demanding better hygiene standards. Many people tell us that one of the big barriers to doing business in India is hygiene and so we are seeing savvy companies starting to make that a priority” Mr McLauchlan says.
He says with a 6-9 per cent growth rate and a population of a billion people, India’s growth potential is huge. “The country has developed more of a Western feel in the big cities and there are large shopping malls and office blocks emerging all over the skyline.”
“Obviously there is an opportunity for us to maintain these buildings, whether it is the provision of cleaning services or electrical and mechanical maintenance of the infrastructure.” he says. Cleaning, or housekeeping as it is known in India, is worth around $150 billion per annum but is currently serviced by untrained, poorly resourced contracting companies.
Competition for customers is tough, as hundreds of new shopping malls try to attract people through cleaner more hygienic environments for the new middle class, which is relocating to Indian cities.
Mr McLauchlan says Crest is doing well in the Indian market because it is a quality brand, with excellent training programmes in place for staff. The training in India is based on New Zealand standards. “Training has a very positive effect on morale, motivation and on the person’s ability to carry out cleaning to high standards. The result is a competent cleaning team who perform a quality service for their customers.”