‘Our investment in the state is in human talent’

Sodexo India is aiming to expand operations in Goa. The company is planning to increase its presence in the state by tapping new customers and adding to its basket of services. Here Sambit Sahu, country director, healthcare, Sodexo India, speaks on the company’s plans for Goa. He says to Team B&C that, Sodexo is in talks to manage the COVID care centers in the state.

Q. How much is Sodexo’s present presence in Goa?

Our presence in the state is for many years and in multiple sectors.  Sodexo offers services to pharmaceutical companies while in the health care sector our oldest association is with Victor Hospital, Margao, almost from the start of the hospital. We also take care of the food service, the housekeeping and the patient care for Manipal Hospital, Goa. Our journey of transformation of the food services of Goa Medical College (GMC) is little over one year.

Q. What are the changes made by Sodexo in GMC in the food given to patients, resident doctors, visitors, etc?

In GMC we started working from March 2019. Upgrading the kitchen infrastructure took us almost 90 days. Setting up the kitchen and retail facilities at GMC took time since we faced major challenges in the infrastructure. It took us almost a year to get things in place and start improving the food quality in the hospital.  We take care of the dietary requirements of all patients by planning, designing and implementing dietary care for patients. Our company provides dietary counseling and has a team of dieticians who sometimes taking the guidance of the HOD, plans meals. Sodexo is also designed four retail formats in the hospital such as a grab-and-go outlet, a hang-out joint for doctors, mess facility for nursing and medical students. All our work is done in a very integrated manner. Right from the hospital kitchen that now is rebuilt as state-of-the-art facility to provide 6,000-7,000 meals a day we are catering to the entire hospital. Our next project in GMC is to digitize our operations. 

Q. Outside of hospitals what are your plans for the Goa market?

We see potential for business from Goan industrial units. To reach out to the units we are relying on word-of-mouth publicity from existing customers who we have served.  We are looking at clientele in the education, healthcare and corporate sectors of the state.  In the present pandemic situation are also in talks to manage Goa’s COVID center. Sodexo presently manages 48 COVID care centers in hospitals of different states. 

Q. What is Sodexo’s estimated investment in the state? 

Being a service industry we don’t own assets. The company operates out of client premises. Our investment in the state is in human talent. Sodexo has sizable team in the state. In the health care sector alone we have a strong team of almost 300 members, while in corporate pharmaceutical sector the team size is of around 400 members. All put together Sodexo has about 800 employees in the state who are a mix of locals and non-Goans.

“GMC used to face problems with the state FDA on hygienic preparation of meals. That is put to an end with Sodexo because the company has put up a state-of-the-art kitchen. For patients Sodexo looks after their dietary plan in terms of nutritional food. Patients have varied food needs. The dietary requirement is different for a patient who is on dialysis, a heart patient, diabetic, etc. Sodexo takes care of the dietary needs of patients.  GMC has almost close to 1,000 OPD visitors. There is now a campus café which is good for providing visitors with meals. In future, Sodexo will be opening up more cafes in the hospital, taking over food in the boy student hostel among other projects.” Dr Bandekar, dean GMC