In the Business of Cleaning

In the Business of Cleaning

MANY take for granted the shiny clean floors and spotless washrooms when visiting a hypermarket or office.

“Give due respect to a cleaner,” says Malaysian Cleansing Services Sdn Bhd managing director and founder Datuk M. Karunanidhi. “Without them, we live in a lot of discomfort. Every job is equally important so don’t take them for granted.”

Karunanidhi has come a long way from his early days of cleaning people’s homes for RM20. His company celebrated its 35th anniversary earlier this month.

“During my college days, my friends decided to go for a holiday. My father refused to give me the money so I decided to make it. I found a faulty Hoover machine at home. I repaired it and decided to clean people’s homes. It was used to clean terrazzo flooring.

“The money was good and I left college to do it,” he adds.

Eventually, he set up a company and ventured into the commercial market.

Karunanidhi is hands-on and has remained so even till today. One wouldn’t be surprised to see him working alongside his son.

“My dad leads by example,” says business development director Ravin Karunanidhi.

“There have been a number of projects where dad and I were on site cleaning bathrooms to ensure the job was well done. No matter how late a job is, dad is up by 5am the next morning, ready to go.”

Since Ravin came into the company three years ago, he has introduced many changes.

“Instead of just janitorial and housekeeping services, I decided to introduce a new business branch, waste management, where we help clients manage their waste. Different wastes require different ways of disposal and we took that on.

“We also introduced sanitation services, which is a step above cleaning. It kills the bacteria. Since we’re in the business of cleaning, we decided to be truly one-stop and offer pest control services and granite and marble restoration. Anything required to maintain a building, we are able to do it well,” says Ravin.

This has led to MCS Facilities Sdn Bhd and Eco Hygiene Systems Sdn Bhd, subsidiaries under the main company.

Today, the group has contracts with several hypermarkets, corporate companies, educational institutions and healthcare providers.

“There are plenty of competitors out there, and we’re not the cheapest around. But clients know they are getting professional services with a warranty.

“Many people don’t understand this business or realise how high the investment is. We hire foreign labour, which is more expensive because of their insurance, medical expenses and accommodation, but they are hardworking and never miss work. They are willing to do all sorts of cleaning, unlike locals.

“The machines we buy can run up to RM200,000 and these things need maintaining,” he says.

As a strong believer of going green, Ravin has also been in talks with government authorities to organise gotong-royong as the company’s CSR project.

“We are also working to uplift the lower-income community through our workers. We give bursaries to their children and help them in continuing their education.”

The success of the company can very much be attributed to the company’s willingness to change as well as its tenacity for quality work.

“We have had to adapt to the changes over the years but they have made us stronger and better,” says Karunanidhi. “Work hard. Luck is, at most, 15% but the rest is hard work.”


Source : The Star

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