Demand outshining the supply
Dated: 26-11-2013

At a time when new entrants right from small and first time entrants to major players in the cleaning industry are flooding the market, interestingly, the demand is outpacing the supply of professional services. Though, the cleaning industry in the region is witnessing mushrooming of many companies, there’s still some shortfall on the supply side when one considers quality cleaning services, reports Sreenivasa Rao

Is the demand for cleaning services growing more than what the existing cleaning companies can offer? Yes,’ says Walid S. Ghannam, Owner and President of the Ayadi Group, and further he adds that “quality cleaning services providers have waiting lists too.” Ayadi Cleaning is a part of Abu Dhabi-based business conglomerate Ayadi Group and offers highly advanced cleaning solutions as opposed to conventional manpower and resource intensive methods.

The cleaning companies are registering double digit growth rates in countries such as the UAE, Saudi and Qatar. Following the economy revival in the UAE, Qatar’s gearing up for the Football World Cup and economy growth of Saudi, a number of new projects is taking off in the construction sector.

For instance, the Department of Economic Development (DED) recorded a 15 per cent increase in licenses issued in August 2013, when compared to the corresponding period of 2012 as economic activity in Dubai remained on an upward curve. While 996 licenses were issued in August 2012, 1,148 were issued in August 2013 reflecting increasing investor confidence in Dubai.

Cleaning services segment topped the list of new licences and this shows the clean demand for the cleaning services. The number of professional activities licensed in August 2013 reached 772. Cleaning services for buildings and residences activity led the list of the top 10 licensed activities in this category with 57 licences. Still, the professional cleaning service providers find it difficult to meet the demand.

“Although, there are lots of competitors in the cleaning service space, there is good reason for this competition, demand is high. They are unable to meet demand,” observes Ghannam. Krishna Chandran, GM, Agha Window Cleaning Services, adds: “Competition is so intense in this segment as there are several companies offering these services in Dubai but, from my experience not many companies have professional people that are fully equipped to do the job properly.” Ayadi Cleaning Services has developed a system on how to effectively serve the clients’ requirements for thorough cleaning, while also protecting the environment.

When asked about what are the major challenges being faced by the industry, Ghannam opines that with increasing interest in sustainability and natural products, many new surfaces are being introduced to the home environment that as professional cleaners. “We must keep abreast of these emerging materials and how to properly care for them. After all, if we ruin a surface through improper cleaning, we not only have a negative environmental impact as we re-finish or dispose of the ruined surface, but on our bottom line as well.”

Going Green

Green concept is catching up in cleaning solutions. As the demand emerging from the customers, companies have turned keen on Green products. Agha Window Cleaning is also offering Green services to its customers. While focusing on green practices in façade cleaning/high rise building cleaning, Ghannam said: “Three main ways your building can incorporate environmentally friendly practices are through water treatments, chemical treatments, and abrasive treatments. All of which should be properly used on the materials and surfaces for which they are intended.”

Dubai-based Agha Window Cleaning Services offers specialised eco-friendly window cleaning service for villas, homes, offices and commercial properties in Dubai. “We here are at Agha always strive to deliver professional and quality service for our customers,” adds Krishna Chandran. “We are already providing an eco friendly solution for our clients by avoiding the use of chemicals,” says Krishna Chandran.

“We use the renowned ‘Water-Fed’ pole system and we have various length of pole in our disposal that can reach up to five floors in height, this method is widely used across Europe and US because of the high safety element associated

with it as our guys won’t be use any height equipment i.e. scaffolding, etc. We use purified water to clean the glass so thereby also avoiding use of chemicals so the glasses will stay clean for longer,” explains Krishna Chandran. The cleaning industry is witnessing a significant demand growth following the economy revival and more number of construction projects taking off in the region and the UAE in particular. The growing demand is mostly aided by the health, safety and environment (HSE).

Cleaning service providers such as Ayadi Cleaning company are registering double digit growth in securing new clients. The high demand for professional HSE and hygiene services has propelled Ayadi Cleaning to expand its manpower resources by 150 employees in 2013 employees to keep up with demand and enhance its capacity for large projects.

“Market indicators are very promising for Ayadi Cleaning, which was set up to explore a gap in the market for tailored, technologically advanced cleaning solutions for commercial operations and residential locations. Not only has our recurring client base increased by 13 percent in 2013 compared to 2012 but we’ve also had to hire 150 employees and specialists to meet demand,” explains Ghannam. One of Ayadi Cleaning’s recent projects involves providing general cleaning, deep cleaning, pressure washing and façade cleaning to an 88-floor residential tower with over 500 bedrooms of different types and a lobby area of 10,000 sqm.

“Our increased capacity and resources has meant that we can take on larger projects. We’re expanding operationally - adding manpower, expertise, technology and new training modules to take full advantage of favourable market conditions. There is certainly demand for a firm that goes beyond conventional cleaning to offer full-spectrum hygiene solutions with minimal business disruption,” Ghannam added. Cleaning service providers prefer to maintain its growth momentum by focusing on becoming the HSE partner of choice for industry, commercial operations and even residential spaces.

“We pride ourselves on partnering with businesses to focus on maximum effectiveness in exchange for the least possible disruption in operations. We want to be known as an operator that can be relied on to be absolutely transparent in creating an HSE-sound workplace for our clients. We are looking at projections for a 35 percent growth in size and operations by 2015,” forecasts Ghannam.