FY ’22 Outlook
Most businesses have had to realign their strategies to address the effects of the pandemic. This black swan event has accelerated the adoption of technology, requiring companies to go digital a lot faster than anticipated.
For Facility Management services providers, the past twelve months have been challenging. We spent the first half of FY’21 on crisis management, both for our client’s facilities and for our own businesses. Health, safety, and hygiene in the built environment was the main focus for every stakeholder occupying an office, commercial/residential building, or manufacturing facility. As facility managers, we spent a lot of time researching the evolving Covid protection trends, processes, and technology. As we settled into the new normal in the second half of the fiscal year (FY’21), our energies shifted towards recovery as a company and what we needed to do to excel with the new world order.
The following are three key trends that we expect play out for the Facilities Management Sector in India in FY’22 –
1. Technology Adoption & the Shift Towards a Solution Based Delivery model
Customers will begin to demand a solution based, SLA driven model over the traditional cost-plus model that is prevalent in the Indian FM Industry today.
Technology in FM has been evolving over the past decade. There are multiple solutions available, ranging from Robotics to IoT Sensors for Predictive Maintenance and Digital process management. Technology solutions have been unviable due to the high costs of the technology vs the low cost of skilled workers in India. The return on investment (ROI) has not been attractive enough, especially in a price sensitive segment such as Property Management. However, this is bound to change over the next decade, as we strongly believe that the shift will begin now. You will begin seeing a lot more IoT solutions implemented, more Robots Cleaning, and less paper checklists at RE projects and offices in a year from today.
2. Increased Focus on the Well Being of the Occupants and Employees
For the past few years, leading up to the Covid, we experienced an increasing demand for collaborative spaces – offices, commercial parks, airports, buildings, malls. The occupant experience was beginning to play a vital role in real estate asset management. Over the next twelve months, factors that affect the well-being of occupants will begin to matter more. Facility Management companies will need to begin paying heed to sustainability and wellness – Monitoring Air Quality, Efficient Waste & Water Management, Radiation (from phone towers), Hygiene & Disinfection, Pest Management, Cleaning and Housekeeping.
Both owners and occupants of facilities will be more aware of the latest technology, process and systems related to sanitization and hygiene. Occupants will also want to know what is being done at their facility to keep them safe. Facility Managers must communicate effectively.
3. Unorganized Service Providers that do not focus on technology will become less relevant over time.
The size addressable market for Facilities Management services will only grow in India over the next year. Covid-19 has helped accelerate the demand for organized facility managers to take over from the unorganized service providers. Organized service providers are now beginning to grow their presence in sectors such as logistics, warehouse operations and manufacturing. These sectors were previously only serviced by unorganized contractors. Customers will demand more productivity from their service providers, to de-densify spaces as much as possible. This will only be possible with the adoption of technology.