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The proprietor of a cleaning services firm, Wilson Rodrigues, sees great potential for his business in coming years, discovers Serilda Coutinho

The clean sweep in home cleaning services

With the current trend of nuclear families and women as part of the workforce, demand for expert, home cleaning services look set to pick up in the state. Started in 1998, Rodricks housekeeping and cleaning services, a St Inez based company, is in the business of all types of cleaning. The company so far had commercial establishments as clients but currently it is focusing its energies on the residential sector.

“We took on cleaning of commercial premises on monthly contract basis but presently we are concentrating on residential cleaning services,” says.

“As several Goans are settled abroad we see good need of our services in ancestral houses and also rental apartments,” he says. The company specializes in floor maintenance, stain cleaning and upholstery shampooing. It also provides cleaning services to OYO rooms.  “We have a one-time deep cleaning service for those looking for a detailed cleanup of the internal and external areas once a month and an express cleaning service for twice a month cleaning. The express service covers basic areas of maintenance like fans, window panes, flooring and washrooms,” says Rodrigues. His corporate clients include CMM, Goa Pollution Board, IHM and Mitsui.

The service starts with an inspection of the premise after which the rate is quoted to the client depending on the intensity of the work required and the products used for cleaning. Coming to the pricing of the service, Rodrigues says that, the service is charged depending upon the size of the premises and areas of cleaning concern covered. A deep cleaning service for a single bedroom generally starts from Rs 3,500 and can go up to Rs 5,000. While for commercial premises the charges starts from Rs 8,500 and goes up to Rs 3 lakh.

Coming from a finance background Rodrigues initially worked as a finance controller for the Asiatic Group that was into real estate and hospitality business. He says, “Being in the hospitality line from the beginning is where I learnt the management skills and understood the requirement of housekeeping services in the sector.” Rodrigues started off with an investment of Rs15 lakh and later had to infuse more capital to hire a bigger housekeeping team and purchase equipment. “Capital is needed if you want to maintain a bigger work force and invest in machinery,’ he says. His first contract for commercial cleaning was Wallace Pharmaceuticals.

Apart from providing housekeeping services, the company also retails cleanings solutions for stain removal, floor cleaning and odor removal.

According to Rodrigues, trained skilled labor is essential to prevent any damage to high-end furniture and flooring used in most of the commercial and residential premises. His housekeeping team comprises of around 125 employees. “We maintain a team of 40 per cent residential employees who are provided with accommodation and transportation especially for deep cleaning services while the other 60 per cent for daily cleaning services are hired on a monthly contract basis.”

Giving utmost priority to customer’s feedback Rodrigues explain that, his company has adopted a pay- on- performance policy based on the feedback of the service delivered by his team, to encourage the employees to perform better.

Apart from the skilled team, the company needs equipment like floor stripping pad and polishing machinery for floor maintenance especially in vacant ancestral homes. For Rodrigues providing the service without damaging the surface is his priority and that is the reason he has invested in a range of products depending upon the cleaning requirement. The company only uses recognized brands such as Olive Ridley, HMI and Enviro fluid, he claims. “We maintain a basic stock of cleaners for floor, glass, washroom and odor eliminators as these are the major concern areas in cleaning services,” says Rodrigues.

According to him, Goans who have travelled outside the state or have experienced the difficulty in getting work done from unskilled and professional labor prefer his services. “They prefer skilled professionals to do the cleaning to keep themselves free from the hassle of supervising,” he says. Rodrigues further adds that when he started off he had to compete with a handful of players in the housekeeping sector but today with 15 more players added in the market the competition is heated up.

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